Roland reveals the TR-08 and a Boutique SH-101 – Synth News Digest 5

808 Day (August 8) brought an appropriate bit of synth news from Roland: the announcement of the TR-08, a Boutique version of their venerable TR-808 drum machine. The company also revealed a Boutique model version of the SH-101 synthesizer, known as the SH-01A. This new synth ups the ante compared to the original with 4-voice polyphony and more.


Roland’s shiny new TR-08 drum machine. Photo copyright Roland.

Roland also introduced an updated SP-404A sampler, but the two new Boutique models are the focus of the music technology press as well as the social media synth grognards. The small footprint of the Boutique line, in addition to the virtual analog ACB circuitry with the noted exception of the SE-02, seems to bother some Internet denizens. Imagine that.

Still, considering street price of $399 for the TR-08 and TR-09, the smart drum machine shopper is likely better served by spending $499 on the TR-8, which offers simulations of both the TR-808 and TR-909, in addition to its larger controls and deeper functionality. I already have the Arturia DrumBrute in the studio, so I’m not in the market for a new piece of beatbox kit.

Behringer lurking with their own SH-101 Clone?

Like a synth manufacturer version of Sméagol, Behringer lurks in the background, teasing all with its own clone of the SH-101. The Gollum comparison is said with love, lest my venerable MX3282 mixer now malfunction due to bad music gear karma. There isn’t an official announcement yet, just a published photo picked up by Synthtopia, among other media sources.

Apparently, there’s nothing like trolling Roland on 808 Day.

4ms adds Resonator Plugin to Softube’s Modular

Modular by Softube is a virtual modular synthesizer system for the desktop, garnering praise from synth-heads all over the world. Many Eurorack module makers have released Modular compatible plugins with 4ms now joining the party with a software version of their SMR – the Spectrum Multiband Resonator. This Modular exclusive plugin is available for $49.

In addition to working like a classic resonant filter, SMR also serves as a vocoder, harmonizer and more. If you are familiar with the hardware module or simply looking to add a measure of sonic mayhem to your own Modular virtual rack, this plugin belongs on your shortlist.

Ventus Ethnic Winds lets you find your Inner Zamfir

If you are searching for a quality pan flute sound for your world music projects, look no further than Ventus Ethnic Winds from Impact Soundworks. A great interface combined with over 6,200 samples with a variety of modeled playing techniques highlight Ethnic Winds. This plugin – available for $99 – requires the full version of Kontakt, so keep that in mind before purchasing.

Give your Mixes some “karacter”

The Plugin Alliance recently introduced a new product sure to be of interest to musicians and studio engineers. The hardware version of elysia’s karacter Class A saturator holds a legendary status in the hearts of many, and now the company, working with the Plugin Alliance and Brainworx, offers that same classic functionality in a plugin format. Applications for everything from mastering an entire mix to coloring an individual instrument track abound.

Available in most popular plugin formats, karacter is priced at $199. Git ya one!


  1. […] has been going gangbusters introducing new models in its Boutique series. We’ve talked about the TR-08 and SE-02 in previous posts. This time out Roland trains its eyes towards the late 80s and digital […]