Moby fans will have an unprecedented opportunity to get their hands on instruments from the musician’s very own private collection, and to do some good in the process. Moby will part ways with 200 drum machines from his own collection in an effort to raise money for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The machines will be sold on online marketplace, Reverb.com, and 100% of the proceeds will be directed to the Physicians Committee, a non-profit research organization dedicated to a “higher standard of ethics and effectiveness in research.”
Moby’s inventory includes several vintage pieces, like a Roland 909 that the “Natural Blues” producer bought in the early 1990s at New York’s Rouge Music store. Two Chamberlin Rythmate drum machines are also among the handful of equipment that will be sold. Only ten of the Chamberlin Rythmate machines were manufactured under Harry Chamberlin in 1949. Moby previously partnered with Reverb earlier in the year to sell off 100 studio and tour equipment pieces, in addition to his entire record collection.
On September 9, audiophiles celebrated 909 day. What better way to celebrate the iconic drum machine than speaking with a pioneer of techno? Underground Resistance‘s own Jeff Mills, a king of the archetypal Roland TR-909 drum machine, took Mixmag through the history of the revolutionary machine. Mills is the perfect producer to talk about the product. For proof, watch his critically acclaimed Exhibitionist 2 documentary.
In the interview, Mills takes a deep-dive into his history with the 909. Readers find out how he discovered the legendary equipment, why he thought it was so special back then, its sounds, and his musical process. He mentions the pureness of sounds that come from the 909. There’s an art in its minimal nature, denoting there’s not a lot producers need to add to the sounds to make them sound great.
In 2017, Roland released a TR-09, a miniature and more affordable version of the original 909. Click here to read Jeff Mills’ full interview with Mixmag.
The Roland TR-808 is one of the most innovative machines in the past century of music. Only on sale from 1980 to 1983, this short span of time saw the 808 gain major influence in techno and essentially birth the early hip-hop movement, from the raw sounds of Detroit to Afrika Bambaataa‘s classic “Planet Rock.” As the sound emerged from the underground, the drum machine garnered mainstream attention with it’s use in Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” in 1982, while becoming a mainstay for hip-hop acts like Public Enemy and Run DMC. As pop music in the 80’s drifted towards a more electronic sound, the 808 was eventually adopted by everyone from Whitney Houston to Phil Collins.
Though the machine fell out of the mainstream in the 1990’s due to a lack of availability, an overuse of the sound, and east coast hip-hop’s shift to more soulful, jazzy beats, it stayed strong in US and European rave scenes while America’s burgeoning southern trap scene began to flourish and the end of the millennium. The early 2000’s saw the likes of Gucci Mane, T.I., and Young Jeezy (and their producers) utilizing the TR-808 to form rap music’s now ubiquitous trap genre.
Kanye West modernized the use of the drum machine in the 21st century on his seminal 808s and Heartbreaks, though samples of the 808 are nearly everywhere, and have been for quite some time. Eventually artists like Flosstradamus, Baauer, TNGHT, and Diplo began using the signature percussion of trap music, and a new sub-genre emerged, adding diversity to EDM’s popular dubstep/big room/progressive house dynamics. Suffice it to say the 808 has made a considerable impact on contemporary music production, so, on 8/08, join us in celebrating the Roland TR-808 Drum Machine with our 808 playlist below.
Behringer offers buyers an exclusive first glimpse of their Roland TR-808 clone, the RD-808, in a new video that highlights just how the RD-808 will work upon formal release.
Modeled after Roland’s famous TR-808 drum machine, released in 1980, Behringer’s RD-808 is an update to the equipment that would become highly influential in electronic music production since its 80’s introduction. The TR-808 proved to be so iconic that Roland and UNIQLO even recently partnered to produce a TR-808 tee.
The RD-808 reportedly totes 11 independent analog outputs for recording drum patterns on multi-track audio, as well as an option to use the USB port to sync MIDI data.
Behringer has stated that they will present the RD-808 to the market in just a few more months, but fortunately those interested in getting their hands on the incoming model can get a behind the scenes look at the RD-808 now.
Roland and UNIQLO have unleashed a new T-Shirt collaboration, celebrating Roland’s legendary TR-808 drum machine.
The limited-edition run comes as part of Japanese clothing giant’s UNIQLO’s limited edition UT series, “The Brands.” Shirts will be available in both white and black, each featuring bright graphic prints of the iconic instrument.
The next product in Roland’s line of electronic musical instruments will be the TR-8S, due for release later this month.
