Roland TR-606 Drumatix

Roland TR-606 Image

A cool little box! So primitive and cute! The 606 was the percussion side-kick to the TB-303. It even looks like the 303. It stores up to 32 patterns and 8 songs. The 606 allows switching between Pattern Play and Write mode while running - making the 606 the only drumcomputer in the X0X series that can be edited while performing and switching patterns. It is also possible to link up to 4 consecutive patterns in Pattern Play mode. There is only a mono audio output, however there are mods from Kenton Electronics and Analog Solutions that will add individual outputs for each drum tone.

The 606 has seven analog drum sounds which are simple, yet great! Kick, Snare, 2 toms, open hat, closed hat, cymbal, accent. The hi-hats are a very tinny electronic sound and its toms are great for soft tribal patterns. These seven sounds alone are still quite popular today, and the 606 has been used by Überzone, Cirrus, Sneaker Pimps, Download, Aphex Twin, Astral Projection, Nine Inch Nails, Mr. Oizo, Jimi Tenor, Kid 606, OMD, Moby, Freddy Fresh, Autechre, Luke Vibert, Orbital, and Union Jack.

For control, the 606 can receive or transmit DINSync for synchronization with other TR and TB family instruments. There are also two trig-outs on the unit, which make it very valuable as a pattern-programmable dual-channel trigger sequencer. It's often used for this by various people (Jimi Tenor) to 'drive' other sequencers and the like.


Editable Drum Tones! - Analog Solutions external modification adds tuning for all drum tones, snap and decay for the snare drum, decay for the cymbals and a sweep effect for the toms.

Individual Outs! - Analog Solutions adds 5 individual outputs for cymbals, kick, snare, toms and hi-hats.

Synhouse MIDIJACK DINSYNC - Adds a MIDI jack so the 606 can be sync'd to external MIDI triggers and tempo sources.

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44 Visitor comments
June 7, 2010 @ 3:44 am
i got a 2nd hand tr606 recently.
unfortunately, i opened the battery compartment to find old batteries looking up at me! don't know if they leaked. but the tr606 doesn't seem to work.
when i set up to begin the step sequencing the red light just flashes on position 1. it doesn't scan across all the beats as the manual says it should. apparently other people have had this same problem and have been unable to find a solution.
so i thought i would post here in the hope of some wisdom.
May 1, 2010 @ 3:32 am
Just got a 606 two weeks ago and have been playing it ever since. it's quickly becoming my favorite drum machine. I've taken it everywhere with me along with a stylophone I plug into and play with through the stylo speaker. It sounds awesome and is mobile as crap. Excellent machine for the money!
January 3, 2010 @ 1:37 pm
The Scottish band The Blue Nile used this machine.
December 27, 2009 @ 7:03 am
Bought this litte machine around 14 years ago. Just took it from the attic to hook it up again. I still love it to bits!
July 10, 2009 @ 11:37 pm
I found a malfunctioning TR-606 in the local "Goodwill" store for $3. Took it home, found that the idiot previous owner had left the batteries in it and they had leaked all over the inside. After a half hour of cleaning, and soldering a single new wire over a corroded contact, the thing is good as new. I swear. Some people just don't know what they have in their basements. This thing is a LOT of fun to play with and Big Black used it ! How cool is that ?
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  • 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.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 7 Drum Tones
  • Tones - snare, kick, closed hat, open hat, tom 1, tom 2, and cymbal
  • Controls - Drum Tone Level, Accent; Tempo
  • Patterns - 32
  • Songs - 8
  • Arpeg/Seq - Sequencer
  • Keyboard - 16 buttons
  • Control - DIN Sync in/out
  • Date Produced - 1982

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