Roland System 8 and TR-8: a match made in HEEEEVUN!

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EnochLight
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Post 04 Jul 2019

After much deliberating, research, countless hours of video, and more bourbon than I probably should have in an evening, I picked up a Roland TR-8 (second hand) and a Roland System 8 (new). It's my first hardware purchase since my Akai MPC Live earlier this year, and I feel like I've hit a point where I can stop my hardware purchases. For now. :lol: :cool:

I've been eyeing Jupiter 8's for a very long time, and with the actual classics going upwards of $15,000 USD and up :shock: :o :? and the age of my current Juno 106, I decided that the System 8 would be a great choice. I've A/B'd the Roland Cloud plugout version of the Juno 106 with my own, and it's indistinguishable to my ears - and I'm guessing the Jupiter 8 emulation is just as good. Add the Roland JX-3P that comes with it, plus the actual System 8 synth engine, and I'm getting 4 quality synths for the price, all encompassed in a customized hardware controller.

Doing the math, if I wanted to "keep" the Roland Cloud plugouts of the Juno 106, Jupiter 8, and JX-3P "forever", I'd have to do 3 years of subscriptions - which comes out to roughly $540 USD to $720 USD, depending on sales and percentages off at any given time. I scored a pretty awesome deal on the System 8 (thanks to Matt at Sweetwater), so I'm pretty content I made the right choice. Also, BLINKY LED'S!!!!

Any other Aira System 8 or TR-8 owners out there?
Windows 10 | Reason 10.4 |  Studio One 4.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion

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raymondh
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Post 04 Jul 2019

Welcome to the club!! :)

I've had my System 8 for 18 months now, and absolutely love it!

I sold my DSI Mopho x4 to help fund the System 8. "What?" you say, "you sold a real analog synth to buy a pretend one?" :D
Well, the System 8 sure doesn't have the modulation flexibility of the Mopho x4, but it has a much warmer sound, it sounds more organic (!), and it's way more fun to program. It also has a much more diverse tonal range with it's multiple synth engines, and in particular it's many filter emulations and modes (especially under the 1.3 operating system update where you can apply a Juno filter to the System 8 native engine).

I'm a big fan of the u-he Diva soft synth. There's a great preset on that called "Beauty Pad". I recreated that pad in the Jupiter 8 engine on the System 8 and it sounded even better, more spacious and 3-dimensional.

To my ears, the sounds out of the System 8 are not quite as "silky" and "liquid" as my JX-8P, but it's super close. That character could be from anything, including the age/deterioration of the electronics in my old synth.

I think the S8 FX are very useable, but (with the exception of the great chorus) just a tad sub-par. But if you get a warm string pad and route it through Echobode's dream delay, you'll be lost in the zone for hours :)

Have fun!
Win 10 64-bit | :reason: 10 | Scarlet 18i8 | M-Audio Code 61 | KRK VXT-6 | JX-8P | System-8 | D-05 | JP-08 | Sirin
www.soundcloud.com/raymondhayter

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MarkTarlton
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Post 04 Jul 2019

side note - dream delay in Echobode is one of my favorite patches :)

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raymondh
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Post 04 Jul 2019

MarkTarlton wrote:
04 Jul 2019
side note - dream delay in Echobode is one of my favorite patches :)
Yeah mine too. I'd buy Echobode again just for this one patch :)
Win 10 64-bit | :reason: 10 | Scarlet 18i8 | M-Audio Code 61 | KRK VXT-6 | JX-8P | System-8 | D-05 | JP-08 | Sirin
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reasonsuser88
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Post 04 Jul 2019

I picked up a secondhand TR-8 from Reverb last month. It seems they are going for so cheap now after the release of the TR-8S that everybody might as well have one. I recently ordered an Elektron Analog Drive that I'm looking forward to plugging into to make some noise. I'm not really a synth enthusiast and I'm more interested in the sound of experimenting with guitar pedals. I'm happy with my Korg Minilogue for now but I can see myself getting a System 8 if I find a good deal. I also think Echobode Dream Delay is the nuts.
Those who don't leave will eventually be consumed.

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EnochLight
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Post 05 Jul 2019

Funny enough, I also got my second hand TR-8 (along with the 7x7 expansion) for super cheap on Reverb.com!
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reasonsuser88
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Post 05 Jul 2019

EnochLight wrote:
05 Jul 2019
Funny enough, I also got my second hand TR-8 (along with the 7x7 expansion) for super cheap on Reverb.com!
Reverb is my favorite and I'm buying most of my stuff there. Musicians getting good deals from other musicians. All good experiences with stellar feedback. I bought a new reamp box from Sweetwater last week though.
Those who don't leave will eventually be consumed.

