Roland has released the version 2.0 firmware update for the TR-8S, bringing FM synthesis, new effects and a reload function to the company’s flagship drum machine.

The Japanese company has released a new firmware update for its popular TR-8S drum machine, joining in a trend where firmware updates are becoming more and more comprehensive.

With the addition of an FM synthesis engine, Roland says that the TR-8S is “the most complete drum machine ever”. This promises the likes of metallic hits, morphed percussion and classic FM bass sounds, all via the new Morph control.

Roland TR-8S Update

The Morph parameter acts as a macro knob for the FM depth, ratio and feedback controls and it has a total of 254 values (-127 to +127). Morph can be automated and all of its values appear to yield different sonic results.

The resulting FM sounds can then be blended with both the classic factory TR tones as well as any user-imported samples via a depth control.

Firmware 2.0’s second highlight is the introduction of four new effects: Saturator, Frequency Shift, Ring Mod and Spread—all of which can be assigned to control knobs for sound shaping. 

The overall workflow has also been improved with a reload function that restores pattern and kit elements to their last saved state with one quick action. As demonstrated in the above video, because you can instantly return to your last saved settings, this allows users to tweak parameters without worrying about destructive editing.

Find out more on the Roland website, where TR-8S owners can download the 2.0 firmware update for free.

Author Aykan Esen
16th August, 2020

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