The unapologetically digital Drum Machine.
Sampled, processed, reimagined.

Few companies have shaped the role of drum machines in music quite as significantly as Roland. In the 1980s, they created a set of machines that have since become legendary and are still being used today, be it in hardware form or (most commonly) as samples. The TR-707 is just as recognizable as its siblings, the 808 and 909, and features a set of digitally sampled sounds that'll be instantly familiar to anyone hearing them. Sonically, it sits somewhere between a LinnDrum and TR-909 with two punchy kicks, two relatively low-pitched snares with snappy transients, a 909 hi-hat and cymbals, a capable clap, nice "woody" toms, and a classic low-pitched cowbell and rim.

With digital memory at a premium at its release, its digital samples were stored in resolutions of 8-bit for drums and percussion, and 6-bit for cymbals. This is no doubt one of the factors contributing to this machine's crispy sound that is remarkably clear given the limitations of digital audio at the time. A trick that Roland employed to avoid low bitrate dithering artifacts during sample decay was using analog envelope generators that attenuate the individual sounds after the 707's D/A converters. This is why the 707's sounds decay much more gracefully than those of some of its digital contemporaries.

With its ability to send and receive MIDI, sync external hardware, and output sounds on dedicated outputs, this drum machine had all the necessary features in place to make it mainstay in many artists' studios. As such, it can be heard on countless records either providing all drums or often times specifically lending a song its punchy kick and snare.

The process

Of course, I'm aware that there are many 707 sample packs already out there. What makes this pack stand out however is the sheer amount of sample varieties and the clarity of the raw samples. Having recorded a pristine 707 using Rheingold Music cables, a DIYRE Fe2 DI with CineMag transformer, and high-end Antelope Audio converters at 24-Bit / 96 kHz ensures that the raw samples are the cleanest available anywhere. Best of all, the raw samples are available to you FOR FREE.

To create 707+, these samples have then been processed in numerous ways, exploring the full potential of the machine's 15 sounds. I recorded them to 1/2" tape using my restored Tascam 58 reel-to-reel multitrack tape machine at 15ips, 18ips, and 12ips to infuse the samples with analog warmth. I then captured these same recordings at different speeds to create the kind of clean re-pitching only tape machines can achieve.

Next, I recorded the sounds onto cassette tape using a 1965 mono tape recorder originally intended for voice memo and PA use. Needless to say, the resulting samples are super grungy yet retain a lot of punch. I captured them at different input gain levels to achieve varying amounts of distortion and saturation.

To further go down the LoFi rabbit hole, I captured the raw samples using a teenage engineering po-33 K.O! sampler that uses really punchy 8-bit A/D & D/A converters and re-pitched them yet again for that ultimate LoRes grit.

Ultimately, I didn't want to put out this pack without putting a uniquely personal spin on these samples. That's why I pooled together all of the above mentioned sounds and utilized some sophisticated processing and layering techniques to create a contemporary drum kit with bucketloads of punch. This kit is suitable for anything from trap to lo-fi and is unlike anything you'd expect to come out of the TR-707.

Free pack contents

  • All 15 original sounds of the TR-707 as 24-bit, 44.1 kHz WAV files (1 mb)

707+ contents

  • All 15 original sounds of the TR-707.
  • 40x LoFi samples recorded onto cassette using a 1965 dictation tape recorder.
  • 75x LoRes samples recorded and re-pitched using the po-33 K.O! sampler
  • 150x samples recorded, re-pitched, and saturated using a Tascam 58 reel-to-reel recorder.
  • 166x contemporary-fied samples treated with sophisticated processing and sound design techniques.
  • Fully-featured MPC Expansion with multiple kits, pre-programmed processing, and kit previews
  • 5x OP-Z kits with a total of 120 samples (compatible with OP-1)
  • 4x Ableton Drum Racks covering select clean, LoFi, LoRes, and contemporary samples.

446 samples in total as 24-bit 44.1 kHZ WAV files (40 mb)

Previews

demo - venice beach


demo: overdrive


LoRes Po-33 samples


clean samples demo


1965 lofi casette kit


contemporary samples demo 1


with 80s style processing


contemporary samples demo 2


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Roland, the “R” logo, and "TR-707" are registered trademarks of Roland Corporation and BØLT is in no way affiliated with the company. This is not an officially endorsed Roland product.
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