Roland AIRA TR-8 Rhythm Performer Drum Sequencer

New Addition to the Roland Aira Line

Written by

Ollie Mason

The Roland AIRA TR-8 is the modern reinvisioning of the classic TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines. The TR-8 has the same awesome sounds as the 808 and 909 but perhaps more importantly the same way of working: the tactile hands-on approach Roland have taken with the TR-8 is a real delight to use and reminds you why you loved beat-making from the start. Beats are quickly and easily constructed using the classic 16 step sequencer and new way of working (without separate record and play modes) lets you contruct as you perform seamlessly.

Designed from the ground up to integrate with other AIRA products like the System 1 and TB-3, the TR-8 becomes part of your music production eco-system send or recieving tempo information via MIDI/USB and bring in an external source for sidechaining!

If you love making beats but are sick of getting RSI clicking on tiny buttons and scrolling through endless menus on software samplers, or even sick of having to take both your laptop and control surface everywhere you go then you're going to need a TR-8: back to the old school!

The TR8 gets a MASSIVE 4.5/5 stars!
"The TR-8 captures the essential tone and mojo of the original TR-808 and 909 but takes it firmly into the future. A must have"!
- Future Music

“Forget NAMM 2014, the show really has been stolen” - Andy Jones (published Jan 26th after seeing AIRA in secret room at NAMM 2014)
“I have to say that first impressions are that the TB-3 and TR-8 look just stunning: a real homage to the originals but bang up to date”
- Music

“But for those of you wondering if it's good enough to live up to the hype - I say yes in this case - Roland 1 - Critics -0” - Sonic State

“This is the future of electronic music—and it's for everybody” - GIZMODO

What Roland say about the TR-8 Rhythm Performer:

The TR-8 is a performance rhythm machine that melds the legendary sound and vibe of the TR-808 and TR-909 with features and functions for the modern age.
Genre-defining sounds and classic effects. Unprecedented live pattern manipulation. Solid, intuitive performance controls.
It’s the TR… Evolved.

The Lineage - Unleashed upon an unsuspecting world in the 1980’s, the TR-808 and TR-909 produce arguably the most influential drum sounds in modern music. Not only have they appeared on thousands of dance tracks over the course of three decades, but they have helped define the sound of entire musical genres.
From Rap and House to Techno and Trance – these two drum machines have left an indelible mark on the art and culture of music.
Roll the drums.

The Sound - With the TR-8, we have obsessively analysed and faithfully re-created every detail and nuance of the analogue circuitry of these legendary rhythm machines. The boom and snap of the 808. The thud of the 909. The robotic click of an 808 rim shot or a classic 909 snare roll. It’s all here.

Not content with mere recreations however, we have enhanced these classic instruments with capabilities far beyond the original units.
Tune and Decay knobs are now present on every instrument and the Bass and Snare drum modules have dedicated “Attack” and “Comp” knobs allowing for a great variety of tones – from subtle ambient percussion to pounding dance grooves. Per-step effects and the massively addictive “Scatter” function take things into entirely new territory.

With the authentic tone and character of the original units and with new sound tweaking capabilities inspired by legions of users, the TR-8 breathes new life into the sounds we all know and love.
Just like the original:
- Full reproduction of the original TR-808 and TR-909 rhythm machines based on original design spec sheets and detailed analogue circuit analysis of various specimens including Roland’s own pristine units
- Newly developed Analogue Circuit Behaviour (ACB) technology allows part-by-part analyses and faithful recreation of tonality and behaviour including the smooth variations of tone that occur when you work the controls of each instrument
- Obsessive attention to detail - like reproducing the original TR’s unique variations in tone that occur when multiple instruments are entered in accented steps

What is Scatter?
Scatter is a unique performance function that gives you detailed real-time control over variations in your patterns and any incoming external input signal.
Scatter can reverse, glitch, gate, truncate, stutter and perform all manner of rhythmic variations - from subtle to extreme - and all in perfect sync.
Pick from 10 different types of Scatter and smoothly adjust the intensity or “Scatter Depth” with the large comfortable dial.
Seamlessly switch between Scatter patterns and quickly turn Scatter on and off for cool variations when and where you want them.
Try it. You’ll like it.

A few more things
You can connect the TR-8 to your computer via its USB jack to send and receive Audio and MIDI data.
The TR-8 can receive MIDI clock information to sync with external devices including other AIRA series units.
The TR-8 is designed to work seamlessly and look great with other products in the AIRA series.

Key Features:

  • Build dream kits made up of different instruments from the TR-808 and TR-909.
  • 16 stunning kits made up of 11 instrument types.
  • Control the intensity of the Accent function with a dedicated knob.
  • 16 per-step pads with bold, full-colour LEDs clearly show the current status
  • Real-time pattern creation up to 32 steps
  • Change the pattern step count seamlessly and on the fly
  • Rec/Play modes have been eliminated enabling seamless pattern making and performance
  • Seamless switch between step input and playing pads in real-time to create patterns
  • Real-time play of 4 different types of rolls to suit your beat
  • Quickly Mute/Unmute individual instruments during performance or production
  • Shuffle function from original TR-909 now has a knob for continuous real-time control
  • Pattern randomising function induces creativity and brings spontaneity to live performance
  • 7 segment, 4 character LED display shows the current tempo and has Tap function
  • Pattern copy makes it easy to create pattern variations


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