Equipment Review: Roland TR-707 and TR-727 Software
If you record and produce original music at home, you want each track to be special and different. The new version of software versions of Roland’s TR-707 and TR-727 drum machines might just be the extra spice you are looking for.
I’m always looking for things to add color, dimension, excitement or a little boost to songs, especially where the drums give up completely. Roland has my number. What I really like is that I can click, play, and design with my mouse and I don’t necessarily need an external trigger to create sounds. It’s easier, simpler and more efficient for your workflow while removing an extra step.
In 1985 Roland released the now famous TR-707 and TR-727 Rhythm Composers. Taking their rightful place alongside other classic Roland drum machines, this dynamic drum and percussion duo has appeared on hit tracks in a long list of genres. Thanks to Analog Circuit Behavior technology, you can now enjoy the authentic sound and experience of these influential drum machines right in your DAW, with modern upgrades that take them to whole new territory.
The original sequencer has been replaced with a much more powerful modern version, which you can open for editing by pressing the Edit button or clicking on the Matrix view at the top. You can also change the appearance of the sequencer to look more like the original or more like a grid layout. The sequencer can play up to eight variations of one measure each, and these can be chained or played individually and recalled via MIDI. The variations can be edited individually, and you can have two different sounds on each track in both the 707 and the 727 (the 727 being more Latin-inspired sounds by the way).
There are also alternative instruments for the snare drum and the bass drum. Additionally, you can assign settings in the matrix to the knobs on your external keyboard or MIDI controller for more convenient touch control in real time if you wish.
You have a master shuffle for the overall groove, and you can also adjust the strength of the shuffle for each individual instrument. You also have the mute, the solo and the last stage. This will set the last step in the sequence for each instrument individually and you can get some pretty crazy stuff by assigning different lengths.
Different sequences playing different lengths get really interesting and curious results very quickly. The drag option is my favorite feature because it allows you to drag and drop as MIDI or audio directly into your DAW. Yes, you read that right. You can even integrate individual instruments so you can process and process them differently rather than just a stereo mix of everything.
Getting into each mouth-watering option would take pages, but suffice to say, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with these two new releases, even if you know the originals. In fact, you might be more satisfied with the updates.
And oh yeah, they sound great.
The Roland TR-707 and TR-727 are among the most influential drum machines ever made and having them updated, improved and designed for today’s musicians is simply wonderful. They are both available now from Roland Cloud.
To learn more, visit Roland.com.