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
November 7, 2011 @ 1:01 pm
I have a TR-909, so I'm pretty familiar with Roland drum machines. With that said, the tool is only as good as the craftsman who holds it in his hand. I get killer sounds with it especially when I start running it through overdrives, ehx knockout, delays, etc.

It is what it is....Are you creative enough to make it cool?
September 25, 2011 @ 7:32 pm
don´t circuit bent machines like that they are to good to be destroyed
August 16, 2011 @ 11:05 pm
Pretty awesome little machine, but mine is circuit bent as well! Runs on batteries, so all I need for a mini-studio on the go is this, my Akai MPC 500, and my Korg Monotron. I would say definitely keep an eye out for a bent one, got some wicked bass tones and a nice little breakin' pattern going in minutes.
August 15, 2011 @ 4:04 pm
LOTS of things can happen.all of them good.. if you ran out from the 505 to the MK you could control the speed of both from the drum machine. you could also write a note sequence ( though not super easily) on the drum machine and have it play the microkorg.. if you ran from the mk's out to the 505 in then you could "play" the drum sounds with the microkorg's keyboard.. i think that the mk sends midi clock so you could control the speed of the drum machine with the microkorg..
May 24, 2011 @ 2:39 pm
Does anyone know what would happen if I put a midi cable from my TR 505 to my MicroKorg? Would the 505 control things like arpeggio rate etc? I'm new to this.. Thanks
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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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