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TR 808, TR 909, TR 606, SH 101
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Total Votes : 89

Author TR 808, TR 909, TR 606, SH 101
I currently have and use 808, 909, 606 and 101 — classic Roland boxes.

I am wondering if we / I still need these boxes; I have a deep emotional connection to them, not easy to sell them as I used so much in the past and in many records I did but also wondering, do we REALLY need at this day and age?

Electronic music, I don't even know where we at with current sounds and avant-garde techniques to be honest
Well, there is nothing avant-garde about these - they have been used to death. It is better to tweak other analog drum sounds to avoid sounding like countless records.

The used to death argument is fair enough, but than so has the electric guitar, the piano, hell any instrument. It’s not the device’s fault if the same old song pops out the output. Surely you don’t need any X0X box, but like you said they’re highly sentimental for a lot of people, immediately dial in a sound, and avant-garde can be done with cheap effects. Not sure what to say other than if you need money, sell them. That’s a pretty nice Christmas, there.

I have a handful of those machines and know if I ever sold, that’s it for owning them. Prices are near impossible for me to justify buying again, and they’re highly sentimental and look nice on a shelf. While space and finances allow, they’ll stay.
I have and use all of these.
I thought the question meant "are they worth buying?"

If you're asking if you should sell yours, then I wouldn't unless I really needed the money or just lost all interest in electronic music.
Sold my 808 last year, been sat in a cupboard for ages and was only kept for "sentimental reasons" so decided to weigh it in.
Asked a price right near the low end of the s/h range for a vgc unit and even then I was kinda embarrassed taking the cash off the buyer!
im not really sure what OP is asking... but i'd keep them all. it's like owning a '65 stratocaster... sure the mexico-made strat sounds pretty damn close, but why not hang on to a piece of history?
"Need"? No.
Want? Maybe.
Buy? Hell no, at current prices.

I've had them all, many times over.
All these units are still very usable and great sounding even in a modern context, but lets face it... they're "collectors items" at this point and stupidly overpriced. If you got them for a good price 15+ years ago, and you're studio is "complete" without them, fuck it keep them. But I personally wouldn't buy them at todays prices as the core of my setup when there's soooo many awesome alternatives for a fraction of the price that are more stable. And, this is before we even discuss maintenance. Good luck finding parts or a qualified person to service them. They do break.

Aesthetically, I think we're never going progressive to the next new thing if we keep living musically in the 80's and 90's. In that period, we looked to the future not the past. Electronic music has become "classic rock radio" in many ways. God knows I'm guilty of it.

IMO, obviously. Guinness ftw!
at the current price I would sell all the originals

you can then buy new clones or different drum machines and still have money for a major studio upgrade

I would not stick with them these days. I used to have 808/909/CR78, sold them too early but I now have many superior drum machines. (less noise, more features, better workflow)
At some point, the machines will die, sooner or later. Bette cash in now that the prices are high (but I suspect they will keep rising for some years still).

But it all depends on how much you need the money and what for.
I feel you can still rock pretty much all of these depending on what kind of music you make. It's hard to synthesize a kick drum as stocky and rubbery as a 909 and damn... that clap! Will the 303 sound every really get old? I know some people are over it but when I hear it in proper use it can still get me going.
The 606 can still be got for good prices and imo the most fun of all of them.
Yes Powder
I'd say if you need the money and are getting a good price, sell them. Probably not the thing you should be selling just for the sake of selling though; if you were to decide you miss it and need another, you would undoubtedly be paying more than what you made in the initial sale.
Yes these sounds are classic and have qualities that are still great for making modern music. The 909 kick for example is still one of the most punchy bass drums for house music, and don't tell me the 808 kick is not still being used...
Jean Luc Cougar
Do you need them? Only you can answer
Can they still sound modern? Absolutely

The 808 and the 909 are like the Stratocaster and Les Paul, they are classics - they are timeless.

Would I buy them at today’s prices? Definitely no. There are so many good options at all prices for modern synths and drum machines.

I have a few classics that I bought at good prices when they were the only option, but even those I’m not sure I would buy again.
Nightly Closures
Those are 4 of my favorite sound makers of all time. However, like most have already said, I wouldn’t buy them at today’s prices. If you’re not currently using them, maybe move on and cash in.
totally boring thread concerning totally boring hardware. repeat at nauseum or start looking for the 404! ... 100%
If you have to ask the question you might as well sell them and use the cash for other things.
CF3 wrote:
they're "collectors items" at this point and stupidly overpriced.

The price reflects the availability of the original sounds,not that much the collecting factor because none of the analog clones sounds like the original machines!
Yes Powder
tobb wrote:
…none of the analog clones sounds like the original machines!

Oh boy, here we go again Enjoy the show!
Never been a big fan of the 808 909 and 101, but I'm jamming with 2 303's and a 606 right now.
tobb wrote:
CF3 wrote:
they're "collectors items" at this point and stupidly overpriced.

The price reflects the availability of the original sounds,not that much the collecting factor because none of the analog clones sounds like the original machines!

I dont think the 9090 sounds way off the original. Never did an A/B test though. But the fact that sequencing from the Cirklon opens up a new world for those same sounds makes this specific setup worth having over the original 909 imho. Guinness ftw!
Yes Powder wrote:

Oh boy, here we go again Enjoy the show!

I saw a live act playing with x0x boxes and rocking the crowd. After they were done, the next act were using clones and the dance floor was immediately vacated. Everyone turned around and screamed "those are clones, yikes!"

True story , the honest truth, 100% legit. w00t
tron23 wrote:

I don't think the 9090 sounds way off the original.

have had one,have nothing to do with a 909!,sold it immediately

Same with the Yocto 808,also had one,built,calibrated for the best but its just absolutely not sounding like an 808 at all!

Sold it after a week..

Does not mean the alternatives for the original are not useful or sound bad,its just that if you wan the sound of a 909 or 808 and that it sounds like it should you need the originals

And btw the difference in sound variation between the original machines does not compensate or is an argument to go with clones,the differences between original VS clone are just too big.

I own myself several 808's and 909's
I appreciate all replies and all votes, thanks a lot.

Topic seems gone a bit far, full of different and interesting point of views.

Let me be clear — I am NOT interested or considering clones at all

I had a Acidlab Miami before owning a real 808

I loved the Miami, very easy to use and program, good sound, quite different from the original but still diverse and interesting on its own

But this is not the point of my thread

I am more like: Does electronic music really needs these sounds again, now?
Can we invent something new and refreshing with these tools?
I have made a track entirely with 808 and Omnisphere 2, resampling the 808 inside the Omnisphere and used different synthesis parameters to manipulate the sound — I personally think it's a banger track but still...I don't know.

My question was a bit "wider" in terms of sound possibilities and current sound aesthetic, current "trends" and groundbreaking sounds / techniques / ideas.

WTF I might just be too complicated and overthinking things.

Also I started being very interested in melodies and chords, so that's a total different avenue hihi
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