Using The New Roland TR-8 To Play In Ableton

Taking the Roland TR-8 and using it as a mapping MIDI instrument can be a very useful tool when playing with Ableton Live.
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Taking the Roland TR-8 and using it as a mapping MIDI instrument can be a very useful tool when playing with Ableton Live.

All too often producers spend most of their time inside the computer and producing can feel less like making a track and more like arranging or conducting. MIDI hardware, when used properly, truly brings back the feeling of moving things with your hands and having a response with actual sounds through your DAW. That's where the magic happens! Roland's powerful return of the ROLAND AIRA TR-8 brings back the magic to electronic music production. Watch below to see how one could use the TR-8 as a new instrument in Ableton Live. 

Basic Setup Instructions via DJtechtools

DJTT supplies instructions to aid you with setting this up:

  • "Connect the Roland TR-8 to Ableton Live via USB
  • "Send the TR-8’s audio output into Ableton Live – set up a new audio channel for each instrument on the TR-8
  • "Make sure the TR-8 is also set up as a MIDI input device in Ableton’s preferences – this allows you to MIDI map the controls on the device
  • "Add an Ableton Resonator device to the Tom channel – in the video, Ean applies the Berlin preset.
  • "Hunt for expressive controls inside of the Resonator (Color, Decay, etc), find a solid range, and MIDI map the TR-8’s knobs to them. Use Ableton’s mapping interface to set the start and end points for the knobs’ controls!
  • "Note that the original control of the knob will still exist – for example, in the video Ean maps the resonator’s decay to the decay knob for the tom channel. Try to find controls that work well together!
  • "Add a Grain Delay audio effect, apply the Kick Toner preset to detune and repitch the synth – and map the"

Video and setup instructions via DJtechtools.

For more information on Roland's new series as well as more tutorials stay tuned!