Video: Funky Vintage - Roland TR-606 Drumatix Analog Drum Machine

If you like your gear a little on the esoteric side, then Funky Vintage has the drum machine for you: the Roland TR-606 Drumatix. In some ways, this analog drum machine can be seen as the little brother to the famed TR-808, but has a much less glamorous history, leading it to continue to fly under the radar for many musicians.

Designed initially to be paired with the TB-303 Bass Line, the two machines together were meant to provide a low-cost backing track of sorts for guitarists to practice with. But since the TB-303 sounded nothing like an actual bass and the TR-606 would never be mistaken for actual drums, both products were considered a total commercial bust at the time.

However, for everything there is a season, and, although it hasn’t gained as much recognition as the TB-303 has for its role in the development of genres like acid house and trance, the TR-606 and its unmistakably electronic drum sounds are making a comeback. With hyper-metallic hi-hats and bouncy toms, the TR-606 provides sounds that have become the standard for electronic music.

And the TR-606 isn’t just the 808’s baby brother — in fact, it can do something no other vintage Roland can: the 606 allows you to write step patterns and then switch patterns without stopping the sequencer. Along with this fantastic functionality, the 606 gives you a unique accent capability, which you can actually program as you would any other instrument. Just choose AC on the instrument selection knob and pick what hits you want accented.

Watch the video above to learn some neat TR-606 tricks, like how to up the attack on your bass drum, and to hear the drum machine itself, and then click the banner below to shop for Roland drum machines on Reverb.

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