An update to Roland’s TR-8 machine, released back in 2014, the TR-8S includes an improved “TR-REC” 16-step sequencer that users can program with buttons or the controller’s velocity-sensitive performance pad. The TR-8S can store a capacity of 128 patterns, each with eight different variations and three types of fills. TR-8S users can also slice measures via the machine’s “Scatter” fill.
A model of technological versatility, the TR-8S additionally possesses complex circuit-models that can reproduce the sound of the 808, 606, 909, 707, and 727. TR-8S purchasers will also be able to incorporate preset and custom samples in order to customize the samples with special effects. Eight analog outputs promote the processing of individual sounds through external effects. Users can also send such sounds to separate channels of a mixer or DAW.
Equipped with high-resolution 24bit/96kHz digital-to-analog converters for sound clarity and potency, the TR-8S will make its debut at the end of the month to the tune of $699. Those interested in learning more about the TR-8S can find additional information about the product here.
Roland is set to release two brand new software plugins of their seminal TR-808 & TR-909 drum machines. The original analog technologies were lauded by underground producers for their deep, booming bass sounds and relative accessibility at their release (the TR-808 was priced at $1,195, the TR-909 at $1,195.)
Roland’s newest VST extensions will be available to Roland Cloud subscribers, who will also gain access to the company’s new orchestral VST plug-in, SRX Orchestra.
The TR-808 was largely popularized by Marvin Gaye‘s “Sexual Healing” and Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock”. Both analog drum machines, though, had massive effects on electronic and popular music and continue to be the go to selection for some of the top producers of the day.
Roland‘s teamed up with New Zealand’s Serato software company again for two new hybrid DJ controllers. Following Roland’s release of the boutique TR-808 retailing for $1,300 — which featured jog wheels, four channels, a sequencer, sample pads and Roland’s drum pad sounds — is two more meticulously crafted mechanisms, the DJ-505 and DJ-202 both out later this year.
Joining the AIRA DJ line, both machines will contain a drum machine for making beats on the go. Essentially the 505 and 202 mechanisms are smaller significantly cheaper versions of an 808.
The 505 will feature two channels and allow users to plug in turntables or CDJs. It’s two line input will allow the mixer to be used in standalone mode or to be hooked up to the included Serato DJ. The machine’s also Serato DVS upgrade ready to implement it into any time code setups. Meanwhile, the 202 drops the dedicated 16-step sequencer of the 808 and 505 and replaces the XLR outs with phono, although it still has an onboard sequencer able to control an included Serato DJ Intro sampler.
Each of the hybrid controllers will also come equipped 808 and 909 drum sounds, with 606 and 707 samples through a soon-to-be-released firmware update down the road.
The two will retail for around $770 and $330 respectively. While there’s no release date for the controllers yet, Roland has shared a video of the 505 in action. Watch below.
Poised to expand its Boutique line of electronic music instruments, Roland has announced the release of its Boutique versions of the TR-808 and SH-101.
The two new products, the SH-01A and the TR-08 “miniaturized” are digital remakes of the larger originals. Both will retail for $349.
The revamped TR-08 offers artists sub-steps in its 16-step sequencer, compressor, pitch, pan, and gain controls. Not physically distinct from the original, the TR-08 reflects its forebear in its interface, yet arrives with updated knobs different from those used on previous Boutique releases.
The SH-01A likewise uses its original version, the SH-101 as its design model, but possesses additional voices not present on the original. The compact SH-01A boasts Poly, Unison, and Chord modes that cannot be found on its larger version. The original monophonic mode is however on both models. Expanding internal memory, 64 patterns may be stored on the SH-01A. No release date has been given for the SH-01A.
Celebrated for its portability, the Boutique line of Roland products currently offers remakes of the TR-909, the TB-303, and the Juno-106. Both of the new Boutique pieces may be viewed via the video below.
Two decades after their iconic Homework album helped shape dance music as it is today, Daft Punk can most certainly be defined as “legendary.” They remain one of the most talked-about names in music as a whole, and their rare and sporadic activity leaves millions hanging on their every move.
The most dedicated fans with some money to spare now have a chance to own an prime piece of Daft Punk memorabilia: Thomas Bangalter’s old Roland TR-909. This drum machine in particular was the one used in “Revolution 909” and other songs from Homework. Vintage & Analogue Occasion will be auctioning off the item, which will come with the original presets of “Revolution 909,” sweetening the deal to the winning bidder.
Of course, given the legacy behind the synth, it will come at a lofty expense, though no minimum price has yet been set. In their post announcing the auction, Vintage Analogue & Occasion noted, “Needless to say, it’s a collector’s item, so it’s impossible to set a price.”
Defected Records posted a demo of the vintage drum machine earlier this year, which can be seen below.