The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer is the most famous drum machine ever made. It remains a staple of modern production despite being more than 30 years old. Roland just posted a video teasing for a new product called the Aira TR-08, which it’s positioning as a modern version of the 808. I have no idea what that means, but I might still freak out.
The video teaser spotted by Create Digital Music mostly discusses the 808. It’s actually fascinating that a device designed to make simple backing tracks accidentally helped change music forever when it was used as the central element of music instead. The video claims that what we can expect from the Aira TR-08 is an “evolution” not just a reissue of the classic beat machine. Of course, the 808 was hardly Roland’s last rhythm composer, but you could argue it was the truest, and that more recent models lost their way a bit.
Indeed, the 808 was accidentally good so it’ll be interesting to learn what Roland’s engineers can come up with when they put their minds to creating it again in light of all its success. And really, it might be a mistake to go overboard in casting this as a new 808 since all we really know is that Roland is invoking its history and designing something new. As CDM points out, we’re not likely to get what we think we’re getting. But isn’t it fun to dream?
No word on when we’ll hear more, but don’t be surprised if we get a big reveal at the NAMM music industry trade show next week. [Create Digital Music]