Roland TR-8S review: An 808, 909 and sample-playing drum machine in one

What we loved – and what we didn’t – about Roland’s latest drum machine.

In 2014, Roland released the TR-8, a continuation of the legacy of the classic TR-808 and 909 drum machines that defined hip-hop, house and techno. Lots of musicians loved the TR-8 for its faithful drum sounds and hands-on control, but there was plenty of room for improvement.

Enter the TR-8S, Roland’s latest entry into the mid-range drum machine market. It does everything the TR-8 does with a few key additions, such as an increased pattern memory, the inclusion of more classic Roland drum sounds out of the box and the ability to upload your own samples.

Of course, with these extra features comes an increase in price: $200 up to $699, to be exact. So is it worth upgrading? In the latest video review from FACT’s Make Music, we put the TR-8S through its paces to find out.

Correction: The sensitivity for the TR-8S instrument pad can be adjusted in the settings – more information can be found in the manual

Watch next: ROLI Blocks review

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