Roland TR-505 (drum machine)

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The Roland TR-505 is a drum machine.

User Comments

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Tripecac (Travis Emmitt)

I bought my Roland TR-505 in early 1992 for about $100 (used).

I used it until the late 1990s, both for Tripecac and The Dead Anchovies. I synced it to my Yamaha SY55 (keyboard workstation) via MIDI. This was my first use of MIDI, and the only MIDI I did until 2000, when I hooked my Korg Triton up to my computer.

So how'd it sound? Well, it didn't have any effects, so it sounded more "immediate" and "crisp" than the drums on my SY55. That was good for dance/electronic music, but not so good for emulating a real jazz or rock band. I often piped it through a reverb box in order to give the drums more ambience.

Programming it was fun. I enjoyed creating loops that I could either sequence for recording or trigger spontaneously when playing live. The SY55 didn't let me create loops.

I like the fact that the TR-505's soundset was limited. This meant I didn't spend any time trying to tweal a particular drum sound, which is something I started doing on the SY55.

When I got my Triton in 2000, I stopped using the TR-505. The Triton sounded great, and let me create loops and sequences, so I didn't need an external drum machine anymore.