Roland R-8 Human Rhythm Composer
One of the very best drum machines ever. It has excellent sounds which can be expanded by adding additional sound cards (808 and 909 cards). Great rock, electronic, ethnic and industrial style drumkits! Most of the sounds are editable - tune, decay, attack, nuance, output, etc...
But its coolest tricks are the Feel Patches which give your program a human-like groove! The sounds are ROM based samples, the R-8 has 32 note polyphony, 68 instruments, 100 patterns and 10 songs! The R-8 later became the R-8mkII with more memory and sounds. It is used by Orbital, Underworld, Jimmy Edgar, Autechre, 808 State, Dave Holmes, Fluke, Human League and The Shamen.
A single-space rack-mount version - the R-8M - was also available. It had no sequencer but it did have the R-8 sounds and the ability to read R-8 expansion sound cards. There were also 8 individual outputs, 12 voices polyphony and 4-part multitimbral MIDI. Later, an mkII model was released with upgraded features and memory (pictured above).
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- 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
Manual - Roland has made manuals for most of their products available as free PDF downloads.
- Polyphony - 32 voices
- Sounds - 68 Rom samples
- Controls - tune, decay, attack, nuance, output, etc...
- Patterns - 100
- Songs - 10
- Arpeg/Seq - Sequencer
- Keyboard - None
- Control - MIDI
- Date Produced - 1989
R-8 mkII - 1992
- Shop for Keyboards, MIDI & Gear
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