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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74 Visitor comments
May 4, 2013 @ 10:27 pm
Hmmm. Mediocre. Basic. Unexciting. All according to the fool who wrote the description above, of this drum machine. I call "bullsh*t".

Actually, it sounds excellent, classic sounds of the time - very Linn LM-1ish. Very reliable as well.
Dan D
April 30, 2013 @ 3:50 pm
The grid programming is a great feature. I use one to step-program an SCI Tom (I am aware TOM has step-programming but I like the Roland drop it in, drop it out TR-style programming) and I plan to pick up another TR505 to step program the upcoming Korg Volca Beats since those idiots only put 8 pattern memories in it! (Would someone point out to the manufacturers that memory is super cheap these days!?)
April 24, 2013 @ 3:35 pm
you cant tell the difference between a 505 and an 808? One is the best ever one is the worst ever. ok 505 may not be worst ever but pretty close...
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 :\
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Rated 3.85 (509 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay 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
  • Resources & Credits
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