Synth DB

The Ultimate Synthesizer Database


Total list currently 2405 items in 330 Brands

Roland | TR-808


The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer is a unique and versatile rhythm device that can be used in a number of ways. Among its many operating features is its ability to write and record thirty two percussive rhythms incorporating up to eleven different sounds plus accents. Each of these percussion sounds has its own level control for full mixing flexibility over the total sound, and each sound also has its own separate output so that it can be mixed or processed separately from the others. 

Programming of the Rhythms can be accomplished either in or out of real time by means of a Step programming method which basically breaks each beat down into a series of steps, which can be varied to suit the desired rhythm. Each beat (or quarter note), can be divided into 3, 4, 6, 8, individual steps so that rhythms can be written incorporating as small a division as thirty-second notes. 

Once the various rhythm patterns are written and stored in computer memory, they can be arranged to perform an entire composition's percussion track by means of a Compose function, The track can last up to 768 measures. The memory can also be used in individual increments of 64 measures each to play up to twelve different songs. 

Three separate Trigger Outputs allow the TR-808 to be connected to various digital sequencers, synthesizers or other such devices for synchronized con-trol of sound. Other performance features such as automatic insertion of Introduction or Fill In rhythms as well as remote control over both this and the Start/Stop function expand the TR-808's uses into live performance in addition to its obvious applications in recording and composing music.
Engine TypeAnalog
EngineVCO, preset
Voices (max)12
FXAuto fill-in
DrumsKick, Snare, Low/Mid/Hi Toms, Low/Mid/Hi Congas, Rimshot, Claves, Hand clap, Maracas, Cow bell, Cymbal, Open hihat, Closed hihat, Accent. 64 patterns.
Sequencer16 step A/B
Recording12 Songs
Key typePads
AudioMulti out
CV-gateDIN Sync in/out
Produced:1981 - 1984
Legend: Obvious Y: Yes, N: No, N/A: Not Applicable
VCO Voltage Controlled Oscillator DCO Digital Controlled Oscillator
LFO Low Frequency Oscillator Sub Sub Oscillator
VCF Voltage Controlled Filter VCA Voltage Controlled Amplifier
Velocity As with a piano, the harder you hit a key, the louder the sound, unlike most organs which always produce the same loudness no matter how hard you hit a key. Aftertouch Pressing a key after you activated it. Channel Aftertouch, no matter which key, it will send a Channel message. Poly Aftertouch, sends the pressure per key instead of the whole channel.
Values for OSC, LFO, Filter, Envelope are per voice unless stated otherwise.


If you like to discuss or talk about synths in all forms (including VST and modular), you are welcome to join the Facebook group "The Hard, The Soft and The Modular".

My music

Interested in music from "Synthisfactory" or "SX Instrumentals"?

Visit our website.

Contact Us

Did you find an error in the info or do you have an item to list? Go to the Contribution page, fill out the form and I'll see what I can do.