|Dates||1989 - 1996|
|Polyphony||12 voices |
|Storage memory||32 Preset Patterns, 100 User – Patterns, Maximum number of bars : 99, Memorized Data : Velocity / Pitch / Decay / Nuance / Pan / Micro Timing|
|External control||Start / Stop Jack, Value Jack, Tape Sync In Jack, Tape Sync Out Jack|
The R-8 Human Rhythm Composer is an electronic drum machine introduced in 1989 by Roland Corporation, using PCM voices. The R-8 features velocity- and pressure-sensitive trigger pads, and the ability to create loops of beats. The device has eight individual outputs, 12-voice polyphony, and four-part multitimbral MIDI.
The R-8M is a rackmount version of the R-8, lacking the trigger pads and the sequencer capability, but with three front-facing ROM card slots. These sound libraries may be accessed simultaneously. This device was available from 1989 through 1994. The rack version has less individual outputs: 6 instead of 8.
In 1992, Roland released a second version of the R-8 drum machine, the R-8 MKII. This version offers greatly expanded memory. The ROM went from 67 to 199 samples. It brought onboard basically the content from the PCM cards SN-R8-01, SN-R8-02, SN-R8-09, SN-R8-10 and most of the 808 samples from SN-R8-04. It did lose 22 of the MK1 samples. Another 16 samples from the MK1 returned in a slightly modified version with another name. A minor omission on the MKII is the absence of the Space Invaders boot screen. This device was discontinued in 1996.
PCM sound cards
Known Roland ROM cards, each containing 26 samples:
- Roland SN-R8-01 - Contemporary Percussion
- Roland SN-R8-02 - Jazz Brush
- Roland SN-R8-03 - Sound Effects
- Roland SN-R8-04 - Electronic (Contains 11 TR-808 samples)
- Roland SN-R8-05 - Jazz
- Roland SN-R8-06 - Ethnic Percussion
- Roland SN-R8-07 - Mallet
- Roland SN-R8-08 - Dry
- Roland SN-R8-09 - Power Drums U.S.A.
- Roland SN-R8-10 - Dance (Contains 6 TR-909 and 10 CR-78 samples)
- Roland SN-R8-11 - Metallic Percussion
- Pimp C
- New Order
- 808 State
- Massive Attack
- Jean-Michel Jarre
- Aphex Twin
- Keith Marquis
- Colin Towns
- Human League
- Jermaine Jackson
- Jimmy Edgar
- Noheadchicken live
- Tangerine Dream
- The Shamen
- Studio Fresh
- Anthony Manning
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- "Roland R8". Music Technology. February 1989. pp. 78–84. ISSN 0957-6606. OCLC 483899345.
- "Roland R8M". Music Technology. April 1990. pp. 62–68. ISSN 0957-6606. OCLC 483899345.
- "Roland R8 Rhythm Composer". Sound On Sound. February 1989. pp. 26–30. ISSN 0951-6816. OCLC 31700536.
- "Roland R8". Home & Studio Recording. March 1989. pp. 14–16. ISSN 0896-7172. OCLC 17285024.
- "Roland R-8 Human Rhythm Composer MkII". Music Technology. July 1993. p. 39. ISSN 0957-6606. OCLC 24835173.