Roland TR-8S 3.0 and TR-6S 2.0 firmware updates add ACB-based CR-78

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The Roland has released new firmware updates for the TR-8S (3.0) and TR-6S (2.0), adding a new ACB-based CR-78 emulation, a new chromatic 808 bass, and more.

With the TR-8S, Roland has released the successor to the alien-green AIRA TR-8 in 2018. Much more elegant, sample option, and more. Unlike many other current Roland products, the TR-8S is based on ACB (Analog Circuit Behaviour) and not on ZenCore. The litter sister, the TR-6S, followed in 2020, cheaper and with fewer tracks.

A big strength of the TR-8S and TR-6S are the integrated ACB-based emulations of Roland drum machine classics (TR-808, 909, 707…). Often forgotten, they are complete drum synths and not static engines. However, not all Roland drum machines have not yet been virtualized. At the top of the user wish list is an ACB-based CR-78. Good news: Roland makes this wish come true with the new free TR-8S 3.0 and TR-6S 2.0 firmware updates.

Roland TR-8S 3.0

Roland CR-78 ACB Emulation For TR-8S 3.0 and TR-6S 2.0

The CR-78 CompuRhythm was an analog drum machine from 1978 and was the first mass-produced programmable rhythm machine. You can hear it on many famous tracks like Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight,” Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love, and more.

After a long wait, Roland emulated this cult drum machine using the latest ACB technology. TR-8S and TR-6S users can enjoy this drum machine addon without paying anything. The update is free of charge.

The CR-78 ACB, the official name of it, comes with all 14 original tones: kick, snare, rim, cow, bell, hi-hats, cymbals, congas, bongos, tambourine, guiros, and all original patterns. Plus, they added new futuristic rhythms as well.

Important: As the TR-8S has 11 tracks and the original CR-78 CompuRhythm has 14 instruments, you must manually assign the sounds “metallic, high bongo, and clave” to the kit for use.

Roland TR-8S 3.0 TR-6S 2.0

This update gives you 14 new drum synth engines. Because every CR-78 instrument is not a static sample but an independent tweakable drum engine, this allows for unique sound design possibilities not available on the original hardware.

I am the owner of a TR-6S. Roland gave the chance to test the update in a beta version a few days in advance. Here is a quick sound demo.


Chromatic Bass

Another new addition of the TR-8S 3.0 and TR-6S 2.0 firmware updates is a new 808 Chromatic Bass. It’s a new instrument for creating a tuned bassline, found in the BASS category. This is joined by a new ACB Coarse parameter in the instrument edit menu, allowing you to set the pitch by semi-tones.

For this new feature, they were inspired by the workflow of music producers. Many have taken TR-808 bass samples and play them chromatically because this was not possible with the original hardware. The TR-808 Chromatic Bass puts this ability now in the TR-8S and TR-6S. There is also a short demo for this in my video.

TR-Editor Update

The free TR-EDITOR for macOS and Windows significantly enhances the workflow of the TR-8S and TR-6S, providing an easy-to-use graphical interface with expanded visual controls and organizational tools. The latest version includes a compact UI option that frees up screen space for using the editor along with other applications on small computer displays,

First Impression

A very welcome update for the TR-8S/TR-6S. Many have been waiting for this particular emulation. The CR-78 ACB sounds very good and is a lot of fun. Logical would now be a Boutique CR-78 ACB-based drum machine. When Roland, when!

The new Roland TR-8S 3.0 and TR-6S 2.0 firmware updates are available now as a free download for existing users.

More information here: Roland 

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