The Ultimate Guide to the TR-8S Rhythm Performer – How to Choose and Copy Kits

TR-8S Ultimate Guide

The Drum Kits in the TR-8S give you a ton of options right out of the gate, and even more when it comes to modifying them and creating Kits of your own. With any given Pattern selected, you can get dramatically different results just by changing the Kit played by that Pattern.



Let’s start by creating a basic “four on the floor” Pattern so we have a simple starting point for experimenting with the kits. If you’d like a refresher on how to create a Pattern from scratch, take a quick look at the article in this series called Creating a Pattern in TR-REC Mode.

Once you’ve created a new basic Pattern you can use it to try out some different Kits. To change the Kit, press the Kit Button, located in the upper right of the front panel, just below the Write Button. Then turn the Value Knob to select a new Kit.

Try turning the Value Knob to the left until you get to Kit 001 TR-808. Press the Start/Stop Button to start playing your Pattern, then turn the Value Knob one click at a time to step through the Kits as the Pattern plays. Notice how different a basic beat sounds playing, for example Kit 001 TR-808, to how it sounds playing Kit 034 House Abstract. Totally different vibe!

The TR-8S comes loaded with 84 Kits that cover a broad range of genres. There are 128 memory slots for Kits, so slots 85 and up are available for you to store your own Kit creations.

Contributed by Alexander Marlowe for Roland Corporation Australia

Copying Kits

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Keep in mind more than one Pattern can use the same Kit, so if you modify an existing Kit, it may change the way other Patterns sound that use the same Kit. For this reason it’s a good idea to copy the Kit you want to edit to a blank Kit number before you make changes to it.

For this example let’s copy Kit 001.

To copy a Kit:

  1. Press the Copy Button, turn the Value Knob to select Kit and press Enter.
  2. Turn the Value Knob to select Kit 001 as the Source Pattern, and press Enter.
  3. Turn the Value Knob to select the next available blank Kit, which will show in the upper left of the display as “————“ as the Destination Pattern and press Enter.
  4. The display will show the prompt “Kit Copy?” Press Enter to confirm.


When you want to skip through Kits faster, hold the Shift Button and turn the Value Knob to step through the Kits by increments of 10 at a time. This Article is part of a series called The Ultimate Guide to the TR-8S Rhythm Perform-er, for the Guide’s Main Page click here.
Article written by Alex Marlowe

Alex MarloweAlex Marlowe is a Composer/Producer, Musician and Consultant based in Melbourne, Australia. Alex has placed music in numerous movies and TV shows, and toured worldwide as a keyboardist with major artists. As a Teacher and Consultant, Alex has worked with platinum songwriters, music editors, producers and composers, and conducted courses in Music Production and Music Software, including at the Songwriting School of Los Angeles. You can find more info, and contact Alex at:

TR-8S Ultimate Guide

This article is part of a series called The Ultimate Guide to the TR-8S Rhythm Performer, for the Guide’s Main Page click here.

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Created by Roland V-Drums specialist Simon Ayton, these patches were designed using the internal factory sounds and many of the techniques covered in the TD-50 guide. Enjoy exploring the possibilities!