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
January 24, 2010 @ 10:16 pm
i bought my tr 505 in 86 and have used it for years, mainly for self practise between band practises and it has always worked very well. not the greatest sound , but never let me down.
January 22, 2010 @ 2:25 am
If your looking for realistic sounds, this isn't the drum machine for you.
But, If your into acid house/Detroit, this is something to look into.

The Rim, Cls/Oh hihat, and crash cymbal sound like a 707.
The congas sound similar to that of a 727 only a little less primitive. They're my absolute favorite instrument on the 505 and they get constant use.

The sample on this page doesn't do the 505 justice.
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.
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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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