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
August 23, 2010 @ 2:36 pm
I got this also. Most realistic TR you'll get. Tuning down the drum sounds makes a suprisingly good LinnDrum. Not too punchy, though, the 505 has more punch. GREAT machine for cheap, reliable rhythm. Again, WAY better sound than any samples, TRUST me. I had samples of this thing, then bought the machine for cheap and haven't regretted it since.
June 10, 2010 @ 10:35 am
Why 12 bits? DAC on an output of 8 bits.
January 10, 2010 @ 3:19 pm
Just fished this out of a cupboard. I might not be an analogue monster drum machine, but its sounds are usable and its fun to play.
December 23, 2009 @ 8:13 pm
LOL at the difference between the user rating and VSE's rating on all these old drum machines!

-"12 Bit samples of 30 plain old standard drum sounds"

Such objective reporting! ;p
December 21, 2009 @ 7:19 am
First of all, the TR-626 really has virtually nothing in common with the TR-606, except for the number 6 in it's model number. It does have quite a few similarities with the TR-505.
Unfortunately one of the nicest features isn't listed in the specifications. The internal sequencer has 5 different shuffle modes.
Another feature is that unlike the TR-606 one can switch between pattern play and pattern edit mode without losing sync, something that is also possible with the TR-505.
Oh and I don't think the drum sounds are boring at all
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VSE Rating


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

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