Synth Site: Roland: TR-606: User reviews Add review


Gas Station topic: Roland
Average rating: 4.6 out of 5
just bought one of these with the extra ouput sockets and atack/decay/tuning box mod from analogue solutions it also came with the carry case i like it more than the other x0x boxes because with these mods it sounds unique excellent drum machine i love it

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Sep-24-2001 at 17:37
mmc a hobbyist user writes:
where the hell do people find these things for $50?????? i had to pay nearly $600 cdn for mine!!! i want another one to mod, so if anyone has one for sale for $50 please email me!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Sep-01-2001 at 12:13
Daniel a hobbyist user from Australia writes:
I don't own an original 606, but I built a clone from the schematics to go with my home built SH-101, and the sounds are very freakin' cool, so I'll give it 5/5. I loved it ever since I heard that snare on the KMFDM song 'Craze' ... now to just to build a 909 clone.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jul-27-2001 at 08:23
sjmojo a professional user writes:
this is the youngiest brother of the tr808,it got fewer sounds ,tweaking knobs than the tr808,but its still got the analog guts,kick is not as big and deep as its brothers,snare is ok ans snappy similar to 808,hihats too,cymbals a little bit shorter not much claps and other perc.toms are ok,no depth.but its cheap and good enough for u to get started into electronic music journey.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jun-06-2001 at 17:10
U-Lab a part-time user from Hungary-Budapest writes:
TR-606: Nice silver box with lots of POWER!

Very good snare, hihat, and tom; super analog drums. The Cymbal not so good... The bassdrum with distortion is hardcore! I love it!

I use it with Korg KMS-30 midi-sync24/48-tapesync converter and works very good in my setup.

Forget the poor sample CD's and use the original! Don't forget the individual out modification!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-May-14-2001 at 03:58
titi from paris france writes:
i ive jut get this on symth museum web pages

Who Played This Instrument?

Aphex Twin, Autechre - on "incunabula", Crystal Method, Electronic Dream Planet, Richi Hawtin, KMFDM, Massive Attack, Moby, Mr.Oizo, Prototype 909, Smashing Pumpkins -the song "Eye" of the Lost Highway soundtrack, Jimi Tenor

posted Tuesday-Feb-13-2001 at 12:39
titi a hobbyist user from paris france writes:
WATH IS possible to DO with a 606 and computer ?

posted Tuesday-Feb-13-2001 at 12:04
scottbpm a hobbyist user from scotland writes:
hi ive just opened up my 606. theres a pot you can turn to make the snare more snappy or less snappy. it sounds great and its free!! i have photos of every step and easy instructions, email me, i will upload to a web page soon!!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Feb-05-2001 at 16:48
Hydra a part-time user from montreal writes:
I'm a student.. I dont have a lot of money... I pay my 606 50$can..... a 909 is 1300$can....

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Nov-18-2000 at 03:38
James Meeker a part-time user from Toledo, Ohio writes:
There are tons of mods for the 606--just dredge the Analogue Heaven mailing list or check out a company called Analog Solutions (I think this is their name); they do a lot of 606 mods but are in England which may not be too convenient.

But why would you want your 606 to sound like a 909? I think the 606 sounds great!

If you want a 909, get a 909! Don't forget the Rat Distortion Pedal though.


posted Thursday-Nov-16-2000 at 22:31
Hydra a part-time user from montreal writes:
tr606 is a great machine...but too limited... you cant edit the sound.... no-midi interface...

snare are grrrreat!!! hihat too!!!

but the kik is too soft... not enought hard for meeeee... But I have heard that you cant change a chip on the 606 to have a 909 kik... is this real!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!

please help meeeeeeeee!!!!!!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Nov-16-2000 at 19:57
James Meeker a part-time user from Toledo, Ohio writes:
The 606 is great fun, incredibly easy to use and sounds excellent even without mods. It's a great machine, looks and feels like a toy but is a professional machine--excellent! Improvisation on this machine is very easy to do. One frustrating thing is the inability to switch between the two 16 pattern banks while playing/writing... however, this isn't too big of a deal really.

Watch the battery contact on these though, they can tend to come loose--I had to "shim" mine to make contact with the C batteries.

