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

Lookup Roland TR-505 Rhythm Composer Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a Roland TR-505 Rhythm Composer? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

74 Visitor comments
August 23, 2012 @ 7:46 am
I like this machine , i was wondering if there is a way to pan the sounds ?
Andrew Flinders
August 8, 2012 @ 9:39 am
Would you mind removing subjective and pejorative comments from the desciption? Budget drum machine, "mediocre samples" . NO, it's GREAT. Just let it speak for itself.
Who writes these summaries?
David White
July 22, 2012 @ 8:58 pm
I'm stoked about getting one of these...I think Vintage synth misses the point on some of these instruments; so what if its not a TB-303, it's unique and has its own sound characteristics..Simple=Awesome. Think Daft Punk vs. Aphex Twin; they're both good & have their own place, it's like an opinion man. I'm glad Roland doesn't make anything worth a darn anymore, makes the little guys have a chance at it.
July 21, 2012 @ 6:42 pm
my friend gave me one of these early this year!! love it! midi funtionality and good sounds, with a sequencer,, awesome... pretty sad reveiw by vintage synth explorer,,i think this drum machine is highly underated...i really like mine mint condition! so yeah its not an 808 or 909,,so what its still a cool little drum machine! get one~
July 9, 2012 @ 9:18 pm
ignore the vse rating and look at the u rate it, this is a really good sounding drum machine
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.86 (510 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
  • Images from

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.