Booms and Claps – Try Out Roland’s New 808/909 VSTs for FREE

Roland announced to the world in January that they were to bring an updated hardware version of the classic 808 to market, the TR-8S. This was exciting news for everyone who has heard of the famed 808 but never had the opportunity to experience the real thing, but those who are more software prone we were still left with less-than-faithful recreations and knock-off emulations. Now, we all have the opportunity to use a certified official software version of the original 808 rhythm machine and its cousin the 909. Roland added these instruments to their Roland Cloud service, but you can now try them out for free without registering for their cloud.

Though it is not a permanent license, users can try out the VST/AU plugins for 30-day trial periods without having to enter credit card info either. Roland said it better than we ever could, so here’s some more info direct from the cloud website:

TR-808 Software Rhythm Composer

“Few instruments have influenced modern music like the TR-808. Renowned for its big, booming bass drum, the ‘808 is a force of nature that can be felt and heard. Add a robotic clap, brash cowbell and crisp cymbals and you’ve got the raw materials for musical mayhem – maybe it’s no coincidence that ‘808’ is the penal code used by the US police for ‘disturbing the peace’. Ever present, always relevant – the TR-808 is undeniably, indisputably, the biggest sound on the planet.”

TR-909 Software Rhythm Composer

“While the TR-808 is all about warmth and width, the ‘909 is all about precision and power, with clattering, metallic hi-hats, pummelling tom drums and a rib-cracking kick drum that became the beating heart of house and techno. The ‘909 is a cornerstone of electronic music, an integral part of the dancefloor’s DNA. To some, it’s just a drum machine – for others, it’s the pulse of youth culture; the only sound you hear when the lights go down.”

New TR-8S integration

“The TR-808 and TR-909 plugins also work with the new AIRA TR-8S Rhythm Performer. It’s now possible to send patterns, variations and names from the TR-8S hardware directly to the 808/909 plug in. Or, you can create patterns on your computer and send them back to the TR-8S for performance or further production. You can even control the parameters of the 808/909 plugins, including volume, tune and decay, via the hands-on controls of the TR-8S.”

You can learn more about the plugins on the Roland Cloud website.


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