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Roland Celebrates The 40th Anniversary of The TR-808 Drum Machine

Source: Roland / Roland TR-808

The TR-808 drum machine help crafted many classics records, to celebrate the device’s 40th anniversary, Roland decided to bless beat junkies with some freebies.

Roland celebrated the anniversary of its famed device, which first arrived back in 1980 on 8/08, now forever known as 808 day, by dropping a slew of freebies. When you head over to Roland’s landing page dedicated to the TR-808, you can watch a documentary. It features Arthur Baker, A Guy Called Gerald, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Jermaine Dupri, the Avila Brothers, Cozmo D, and Carl Craig discussing the device’s impact when used to craft classic records we have come to love. Songs like Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock” is one of those legendary records that were brought to life thought the TR-808. Oh, and the doc is also 8:08 long, how neat is that?

There is also a very insightful interview with the TR-808 creator Tadao Kikumoto which features talking about his creation. Roland also went out its way to include a Spotify playlist dubbed the ‘808 40-Year Playlist’ featuring songs that were crafted using the device ranging from Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” all the way to Jeezy’s “Trap or Die.”

Aspiring musicians can also tryout Roland’s digital instruments like the  TR-808 virtual instrument for a test spin for free till August. The only requirement is that you have to a Roland Cloud account. Beatmakers there is also a treat for you as well, through Roland’s Zenbeats you can download two 808-themed audio loop packs for free 99 as well.

This is definitely the perfect way for Rolands to remind music junkies as well as teach and introduce the newer generation about the companies long history in the game while still letting the world the company is still relevant and dropping new technology. You can peep the documentary speaking about the Legendary Roland TR-808 below.

Photo: Roland / ROLANDS TR-808