Roland R-8

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Roland R-8
Roland R-8 human rhythm composer.jpg
Roland R-8 Human Rhythm Composer
Manufacturer Roland
Technical specifications

The Roland R-8 is an electronic drum machine that was introduced in 1989 by Roland Corporation. It has features such as velocity- and pressure-sensitive trigger pads, slots for expanding the sounds with removable ROM cards, and the ability to create loops of beats. It also has 8 individual outputs, 32 voice polyphony and 4-part multitimbral MIDI.

In 1992, Roland released a second version of the R-8 drum machine branded as the R-8 MKII. This second generation drum machine was all but identical to its predecessor aside from an expanded set of on-board sounds and twice the amount of internal memory.

PCM sound cards[edit]

The Original Roland R-8 drum machine had one RAM card slot for patterns and songs and one slot for PCM ROM sound cards to be plugged in order to add a wide range of sounds to the internal sound banks. The R8M rack version allows up to three PCM ROM cards and one RAM card to be plugged in and accessed simultaneously.

Existing cards:

  • Roland SN-R8-01 - Contemporary Percussion
  • Roland SN-R8-02 - Jazz Brush
  • Roland SN-R8-03 - Sound Effects
  • Roland SN-R8-04 - Electronic (Resembles a TR-808)
  • 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 (Resembles a TR-909)
  • Roland SN-R8-11 - Metallic Percussion