HKA Design’s update can add eight sound banks of iconic drum machine sounds to Roland’s TR-707 and TR-727 drum machines.

UK-based design engineer Harry Axten (a.k.a. HKA Design) has been selling ROM-style expansions for classic drum machines since releasing his Roland TR-505 expansion in 2016. His other products include a Roland TR-626 expansion, a modified version of the Korg Monotron and cartridges for Sequential Circuit’s Tom. 

HKA Design’s latest brainchild is a soundbank that can be added to the Roland TR-707 or the Latin percussion version, the TR-727. The bank contains iconic TR-808, TR-909, LinnDrum, Linn LM-1 and Oberheim DMX samples along with the original TR-707 and TR-727 sounds, available individually or as a combined 707/727 mix. Switching between banks is performed by holding down one of the first eight step keys while turning the machine on. 

HKA Design TR-707 Expansion
Some of HKA Design’s other products.

Installing the ROM requires a decent amount of soldering, but it comes with instructions on how to enact the process without ruining the vintage unit. The full kit consists of a pre-assembled PCB, a ribbon cable and a DIP socket.

HKA Design also shared a detailed write-up on the process of porting the sounds from the TR-808, TR-909 LinnDrum, LM-1 and DMX over to the 707 and 727. 

Both the TR-707 and TR-727 continue to sell well on the second-hand market. This upgrade could prove popular with those looking to expand their sonic range.

The kit sells for £60, including worldwide postage. Head to the HKA Design website for more information. (Note that the current run is already sold out but a new batch is planned for September, according to the site.)

Author Aykan Esen
22nd August, 2020

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