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 10, 2009 @ 2:00 pm
Just bought one of these in great condition and working order, the drum sounds are not that horrible as some say, although they are kinda dry and stale. This puppy won't stay unaltered for long though as I have some tasty circuit bending plans for it :)
Peter de Mander
July 12, 2009 @ 7:12 pm
Used it as "click" module for our drummer in our discoband back in 2001... worked well
Walter Slavik
June 17, 2009 @ 7:27 am
This machine can sound very good with individual outs soldered to the circuit board. Each output may then have different "EQ's" and "FX" such as reverb added to them. A technician can "wire it up"! I do have the schematics in an old (1986) music magazine, but I have not been able to find it yet. (I have a large collection).
June 16, 2009 @ 7:13 am
A nice paperweight. The sounds are creepy, and the only good feature is its internal and full programmable sequencer.
June 10, 2009 @ 12:36 pm
I know its cheating in a way, but run it through some reverb and bass boost, get it modded with a trigger output or 2 for cheap and sequence a bass along with it. Sounds awesome!
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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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