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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86 Visitor comments
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”
Perseus Traxx
May 3, 2011 @ 2:50 am
I've just got one of these. The sound limitations aren't an issue as they can all have individual outs, though having to share certain sound channels clap/tambourine and stick/cowbell isn't something i'd had to consider while using samples in the past. For years I've used heavily eq'd and processed samples of this machine despite its reputation for sounding cheap and not very good. For me its reputation as a cheap drum machine is what meant it was pounced on by young producers back in the early days of house, and as someone who likes that sound - its an obvious choice.
April 17, 2011 @ 8:02 pm
This thing is the staple of my setup.. I can drive it with MIDI from my computer, and then the DINsync controls my tr-606, the trigger controls my SH-101, and the MIDI out controls my x0xb0x. Barely any latency.
April 8, 2011 @ 6:03 am
Yes Alexei, you are correct. Those looking for solely a cheap XoX sequencer maybe better looking at something like a korg ER1
February 22, 2011 @ 9:56 am
Abot sequencing of external modules. That's what manual says:
*The key message transmitting mode is available only while in Track Play mode.

I believe it means that messages will be transmitted only wen full song composed, not while constructing patterns (Pattern Write) or playing them by 16 buttons (Pattern Play). So as live controller it may be not useful.
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Rated 4.36 (797 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.
  • 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
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

    Thanks to James Malcolm for adding info.

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