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
December 23, 2009 @ 4:24 pm
My dad bought one new in the mid 80' sounded bad then and it sounds bad now. I learned as a child to programme beats though so it's in my heart. But this drum machine sounds so incredibly awfull there are not words to describe it. I could bang on my garbage pail and make drum samples that sound better.
Bosques de mi Mente
December 22, 2009 @ 1:10 pm
I citcuit-bent mine and the sounds are really cool and weird! They are cheap, easy to find and easy to bend, so I think other comments are not taking into account the potential of this little machine... I am glad I got mine.
December 18, 2009 @ 5:00 pm
The sounds aren't that bad I was expecting worse.

It's limited yes, but not unusable.
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
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.86 (511 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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