Here is a free Roland 808 Drum Kit with over 227 free drum samples to add to your drum collection. I have also added some helpful information on the history of the popular Roland 808 sounds.
History of the Roland TR-808
The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer (a.k.a. the “808”) was one of the first programmable drum machines (“TR” standing for Transistor Rhythm). Introduced by the Roland Corporation in early 1980. It was originally manufactured for use as a tool for studio musicians to create demos. Like earlier Roland drum machines, it does not sound very much like a real drum kit because the TR-808 was released a few months after the Linn LM-1 (the first drum machine to use digital samples), professionals generally considered its sound inferior to sampling drum machines.
Drum machines in general became an integral part of Hip Hop music as a cheap and simple way of producing a drum sound. The Roland TR-808 held specific appeal because of the ability of its bass drum sound to produce extremely low-frequency sounds. It also featured various unique artificial percussion sounds that characterized the TR-808: a deep bass kick drum, “tinny handclap sounds,” “the ticky snare, the tishy hi-hats (open and closed) and the spacey cowbell.” The Roland TR-808 would eventually be used on more hit records than any other drum machine, and has thus attained an iconic status within the music industry. The machine’s successor was the Roland TR-909.
Roland 808 Documentary
Here is an hour-long documentary created by BBC Radio 1 explaining the history of the TR-808, TR-909, and TB-303 and how much you hear these sounds on the radio today.
How to Enhance 808’s in a Hip-Hop Mix
Here is a video tutorial with tips on how to mix your 808 drum sounds to sound better.
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