808 here, 808 there, 808 everywhere, but what does this 808 mean?
We have prepared this article especially for new music producers born in the 2000s who have started making music in recent years and have heard everywhere about this 808. Many have asked me what 808s mean or what is an 808. For those with experience in music production, this seems like a hilarious question, but newcomers have to find answers and learn to can evolve and understand the music production.
The 808s comes from the TR-808 legendary drum machine produced by Roland. Roland TR-808 is one of the most popular rhythm machines of all time and has significantly influenced the sound of whole music genres.
The Roland TR-808 and its incomparable sound can be heard in numerous music tracks. The list of stars who have refined the groove of their songs with the Roland TR-808 is enormous. Nevertheless, I would like to name a few examples. There would be e.g. Aphex Twin, 808 State, The Prodigy, Skinny Puppy, dr. Dre, Jean Michel Jarre, Cocteau Twins, Marvin Gaye, Ice Cube, The Beastie Boys, Puff Daddy … but many more.
Gradually, hardware and software clones of the now “legendary” Roland drum machine appeared, such as The Jomox X-Base, 888 or 999, caused a sensation especially in 1996 Novation’s drum station, which combined both TR-808 and TR-909 in a 19 “unit (without sequencer), or in 1998 the software Rebirth of Propellerhead.
Hardly any drum machine can be identified as well as the TR-808. And in the end, it should also be the secret of their great success. Roland himself overslept the hottest phase of TR hypes. Only in 2015, Roland has released the TR-8 first successor of the TR-808 drum machine.
The Roland Aira TR-8 is an “Analog Modeling Synthesizer” with 11 simultaneously playable sounds – and therefore not analog. However, the sound generation does not use samples, but tries to master or emulate the sound gap between the two old Roland in an algorithmic way – with 96 kHz and 32 bit precision.
Of course, TR-08 and TR-8, as well as many plug-ins, offer a pure sound and a lot of fun, but I stick with it, no beats the original.
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