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Roland TR-08 Desktop Synthesizers
Old 26th November 2017
  #661
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StepLogik's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtohaveajuno View Post
Here is a good timing analysis. The 808 has little to no groove.
https://www.reddit.com/r/synthesizer...ve_a_long_and/
I didn't see any real formal timing analysis there, but some interesting discussion. As with my original commentary, it is all "voodoo" / subjective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtohaveajuno View Post
Can you post your timing charts of the instrument control lines for us to review, to back up the myth about it having groove?
Unfortunately, I don't have them. I never made the "groove" assertion objectively (hence the voodoo qualifier). Until my production partner lets me crack open his 808 and attach a multi-channel logic analyzer (of which I have several in the lab) to it, I won't be able to get that information.

If I did have it, I would first like to rule out any type of CPU timing variance from the equation. Once that is done, we can then start to focus on the analog side to see if there are features in the analog circuit design that create subtle changes that cause that "groove" perception. We can plot the relationship between the digital trigger pulse and the resulting analog waveform and we can analyze deltas in that waveform under different conditions (proximity to previous timing pulse, accent on/off, etc).

Also, for purposes of discussion, we should clarify "groove" as being parameters of a programmed pattern that affect the listener's sense in some pleasurable way: timing changes, amplitude changes, etc over time.

All of that aside, there is something there. All you have to do is just ask the hundreds of producers who talk about it and use it on a daily basis. I just wish I could objectively measure it.
Old 26th November 2017
  #662
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StepLogik View Post
I've often wondered if the Accent is just creating an artificial sense of timing groove due to changing the envelope of the sound. I'm not sure of how that could be objectively measured without attaching test instrumentation to the 808.

Maybe record a pattern of straight 16th note snare hits, measure the time delta between the leading edge of each hit's transient, then record a second pattern with accents and see if the transients still line up?
i quoted badly
what i meant was that 'groove' would be myth, imo, and
that Accent is a powerful 'pump' factor, that could give
the impression of change. one pattern with, and one
without accents, would sound very different.

the odds of the clock not being bang on, with such a simple
sequencer, are fairly remote, -imo -

but if you take the notion of static samples being 'whack whack whack',
always the same, and an analog voice maybe having variations from
hit to hit, there might be some subconsciously perceptible difference,
(bla.bla.bla. ... pseuds corner, this). i've forgotten what a real tr808
does, i do 'fakey' with an es1. the 606 is quite organic, for its few
sounds, and i think that's got a lot to do with individual volumes,
accents, and the slightly out-of-control nature of some of the voices,
and the way the accent alters them.

Last edited by whatever17; 27th November 2017 at 10:44 PM..
Old 26th November 2017
  #663
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockmanrock View Post
The TR808 sounds overdriven to my ears.
A LOT of people miss this when comparing with the originals. There is a "gain" setting in the menu for the 08 and 09 for every sound so that you can dial in the subtle drive or saturation and also choose to leave it out with the Boutiques.

I didn't honestly realize that there was no pitch/tuning knob for the kick or snare on the original 808. Having an original would be a serious chore for most producers on a budget.
Old 26th November 2017
  #664
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discopotato View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockmanrock View Post
The TR808 sounds overdriven to my ears.
A LOT of people miss this when comparing with the originals. There is a "gain" setting in the menu for the 08 and 09 for every sound so that you can dial in the subtle drive or saturation and also choose to leave it out with the Boutiques.
I thought it was the recording (the mixer/interface) rather than the 808 itself. Just listening again, I can hear distortion on the TR-8 as well. It goes out of phase on some of the kick drum hits.
Old 27th November 2017
  #665
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockmanrock View Post
I thought it was the recording (the mixer/interface) rather than the 808 itself. Just listening again, I can hear distortion on the TR-8 as well. It goes out of phase on some of the kick drum hits.
Well I guess one way to get them sounding closer together would be by introducing signal distortion to both...
Attached Thumbnails
Roland TR-08-img_1271.jpg  
Old 27th November 2017
  #666
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basehead617's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Discopotato View Post
I didn't honestly realize that there was no pitch/tuning knob for the kick or snare on the original 808.
There is.
Old 27th November 2017
  #667
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barfunkel View Post
The TR-8 has a really, really good UI. You can just take it to a club, get drunk, not have any preprogrammed patterns and still play a good gig. I have personally done so.
This seems like an outstanding way to make a living- respect!
Old 27th November 2017
  #668
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Bodde's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by basehead617 View Post
There is.
On the original you can not tune the cowbell and also not the rim shot and clap as far as I know. There is tuning on the bass and snare though like you say (both with the tone knob I think? I don't own the org). On the the TR-08 and the TR-8 you can tune every instrument. Although unfortunately you have to dive in the menu of the TR-08 to do most of the tuning. That's on reason why I prefer the TR-8

Not being able to tune the cowbell on the real 808 makes it somewhat useless in most cases for me since I always tune the cowbell to the key of the song. The cowbell in the 808 is tuned to a fixed fifth C#-G#. That is not a key that you use all the time.
Old 27th November 2017
  #669
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Jamie munro's Avatar
 

