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
Andrew Flinders
August 21, 2013 @ 9:02 am
I HATE this website. The reviewer is not a musician -- he's a sound technician, and he writes the most ignorant and pejorative reviews. He seems to measure the worth of a synth by it's original retail price...the more expensive, the better. He trashes TR-505 and TR-626, and all the Yamaha OPZ synths (which he rates with different star levels and doesn't even mention they are totally patch-compatible -- basically the same synth with different features). He's so stupid. And he foists himself as an authority. He's so not. These synths are my children. I love them. And I hate IGNORANCE.
August 10, 2013 @ 3:09 pm
Bought one of these when it first came out and still have it ,superb machine,really versatile and easy to use.
June 18, 2013 @ 11:47 am
I don't know where they got the idea that this is a 12-bit machine. I've got one that I've done quite a bit of circuit bending on, and samples are played back through a resistor network DAC attached to the 8-bit data lines on the sample ROM. Drum sounds are then demultiplexed with a set of analog demux chips to the EG and mixers, then demuxed again to the individual outputs. Essentially, it has the same guts as the TR505.
Dan D
April 28, 2013 @ 8:51 pm
A great machine, good sounds, individual outs, and the grid-style programming rocks. Paired with the memory card, you're good to go.
April 6, 2013 @ 6:37 pm
If anyone would like to pass their 626 on to a good home for a reasonable price please get in touch to pat-king(at)live(dot)com, thanks.
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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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