TR808-M: Roland TR-808 MIDI Interface

> ^^^^^

If you want to order the device:



The TR808-M MIDI retrofit enables your Roland TR-808 to be integrated into MIDI system. TR-808's sequencer timing can be synchronized with MIDI clock and TR-808's sound generators can be triggered by MIDI notes. TR-808 then works like polyphonic velocity sensitive MIDI drum sound expander. More over, all original features of the TR-808 are not changed and it can be used the same way as before the interface installation.


  • Mode of sequencer synchronization control and method of triggering of individual sound generators are controlled via MIDI Program Change commands.
  • Program map can be fully defined by user:
     - Sequencer of TR-808 can be synchronized by internal tempo generator or by MIDI clock.
     - Start / Stop (transport functions) can be controlled by panel button or by "Start", "Stop" and "Continue" MIDI transport commands or both ways simultaneously.
     - Tone generators of TR-808 can be triggered with internal sequencer, with MIDI notes or both ways simultaneously.
  • 121 MIDI notes (0 to 120) are acceptable.
  • Response of sound generators to "Velocity" of Note-On MIDI commands is fully dynamic.
  • Drum map is fully defineable by user. For each of acceptable MIDI notes, it is possible to assign independently:
     - any of TR-808 sound generator (drum instrument) or none generator
     - basic signal level and dynamic range (resolution up to 126 steps) of assigned sound generator
  • CM/GM/GS/XG drum map is factory predefined.
  • Any receiving MIDI channel can be chosen by user (channel 10 is factory predefined).
  • MIDI interface can be turned off, TR-808 then works exactly as without installed interface - DIN-SYNC In/Out control stays fully functional.
  • Easy and non-destructive installation into TR-808.
  • The product is covered by thirty months warranty - more info

Default drum-map
(can be changed by user including independent dynamics range for each of MIDI notes)

Connection of retrofitted instrument to MIDI system



Installation of all MIDI interface parts is very easy and non-destructive - it is not necessary to drill any holes in the vintage instrument. All changes can be replaced without visible changes. The optical appearance of the TR-808 remains the same after the installation and it is possible to remove the interface at any time.

The TR-808 kit package contains:

  1. MIDI Interface main board (MAIN) including the material (self-adhesive supports)
  2. Synchronization terminals board (SYNC IN / OUT) including the material and cables (screws, washers and plastic stripes)
  3. Flat 20-core cable with the connector and indication LED (for connection to TR-808's board)
  4. Ground cable with insulating capacitor
  5. Special MIDI cable - reduction
  6. CD-ROM with user and installation manuals and support software

Installation in the instrument:


DEMO ^^^^^

Examples of sound with velocity usage:

Demo 1 MP3 1110 kB - Selected drums: BD / SD / LT / MT / HT / SR / CP / CB / CY / OH / CH
Demo 2 MP3 1307 kB - Selected drums: BD / SD / LC / MC / HC / CL / MA / CB / CY / OH / CH



Installation manual PDF 3416 kB    
User manual PDF 671 kB    
System Exclusive communication PDF 413 kB    
SysEx Messages generator (SW) ZIP 22 kB - Java script based software for the device programming
Usage of SysEx Messages generator PDF 410 kB    
Programming files (SW) ZIP 1 kB - SMF0 MIDI files for the device programming and setting
Usage of programming files PDF 34 kB    



Problem: Solution:
The device doesn't receive MIDI data at all. Set SYNC swith on rear panel of TR-808 instrument to middle position.
Use special MIDI cable delivered with the interface. The interface doesn't work with standard MIDI cable!
The device doesn't receive MIDI Notes. Check if MIDI Notes are sent on acceptable MIDI channel (channel Nr. 10 is default after Factory Reset).
Be sure that used MIDI notes are assigned to an instrument (sound generator) of TR-808 - check instrument map of the interface.
The device can't be synced with MIDI clock. Check if transmission of MIDI clock is enabled on your sequencer.
Be sure that the interface is switched (with Program Change MIDI command) to program which enables receiving of MIDI clock. Only programs Nr. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 have that possibility after Factory Reset.
More instruments (drums) of TR-808 are sounding simultaneously when only one MIDI note is transmitted to the interface. Try to calibrate DA converter of the interface as described in installation manual.




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Last update: 13.10.2019, Copyright © 1996-2019 CHD Elektroservis