Roland Revives The Iconic TR-606 Digitally In Three Forms: TR-6S, TR-06 & As Plugin

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Roland makes October 1st the new 606 day and presents three new drum machines, each heavily inspired by the TR-606: TR-6S, TR-06, and a plugin emulation.

With the RD-6, Behringer showed an analog replica of the TR-606 drum machine. Roland is surprisingly striking back digitally today with three new products in the TR-606 drum machine section.

The TR-6S Rhythm Performer takes the concept of the TR-8S and puts it in a smaller, portable groove box. It’s like a TR-8S mini. TR-06 is an ACB modeling technology based emulation of the classic TR-606 Drumatrix packed into the Roland  Boutique format. And lastly, the TR-606 is now also available as a Roland Cloud plugin.

Roland TR-6S

Roland TR-6S

Starting with the TR-6S which is a smaller, battery-powered version of the Roland TR-8s. It offers six-tracks and all the mighty drum power of the TR-8S including all detailed circuits models (TR-808, 909, 606, 707…), custom sample support, and the recently introduced FM engine for futuristic tones. All these engines can be mixed up to create versatile hybrid kits that go beyond classic TR sounds.

The sequencer is just as powerful as that of the big brother. It has sub-steps, flam, step-loop, motion recording, and all sorts of interactive functions for live performances. All this is topped by onboard digital effects. All this confirms the assumption of a TR-8S mini: same power, 6 tracks, and runs on four batteries or via USB bus power perfect for creating beats on the go. Not to forget it also works as a high-quality USB audio & MIDI interface.


Even if many people now have the analog clone of the TR-606 from Behringer in the studio, Roland now has a digital alternative, the TR-06. It’s a digital emulation of the classic TR-606 Drumatix packed in the Roland Boutique format. It uses its best-known ACB circuit modeling technology that recreates the iconic sound character in detail but also brings some extra features to the table.

TR-06 is digital and produce only 606 sounds. So no different like in the TR-6S, no ZEN-core, just all the iconic 606 instruments, all tweakable plus some variations in a compact box. Each instrument can be tuned and panned, have its decay played with and you can activate an additional drive and distortion for extra character. With the onboard compressor, you can bring additional punch to your sounds, and with the delay a little fresh, creative wind.

The sequencer is very classic but expanded with nice features: sub-steps great for ratcheting, step-loop, per-step probability. Interestingly, it also has five trigger outputs for routing into other gear, and trigger input to keep it all together. As always, there are no individual outputs for the instruments. The TR-06 looks like a nice little creative box that has the power to compete with the Behringer RD-6.

TR-606 Plugin

The “606 day” is rounded off with a new Roland TR-606 plugin available in the Roland Cloud. The plugin does not offer the same features as the TR-06 but more theses from the original TR-606 hardware. It includes all instruments as an accurate emulation, an expanded pattern editor, and everything controllable via a hardware-inspired GUI.

What I like: Roland is not impressed by Behringer’s no-brainer cloning and continues on his digital path. In terms of price, the devices play in another world, sure, but the user gets the flair of the TR-606 with significantly deeper functions.

Roland TR-06 and TR-06S will cost $399 and will be available in October and November. The TR-606 plugin is available now in your RolandCloud account as part of a subscription or $149 for a lifetime key.

More information here: Roland 

Available here for pre-order 


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