Thursday, 10 August 2017

Roland TR - 727

Some pics of the modded 727.

This is the sister of the Roland 707. Its sounds are completely different.
This came out in 1985. That display lets you see exactly what you are doing.

You wont find your expected Kicks and claps here.
Its very unusual sounds are a welcome addition to the standard ones you find on drum machines these days.Great for tribal, Indian & Latin beats. There are 15 digital, sample based (12 bit) sounds.
Though I don't think it has the punch of the TR-626 or 505 which have (almost?) all the same sounds (I think it has the sounds of the 707 & 727). With the 626 you can adjust the pitch of each individual sound.

I love the built in mixer which allows you to adjust the volume of each sound. And the matrix sequencer display makes programming it a breeze. 64 patterns.

 This version has some yummy mods. The standard effects are Shuffle & Flam.
With lots of efx this machine can do wonders. You would be surprised how a little reverb or distortion completely changes the sound of this machine.

The layout is the same as the 707.

Aphex Twin, Freddy Fresh, and Luke Vibert have used the TR-727.
Though the PCM wave samples are all digital, the envelope and VCA is analog.
This is something that the new TR-8 doesn't have. The TR-8 uses "Roland's analog circuit behavior technology"

There are individual outputs for each sound and there is full midi (in/out) & Dinsync implementation so you can use your old TB 303 and modern Midi drums with this. Even if you didn't care for the sounds its so useful just for the DYN-Sync to Midi converter capability.

As mentioned earlier, my 727 is modified.

Its a unique example of circuit bending using banana cables.
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It produces unusual sounds.
For more info on the history of Roland Drum Machines click here

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