Roland Drummachines TR, CR, MC, etc.


TR808TR909TR707/727TR606CR78 / 68 – CR8000
Rhythm Ace Drum Boxes, etc.
boss sp505 & sp series

more TR series:
TR505 (a quite small „cheap“ simple version of the 707..)
TR626 a larger TR505, quite short samples.

Roland TR Drumcomputer +
Ace Rhythm Ace Drum Boxes +
CR Series
click the image to enlarge!!
RolandRoland Synth + Drummachines overview..
Here is a small overview of the first and most known Drumcomputers from Roland and the former company called Ace, they built Machines under the name „rhythm ace“ – click the image for some Ace Drummachines in the back, the middle section is full of CR (compurhythm) boxes by Roland , the Tr808 is the one on middle/top beside a TR626, an extended TR505, below thre is a TR727 and a CR8000 preset machine, it has 8 user patterns, too ;)Roland Drumcomputer
click to see roland drummachines..
more Ace Machines..
sounding very much like the early CR.. made for organs and standalone beat boxes..Rhythm Ace

Rolands was founded 1972, after that the names changed to CR and TR (compurhythm and transistor rhythm…)

Rhythm Ace FR22
– built in speakers, sounds cool..
Rhythm Ace FR22
The Ace 55 and a sensor touch activated add on model for organs..
Rhythm Ace 55

Rhythm Ace

above: Ace again…
well, it’s made as a set top box for organs..
but sounds very CR’ish!

below: the CR Drumcomputers..
TR66 (6 sounds), CR68 (9 sounds) and CR78 (programmable and even more sounds..)

the little one on the left is on of the first Roland Drum Boxes made..

Roland CR and Rhythm Ace Drum Machines
click to enlage CR compurhythm boxes..
Roland CR8000
the cr-8000 is very much the TR sound..
also modable by AS (see TR mod for URL..)
„more parameters“ modification to
TR808, TR606, TR909, CR78, CR8000
by Analogue Solutions
roland cr-8000

Roland CR78

drummachine – 1st programmable rhythm machine!
transistors made it possible ;)

you need a special controller to program it (some tried to built their own programmer). the WS1 or the WS-1 Memory Write Switch (both rare).
34 preset patterns an 30 free ones.. but well, I have never seen one of those prog switches.. but quite some cr78’s..
the CR68 is the same,but not programmable!
the predecessor CR8000 is a non programmable unit. also nice old analogue sounds in here!

roland cr78
CR-78 „compurhythm“ click image above to enlarge!

the little (extra) WS1 programmer (rare) ..
(thanks to P.schneider for pic)
the classic drumcomputers:
TR = transistor rhythm
CR = Computer Rhythm

all analog drum machines.

DIN SYNC: same as tb303, TR606, TR707 (also with midi)
pins on the roland DIN sync:
from left to right:
3 tempo clock
5 fill in
2 ground (middle pin!)
4 reset & start
1 start/stop
midi pins? check this

here’s the back side of the tr-808
din sync, 3 trigger outs (nice to trigger other analogue gear) and outs for all instruments, master out hi and low level..

and here is the connector and midi in/outs..


TR X0X Drummachines
CR78, TR505,606,626,707,808,909 basic technique etc..
atm. can also be found in the SEQ section!!.. pics’n’infos here:

–>nice „more parameters“ modification to
TR808, TR606, TR909, CR78, CR8000
by Analogue Solutions
Roland TR808 drummachine
another mod of the TR606
one more 606 modification
back side: 3 trigger outs, audio outs.. click..
Roland TR-808 back
roland tr808 midi

Roland TR808
well known analogue sound with real programmable grooves after the quite hard-to-prog CR78, 1981
choose an instrument (with that dial upper left!)
set the steps and measurement (tri and normal each of the 16 led/buttons replesent a note)

the sound of each instrument can be adjusted (there are mods to expand the number of parameters for the 808, 606 909 etc…–>nice „more parameters“ modification to
TR808, TR606, TR909, CR78, CR8000
by Analogue Solutions

the 808 can be equipped with midi 2 ways:
1) a DIN sync interface is built in, there are lots of din sync to midi converters (doepfer,kenton..)
2)send it in and let kenton add a nice midi interface! (see the red button the the right side? it’s a midified TR-808 here!)

