Re: [AH] WTB: Roland TR-808

From Shagghie
Sent Tue, Jan 22nd 2008, 20:33

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Hi Tomislav!  How's that 2ube pre pedal treating you these days?  What tubes
did you settle on?

Great questions below, and understandable!

I hesitate sending this link out, as I had JUST gotten back from NAMM, it
was 2am, and it's a camera mic.
Oh, and there's the flying pig thing too, but... alas...

We did a 4 hour jam last night with the 888, 2 revo's, and one 777.  It was
best jam ever, and that was the 888 out of the box.
I'll post that audio clip, which was multitracked into Logic 8 and sync'd
with Logic as master clock. (don't ask) to megaupload or something in a few
days. I'll even let it go out unmixed, unmastered, zero compression, etc...
b/c you have to hear the 888 in person to appreciate the sound of it. it's
at 44.1/16...but I have to wait until tomorrow night back in studio to
render it to .mp3 at 320kbs.  I won't be able to do the full 4 hours, but we
should get a decent chuck of pure 888 at that point with 100mb limit on
filesize. Will that suffice?

For some of your's my thoughts:  Were I in a position to
own both 888 and 999, I would own both for certain. But I'm not.
They are two different boxes to be sure. Same construction, but way
different vibe and sound at the end of the day. I am a hacker first,
musician second..., as far as skillsets go. What I know about systems is
that complexity is harder to manage and exponentially increases chances for
bugs/failure, etc.  While the 999's filter section is mad-powerful, and
sounds great.. it was a layer of complexity that I didn't end up using in
the studio, as I use other gear for my filter duties running off of sends on
a mixer. Or ITB stuff from logic 8.
So I looked at risk/reward, bang/buck ratios and found myself leaning
towards the concept of an 888. Plus, I'm smitten for 808's by far
my favorite drum machine of all ancient time.  In fact, I stumbled the news
of the 888 while googling for an 808 to buy...

So, there have been bugs, just like any other boutique synth/drum machine
manfacture forum.  The Yahoo group, particularly for Jomox, IS the
manufacture's forum for bug reporting, and there are several personalities
that routinely report bugs or feature requests or design decision opinions,
etc. on the forum. It is very active, and stuff gets done as time goes on.
In short, it's great.  The 999's OS, fwiw, at 1.3, is finally in a state
where I would feel good about performing live with the box without fear of
any show stopping bugs, etc. The sample uploads are smooth, easy and rockin'
with a killer little GUI ap that lets you easily manage the sound banks.
Very bauhaus.. to the point.

I'm a big fan of both JoMoX and Elektron gear, so my input is biased...but
I'm only a fan after going through that long and winding road we much each
take as individuals and musicians.  I want what sounds best, and works.  The
fact that we did a four hour acid jam, with rock solid timing the whole
time, with mad beats and glitch free operation of the 888, well... it
sounded best, and it worked.

I've not done a side by side with an 808.  But it's almost irrelevant to do
so... he's not billing it as a clone, and it doesn't use 808 parts, etc.
But for the same reason that comparing a FR-777 to a 303 ends up always
being a pointless discussion, so too would a comparison of the 808 and 888.
Neither is purporting to be it's original. But both go far beyond their
originals, while still doing superb jobs at 'preserving' some of what is the
'essence' of the original. But each is it's own instrument, with it's own
sequencer, interface, and feel.

I only digress, b/c I don't want this thread to turn into a 808 vs 888
thread.  I DO however, want to encourage anyone with a limited budget (all
of us) to hear an 888 before deciding to buy an 808 (and vice versa, no
doubt).  They are close enough to warrant this, and they are far apart
enough to force you to choose a route based on YOUR music, your ears and the
degree to which either of them gives you a bone chromer.

For my part... and that of our label, we've made the executive decision to
go with the 8's, and so we had to sell the 9's for now.  The 888 can also do
decent 909 kicks, with the right amount of noise dialed in.

if you are a sucker for 808 kicks, and bouncing metal high hats that dance
around your head like pixie dust... then the 888 cannot be topped here on
earth... I'll say that with as much conviction as can be conveyed on a
mailing list. And that's after just two nights with it.

I'll post the jam in the next few days... if that doesn't display the 888
properly, nothing would. :)

On Jan 22, 2008 10:56 AM, Tomislav Babic <> wrote:

> so.. im confused now, Shag... i was reading your recent praise of 999 with
> much
> interest as it seems to get mixed reviews, due to bugs etc.. and thought
> 999 was
> your be-all, end-all drum machine. your posts kinda renewed my interest in
> it..
> and now.. your full of praise for 888..   which is 999 wihtout a filter..
> hmmm,,,,
> could you clarify pls.. what they are good/best for, respectively..
> and whats with them bugs reports .. that jomox yahoo group is full of..
> fwiw, i still havent heard a mp3 of 999/888 that thumps anyware near
> 808/909..
> u got some? or an URL of someone doing a decent representations..?
> thanks
> best regards
> Tom
> --
> ---
> Tomislav Babic
> - studio, mp3, info