My New Favorite Drums to Sample: the Roland TR-08

Sampling the Roland TR-08

Over the weekend I picked up a Roland TR-08 with one major goal in mind - get some incredible 808-style drums and 808 samples.

Of course, 808s and 808 drums are a dime a dozen on sites like Splice and even in stock DAW instruments, but I always loved the sound of a real analog 808, especially running it through my tube preamps and other outboard gear before sampling it.

So far, I’ve gotten 10 incredibly unique 808s and a handful of drums, and I’ve only just begun the sampling process on this piece.


Most of the processing I’ve been doing has been in the box so far (TR-08 > Tube Preamp > Slate Digital Virtual Mix Rack using some Harmonics processors, etc.)

But as I get more creative with it, I’m going to start running it through a few guitar amps I have laying around in order to get some widely different tones, and maybe even running it through my Lexicon MX300 for some spacey and heavily processed tones.

Something that has really surprised me about this piece of gear so far is the snap of the snare - it’s SUPER punchy, especially when you dial in the compressor setting on the unit in to about 80%.

I’ll be making some videos documenting my sampling process with this drum machine. I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to hold on to this one for the long haul (as opposed to getting a bunch of samples and then selling it on eBay lol) - but this one is DEFINITELY a keeper, I feel like I’ll always have new samples to get out of it and will always want to experiment.

Anything I should try with this? Any ideas for cool ways to sample it?