Despite only being in production for three years, the Roland TR-808 has influenced a plethora of genres and artists over the last 40 years. Of course, it’s only right that Roland pays tribute to its own work with a ton of freebies. The brand has published a series of cross-platform never-before-seen #808day content that explores the 808s legacy and its continued influence. To familiarise yourself with the TR-808, check out our Vintage Rewind feature.
Roland has made the TR-808 available in the Roland Cloud suite of plug-ins and is giving you a free trial of the instrument until 31 August. There are also new patch collections included – TR-808 Dark Techno Raw Loops and Techno 808. To take advantage of this, you just need to sign up for a free Roland Account.
Zenbeats will also see two new in-app sound packs to celebrate 40 years of the 808. Vintage TR Loop pack features over 100 audio loops of the 808, while Mixtape Vol. 4 “808” is a free pack that includes 70 audio loops, three Sample Verse pitched presets, one full 808 kit and five patterns. This is available for a limited time on Zenbeats, which you can try for free.
Spotify users can check out the 808 40 Year Playlist that Roland has created, showcasing all the most iconic tracks that incorporate sounds of the TR-808.
History of the 808
Building The Beat: Inside Legendary TR-808 Tracks is a mini-documentary from Roland, in which revere producers pick a track from their discography that had the most impressionable use of the 808. A vast range of decades, genres and songs will be explored with the featured artists including Arthur Baker, Cozmo D, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Carl Craig, A Guy Called Gerald, and Jermaine Dupri.
Thoughts From The Creator sees the 808’s chief engineer, Tadao Kikumoto take part in an exclusive interview to look back on his most famous creation, and share an update on his current projects, including a return to the 808 concept.
Roland Articles is also taking a behind-the-scenes look at some classic tracks that feature the 808 including Love Lockdown by Kanye West, Doin’ It Right by Daft Punk, Drunk in Love by Beyoncé, and Voodoo Ray by A Guy Called Gerald.
You will also soon be able to wear your passion for the 808, with Roland’s collaboration with LA streetwear brand PLEASURES set to launch later this month. It will feature five unique pieces of apparel that celebrate the design and functions of the iconic beat making machine.
Find out more at roland.com.
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