Roland TR-505 Rhythm Composer

Roland TR-505 Image

A cheap (budget) drum machine. It features 16 drum tones which unfortunately, are only mediocre samples. Its memory contains 48 patterns and 6 songs. Unlike its TR cousins it does not have individual drum tone outputs. There is no drum tone editing capability either. It does however feature extensive MIDI implementation, even the pads will transmit MIDI data. The 505 works well with a computer and sequencer or as a stand alone drum machine. It is extremely basic and unexciting but does make a good starter or play-along drum machine. Vince Clarke and Aphex Twin has used the 505.

Roland TR-505 Image

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71 Visitor comments
December 22, 2012 @ 8:00 am
Ah, the 505. I was so excited about having a gadget with REAL drum sounds (oh yes, they were real. REAL!) that I used to take it to work and play with it during lunch break. When the warranty ran out I did the individual output mod (from a magazine article) and had loads of fun running the sounds through an Alesis Microverb. Watch out, Phil Collins: I too have a gated snare, MUH ha ha ha haaa! Egads, was that really 25 years ago?
October 21, 2012 @ 12:28 pm
I use this mashine with kaosspad on insert. Like
August 23, 2012 @ 7:46 am
I like this machine , i was wondering if there is a way to pan the sounds ?
Andrew Flinders
August 8, 2012 @ 9:39 am
Would you mind removing subjective and pejorative comments from the desciption? Budget drum machine, "mediocre samples" . NO, it's GREAT. Just let it speak for itself.
Who writes these summaries?
David White
July 22, 2012 @ 8:58 pm
I'm stoked about getting one of these...I think Vintage synth misses the point on some of these instruments; so what if its not a TB-303, it's unique and has its own sound characteristics..Simple=Awesome. Think Daft Punk vs. Aphex Twin; they're both good & have their own place, it's like an opinion man. I'm glad Roland doesn't make anything worth a darn anymore, makes the little guys have a chance at it.
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Rated 3.85 (500 Votes)

  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Demos & Media
  • Audio Clip 1 - Here's a short 505 drum fill & house loop, submitted by Dean Nye.

    Manual - Roland has made manuals for most of their products available as free PDF downloads.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 Voices
  • Oscillators - Uses Samples
  • Tones - 16 drum tones: Kick, snare, open/closed hat, hi/mid/low tom, hi/low cowbell, conga, timbale, etc...
  • Patterns - 48 user, 48 preset
  • Songs - 6
  • Arpeg/Seq - Sequencer
  • Keyboard - none
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1986

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