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Roland TR-8S manual: BAD Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 13th October 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Roland TR-8S manual: BAD

I've been a lurker here for a while, and I registered just to say this:

The Roland TR-8S is a great machine, but the manual SUCKS. And the panel layout could be better.

I like to read carefully the whole manual of a new piece of gear, once, from beginning to end, and then I'm good to go. Impossible with either the Owner's Manual or the Reference Manual for the TR-8S. The very fact that the Owner is just the Reference without some essential info shows they don't give a damn. The writing is awful, the structure inexistent, and even the layout of the .pdf is horrible. Concepts are often fuzzy, like the usual fluid border between instrument and track.

For such a big corporation with such a long line of products, it is a CRYING SHAME. It's so obviously a mix of Engrish and engineerese, reminding me of the early Yamaha or Akai manuals (I still _shudder at the memory of the QY10 original manual, with no Internet and nobody to turn to, a nightmare). No professional English-language writer seems to have been involved.

Now the TR-8S is not difficult to master. It's just that since the button names and layout are not so good -and the shortcut combos not strictly logical- for a while you must go back to the manual to learn, and there the info is scattered all over the place and the techno-pidgin is horrible. You can't even hope to rely of the List of Shortcuts, because there is no logic to it. You have section heads in it listing SOME of the things you'd want to do instead of a clear hierarchy based on the functions of the machine. Using Search takes you all over the shortcut list, you have to read the description and then it's not what you looking for, repeat and rinse.

No big deal, some will say. Seems that more and more people just watch Youtube videos like "How to turn on the machine". I just think I'm not the only one who hates paying for sloppiness.
Old 13th October 2018
  #2
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EvilDragon's Avatar
Roland just has bad manuals overall. All the way throughout. It's almost a meme.
Old 13th October 2018
  #3
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drxcm's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
Roland just has bad manuals overall. All the way throughout. It's almost a meme.
This - never seen a good Roland manual.
Old 14th October 2018
  #4
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cake100's Avatar
 

Their TR8 pamphlet was a shocker when I opened it up. Never used it as I just search online for a solution. They could at least have put a comprehensive manual online.

Roland's manuals from the 80s - I've not had any issues.
Thankfully, they're online.
Old 27th December 2018
  #5
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I can't even find this **** on Roland's site...

Roland - Support - Owner’s Manuals #T-Z

Old 27th December 2018
  #6
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A.I. Batule Chee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treebase DMX View Post
I can't even find this **** on Roland's site...

Roland - Support - Owner’s Manuals #T-Z

Not sure where do you got that link, but that site isn't up to date, it doesn't even have the latest firmware update for the TR8S (1.11).

Here's the manual:

https://www.roland.com/us/support/by...wners_manuals/

Old 27th December 2018
  #7
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Thanks. Korg has a similar situation with two sites, one offering outdated stuff..
Old 27th December 2018
  #8
Pip
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Yup bad, I’m trying to stop clock so it just plays midi - just found power up and hold pattern select turn off receive midi clock but that’s for the tr8, I’ll try in the morning, poor manual.
Old 27th December 2018
  #9
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SonicBern's Avatar
 

20 PDFs and counting for one bit of Roland gear I have
Old 27th December 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pip View Post
Yup bad, I’m trying to stop clock so it just plays midi - just found power up and hold pattern select turn off receive midi clock but that’s for the tr8, I’ll try in the morning, poor manual.
Utility -> Sync/Tempo -> Sync Out = Off.
Old 27th December 2018
  #11
Pip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coffee View Post
Utility -> Sync/Tempo -> Sync Out = Off.
Thanks I’ll give it go am tomorrow. Is that in the manual sorry if I’m stupid.
Old 27th December 2018
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pip View Post
Thanks I’ll give it go am tomorrow. Is that in the manual sorry if I’m stupid.
I have no idea, I never read it.
Old 27th December 2018
  #13
Pip
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So the link for the pdf does not work I want the updated manual and save it as an apple book, rather than have the web version, anybody able to download the updated full manual as a pdf?
Old 27th December 2018
  #14
Gear Nut
 

you should see the manual to the Roland System 1.

it's 1 page.
Old 27th December 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
Roland just has bad manuals overall. All the way throughout. It's almost a meme.
it's a proud Roland tradition.
Old 28th December 2018
  #16
VST
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Just search UNIT:E's videos on YouTube. Quick and easy vids that answer all the questions.
Old 28th December 2018
  #17
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A.I. Batule Chee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pip View Post
So the link for the pdf does not work I want the updated manual and save it as an apple book, rather than have the web version, anybody able to download the updated full manual as a pdf?
Check my link above, I have downloaded it and saved on my ipad for quick refernce.
Old 28th December 2018
  #18
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Subverter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by COMMODORE404 View Post
you should see the manual to the Roland System 1.

it's 1 page.


That sounds like a new low, even for them.
Old 28th December 2018
  #19
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I'm trying to find out about triggering pattern changes over MIDI and I see nothing in the "User Guide" or the "Reference" doc. . . How does that work? Can you send MIDI messages to trigger patterns (while the machine is synced to MIDI clock) and can you jump from one pattern to another without losing sync, and without having to wait for the fist pattern to play through to the last step? Or, can you trigger fills and variations with MIDI messages?

Not giving a cent to Roland for another badly documented machine. I'll buy the TR8S second hand if i decide to go for it....
Old 28th December 2018
  #20
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by babylonpanic View Post
it's a proud Roland tradition.
The old MC-303 actually was pretty wonderfully written for what was a more or less cheesy rompler sequencer.

Even had a full sysex index for all the controls.

Roland MC-303 Owner's Manual : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
Old 29th December 2018
  #21
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Quote:
Can you send MIDI messages to trigger patterns (while the machine is synced to MIDI clock) and can you jump from one pattern to another without losing sync, and without having to wait for the fist pattern to play through to the last step?
I found out that it can indeed do these things, which is excellent. Beats the Analog Rytm afaiac.
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