Earlier this week, Roland released the following video, which highlighted the history and evolution if their classic TR-808, and hinted at where they could be going with the device:
It’s interesting to see this happening now. We won’t say that the rise of trap music helped push them to invest time and manpower into revisiting and updating this machine, but the last two years in dance music alone have seen many producers utilizing the 808 sounds in exciting new ways (or, for the most part, just reusing them when they hadn’t before). It’s part of the backbone of both hip-hop and modern dance music, and knowing that Roland is planning on doing something new (or completely re-envisioning) the machine is really awesome. The picture up above looks to be what could be the next generation of the 808.
Some DJs and producers seem to be going back and forth on the new machine, either really loving the idea or wondering if it will be cheaply made like other products:
I wonder if the new 808 will be like the new MS-20 – kinda plasticcy and easily breakable
— Dj Bok Bok (@bok_bok) January 16, 2014
— Julio Bashmore (@juliobashmore) January 15, 2014
It will be interesting to see what comes of this new TR-808, which seems to have been given the name AIRA.