Programming tips: if you want a more bass heavy sound, max the volume on the bass drum and keep all of the other sounds at 1/2 to 1/4 full volume. Overloading your mixer a bit with the 606 is fun too--especially on accented bass hits (and everything else on that beat for that matter). However, if you want a more sedate, tweezy 606 line match the drum volumes closer and keep the overall instrument volume at about 60%. More fun with the 606: use the instrument volume knobs to "insert" or "remove" parts from a running drum line in real time! Instead of switching to a pattern without the hi-hats--just turn them off quickly! It saves on memories, and allows for neat insertions. The toms are another fun thing to insert/take out as they are controlled by a single volume knob.

It's a great machine if you get it for a good price.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Nov-15-2000 at 16:39
Adam H a part-time user writes:
606 kicks! I just received mine today and it is awesome. I used to be a big rebirth/soft synth fan until i got my 606 and pro-one. Virtual stuff is stale and dull next to the real analogues, dont let anyone tell you different.

posted Monday-Jul-24-2000 at 15:53
miguelmigs a professional user from yoshitoshi writes:
The TR606 is cool. The snares and hats are the best, i love the Fizzy Open-Hat.

If you have a sampler, i don't really see the point in buying the box. The sounds from the box aren't that tweakable, so it shouldn't matter. Thats how i work it anyhow.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jul-02-2000 at 19:24
Mark Strijbos a part-time user from Holland writes:
Cheap and nasty!

Pump up the volume, crank up the gain on your desk and you've got instant mayhem. I use the Trigger Outs to control the Arpegiators on my Juno-60 and Jupiter-4. My box has a Individuals Outs modification and i use them to trigger the External Signal Processor on an MS-20. The MS-20's LFO also sweeps the Juno and Jupiter VCF Cutoff. Wow!

And the whole thing can be easily synced to Midi through the Din Sync 24 bus on the TR-606. Contrary to some posts here, there are several (cheap) ways to Din Sync old Roland gear, like the original MPU-IPC interface or Doepfer's excellent value-for-money Mausi Midi-to-CV box.

Given the price of it's bigger brothers (808,909) this is quite a good choice if you have a limited budget - like everybody else. I got my 606 for a mere $150 and i will never let it go.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jul-02-2000 at 18:53
DaRk SyNtH a part-time user from USA writes:

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jun-23-2000 at 15:03
Jorge Cortes a part-time user from Az writes:
I just modded my second 606,(lots of knobs, ind. outs) and it really kicks!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-May-31-2000 at 16:55
Gordon Stryph a part-time user from Sweden writes:
This little silverbox rokks! And together with it's bro, the 303, it's a killer! I allways bring my silverboxes when I go somewhere, just for the fun of being able to make music anywhere. Try to turn up the output of the 606 (pre-mixer) to get a nice dist out of it that really makes the kick pump for ya.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Apr-25-2000 at 04:07
Jon neff a part-time user from usa writes:
TR-606 sounds are cool and beats are just as good I can only wait to get my hands on one of it's big brothers. "RIP THE SYSTEM"

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Feb-22-2000 at 23:29
nubey a professional user from usA writes:
Do yourself a favor, buy one of these if they're cheap -- otherwise save your money on the real deal an 808, an infinitely better machine with a much wider sonic pallete.

these are cute looking though, and is a great back pack drum machine aside from that my 606 sits dutifully next to my 808 and hardly gets used aside from an occasional low fi break.


Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Feb-14-2000 at 14:14
Sander Meyer a hobbyist user from The Netherlands writes:
Great drummachine. Nice sounds. Verry easy programming. You can mod it so that you can adjust all sounds, like decay, pitch, etc. There is also a seperate output mod for all sounds. It also sync perfectly to midi using my Syntecno teebee. So if you can'y afford the big brothers, buy this cool looking baby.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-13-1999 at 06:52
Garry Brown a hobbyist user from Australia writes:
I think the 606 is a kickass beat box / especialy with the tr 808. thanks roland for tr 606 its a classic

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Dec-12-1999 at 21:56
Matthew Peterson a hobbyist user from Madison, WI, USA writes:
Roland MSQ-100 "Digital Sequencer", around $100, accepts MIDI IN, will generate sync out, works great.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Nov-23-1999 at 10:43
David Mazur from Belgium writes:
The TR-606 is the machine used by Mr. Oizo on Flat Beat. So be prepared to see prices rising.