Sample the cowbell, pitch it down 2 octaves or so and poly it up, makes excellent synth stabs/dub hits
Old 27th November 2017
  #670
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Always the cowbell, never the cow.
Old 27th November 2017
  #671
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Mushy Mushy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanRand View Post
Always the cowbell, never the cow.
If you try to tune a cow I’m calling animal support.
Old 27th November 2017
  #672
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Please don't call animal support until I've managed to sample the live cow tipping. There's a kick tone in there somewhere.
Old 27th November 2017
  #673
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one of the best uses for the cowbell is to use it to trigger the arp/clock on another synth
Old 27th November 2017
  #674
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markodarko's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HazeBros View Post
one of the best uses for the cowbell is to use it to trigger the arp/clock on another synth
Your arm would start hurting after a while, surely.
Old 28th November 2017
  #675
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mushy Mushy View Post
If you try to tune a cow I’m calling animal support.
Have you ever watched this? Classic Gaz!

Old 28th November 2017
  #676
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basehead617's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HazeBros View Post
one of the best uses for the cowbell is to use it to trigger the arp/clock on another synth
Actually I personally love the cowbell sound and use the accent output on the tr-808 for arp triggering.
Old 28th November 2017
  #677
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxj View Post
That's a myth.
This is not a myth at all.
What is percepted as a groove is the combination of both the clock that have a hard time to keep the tempo in perfect timing (so your actual say 120bpm is actually randomly going from 119to 121..) and the analog voices that «reply» to each other. Some voice share the same circuitry and the behavior when going from one to the others or both at the same time give a feeling between the voices. The best known exemple is the weird modulated sound when the snare and clap are used at the same time on a 909, its because both are partially noise generated.
Those behavior were not wanted by Roland but the result gives really breathing and living drum machines.
Please do some research or actually listen to a 808 before calling it «a myth»
Also to reply to other posts, there is no tuning on the kick drum on the 808, nor the snare..
You can tune/custom voices with the internal trim pots to suit your taste (which i did on mine)
Old 28th November 2017
  #678
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Mushy Mushy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof_Tea View Post
Have you ever watched this? Classic Gaz!


That was brilliant. Almost spat my coffee out twice while watching it.
Old 28th November 2017
  #679
lxj
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madd Anju View Post
This is not a myth at all.
What is percepted as a groove is the combination of both the clock that have a hard time to keep the tempo in perfect timing (so your actual say 120bpm is actually randomly going from 119to 121..) and the analog voices that «reply» to each other. Some voice share the same circuitry and the behavior when going from one to the others or both at the same time give a feeling between the voices. The best known exemple is the weird modulated sound when the snare and clap are used at the same time on a 909, its because both are partially noise generated.
Those behavior were not wanted by Roland but the result gives really breathing and living drum machines.
Please do some research or actually listen to a 808 before calling it «a myth»
This has basically been answered a few posts above.

People who talk about the 808's groove tend to confuse timing and dynamics.

The "analog behavior" of the 808 will produce differences in the sonic character of the individual hits, changing the way how the various instruments (voices) sit in the mix (pushing one of them to the front or pulling them back). This dynamic behavior is what people perceive as "groove" imo.

Timing is more complicated. A groove can sound breathing and living no matter if it is played perfectly in the pocket, before or behind the beat. Playing "before" or "behind" the beat doesn't have anything to do with microtiming deviations though - it means that one instrument is rushing or dragging CONSISTENTLY in relation to the others / the pulse. Microtiming deviations CAN sound good if they are related to each other. However, RANDOM errors in timing will sound completely unmusical and inhuman if they are large enough to be noticed either consciously or subconsciously. So if the 808's timing errors were significant, they wouldn't be pleasing at all.

If you are into research, here's some background to the timing issues:
http://www.pnas.org/content/111/36/12974.full.pdf

(Not that I understood half of it lol)

Old 28th November 2017
  #680
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxj View Post
This has basically been answered a few posts above.

People who talk about the 808's groove tend to confuse timing and dynamics.

The "analog behavior" of the 808 will produce differences in the sonic character of the individual hits, changing the way how the various instruments (voices) sit in the mix (pushing one of them to the front or pulling them back). This dynamic behavior is what people perceive as "groove" imo.

Timing is more complicated. A groove can sound breathing and living no matter if it is played perfectly in the pocket, before or behind the beat. Playing "before" or "behind" the beat doesn't have anything to do with microtiming deviations though - it means that one instrument is rushing or dragging CONSISTENTLY in relation to the others / the pulse. Microtiming deviations CAN sound good if they are related to each other. However, RANDOM errors in timing will sound completely unmusical and inhuman if they are large enough to be noticed either consciously or subconsciously. So if the 808's timing errors were significant, they wouldn't be pleasing at all.

If you are into research, here's some background to the timing issues:
http://www.pnas.org/content/111/36/12974.full.pdf

(Not that I understood half of it lol)

Interesting statistical/mathematical attempt to define "flow." <G>

Something computers will never get.

I think one can attribute/misattribute the flow that came out of the TR-808's use early on either to funky circuits or, more likely, funky players.

