Roland TR-8S Drum Machine


93 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

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Roland TR-8S Rhythm Performer
Roland TR-8S Rhythm Performer

Gearank High Notes

Gearank Recommendation

The TR-8S appeared on our now defunct recommended list for Drum Machines in March 2019.


The Roland drum machine legacy was not off to a good start with the commercial failure of the TR-808 in 1980.

Only 12,000 of the original TR-808 unit were shipped.

Eventually, producers everywhere picked up the little machine for cheap and it started a revolution.

There are more hit records done on a TR-808 than any other drum machine like Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" and Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" among others.

While the TR-808 has been long discontinued, Roland's latest incarnation of these legacy machines comes in the form of the TR-8S. Not to be confused with its predecessor the TR-8, the Roland TR-8S is more than just an upgrade.

It sports a large library of classic and modern drum sounds as well as having the ability to load up your own samples. All this in a streamlined mix of old and new school.

With vintage TR-808 and TR-909 units reaching the $4000 mark, the TR-8S is not only a great alternative, it one-ups the originals in terms of flexibility and functionality. Earning near-universal praise from users makes the TR-8S one of our top picks for those who want a taste of vintage without breaking the bank.


  • Large collection of classic TR series drum machine sounds available
  • WAV and AIFF sample Support via SD card slot
  • 150 factory samples
  • Up to 600 seconds total time for all samples at 44.1kHz
  • Built-in audio interface direct multitrack recording to your DAW
  • 8 analog audio outputs allow numerous routing options