Resonator
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Post 05 Jul 2019

Sounds like a nice combo. I bought the TR-8S in February and recently bought a TB-03 and an SH-01A . Roland’s ACB modeling is really good on all these machines, and the 3 of them together are awesome for my live jams. I’ve been considering the System 8 for the Jupiter 8 modeling. But I already have a JP-8080. So I gotta check out some videos and see if it’s worth it. If you got any audio or video clips of the System 8, I’d like to check them out.

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EnochLight
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Post 08 Jul 2019

Resonator wrote:
05 Jul 2019
If you got any audio or video clips of the System 8, I’d like to check them out.
There is literally a plethora of System 8 clips on YouTube - just check them out! Far more than I'd have time to record/post. I'll say this much: it's probably the best money I've spent on a synth in 30 years. But I'm biased, because all I've ever wanted was an actual Jupiter 8 and Juno 106, and this covers them in spades. Add the JX-3P onto it as well, and I've scored 3 classic Roland synths that would cost me upwards of $20,000 USD to find these days, plus maintenance.

System 8 just knocks it out of the park, IMHO. And the TR-8 just adds to the pot. :)

* Full discloser: I actually own a Juno 106. I've just been looking for a modern equivalent for years.
Windows 10 | Reason 10.4 |  Studio One 4.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion

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raymondh
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Post 08 Jul 2019

EnochLight wrote:
08 Jul 2019
* Full discloser: I actually own a Juno 106. I've just been looking for a modern equivalent for years.
You earlier mentioned you thought the S8 plugout did a good job with the Juno emulation. That's impressive!
What do you reckon you'd give it, on a scale of 1/10?
Win 10 64-bit | :reason: 10 | Scarlet 18i8 | M-Audio Code 61 | KRK VXT-6 | JX-8P | System-8 | D-05 | JP-08 | Sirin
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EnochLight
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Post 08 Jul 2019

raymondh wrote:
08 Jul 2019
EnochLight wrote:
08 Jul 2019
* Full discloser: I actually own a Juno 106. I've just been looking for a modern equivalent for years.
You earlier mentioned you thought the S8 plugout did a good job with the Juno emulation. That's impressive!
What do you reckon you'd give it, on a scale of 1/10?
Ooooo... that’s tough. Me? I’d say a 10/10. It sounds spot on as far as I can tell, plus adds to my 106 (with the arp, sequencer, and built-in effects and all). It’s like scoring an MSQ100 on steroids along with plus a plethora of stock digital effects boxes.

Add to that a sleek customized hardware package (I’m a huge fan of LED bling), and I was sold before I even opened the box. :D
Windows 10 | Reason 10.4 |  Studio One 4.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion

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O1B
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Post 08 Jul 2019

EL, If you have a Friend with an 8S, give it a listen. I think you'll add it as a Partner.

The immediacy of the TR-8 can NOT be beat! I love that thing!
But, the Kick is overdone, and doesn't represent well out of Speakers - in a mix. imo

The 8S has less 1-to-1 control, but it's pretty straightforward (Post cheat notes - like the TR-8)
And, the TR-8S (like the Digitakt) puts any BASS/Kick problems to Bed.
fyi.

I gotta try that System 8. The 1's Acoustic Range was really nice.
49 keys..? how do you handle getting the full range - or is that a concern? I always want to' try' Higher - or LOWER.
I do need a good compact 88 key.
EnochLight wrote:
08 Jul 2019
raymondh wrote:
08 Jul 2019


You earlier mentioned you thought the S8 plugout did a good job with the Juno emulation. That's impressive!
What do you reckon you'd give it, on a scale of 1/10?
Ooooo... that’s tough. Me? I’d say a 10/10. It sounds spot on as far as I can tell, plus adds to my 106 (with the arp, sequencer, and built-in effects and all). It’s like scoring an MSQ100 on steroids along with plus a plethora of stock digital effects boxes.

Add to that a sleek customized hardware package (I’m a huge fan of LED bling), and I was sold before I even opened the box. :D

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EnochLight
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Post 08 Jul 2019

O1B wrote:
08 Jul 2019
EL, If you have a Friend with an 8S, give it a listen. I think you'll add it as a Partner.

