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
John Difool
August 5, 2012 @ 8:30 pm
Sound On Sound review:
Wolfgang Palm
July 28, 2012 @ 10:53 am
Also used by Front 242: "In Circling Overland we had a Roland 626, where we simply changed kick and snare drums to two toms and in that way achieved a more original rhythm pattern."
May 25, 2012 @ 10:17 am
@drummchimp I have to disagree with you on several points. First of all, the DR-550 has 16 bit samples, and none of the DR-550 sounds sound anything like the ones on TR-626. Having said that, TR-626 is far superior to the DR-550 because it has voioce tunning, 8 indivicual outs, and a RAM card slot. DR-550 is a cheap alternative; however, you can produce some stunning patterns with DR-550 by assigning the same sound to multiple pads with different leves, panning, and tone color. The effects can be stunning, trust me. I can do dynamcs and panned delay effect on the DR-550 with great results.
April 25, 2012 @ 5:59 pm
I just won a broken TR-626 off of ebay for $25!!! Hopefully it will be a quick fix to get it back up and running.
I bought it mainly to compliment my TR-808 & TR-909. And yes... I am bragging! lol
April 23, 2012 @ 2:11 pm
if i'm not mistaken, all the sampled sounds on this machine later turned up in the Boss DR550 with a bunch of new ones to boot (64 in total). the only sound editing on that machine is the 'timbre' control (7 settings i think) which is like a crappy filter effect and decay which doesn't really spice things up much either.
also there's only stereo outs, but they're cheap as chips on ebay!
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.7 (337 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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