Roland TR-626 Rhythm Composer

Roland TR-626 Image

The TR-626 is sort of an upgraded digital version of the classic TR-606 and TR-505 Rhythm Composers. This beat-box is still simple but has a few good points that come from its legendary ancestors - the TR-909 and TR-808. Its sounds are pretty drab, they are 12 bit low-quality samples of the most boring acoustic drum sounds around. Fortunately the sounds can be individually tuned and mixed and there are 8 individual outputs for the basic sounds as well as a stereo out. Its sequencer is very basic, coming with 48 preset patterns and 48 user patterns. But it has a simple matrix display similar to that on the TR-505, clearly displaying the current pattern in a graphical layout. The 626 also featured very good MIDI implementation for it's time. It has been used by Vangelis and Jimmy Edgar.

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45 Visitor comments
Evangelos YYC
April 8, 2014 @ 4:57 pm
This drum machine is my child..... I have TR-707, 505, an MPC and a Jomox kick. I usually layer it with the jomox and high pass the 626 kick but this is by far one of my fav machines. Easy to program and has a really unique viby sound unlike the others.... People say its like 606+505 combine but i think it has its own flave that kicks butt. Run it through a DI and preamp with a very light touch of compression and you have a serious musical instrument.
billy I need to by this machin
February 17, 2014 @ 12:19 pm
send me a number for me to call or call me @ 718-801-6638
January 19, 2014 @ 1:31 pm
The sequencer actually offers plenty of functions like swing, flam, accent, block-playing of several single patterns, long pattern chains, various scales, adjustable pattern lengths and more. You can also tune the internal samples to taste and change the MIDI send and receive channels of every pad for triggering external gear which broadens the scope of this thing a lot. Add the single outs and MIDI-to-analog-trigger option and you get a powerful little box that still is tremendously useful for gigs and the studio. Don't let the VSE review fool you.
December 31, 2013 @ 10:45 pm
Sound a lil weak by themselves (especially the kick) unless you track everything else in a song at lower volumes to match up better. The sounds are very separated sounding even with the stereo outs. 505's sound more more together and cohesive even.


To use just a few sounds from a 626 in a mix, the separation helps. PLUS if you track it with the separate outs and bus it all to a compressor than it COMES ALIVE! Add the ability to pitch the sounds up or down and you have tons of colors to work with. In doing that you can make the thing sound TOTALLY different!
Mr. Mitch
October 11, 2013 @ 8:37 am
i love my 626, it's a great drum machine ... what's wrong with VSs reviews, its sounds are great and pitchable, the swing and accents funcion is ecxellent. VS forgot to mention the trigger out which is controlled by the rimshot. so you can use it as a midi to trigger module, for your SH-101 or Juno 6/60 for example .. you can hear it on (base, hh, claps, gated snare) MOONFOU - SHUT UP and on almost all big black recordings (Steve Albini)
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User Rating

Rated 3.7 (336 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
  • YouTube Thumbnail
    Roland TR-626 Demo
    by snolan1990

    Manual - Roland has made manuals for most of their products available as free PDF downloads.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voices
  • Sounds - 12 Bit samples of 30 plain old standard drum sounds
  • Controls - Individual tuning and level, tempo,
  • Patterns - 48 preset, 48 user
  • Songs - 6 Songs
  • Arpeg/Seq - Sequencer limited to 1/16th note steps
  • Keyboard - 16 drum tone pads
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1987
  • Resources & Credits
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