Roland TR-808
and Jupiter 6 / 8 Buttons
warning!achtung! the 303 buttons needed to be „slightly adjusted“..

most buttons on TR-808 and Jupiters do not work perfectly these days. here’s a replacement:
—> omron B3F-4000 farnell nr.:176434 für 303 ( B3F-4050 ) 176435

and TR808 env/decay times
Roland TR808 laufzeiten der hüllkurven – envelope running times
bd (decay =min) 242ms – (max) 1646ms.
sd 199ms
lconga 341ms
mconga 234ms
ltom 455ms
mtom 309ms
rim 15ms
clave 41ms
maracas 33ms
clap 1964ms
cow 1157ms
cymbal min 276ms to max 3956ms
OH min 144ms max 586ms
CH 112ms
the parameter box is here
it provides BD tune (the real tune!)
SD decay, and lots more… see the pic: click it!..
tr808 parameterbox

Roland TR808 drummachine
my TR808 modified – now 15 more parameters.. click to see them!!..
done by basskonzept/EBM studios..
Roland TR808 drumcomputer modified

Roland TR808 drumcomputer mit lauflichtklick the image
to enlarge..
Roland TR808 drummachineklick the image
to enlarge..
Roland TR808 drum machineklick the image
to enlarge..
Roland TR808 drummachineklick the image
to enlarge..
Roland TR808 drum computer backklick the image
to enlarge..
tr808 parameterboxklick the image
to enlarge..
Changing the TR808 Switchboard..
TR808 opened..
here’s the picture TR808 tour..

for our american viewers: do not try this at home – only at YOUR OWN risk ;)

1) remove 3 screws on back and front

2) there are also some screws to remove at the left and right side..

3) now you can remove the control board from the PSU (mine has it’s midi interface here also see picture, the big one to the right going to the upper board is going to the knob box! so maybe you do not have it! but maybe you can copy it – just click the pic..)

btw: you can enlarge almost ANY picture by clicking on them!!

4) now remove the knobs and another 3 srews in the middle: one under the big tempo knob, one above the „808“-lettering and another one beside / above the R of rhythm composer..

5) carefully remove the board and leave the cover as is, watch the cables!! the power switch must not be removed but be careful when turning the cover / removing the board..

6) when open: you can remove the screw holding the switchboard (right under the switchboard in the front..

7)now the one to be VERY careful: see the flat connection going to the switchboard? .. the 3rd picture shows it already removed: gently use 2 finges on both side to pull it out..

8) you can unsrew 3 more screws now on the board and remove it now.. the 6th pic shows how it looks like ;)

9) see the different boards awailable in the following pictures..

10) now place the board and fix all screws again..

11) how it looks like now.. the last pic and the small „movie“..
— TR808 final look movie


Roland TR808 Drumcomputer
Roland TR808 Drumcomputer
Roland TR808 Drumcomputer
Roland TR808 Drumcomputer Switchboards
Roland TR808 Drumcomputer
Roland TR808 Drumcomputer board
Roland TR808 Drumcomputer
Roland TR808 Drumcomputer
Roland TR808 Drumcomputer
TR 909
I do not need to tell you about this? right? THE techno machine. it wasn’t the big success in 1983,when it was released – the people wanted „real sounding“ drum machines (yes!).. the quite „hard“ and „bassy“ sound did not really find too many friends those times, but more than 10 years later THE machine with the techno revolution.

alternatives? ever tried the german jomox xbase09?
compare the TR909 to the Jomox Xbase09?
searching for TR909 rescources? here
find more info on the jomox under „jomox“ on the left..

: want to do more with the 909s BD (extend the range)
TR 808 : got the full schematics here.. ;) also there is potential to modifiy it..

TR909 BD modification

a Roland TR909 Drumcomputer DIY project? by colin fraser find it here

here’s a lint to a DIY 909 expander..

the DIN SYNC plug: pin 3 is the syncing „hot wire“! this is important to users of:
TR606, TR909, TR707, TR808, TB303
get more info on sync and TR606 etc.. on Philip Rees‘ Site

the TR909 clone called 9090 by Trevor Page and a „manual“ is here

TR-909 drumcomputer
roland TR909 rhythm composer
roland TR909 drumcomputer
no drum machine, the CSQ100
a CV-gate sequencer (digital)

in the same (halved) case as the tr808..

roland csq-100
Roland TR606
some sort of a smaller TR808 but a more „industrial“ sound
of course the parameters are not as variable as the 808’s but it has it’s own charme..

early electronic bands used it.. if course this is really very „electro“ style of sound! and: thats the good point! no „real“ sounding sounds! this is a real drum machine with no ugly „natural“ boring sounds! ;)

the one shown here is a modification (more parameters) for TR-606 by „more parameters“ modification to
TR808, TR606, TR909, CR78, CR8000
by Analogue Solutions

another mod of the TR606
one more 606 modification

the TR-606 is equipped with the roland din sync. no midi of course.

