Roland Corporation, one of the world's leading manufacturers of electronic musical instruments and software, is celebrating the 40th anniversary of one of its signature devices, the TR-808.
A backbone in the worlds of hip-hop and electronic music, the drum machine was used in many of the genres' most iconic works. On their website, they uploaded a detailed infographic page showing off the history of the device, some famous users and works, and how it's now integrated into DAWs in the present day.
The list of TR-808 users is immense. Notable names include Marvin Gaye, Kayne West, Beastie Boys, Aphex Twin, Daft Punk, Public Enemy, Whitney Houston, Plastikman, and many, many more. In honor of the staggering number of 808-wielders, Roland published a playlist on Spotify highlighting some of their favorite tracks featuring the device.
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Over the weekend, Roland also released a mini-documentary about the TR-808. Carl Craig, Jermaine Dupri, Arthur Baker, and other users of the instrument shared stories about how it influenced their respective genres as a whole and helped them bring their own ideas to life.
You can check out Roland's 40-year anniversary celebration infographic in its entirety and learn how to download the free TR-808 plugin via their website here.