Roland R-8 Human Rhythm Composer

Roland R-8 Image

Roland R-8

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.

Roland R-8mkII Image

Roland R-8mkII

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).

Check Roland R-8 Human Rhythm Composer Prices on eBay

The link above will take you to a search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics

Comments

Are you looking to buy or sell a Roland R-8 Human Rhythm Composer? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

47 Visitor comments
Dont_do_it_Rkyo
March 6, 2013 @ 3:44 pm
Rkyo - Exactly what kind of "old synths" are filling up your garage? You know, a good many people still appreciate vintage synths. Rather than letting your vintage synths rot in a cold, damp garage, you might considering letting them go on Ebay. Synths are meant to be played. Don't let yours die a useless, needless, slow & lonely death....just because they're old. I'm sure there are people who would be willing to give them a nice, new home, with all the tender love & care they deserve. Plus, with the money you make by selling them, you could buy more "software", computers, VST & what not.
elroy weebler
August 23, 2012 @ 9:37 pm
frankly, the first time roland ever got a drum machine exactly right (especially considering their long history making rhythm boxes and such) in terms of sounds, ease of programming, and flexibility. all of that beloved 80's punch with none of the graininess. no wonder so many people are still using them. human feel is a great idea that's missing from today's drum machines. i've got a couple cards for mine (one has 909 samples, saving me from having to use the 808 samples already built into the machine) but if you're fortunate enough to have the mark 2 r8, all the rom card sounds are included.
alex
June 3, 2012 @ 4:37 pm
@ryko
"My old synths are filling my garage up; too noisy and too unreliable, unlike the software versions I now use"

haha noisy is that bad ? for me not i hate clean sounds lets get dirty. ;)

who needs more soulless steril productions ???
sam
May 21, 2012 @ 4:10 am
@ryko
"My old synths are filling my garage up; too noisy and too unreliable, unlike the software versions I now use"

so how about instead of hording them you sell them off to people that will actually make music with them?
Rkyo
April 18, 2012 @ 6:17 am
I bought an R8 when we failed to audition a drummer who was good enough. Then I bought an R8 Mk2, which I still use every day. It's the only bit of vintage kit I still use. (Apart from the effects board in my Akai S3000SL, which I use for real tine effects on the R8 - I haven't used it as a sampler or synth for ages though. Ha.) My old synths are filling my garage up; too noisy and too unreliable, unlike the software versions I now use. The best bit of the R8 is the ability to play melodies in 'Multi' mode assigning a sound to all 12 pads tuned in semitones.
 
Post Comment!
VSE Rating

Awesome!

User Rating

Rated 4.04 (536 Votes)

  • Check Prices on eBay
  • 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
  • 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

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.