Roland TR606 Drumatix
TR606 to enlarge pic..
TR606 drumcomputer modified
TR606 drumcomputer modified backside
red images thanks to Monty Rock
TR606 drumcomputer modified
larger pic? just klick it!!
TR626 + TR505follow up of the TR707..
has the same display with dots to show the position, the system was taken over by the boss DR550 and later models.. simple but cool .. the TR505 is a cheaper version while the tr626 is the „stretch version“ and more sounds.. very DRY sounds, both have midi and can send midi notes.. I know a lot of people using those as a „sequencer“.. (myself included).. time of the ebm and industrial scene..
roland tr626

little sister of TR808 drum computer –
the TB303 – design TR606!
sounds more „industrial“ than the TR808:
the TR606 „drumatix“

: is a din sync equipped drumcomputer that offers TR-typical LED-step programming as the TR808 etc.. and has some TR808-like sounds (analogue) but sounding much more „industrial“.. in the same style (silver) as the TB303.. some use it as an alternative to tr808 sounds.. or because it is cheaper ;)..

another mod of the TR606
and the one by Analogue Solutions
one more 606 modificationa DIY TR606 mod here..

Roland TB303 bassline - TR606 drumcomputer modified
image thanks to Monty Rock – click the image to enlarge!
Roland TR707 + Roland TR727
the TR707
is a sample machine with wuite „dry“ 12bit sounds. Frontline Assembly, Skinny Puppy (mind tpi), the klink – they all used it.. imo you need FX or/and distortion to make it an interesting machine.. had „shuffle“, TR-recording and „chaining“ of patterns! very cool features. also is a sync monster: DIN sync (syncs 808,606…), midi and analogue trigger.. but: you can’t have it all exept when it is the MASTER.
TR-727 – „latin sounds“

TR707 also as rack:
MKS7 = TR707 with juno106 – quite rare..
Roland TR707 + Roland TR727
click to enlarge –
image thanks to Monty Rock

image thanks to Monty Rock
Roland TR707 drummachine
click image
TR707 above to enlarge!
Roland TR707 + Roland TR727
image thanks to Monty Rock

R8 / R8m
DR550 , DR660, DR770, DR880
digital drums 16bit, 44khz

all the same structure 16bit sampled drums from 48 samples (DR550) to R8 with human feel (68 sounds) to the latest DR machines like DR880 with FX.. the dr660 has FX and is quite like the r8 a bit smaller —>

the 90ies: bands like Frontline Assembly used this sounds (R8 in their case.. I think ;) .. on the mid phase albums..)

boss dr660 = roland r8 for all
roland / boss also did the nice groove loop tools
like the SP505, SP303, SP202

good for playing audio loops, but a quite bad sequencer, see it as a „yes, we have one, but only if you need it..“ a better tape recorder type of „sequencer“..

nobody knows,how roland decide what is a boss product ;)

rolands new SP606 allows control of software, the software is some sort of loop generator like the.. hmm, mc505.. very easy transfer of patterns by one button press
the sequencer did not improve here, but the concept is not bad.. the software is made by cakewalk, it has some pads to be controlled by the sp606’s pads as track mutes or track/pattern select or mutes.. quite mpc’ish!
this one is for LOOP based sequencing!!.. the internal sequencer is the only weak thing, so if placed by hand the sp606 is a cool tool for loops.. including a good integration of even slower pcs, because you can exactly import a loop by one button, cool & easy.. but ,hmm.. why no slicer?.. the new recordings can be used as soon as they’re recorded..
of course this is the predecessor of the sp505.. the sequencer is not the best but the rest is quite interesting incl synchro start of recordings etc.. so it will be quite easy to record loops without the need of truncating it …

the SP505, SP303, SP202

the sp606

MC & TB machines
TB 303 , MC 303, MC 307, MC 505 mc505 jx305 eg101, MC 909

ML303 clone
the bassline and the new „incarnation“.. DIY ml303 303 go here..

303 & MC old section..

the mc909 is not bad, but has a major problem: no mc machine still can be used to edit any step in TR-mode live or in play mode!! (just like the TR909 or korg electribe).. that is still a big minus – good: velo pads!
complete JV synthesizer on board

roland mc909 groovebox

non roland drum machines? Linn? MPC?.. here

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