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  • Writer's pictureDonnovan Andrews

The one. The only. The Roland TR-808!






Let's talk about the beat! Let's talk about the TR-808! The TR-808 drum machine as a musical wonder has been responsible for some of the most iconic beats in hip-hop, electronic, and pop music, and its legacy continues to inspire musicians all over the world.


The story of the TR-808 is one of innovation and trailblazing. When it was first released in 1980, many musicians were skeptical of its unconventional synthetic sounds and limited functionality. But a few visionaries saw its potential and began using it to create groundbreaking music that would change the course of music history.


One of the most memorable moments in the TR-808's history was the 1982 hit song "Planet Rock" by Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force. This song's unique drumbeat, created using the TR-808, gave it a futuristic and robotic feel that was unlike anything else on the radio at the time. From that moment on, the TR-808 became an essential part of hip-hop's sound, with producers like Dr. Dre, J Dilla, and Kanye West using it to create some of their most unforgettable beats.


But hip-hop wasn't the only genre to benefit from the TR-808's power. In electronic music, the TR-808 became a cornerstone of the genre, with artists like Aphex Twin, Richie Hawtin, and Daft Punk all using the drum machine in their music. Its low-frequency oscillators and envelope generators allowed for the creation of deep bass tones, snappy snares, and crisp hi-hats that gave electronic music its signature sound.


What makes the TR-808 so incredible is its unique ability to create sounds that are unlike anything else. The machine's quirky and unconventional sounds have become an integral part of music history, and they continue to inspire new generations of musicians to this day. It's hard not to get excited about the endless possibilities of this iconic instrument!


The TR-808's influence can be heard in countless songs and genres of music, and it continues to be used by artists today. Its limited functionality and high price point didn't stop it from becoming one of the most important instruments in music history. The TR-808's legacy is a testament to the power of creativity and innovation, and its story is a source of inspiration for anyone who wants to create something new and groundbreaking.


The TR-808 is a true icon of music history, and it's story is one that will continue to inspire musicians and listeners for generations to come.


Enjoy the playlist above...





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