August 8 is an important day in history for musicians, producers and fans who recognise the influential drum machine. It's called "808 Day" in honor of the iconic Roland TR-808 drum machine - an instrument that played a pivotal role in transforming contemporary music.
Roland TR-808 was introduced 40 years ago on this day, which became the most widely-used affordable programmable drum machine instead of using preset patterns. The instrument, for its signature kick and snare and other unique sounds, has been adopted by many artists over the years.
"It's hard to believe that a drum machine launched in 1980 would be celebrated today by lovers of culture, music and design. 808DAY (aka 8 August) is about the people who 'got' the original 808, the artists who took it to another level and most importantly, everyone who loves the music the 808 inspired," Roland writes about the historic day.
808 - the revolutionary musical instrument
As the music industry evolved and software-based instruments took the market by storm, there's no replacing the TR-808 for many. It produces sounds like the bass, drum, snare, toms, conga, rimshot, claves, handclap, maraca, cowbell, cymbal, and hi-hat. The drum machine offers various levels of customizations in tempo, time signature, and more. The instrument's fame earned it a documentary titled: "808."
808's 40-year anniversary
Celebrating 40 years of 808 this year, Roland has something exciting in store for fans. There's a new Building The Beat mini-documentary that features series of artists, including Arthur Baker, Cozmo D, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Carl Craig, A Guy Called Gerald, and Jermaine Dupri, who has picked a song from their discography that the 808 had the most impact on.
To those who want to take a walk down the memory lane, there's an interview with the 808's chief engineer Tadao Kikumoto, who talks about the history of 808 and his latest projects. There's more 808 content available on Roland Cloud for free till the end of August.
Also, you can join the trend with #808 on Twitter.