Roland TR-8 Rhythm Performer Drum Machine (Discontinued)


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Roland TR-8 Rhythm Performer

Gearank Recommendation

The TR-8 appeared on our now defunct recommended list for Drum Machines in September 2016.


The Roland TR-8 is a modern recreation of the iconic Roland TR808 and TR909 drum machines, both of which helped shape what we know today as modern house, dance, techno and hip-hop music. Marvin Gaye, Rick James, Beastie Boys and many more have put these drum machines to good use and helped fuel its popularity.

Note that this model has been superseded by the Roland TR-8S.

Up to now, working TR808 and TR909 units are highly valued, so it is not surprising to find that TR-8 has done well in the market. With its unique interface, built-in effects, and wealth of pads, sliders, buttons and knobs, the TR-8 allows for everything from the simplest electronic beats, to complex ambient ones. Another noteworthy feature of this unit is called "scatter", which lets you modify and twist your grooves in real-time.

If you are into '80s pop and dance music, or you want an affordable alternative to the venerable TR808 and TR909, then you might be able to get this one second hand, or you might like to check out the newer model, the Roland TR-8S.


  • 16 backlit velocity sensitive pads
  • 16 Kits and 11 instrument types
  • Custom dream kits based on TR-808 and TR-909 sounds
  • Large Tempo knob with Tap Tempo button and continuous Fine and Shuffle adjustment knobs
  • Dedicated Accent function knob
  • Per-step reverb and delay effects with dedicated knobs
  • Built-in per-step Side Chain function for rhythmic ducking and gating effects
  • Scatter lets you freak and tweak your grooves with real-time control and perfect sync
  • 7 segment, 4 character LED display and 16 per-step pads full-color LEDs
  • Real-time pattern creation up to 32 steps
  • Pattern copy and pattern randomization for rapid, spontaneous creativity
  • Two assignable analog outputs and full parallel outputs via USB for total mixing flexibility