Roland TR-8 Synced to Roland TR-77

The TR-77, Roland’s first product, debuted in 1972. Pre-MIDI and pre- DINSync. But if you’re clever, it can play well with others. Even the grandson.

I routed the TR-8’s handclap to an individual out, and ran it to the Footswitch stop/start of the TR-77. This allows the TR-77 to start and stop on command via an audio signal, so I placed the handclap on steps 1 and 14 of the sequencer and hand-adjusted the TR-77’s tempo to match.

While limited, the old Roland has a surprising amount of expressive potential. Pressing multiple buttons at a time combines beats.

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