Roland has announced the release of a powerful new firmware update for the flagship drum machine in the AIRA series.

Carrying on the genre-defining legacy of legendary Roland drum machines like the TR-808 and TR-909, the forward-thinking TR-8S Rhythm Performer has been lauded by musicians, producers, and reviewers around the world.

The free Version 2.0 update makes this already-powerful instrument the most complete drum machine ever, offering next-level enhancements like an FM synthesis engine with Morph control, expanded performance effects, and helpful reload functions to speed up workflow.

The TR-8S puts an unlimited creative palette at users’ fingertips with ACB recreations of historic TR drum machine sounds, a diverse range of onboard samples, mono/stereo sample import capability, and premium effects—all driven by the famous “TR REC” sequencer and a deep mixing interface built for real-time performance. Version 2.0 extends the possibilities even further, bringing a new dimension of sound creation to the iconic TR platform.

The newly added FM synthesis engine delivers an array of futuristic tone colors, including silvery metallic hits and other harmonically rich percussion sounds. Users can sweep through sonic variations with the ultra-expressive Morph control, wildly manipulating FM depth, ratio, and feedback with simple knob movements. FM sounds can be freely blended with classic TR sounds and custom samples, paving the way to never-before-heard grooves.

The TR-8S includes many percussion-tuned effects for enhancing individual sounds or entire kits with character, depth, and space. Version 2.0 adds Saturator, Freq Shift, Ring Mod, and Spread effects to the mix, which can be assigned to control knobs for shaping sounds on the fly.

Version 2.0 also adds many reload functions that restore pattern and kit elements to their stored states with quick actions, providing exciting new ways to manipulate beats while creating sounds and performing live.

The TR-8S System Program update is available to download now.

More information: Roland