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
johns
January 21, 2013 @ 2:03 pm
When in pattern write mode, it won't go beyond the number 1 flashing indicator. I can programme the sounds into this ( a one beat bar !!)but just can't get it to shift beyond that. Have tried the suggestions mentioned earlier.
Any help much appreciated
Chester Perry
September 19, 2012 @ 4:41 am
Hi i have obtained of of these through some massive luck, the volume knob crackles a bit and there is some background noise ( hissing but it can be faded out) can this be fixed?? Also being a Luddite i may sell on to someone who would make better use of it than me, how much would it go for, though it has to be said it is pretty cool owning such a iconic piece of kit.
Aaron
September 18, 2012 @ 12:47 am
The high and low toms on my 606 recently stopped working. Does anyone know if there is some sort of mute feature I don't know about? I really couldn't see them just stop working for no reason... hopefully someone can give me a heads up.
My email is Moreprofessionalemailaccount@gmail.com
paris
July 27, 2012 @ 1:52 am
i've been using these for years. i have two and just love them. very raw sounds and two trigger outputs which make them perfect for triggering analog gear. great machines.
richard
March 9, 2012 @ 11:13 am
Such a sweet sound, which of course is nothing like an 808 or 909, but the sizzle of the hi-hats and snap of the snare easily makes up for the rather flacid kick. It can still be had for a reasonable price, and it's as desirable as ever.
 
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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

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