The immediacy of the TR-8 can NOT be beat! I love that thing!
But, the Kick is overdone, and doesn't represent well out of Speakers - in a mix. imo

The 8S has less 1-to-1 control, but it's pretty straightforward (Post cheat notes - like the TR-8)
And, the TR-8S (like the Digitakt) puts any BASS/Kick problems to Bed.
fyi.

I gotta try that System 8. The 1's Acoustic Range was really nice.
49 keys..? how do you handle getting the full range - or is that a concern? I always want to' try' Higher - or LOWER.
I do need a good compact 88 key.
Yeah, I considered the TR-8S for a while, but the deals you can find on the TR-8 because they're being unloaded on the cheap was just too good to pass up (especially with the 7X7 expansion). If I had a choice for the same price, I'd probably go with the 8S just because it's newer. Roland hasn't updated the TR-8 firmware in almost a year, but I'm holding out hope that 808 day next month might get one last final firmware update.

As for the 49 keys on the System 8, they're perfectly fine. You can shift octaves up and down quite easily. But I've been using a Nektar P4 49-key controller with Reason for years, so I'm used to that sort of play.
Windows 10 | Reason 10.4 |  Studio One 4.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion

Resonator
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Post 08 Jul 2019

EnochLight wrote:
08 Jul 2019
Resonator wrote:
05 Jul 2019
If you got any audio or video clips of the System 8, I’d like to check them out.
There is literally a plethora of System 8 clips on YouTube - just check them out! Far more than I'd have time to record/post. I'll say this much: it's probably the best money I've spent on a synth in 30 years. But I'm biased, because all I've ever wanted was an actual Jupiter 8 and Juno 106, and this covers them in spades. Add the JX-3P onto it as well, and I've scored 3 classic Roland synths that would cost me upwards of $20,000 USD to find these days, plus maintenance.

System 8 just knocks it out of the park, IMHO. And the TR-8 just adds to the pot. :)

* Full discloser: I actually own a Juno 106. I've just been looking for a modern equivalent for years.
Yeah I’ve been meaning to look up some YouTube vids. Been more busy setting up hardware than anything. Finally got the TR-8S, SH-01A, and the TB-03 working nicely with Reason last night via USB. But I’ll make some time look more into the System-8. I’m glad to see how much you like it, especially considering you own a Juno-106 and you’re a Roland veteran like myself.

Originally, I thought about buying the JP-08, JU-06, and the JX-03 when they were available. A friend of mine has the JP and the JX. I was very impressed with how they sound. But the tiny sliders on the JP and the 4 note limitation on the polyphony made me think twice. I had other gear to buy. So the System-8 fell off the radar for a bit until recently. I might have to curb my spending (looking to buy a few new synths) and go with the System 8 if I’m not tempted to buy anything else.

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raymondh
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Post 08 Jul 2019

Resonator wrote:
08 Jul 2019
Originally, I thought about buying the JP-08, JU-06, and the JX-03 when they were available. A friend of mine has the JP and the JX. I was very impressed with how they sound. But the tiny sliders on the JP and the 4 note limitation on the polyphony made me think twice. I had other gear to buy. So the System-8 fell off the radar for a bit until recently. I might have to curb my spending (looking to buy a few new synths) and go with the System 8 if I’m not tempted to buy anything else.
Yes the 4 note polyphony in particular is the main issue.
The polychain design is not good for the Boutiques. It's fine if you want to play say 8 notes simultaneously, but if you play a monophonic run of notes with a slow release, it will cut off the tails on notes 5, 6, 7, 8 etc
Win 10 64-bit | :reason: 10 | Scarlet 18i8 | M-Audio Code 61 | KRK VXT-6 | JX-8P | System-8 | D-05 | JP-08 | Sirin
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Resonator
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Post 08 Jul 2019

raymondh wrote:
08 Jul 2019
Resonator wrote:
08 Jul 2019
Originally, I thought about buying the JP-08, JU-06, and the JX-03 when they were available. A friend of mine has the JP and the JX. I was very impressed with how they sound. But the tiny sliders on the JP and the 4 note limitation on the polyphony made me think twice. I had other gear to buy. So the System-8 fell off the radar for a bit until recently. I might have to curb my spending (looking to buy a few new synths) and go with the System 8 if I’m not tempted to buy anything else.
Yes the 4 note polyphony in particular is the main issue.
The polychain design is not good for the Boutiques. It's fine if you want to play say 8 notes simultaneously, but if you play a monophonic run of notes with a slow release, it will cut off the tails on notes 5, 6, 7, 8 etc
I wasn’t aware of that. Thanks for the info.

