The RC-808 “Re-Create the 808” emulates the original TR-808 sound with analog manner synthesis. As the name implies, it is with respect to the original 808 sounds which is a criterion for sound synthesis as a vintage. Starting from this criterion, explore the multiverse of sounds, stretch out your vectors, to find out new criterion of your own. Yes, it can take you to the new sonic worlds that are completely different and yet so close and familiar to you.
Hence it is not a drum machine but is a drum synthesizer. No samples nor effects processing are being used, just genuine synthesis only, all in analog manner.
The sound source employs DCO which is in this case Down Chirp Oscillator, combined with a noise source that outputs various kinds of noises including metallic noises. There is also a infinite point wave shaper, a variable filter bank, infinite point envelope generators etc. With maximum 8 partials per voice, it allows sound designing in subtractive synthesis manner which is familiar to all, and yet still with vast outer space beckoning to be discovered.
Thanks to this flexible architecture, all instruments can have Open and Close variations just like Hi-Hats or cymbal choke performance. Coupled with piano-roll sequencer utility this brings new expressions with gate time programming, that you don’t see on a drum sequencer.
However, please note that this is a conceptual model.
We fully understand that, although we continue developing and updating this conceptual offspring of ours, it is still in its very preliminary phase, and thus is full of bugs. Then why we are releasing it globally? Because it is our hope to spread our original intention on making the TR-808 to everybody in the world, to be shared by everybody in the world, and have our memes to be passed on through ages to come. Even if it is not perfect yet, the essence of our spirit will expand its horizon and will exist ubiquitously throughout this planet.
Therefore, please note that because the RC-808 “Re-Create the 808” is merely a conceptual model to show the originally intended architecture of the TR-808, it is not fully developed as an instrument for actual usage. We do not bear any responsibility for any possible inconvenience or damages caused by this. We cannot answer to any inquiries for this product as well.
Finally, please allow us to mention that we are independent from Roland Corporation, and therefore they also cannot answer to any inquiries.
We sincerely appreciate your understanding on above all. Thank you again, indeed.
Here, we will install the RC-808, and then listen to the Instruments / Sequences of the Drum Kits prepared for it in beforehand.
1. Installing and setting the basics
Download the file and unzip the entire folder.
- With Windows version, install the following file first: seuploopbe1.exe
- Mac version, no need for any installation action. Proceed to below.
Then launch the RC-808 app by double clicking the following file. This is the actual software program of the RC-808 itself:
- Windows version: RC-808.exe
- Mac version: RC-808 icon itself
Then go Setting (S) -> Device to open the Device Setting Dialog. Set the audio interface on "Audio Output".
Then, in the MIDI Port, set the “MIDI In/Out“ to “LoopBe Internal MIDI“ . Please confirm that the "MIDI CH" is set to 10.
Then go Setting (S) > System to open the System Setting Dialog. Check the boxes "Enable Note Off" and "Wave
The basic setting is complete!
2. Load and listen to the sounds and sequence data
To load the sounds, go File -> Load Parameter(kit) to open the Explorer to the folders.
To listen to the original TR-808 emulations, open the folder "808VintKitOpnCls", and load the Drum Kit "808VintKitOpnCls.allprm".
Then check out the sounds of each individual Instruments by clicking the red, orange, yellow, and white buttons.
Now, click the Sequencer to open the onboard piano roll type sequencer.
Here, go Instruments -> Open MIDI Port. In the dialog that follows, select the "LoopBe Internal MIDI" to the "Select MIDI Out port". This LoopBe Internal MIDI is the virtual MIDI driver for Windows edition.
Then go Settings(S) -> Set MIDI Channel, and set the "Drum Kit-A" to 10. This will have the sequencer link to the RC-808 sound source.
Here, on the onboard sequencer, go File -> Load Sequence, and select the sequence data "OpnCls8V-1_Pan.seq808" which is in the same above mentioned folder "808VintKitOpnCls". This will make the sequence data to be loaded, and can be heard by clicking the play button.
Likewise, listen to the Drum Kit "8DeepAcstOpnCls.allprm" in the folder "808AcsKitOpnCls1".
As you may have guessed it already, this Drum Kit emulates the acoustic drum sounds without using any samples nor PCM data nor effects processing, just genuine analog style analog manner synthesis.
Click the red, orange, yellow, and white buttons to check out how this modest example of acoustic drum emulation sounds like.
Above two Drum Kits shares the same 808 drum map scheme, so you can compare listening to them by driving them with on board sequencer with the same sequence data being loaded.
3. Explore the possibilities of drum synthesis
Here we will review more variation sounds from the RC-808 to have a taste of its possibilities.
First, lets add Bass Line to a drum pattern, yes bass line from a drum software instrument.
On the RC-808, go File -> Load, open the folder "BassLine1" and load the Drum Kit "BassLineT.allprm"..
Confirm the sounds by clicking the red, orange, yellow, and white buttons.
Then, in the sequencer, go File -> Load Sequence, and load the sequence data "BassLine3_0630.seq808" in the same
Now, click the playback button to hear what it sounds like.
Next, likewise, from RC-808 load the Drum Kit "CPFSDT.allprm" in the folder "DanceTap", and then the sequence data "DanceTap1_0714.seq808" in the same folder.
Play back the sequencer to confirm that now, not just the hand claps, but also the new finger snaps and tap dance sounds are made out from the RC-808 synthesis.
Then still next, likewise check out the TR-808 vintage bass drum sounds collected into a menu. This is in the Drum Kit "BD8Vintage1.allprm" located in the "BD_8Vintage" folder. This Drum Kit is not associated with any sequence data, so kindly listen to the sounds by clicking the red, orange, yellow, and white buttons.
But the story doesn't stop here. try out the new bass drum sounds that are evolved from the original TR-808 bass drum; These are in the "BD_AvntAbstAcst" folder.
Let’s go back to the first folder that we reviewed “808VintKitOpnCls“, and load the Drum Kit “808intOpnCls.allprm“. In this folder there are other drum pattern sequence data files too. Load them one by one and have a listen to.
By now you may have gotten some ideas about how this analog manner synthesis can expand the sonic horizon.
Check out the other Drum Kits and sequence data supplied together with the RC-808 as well.
Remember, no samples nor PCM data nor effects processing are being employed. Everything is done by genuine analog manner synthesis only, because the RC-808 is not a drum machine but is a drum synthesizer.
a. The RC-808 can be controlled from your fave DAW.
On Windows version, by setting "LoopBe Internal MIDI" to the output of the DAW's MIDI track.
b. We will not go into details here, but by clicking the Instrument Names shown above the drum pads on the RC-808 will open the editor screen window from where you can edit the individual Instrument sounds. As for these details kindly check the Reference Manual.
* We the Analog Mafia is independent from Roland Corporation. Please do not ask to Roland about us or about the RC-808.
* The RC-808 is a conceptual model, and is an advanced prototype. We cannot bear any responsibility for any possible damages caused by this. We cannot accept any inquiries for the RC-808 too.
* All specifications are subject to change.
Copyright (C) 2019 by Analog Mafia
All trademarks belong to their respective owners.
* This website and the RC-808 ReCreate the 808 Conceptual Model Software specification is subject to change.
* We are independent from Roland Corporation. Please do not disturb them by asking questions regarding this website and the RC-808.
* All trademarks belong to their respective owners.
Episode of the Mid-O Series
How to Re-Create the 808 Sounds (Under construction)
Copyright (C) 2019 by Analog Mafia