Roland TR-707 Rhythm Composer

Roland TR-707 ImageRoland TR-707

A very underrated drum machine! It resembles the popular TR-909, and better yet, its hi-hat, cymbals, and clap sound almost identical to the TR-909! The TR-707 is a great source for cheap 909 samples. It has some other cool features too such as its Matrix display which clearly maps out your pattern for you in an easy to read display panel. It also features both MIDI in/out and DIN sync control - the best of both worlds. Why this unit even has individual outputs for each of its drum tones!

For programming, it features a shuffle and flam effect and its programming abilities are very impressive. But it does have its limitations, the only adjustment you can make to each drum tone is volume. And all of its other drum tones are boring (especially ride, kick and snare). It's used by Aphex Twin, Laurent Garnier, Squarepusher, Luke Vibert, Freddy Fresh, Phil Collins, Marshall Jefferson and Plastikman.

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85 Visitor comments
John Graziano
March 7, 2012 @ 3:53 pm
Just found mine in a trash can (NYC) for my building. It's missing the Tempo knob but seems to work. It's not something I will probably every use but who knows? Maybe. It does seem well engineered and all those separate outs make it versatile. But I need a manual. Anyone got a PDF version?
November 4, 2011 @ 11:40 am
Roland still supplies parts for their old drum machines (for the parts they still have in stock or can order, that is). I was able to get a replacement TR-707 DC jack for $2 + $8 shipping from Roland Canada!
October 14, 2011 @ 3:06 am
@ andy edwards: the 707 is not difficult to programme. Look for the manual online. If you read it and still need help programming rhythms buy the book "260 Drum Machine Patterns". It's on Amazon.
@everyone: I keep almost selling this, but then bring it out to play one last time and just can't bring myself to do it! The separate audio outs and mixer section are the real killer features, makes it infinitely flexible. Really clever interface too, so easy to use. A keeper.
andy Edwards
September 3, 2011 @ 8:28 am
I really love the Roland TR-707 and am willing to pay someone to program it for me. It has some drum patterns in it that need to be erased and then new (stock) patterns programed. I only need 8th note, 2/4, shuffle, waltz, 16s and maybe a swing. Don't know where to go for a programmer. I live in Anaheim, California (714) 397-2830
Steve Davies
August 5, 2011 @ 11:52 am
I used this unit for years in my One- Man Group setup. The bonus was the separate outs & being able to use EQ & Effects on the individual sounds. I midi synced to a 505 running an odd number of fill patterns muting the sound so I could kick in a fill at any point in the bar. The sounds are all there to do what you want with them don’t be put off with the tinny sounds you hear on this demo. Plug it into something decent and “GIVE IT SOME WELLY”
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  • The link above will take you to a 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
  • Effects - Shuffle / Flam
  • Oscillators - Sample Playback/Acoustic Simulation. Drum sounds are 8-bit, Crash & Ride are 6-bit.
  • Tones - 15 sampled sounds (kick1, kick2, snare1, snare2, low tom, mid tom, high tom, rim shot, cow bell, hand clap, Tambourine, open/closed high hat, crash/ride cymbals)
  • Patterns - 64
  • Songs - 4
  • Arpeg/Seq - Sequencer
  • Keyboard - none
  • Control - MIDI IN/OUT & DIN SYNC IN/OUT & TRIG OUT (outputs Rimshot sound as trigger)
  • Date Produced - 1985

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