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5 of the best 808-style beatmakers

Our picks for getting that most iconic of drum machine sounds

  • Gavin Herlihy
  • 9 October 2018

1
8raw8

This French remake aims to be a faithful remake of the 808's circuits - so it's not velocity-sensitive, though you can vary velocity between two settings using Accent. It has 11 voices, bass drum tune modulation and handclap decay modulation, but no on-board sequencer.

£tbc, 8raw8.com

2
Behringer RD-808

Surfing a wave of love for this 35-year-old drum machine, this recreation gets props for doing what Roland's own revival failed to: analogue 808 sounds at an affordable price. The circuits feature new touches such as filter and compressor. We're betting it'll be on sale by Christmas.

£tbc, Behringer

3
Roland TR-08/TR-8S

After bundling everything into the TR-8, Roland's finally delivered a dedicated 808 clone, the TR-08, as part of its Boutique range of mini devices. This year's TR-8S has an 808 kit in a larger device akin to the original, while the TR-808 is the 808's software emulation.

TR-08 £289, TR-8S £602, TR-808 software £18.95 p/m, Roland

4
Tanzbär Lite

MFB recently debuted its flagship Tanzbär 2 device, but for strictly 808-influenced sounds, look no further than this compact machine. It sounds raw and ravey and is housed in a sturdy metal chassis. But there's a lot of shift key action to use hidden functions, and with the lack of a screen it's easy to get lost while working.

£360, KMR Audio

5
Acidlab Miami

The all-analogue Miami's nearly sonically indistinguishable from the real 808, and prior to the announcement of Behringer's clone it was your best option for a modern 808 in both sound and programming style. But Behringer's will be almost half the price, potentially leaving this in the rear-view mirror.

£899, Acidlab

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