When it comes to electronic music production equipment, two of the best models that took users by storm is the TR-808 and TR-909. They are regarded as two of the best products ever introduced. Roland has recreated them in some of their newer models. Among others, its feature and performance can be experienced in the Roland Aira TR-8 Rhythm Performer Drum Machine, which is available at a fraction of a cost.
Will this make an excellent pick for a top drum machine? We encourage you to keep on reading the rest of this review to be informed on what you can expect with the use of this rhythm performer.
Table of Contents
Features and Specifications
This reincarnation of a classic has some exceptional features that make it stand-out in a market that is filled with alternatives.
Analog Circuit Behavior Technology
This modeling engine that is incorporated into the product is the one that is responsible for the excellent reproduction of tonality and behavior.
This is actually quite basic, but for most users, this can be more than enough to be creative in the music that they are producing. Plus, each step comes with A and B variations. There are also 11 instrument types.
4-Character LED Display
A lot of people will find this to be quite small. For the size of this unit, there is plenty of space to make the display bigger, but the manufacturer did not give way for it. Nonetheless, this does not create a significant negative impact on its functionality or interface.
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If you are still having second thoughts about choosing this drum machine, below are some of the benefits that might make it easier for you to make a decision.
While the layout can be overwhelming for a new user, it does not run short in terms of aesthetics. It is sure to put you into the groove. Nonetheless, if you prefer more lights to set the mood, the Novation Circuit Groove Box w/Sample Import Drum Machine, can be a good alternative.
Excellent Sound Quality
At its price point, it is impressive that the sound is almost similar to what you can expect from the TR-808 and TR-909. Another product with the same level of sound reproduction is the Roland Rhythm Composer (TR-08) Drum Machine., which is also from the same family as the model we are reviewing.
Lots of Dedicated Knobs
Another reason to love this model is the presence of knobs for dedicated functions and they are in strategic positions, making them easy to access. For instance, it has a large tempo knob, as well as a knob that is solely for controlling the hardware’s accent function.
Despite bringing some features from the classic that inspired this model, it still falls short in some avenues. With that, below are some of the issues that you might find in this drum machine.
Can be Confusing for Beginners
If you are just starting to use a drum machine, while the price of this model can make it attractive, the layout can be quite intimidating. It is not easy to use for novices. You will end up struggling because of too many knobs, buttons, and pads. If you are looking for one that is easier to use, be sure to take the time to look at Roland Percussion Electronic Drum Pad (SPD-SX).
The number of patterns that are available in this drum machine can be limited for some, especially the experienced users. There are only 16 patterns with little variations that are available. These patterns will have two parts.
Who is It For?
This is a good choice for intermediate users who are looking for a drum machine that can deliver quality and performance similar to the TR-808 and TR-909.
With the features that have been mentioned above, it is pretty much clear that the Roland Aira TR-8 Rhythm Performer Drum Machine is another exceptional product. It is far from perfect, but it is a justifiable choice for intermediate music producers who would like to take advantage of classic drum machines.
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