Justin graciously let me borrow his Roland TR-808 and when trying to program some patterns I noticed a few problems. A) I’m clearly too stupid to work this machine – I eventually figured it out but off the bat, both the Pattern knob the Auto Fill In knob were double teaming my brain and left me staring at shifting patterns that mocked me with changing tempos. B) The sequencing buttons themselves have been accumulating grime over the years which makes it difficult to activate a note. I would gladly take this thing apart and clean it but it’s not mine. C) It’s outdated. While the interface is preferred for many people, I’d rather do this on a computer or something more flexible like a Machinedrum. Long story short, I decided to sample it and save people the hassle of finding/buying one. Oh yeah and it’s free.
All the audio came out of the Hi Level Master Output of the TR-808 into a Focusrite Platinum Voicemaster Preamp then hit a RME Fireface UC and was recorded at 24 bit 48 kHz in Logic and saved as AIFF files. I used AudioFinder to create fade in and outs manually on every sample, batch normalize and rename. I tried to keep the signal chain as short as possible as I’ve heard TR-808 sample banks that sound like processed garbage. I have two versions of this sample pack – the first one being a dynamic version that includes one shots of the samples as they hit my interface, with the different parameters on the Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Cymbals, etc. the volume changes dramatically. Additionally there is an alternate version where all the samples are normalized to 0 dB. I see reasons to have both as an option but if you’re in doubt, grab the normalized version. I made this for myself and was going to share it with a few close friends but figured the world might find some use for it.
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