It’s 808 day!
The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer is no doubt the most iconic drum machine.
Since it came out in the 1980s, it inspired music creators and beat makers in a radically new way. It didn’t sound like a real drummer – its greatest advantage.
The 808 also changed the opinion of the music world about drum machines. Believe it or not most drum machines used to be dismissed as toys.The 808 changed that and made drum machines a new instrument in their own right.
The rest is history: hip hop, techno, house and beyond … these genres are all indebted to the 808 sound.
But not everyone can afford an 808 these days…
We believe is accessibility of good sound here at LANDR.
Get your 808
Today, the 808 goes for around 5000$ on ebay and Reverb … ouch!
The solution? Grab some free 808s from a critical sample pack and learn how to mix them right in your session.
- Get the best 808 samples with LANDR Samples. The Jazzfeezy LANDR Sounds Vol. 1 and Edsclusive Element Soundkit free sample packs are great places to start.
- Learn how to make your 808s hit harder with our senior audio engineer Al Isler.
- Get the scoop on how to mix kick and 808 bass so it stands out.
- Find out how to EQ kick and bass to get the low end you’re looking for.
8 great tracks built with an 808
Now that you’ve got your 808 sounds, time to get inspired. Here’s 8 iconic tracks made with 808s:
Yellow Magic Orchestra – 100 Knives (1980)
This is arguably the first use of the 808. Yellow Magic Orchestra is a Japanese band that’s been a major innovator and influencer for many electronic genres – from techno to hip hop.
Charanjit Singh – Raga Bhairav (1982)
This track is on the cult-classic Ten Ragas to a Discobeat by Indian producer Charanjit Singh. Mixing Indian raga music with disco, it’s a fantastic unsung example of 808 grooves.
Marvin Gaye – (1982)
This hit song by Marvin Gaye brought the 808 kicks, hand claps and claves to a larger audience. Forever a classic!
Soul Sonic Force – Planet Rock (1982)
This track has inspired generations of both hip hop and electro artists. The funky kick drum and hyperactive hi-hat made it sound like the future back in the 1980s.
Cybotron – Clear (1983)
This is an early proto-techno track by Juan Atkins under his Cybotron alias. It’s become a Detroit classic and Missy Elliott famously sampled it on Loose Control.
Kanye West – Love Lockdown (2008)
Listen for the simple 808 pattern in the opening of this track. It’s a stripped-down modern use of 808 drums that continues throughout the track to great effect.
Addison Groove – Footcrab (2010)
Released on Swamp81 records, this juke track is a contemporary example of the 808 in club music. Listen for that unmistakable spacey cowbell sound.
HTRK – Synthetik (2011)
HTRK is an Australian experimental rock duo. Their use of the 808 is unique: very slow, dark and drenched in eerie reverb.
Everyday is 808 Day
This snapshot of the enormous legacy of the 808 shows that artists of all genres have innovated using the iconic machine.
The legacy of the 808 is still alive and well.
It’s easy to be part of the history without even owning the machine. All you need is your DAW, a high quality sample pack or a VST plugin to get that 808 power. Get involved.
Because everyday is 808 day. Am I right?