Roland Aira TR-8 Rhythm Performer


The TR-8 is a drum machine that has the legendary sounds of TR-808 and TR-909 with a new modern look and features.

Sounds and kits

TR-8 has 11 instruments that consist of TR-808 and TR-909 sounds. There is also a sound expansion package that has TR-707 and TR-606 sounds. It is sold separately. 16 kits can be saved that can have instruments from all different packages. Without the expansion package there are two sounds per instrument (one from TR-808 and another from TR-909).

Each instrument has a tune and decay knobs and a volume fader. The bass drum has additionally attack and compression knobs and the snare has snappy and compression. The sounds synthesis possibilities are quite limited to these few knobs and effects (reverb and delay).


There are 16 slots to save patterns to. Each pattern has two times 16 steps (A and B). Different patterns can be played one after another as long as they are saved to slots one after another. Even all 16 patterns can be played in a row. Patterns can be real time recorded or programmed on the step sequencer. TR-8 can also generate a random pattern which can help you come up with interesting rhythms.


TR-8 has internal reverb and delay effects that can be applied to specific instruments and the effect does not have to be on all the time but it can be applied to some steps only. There are a few different reverbs and delays to choose from. There are own knobs for both effects to make live performing as easy as possible. Accent can also be applied to specific steps to chosen instruments and it has a level knob. Each instrument can be panned too.

TR-8 has an external input (2 jacks). There is a level and side chain knob for the external input. Level simply effects its volume and side chain works so that it is applied on the step sequencer on the steps where side chain lowers the external input volume. There are many different side chain modes to choose from and its level can be changed with the side chain knob.



Choose INST, keep chosen instrument button pushed and use TEMPO to pan left or right. The scale goes from R63 to 0 and L63.


Choose KIT, keep chosen instrument button pushed and use TEMPO to change individual instrument volume. The scale goes from 0 to 200.


Choose TR-REC, keep chosen instrument button pushed and select the steps where you want to place weak hits. Weak hits show in lighter color or different color depending on your color mode.

You can also change weak hits behavior so that the first time you push a step a regular hit will take place, the second time you push it a weak hit will be placed and the third push takes the hit off. This mode can be turned on by booting your machine while holding PTN SELECT down. Then push TR-REC and when this button is lit this second weak hit mode is turned on. Press PLAY to return to the normal playing mode.


Boot the machine while holding down PTN SELECT and use scatter dept to choose between 6 color modes. Return to the normal mode by pushing PLAY to see the new color.


Hold PTN SELECT and use TEMPO.


Boot the machine while holding down PTN SELECT. Use TEMPO to choose a midi channel.


Choose INST PLAY and push the 16th step (MUTE) and then mute instruments by pushing their instrument buttons or the corresponding step. Lit ones are playing and unlit ones are muted.

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