Future expansions for the TR-8

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Re: Future expansions for the TR-8

Postby Bodde » 20:12, 15 February 2017

Good suggestions.

My wish list:
-More pattern storage!!! 16 patterns is very very little...64 patterns at least.
-Improved delay and reverb. The delay and reverb don't sound good IMHO.
-Poly rhythms like the Arturia Drumbrute has. So separate step lenghts for each instrument. So we can do a pattern of 6 in the hiats over 4 in the rim shot or whatever.

I would rather have these things than more sounds.
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Re: Future expansions for the TR-8

Postby rcmusic35 » 22:15, 15 February 2017

One more: save the sound parameters with patterns....
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Re: Future expansions for the TR-8

Postby Tothead » 16:10, 14 March 2017

Bodde wrote:Not sure what you are getting at. This topic is not about free expansions. it's about future (paid) expansions or software updates. Right it seems as if Roland has abandoned the TR-8 since it has been a long time since there were any updates or news from Roland on the TR-8. But I hope I am not correct and we will see some updates/expansions in the future.


From how I understood it, is that there are no plans for further expansions, as the TR-8 has no possibility to be "updated". All available expansions, even before they were announced, where already there in the tr-8 guts, you only unlock them with patch or you purchase a key, thus I am thinking that there is no space for new sounds.... :) just a speculation
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Re: Future expansions for the TR-8

Postby rcmusic35 » 11:41, 15 March 2017

But there are surely things that could be improved with an update. Not talking about more sounds.
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Re: Future expansions for the TR-8

Postby Wimek » 21:38, 1 August 2017

Tothead wrote:I bumped recently to someone explaining how the tr-8 expansions work (sorry, got no link, so lets call it an assumption). All the sounds are already THERE. From 606 to 909. When you purchase the "expansion" on Roland website, you get a key, which unlocks certain features. I am afraid that the free 606 and paid 7x7 expansions are the last thing we are going to get with that drum performer.


The TR-8 is a computer, dedicated hardware, but still a computer running software (firmware). If Roland wants, it can make and sell new firmware with extra ACB models of other vintage or not yet existing drum machines...

It will all depend on the will of Roland and the space in the TR-8's memory :-)
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Re: Future expansions for the TR-8

Postby Myrk- » 16:17, 16 August 2017

Woah Wimek, slow down... I too used to have that idea that all these things are computers with software like your PC you are typing on. No, they aren't - they are dedicated hardware running on digital systems, in the same way that a old analogue keyboard is not a computer that can just be updated to do whatever. Not everything runs an OS and has update-able features - my guess is, as Tothead is explaining, that the sounds are embedded in a chip that is already installed into the unit. Some might ask - "why not just update the chip with new software?" Well, the architecture of the electronics might not allow a write procedure onto the chip, or any number of other reasons - if it was just a simple computer then you'd see a million hacks online by now. What you will always find as well with any mass produced item, ESPECIALLY ROLAND, is that they value engineer the product to be as trimmed down as possible prior to production, which cuts down on components and costs. This is also the reason why the JD-XA for instance hasn't got an update with all the features everyone says it should get (being the flagship Roland Synth) - because the main chips are maxed out already - you can't just keep adding when the memory and processing is maxed.

Based on what Tothead says, which I can believe to be accurate based off how Roland works, we will not see any new sounds added to this device. I'd also suggest given the device is 3 years old or so now that there will be no future updates for functionality, only for compatibility as we have seen with the 1.5 update to allow it to sequence the new sampler unit. There is 0 money to be made in catering to people who are 3 years too late to the punch!
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Re: Future expansions for the TR-8

Postby Wimek » 20:34, 23 September 2017

Well, Roland uses the same ESC2 FPGA chip in several AIRA and Boutique products (System1, Boutiques, TR-8). "programming" an FPGA works different than programming an ASIC chip (processor). Every time a machine with an FPGA is switched of, the FPGA loses its "program". In other words: the program must be loaded from a flash memory chip on startup. The flash memory can be loaded with different "programs" and thats what's happens when you send a plug-out synth to the System-1 or System-8.

The TR-8 uses the same ESC2, hence new firmware can be loaded :-)

https://embeddedmicro.com/tutorials/moj ... is-an-fpga

https://youtu.be/4oWrJ-Td4LM
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Re: Future expansions for the TR-8

Postby Happy » 03:39, 25 September 2017

You can wish what you want but this is the difference between a company that makes "consumer goods" (Roland Aira team)and others that make "instruments" and support long term feature upgrades, good customer service and fixes. If you want a product that may have future feature expansion beyond one year of purchase would not go for Roland. If you can live with the features of products "as is" from the release then go for it. Roland focuses on their ROI, quick time to market, get the money and have their teams work on something else. Yes, Roland CAN do it to add sounds, a firmware upgrade etc.. but that is not their business model.

Roland prefers to recycle and mix and match their technologies (LA/ACB/DCB/Analog/supernatural,PCM) at a high speed in releasing new products across several types of product lines (DJ (Aira), Piano's, workstations, synths, Boutiques, modular). In the end I think we may see an Integra 7 kind of multi-instrument hardware module, in say 5 years from now, where you can load any type of ACB/DCB software in. That may be convenient for studio's but may not provide much sales/income to Roland.
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Re: Future expansions for the TR-8

Postby Manic » 22:40, 29 September 2017

I absolutely disagree with you Happy. Roland released the TR-8 in 2014 (which is 3 years ago!!) and added an expansion in sounds TWICE, the latest was about a year ago. 2 years after the initial release. I think it is quite possible they will add new expansions to it. Also they updated it with some new functions a few weeks ago.
They clearly have not abandoned it (

About other products: I don't think they abandoned the rest of the AIRA range either. They surely will add some poly plug-outs for the System-8. There are even rumours they will update the SH-101 plug-out to make it polyphonic like the boutique, which would probably also affect the System-1.

There is new management on Roland. I also noticed that they are really working on better customer service and they are asking users for their opinion etc.

The thing is that Roland works on so many products/services at the same time, you just have to be more patient and be happy with what they brought us already. More will come. Just make music ;)
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