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.

Modifications:

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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45 Visitor comments
Warehousegrooves
April 16, 2011 @ 1:17 pm
@ skatronix .... try to find the manual, that will help.

Nice box, love the analog sounds in the tracks and will never part from it.
Got the Analog Solutions external outs what works nice connected to a stompbox.
pipo
April 13, 2011 @ 12:25 pm
"..brought back 2 years later by a teenage policewoman.."

:D drawing picture of the situation on my mind.. "heres your drumatix sir" ..how cool!!
Matty
April 9, 2011 @ 5:40 pm
I had one of these in the mid 80s... it was really frustrating to program but the sounds were great! I loved the hi hats and cymbals and the snare was top.
It was stolen in a burglary about 1987 and brought back 2 years later by a teenage policewoman. I always wanted to have the "separate outputs for each instrument" mod done but couldn't find someone willing to do it. I lent it to a friend's friend - bit of a loser - who left batteries in it that leaked extensively and trashed it. Try as we could we could never get it going again. I can't believe they ended up such a classic!
skatronix
February 22, 2011 @ 9:17 am
Just got the little beast and tried to sync it via the MSQ-700, but nothing. everything seemed to be right (midi OUT from sequencer->MSQ700 midi IN, MSQ700 sync out->TR606 sync IN) and right switch positions on MSQ700. When i turn the sync tap in 606 to INPUT position, the whole sequencer seems to die out and only the first step LED lights. MSQ700 still recieves the midi CLK. ??? any ideas?
gijsyo
December 15, 2010 @ 2:41 pm
johns, there could be something stuck in the din sync port
 
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  • 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.
  • 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
  • Resources & Credits
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