There are "waves" of rhythmic synchronization that occur both on short and long time scales, and a bunch in between.

When players are playing together, in each others' presence, the generation and interaction of these various waves of synchronization happen intuitively and spontaneously, as everyone picks up on everyone else's groove along the way.

This is why it happens more frequently among those who've played together a lot, or are masters on their respective instruments.

Art Ensemble of Chicago is one of the best examples, to me, of how deep this can really get. Along, of course, with Miles Davis' various ensembles over the course of his career, be his work with Pharaoah Sanders, John McLaughlin and Wayne Shorter, or Cindy Lauper.
Old 28th November 2017
  #681
Just got one today, so far really enjoying it, especially using it with a DAW.
The extensive midi control combined with pretty accurate synthesis gives it an edge over most of the plugin emulations I've tried.
Can get some cool effects with the pitch / decay / tone stuff being automated & it's close enough sound wise for me to scratch the 808 itch.
No latency like the previous boutique I tried (jp-8) and no glitches so far running it as an aggregate device in cubase.
Old 29th November 2017
  #682
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mushy Mushy View Post


That was brilliant. Almost spat my coffee out twice while watching it.
Glad you liked it - I also laugh out loud along with him - so truly funny, imaginative and sonically out there!

"Let's solo those wolves ..."

Brilliant!
Old 29th November 2017
  #683
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Exe2479's Avatar
 

Quick question:

Does the sidechain compression function also work if the tr-8 is being sequenced externally, ie used as a soundmodule. Does the bd still duck the input?
Old 30th November 2017
  #684
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtohaveajuno View Post
Here is a good timing analysis. The 808 has little to no groove.
The myth of the Roland TR808 groove (a long and possibly dull read) : synthesizers

His understanding of Innerclock's timing tests is wrong. Innerclock tested the difference between cycle lengths (cycle-to-cycle jitter), not between consecutive 16th hits. A cycle IS defined as two consecutive 16th hits.

His Cirklon figures tell me he didn't test his 808 enough. I did a quick check last night and recorded 10+ times that amount of jitter in just 8 bars of testing (with a Sync Gen).

Yes the 808 is tighter than the 909.



RE: Random jitter, mentioned by others else where in this thread.


The 808's jitter, running off a Sync Gen, is mostly cyclic (pull then push). The jitter is overwhelmingly pull-push (cyclic/deterministic) with a small amount of random jitter.

Last edited by DanRand; 30th November 2017 at 01:53 PM..
Old 30th November 2017
  #685
Gear Maniac
 

Is it possible to sequence another drum expander through the midi out ? Does the TR-08 put out midi notes or only a sync signal?
Old 30th November 2017
  #686
enc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtohaveajuno View Post
It would sound almost identical to the real thing, if the real thing cost $400.

Thankfully the real thing costs thousands of dollars, putting it out of the reach of most of the feeble and unwashed who inhabit the Intertubes these days. So it doesn't sound anything at all like the real thing. It only sounds like the real thing if you can't afford the real thing. Otherwise it sounds like a binatone organ on auto-accompany mode.

All of this means that those of us smart and good-looking enough to have the real thing can sit up here in our chairs, which are kind of like those chairs tennis umpires sit on, laughing down at the serfs below us and throwing down the odd piece of cake, pencils, or maybe playing cards or shiny baubles, to the baying masses below us, as they worship at our splendour
Old 30th November 2017
  #687
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markodarko's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtohaveajuno View Post
It would sound almost identical to the real thing, if the real thing cost $400.

Thankfully the real thing costs thousands of dollars, putting it out of the reach of most of the feeble and unwashed who inhabit the Intertubes these days. So it doesn't sound anything at all like the real thing. It only sounds like the real thing if you can't afford the real thing. Otherwise it sounds like a binatone organ on auto-accompany mode.

All of this means that those of us smart and good-looking enough to have the real thing can sit up here in our chairs, which are kind of like those chairs tennis umpires sit on, laughing down at the serfs below us and throwing down the odd piece of cake, pencils, or maybe playing cards or shiny baubles, to the baying masses below us, as they worship at our splendour
PAH HA HA! Never a truer word spoken in jest! Brilliant.

Just wait until binatone organs become fashionable though, then there'll be pandemonium!
Old 30th November 2017
  #688
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Inconsistencies in the linndrums timing inspired George Michael to pen his international smash hit Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
Old 6th December 2017
  #689
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Eigenwert's Avatar
The TR-08 seems to satisfy its buyers. As it still seems to be unknown to the used market.
Old 6th December 2017
  #690
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eigenwert View Post
The TR-08 seems to satisfy its buyers. As it still seems to be unknown to the used market.
Having never been near an analog original in my life, I have to say the TR-08 is really something different compared to any of the various emulations and samples I've used.

It's a notable improvement over the JD-Xi's sampled 808 sounds. It's super clean, which probably disappoints some.

There's some decent modeled drive/saturation you get from playing with the gain, compression, and volume settings and it's definitely not the external mixer clipping so it's intentional.

Probably not quite the separate analog outs into mixer but it tries I guess? Lol.
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