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
April 12, 2013 @ 1:25 pm
A fine drum machine that you can still grab at a good price! I was looking for something with extra percussion sounds to accompany my 707. Of course the 727 would be perfect but those are pretty expensive. A 626 would also be a good choice since it has separate outs. So the downside is that the 505 doesn't have separate outs or ability to edit sounds - but - I like the sounds and at $50, I think it was a great deal :)
April 7, 2013 @ 3:23 am
I don't really get the difference, why is this cheesy and boring and the 808 so brillant? I really can tell little difference :\
March 30, 2013 @ 10:18 pm
My first (and last and only) dedicated drum machine. Ya the sounds are a little cheezy.. so thats what post-production and effects are for. Great for 4/4 [beep] music soundtrax! :-)
Andrew Flinders
March 8, 2013 @ 12:50 pm
Please ignore the stupid Ratings on this website. Whoever writes these reviews and rates these classic synths is an ignorant douche. Good musicians don't spend their time rating -- and trashing -- great vintage musical instruments. TR-505 is a great machine, I have used it on many productions.
February 24, 2013 @ 10:12 am
HELP! my 505 won't let me write patterns anymore. all the midi functions seemed to have disappeared as well (not that i ever knew how to use them). what do i need to replace!?
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VSE Rating


User Rating

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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