Today just some Roland TR-606

This morning I had to scan about one hundred energy audit survey sheets collected from our salespersons. Even though I have a nifty (fast!) ScanSnap S1500M I still have only a few minutes for Wire to the Ear before it’s off to the races. I have nothing important musically related in my head so I revert to one of the best things in the world: an analog drum machine. The good old TR-606 is a metal looking and tight sounding box that unbelievable can still be found on eBay for a reasonable price. YouTube and cheap video camera compression works well on the 606’s sound. Someone please tell my wife to throw one of these under my tree this year.

A cool little box! So primitive and cute! The 606 was the percussion side-kick to the TB-303. It even looks like the 303. It stores up to 32 patterns and 8 songs. The 606 allows switching between Pattern Play and Write mode while running – making the 606 the only drumcomputer in the X0X series that can be edited while performing and switching patterns. It is also possible to link up to 4 consecutive patterns in Pattern Play mode. There is only a mono audio output, however there are mods from Kenton Electronics and Analog Solutions that will add individual outputs for each drum tone. The 606 has seven analog drum sounds which are simple, yet great! Kick, Snare, 2 toms, open hat, closed hat, cymbal, accent. The hi-hats are a very tinny electronic sound…” –

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Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to:

6 thoughts on “Today just some Roland TR-606”

  1. I found a TR-606 for $75 in a local music rag classified ad, had a lot of fun with it, but ended up selling it for $250 a year later when people kept trying to buy it from me. sometimes I wish I still had it and other times I don’t care, but it is a cool little analog drum machine for the money. The kick sounds good but is kind of a mid bass kick not a nice low kick like an 808. What I miss most are those sizzling analog hats with the analog sequenced accent. tasty!

  2. I just bought a 606 this week, It’s a great machine, only rivalled by the 808, I own both though and the 606 has a certain punkish tone that the 808 can’t touch, a true classic!

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