On August 8th, We Honor The Roland Tr-808

When it was released in 1980, the Roland TR-808 drum machine wasn’t loved instantly by critics. In fact, many referred to its analog drum sounds as “tinny” and “mechanical.” It wasn’t until a few years and a few hit records later that the drum machine became respected, but after its discontinuation, it found a new life in electronic music. Producers across the US flocked to the machine because of its relatively low price point, ease of use, and low frequency bass, making it the core sound of Hip Hop and House Music. To date, the TR-808 has the distinction of being on the most hit records in history, making it the most popular drum machine ever.


On August 8th, we salute the drum machine that everyone has danced to, even if they don’t even know it. Check out some famous beats made by the Roland TR-808 drum machine in the video below.