Roland 808

18 de febrer. This reportage explains it better than anyone. It’s fun and interesting. BBC Radio One Stories – Discover More: 

Roland TR-808 TR-909 TB-303 Documentary



1. The penal code for disturbing the peace. Refers to the sound of bass from stereos.
2. An 808 refers to a drum machine called a Roland TR-808.
3. Sometimes a reference to Hawaii. 808 is Hawaii’s area code.

The first band to use the TR-808 was the Japanese electronic musicgroup Yellow Magic Orchestra, as soon as it was released in 1980. One of the earliest uses of the TR-808 for a live performance was by Yellow Magic Orchestra in December 1980 for the song “1000 Knives,” anelectro rendition of member Ryuichi Sakamoto’s “Thousand Knives” (1978). The TR-808 would later be further popularized in 1982, with the release of the mainstream American hits “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye and “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa.




Tadao Kikumoto invents the Roland TB-303

The TB-303 (short for “Transistor Bass”) was originally marketed to guitarists for bass accompaniment while practicing alone. Production lasted approximately 18 months, resulting in only 10,000 units. It was not until the mid- to late-1980s thatDJs and electronic musicians in Chicago found a use for the machine in the context of the newly developing house music genre.



As with the TB-303, the realism of the TR-909 was severely limited by technical constraints, and this showed when the machines were released at relatively low prices before its rise in popularity, coinciding with the beginnings of techno and acid. More expensive, sample-based drum computers were better at faithfully reproducing real drum sounds, while the TR-909 sounded synthetic.   Now, knowing this, which songs make the best use of 808, 909 and 303?

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