TR-8: Here’s your damn cowbell

 

There’s a cafe up from my place called “Cowbell 808” run by beards that are too young to have seen a cow let alone an 808. The whole place is decked out like the imaginary 80’s because that’s so fucking ‘quaint’ or some other slur. Listen you chin brooms – the Roland Drum Computer (yes, damn it) was so spectacular back in its day that it took nearly a year to save up for it, and once we had it we thought we were running Three Mile Island that thing was so powerful.

 

I can’t even remember when I sold it, or how much. I do remember that buttons were falling off the machines as old as mine, and it was time to get out of that particular real estate.

 

I never liked the 909. It always sounded like wood panelled bathroom (but great buttons). I did mistakenly buy a 707 instead and that was just around the time that drum machines were on the nose. Because music was getting so damn produced. By the 90’s those drums were coming out of some big ass sampler, and you had 8080 to choose from.

 

So, the TR-8. Why now?

 

Firstly I have a great admiration for Roland for listening to all the yowling about analogue this n that, then thinking to themselves – we’re fucking Roland. We come up with the new things. We’ll come up with some new thing, give it a cyber typeface and we are good. After all those piss poor groove boxes (really, very wretched) they went and got it sorted. This is a good drum machine.

 

Secondly you should hear how good I am at this damn thing. I been TR808ing since you were filling your nappies. I make all the boys come to the school yard. I was making music with an 808 in it before there was Dance Music. I put the Tom in Tom.

 

Thirdly, it’s a good drum machine. The Volca Beat is the smell of a steak, this is a steak. The buttons are really sweet as, because rather than be little red dots on the plastic paddles the whole button surface is a colour panel that shows you just what you are doing. I like the faders better that the teeny knobs on the original. My 1982 self thinks this is Right Up There.

 

It sounds right. Some dork is going to tell you blah blah about hertz or some crap and I tell you, IT SOUNDS RIGHT.

 

You don’t get the many outputs the originals have. You do get multiple audio channels coming up the USB cable, so you can run those through different FX. Probably should have the AIRA USB mixer thing, probably don’t wanna spend all that money and beside MORE GODDAMN GREEN LIGHTS.

 

Bad points? GREEN. I wish Scatter actually did something controllable. Same pathetic ‘table cloth’ manual as the Volcas with 2x the information. Delay with no synch to tempo. Even the Volca has that!

THIS TOY IS EASY TO USE

 

IT MAKES 80's DRUM SOUNDS

THE SOUND QUALITY IS GOOD

IT WAS NOT CHEAP AND IS COMMON

 

ITS RATING IS LESS COWBELL

It was either this or a red car and I think I chose wisely.