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O1B
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Post 09 Jul 2019

Thanks! And, enjoy!

I want the 8 back now. Full Disclosure : I've NEVER had as much FUN on the 8S as I did on the TR-8.
EnochLight wrote:
08 Jul 2019

Yeah, I considered the TR-8S for a while, but the deals you can find on the TR-8 because they're being unloaded on the cheap was just too good to pass up (especially with the 7X7 expansion). If I had a choice for the same price, I'd probably go with the 8S just because it's newer. Roland hasn't updated the TR-8 firmware in almost a year, but I'm holding out hope that 808 day next month might get one last final firmware update.

As for the 49 keys on the System 8, they're perfectly fine. You can shift octaves up and down quite easily. But I've been using a Nektar P4 49-key controller with Reason for years, so I'm used to that sort of play.

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EnochLight
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Post 11 Jul 2019

EnochLight wrote:
04 Jul 2019
Doing the math, if I wanted to "keep" the Roland Cloud plugouts of the Juno 106, Jupiter 8, and JX-3P "forever", I'd have to do 3 years of subscriptions - which comes out to roughly $540 USD to $720 USD, depending on sales and percentages off at any given time.
So, slightly unrelated to my original post, but thought I'd clarify since some might be curious: Roland Cloud sales do NOT usually get you an offline perpetual license. I just reached out to Roland, eager to buy a 2 or 3 year sub and pay in full to take advantage of their summer sale price. Support responded and said that an offline perpetual license does not apply to their sales.

So... there's THAT. :lol: :roll:
Windows 10 | Reason 10.4 |  Studio One 4.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion

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Bloma
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Post 11 Jul 2019

I've got a TR-8 and I love it. The 707 expansion is really good, and they added a 606 to it to, and there's drums in there that I use the most, like the 606 snare, and the 707 snare's alt hit. You can get some absolutely insane sounds out of it, for eg. with scatter, particularly the 9th setting is good for ambient stuff. It's also got a bit crusher hidden in there (in the delays). There's something incredibly organically digital (or digitally organic?) sounding about it, particularly the 808 toms and melodic hits. I love it to bits.

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EnochLight
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Post 11 Jul 2019

Bloma wrote:
11 Jul 2019
I've got a TR-8 and I love it. The 707 expansion is really good, and they added a 606 to it to, and there's drums in there that I use the most, like the 606 snare, and the 707 snare's alt hit. You can get some absolutely insane sounds out of it, for eg. with scatter, particularly the 9th setting is good for ambient stuff. It's also got a bit crusher hidden in there (in the delays). There's something incredibly organically digital (or digitally organic?) sounding about it, particularly the 808 toms and melodic hits. I love it to bits.
Yeah I'm pretty happy with my TR-8, and the fact that I scored the 7x7 expansion with it was just paramount to me buying it. Now I pretty much have every classic Roland drum machine I ever wanted in 1 box. I agree on the Scatter feature - that's pretty bad ass and a joy to play with. I wonder - does the TR-8S have the Scatter feature as well?
Windows 10 | Reason 10.4 |  Studio One 4.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion

Resonator
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Post 11 Jul 2019

EnochLight wrote:
11 Jul 2019
Bloma wrote:
11 Jul 2019
I've got a TR-8 and I love it. The 707 expansion is really good, and they added a 606 to it to, and there's drums in there that I use the most, like the 606 snare, and the 707 snare's alt hit. You can get some absolutely insane sounds out of it, for eg. with scatter, particularly the 9th setting is good for ambient stuff. It's also got a bit crusher hidden in there (in the delays). There's something incredibly organically digital (or digitally organic?) sounding about it, particularly the 808 toms and melodic hits. I love it to bits.
Yeah I'm pretty happy with my TR-8, and the fact that I scored the 7x7 expansion with it was just paramount to me buying it. Now I pretty much have every classic Roland drum machine I ever wanted in 1 box. I agree on the Scatter feature - that's pretty bad ass and a joy to play with. I wonder - does the TR-8S have the Scatter feature as well?
The 8S has the scatter feature. It’s hidden in the auto fill feature.

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EnochLight
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Post 12 Jul 2019

Resonator wrote:
11 Jul 2019
The 8S has the scatter feature. It’s hidden in the auto fill feature.
Cool; thanks!
Windows 10 | Reason 10.4 |  Studio One 4.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion

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