posted Tuesday-Nov-16-1999 at 05:58
Henry a professional user from Sweden writes:
A wonderful and beautiful machine. And cheap too. I use it to everything I do really, combining it with a 727/707, trigging the Juno-60 arpeggiator. It kicks when it is overdriven and hard compressed.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Nov-15-1999 at 05:32
Colin Russell a hobbyist user writes:
I found mine mint for a mere $35.00 CAN(25 US). And to think I actually toke a few moments to think about purchasing it! This analog box is great for cheesy Kraftwerk style stuff. BD is weak. but the HH and SD kick ass!!! It's like a baby 808. I've considered moding it, but it's just too cute to drill holes in the case. Maybe if I find another. One last thing, I saw a classified for over $300 US for one of these things! It's good...but not THAT good!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Oct-10-1999 at 16:16
Pierre M. a hobbyist user from Belgium writes:
I purshased mine to go together with my 303. I definitly falled in love. Like my 303, i will NEVER sell it :) Even if i have major financial problems.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jul-16-1999 at 07:26
Roger a hobbyist user from U.S.A writes:
The easiest, most fun machine ever made. Really fun and cool sounds. A few more adjustments could have been added, but you can do that yourself. Everyone should own one who is into analog sounds.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jun-24-1999 at 19:34
luciano(sOFTgrOOve a part-timer user from italy writes:
This is a great electronic instrument.If creativity is your religion BUY IT! Many people don't like the kick sound,I love it but the best sound is tom. HH Wonderful,snare useful(similar to 808),Cymbal is the one I less prefer.An other good reason to buy it is the sequencer.Warm sound-easy to use-low cost:!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jun-11-1999 at 19:02
Cleatus from United Counties of sILLINOISe writes:
I've had this for a good 4 months...since I have no other SYNC gear I usually only use it solo. I am a broke bastard who can't even afford a frickin' MIDI to SYNC converter (I got this little monster for $25 in near mint cond'n!). hah I need to get a job! Well anyway the snare, hat, and toms kick some shit, but the cymbal can be pretty damn obnoxious most cases, and the kick is a shy little bastard! I must say though this bitch sounds great through distortion...I've tried a couple of units..the DOD FX-92 distorton, great for the siftier stuff like that little knock of a bass and the hats, OK on snare, and then the DANELEKTRO FAB TONE! If you get one of these, you have to get a Fab Tone too! It kills the toms! They sound nasty and violent, the sound make me think of the old Meat Beat Manifesto song "Repulsion". I haven't done any mods yet (well except for turning the pot that controls the snare's snappy) cause I suck at electronics but my buddy is going to help me with the kick mod and we might try the indie out mod. The other thing about her is she's analog so she sounds great through an amp! You know what tho? I'm getting sick of analog purism, so I recently got a 626 to keep her company, sweet digital congas+kicks...but anyway, yeah this is probably the only analog drum machine I'll ever buy. Digital (especially distorted) sounds so great, but this little box has some character. Oh yeah and as far as features go, oh my gawd...switching modes while playing patterns? Ingenius! This is THE BEST live drum machine. The sequencing just can't be beat. So well-designed that it more than makes up for the lack of sounds. No MIDI though. Oh well, now I just need to give Kenton a call...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Apr-08-1999 at 22:48
adam jay a hobbyist user from usa writes:
once modify'd - this thing SLAMMS. slap a mod box with a 909 kick on that bad boy and a midi sync and you got yourself a mean-ass stomper. 16 step drum grid sequencing is always the way to go. and the part mixer is an added bonus. using the part mixer in conjuction with the accent - and you can have some slammin electro(add a 909 kick for techno) i wouldn't pay more than $250 unless i was totally desperate. and from what i know some of the earlier models have a few programming quirks. I beleive there were only 2,000 of these made, but #'s 1,500 and up should be flawless. add it to a nord lead and a raveolution 309 and you got yourself a slammin live show. never underestimate the power of an x0x box - WHEN MODIFIED BWahahHAHAHhaHAHa

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Apr-07-1999 at 14:50
sutekh from usa writes:
I think some of the original reviews of these machines got lost. The review that's up now doesn't seem to be the same as when I first posted in August.

The review is rather frightfully incorrect when it says the 606 is "digital synthtesis." This machine's about as far from digital as you can get. It's a pure analog 1980's beatbox.

This machine was made to be sold with the Roland TB303 (as a drum and bass combo for live bands or home practice). And as such, the 606 looks virtually identical to the TB303. It also has similar control options: Sync24 In/Out (switchable). The 606 also has two trigger outs, one for each tom (low and high). The programming is classic x0x style; 16 buttons across the board, rotory knob to to select sound and function, red led's to indicate where you have selected a beat on the sequence.

This machine is VERY easy to program (great for beginners), and the sounds are quite impressive for such a little box (the snare and hats sound almost identical to the 808--which I also own). Rhythm patterns are a tad limited as there is no middle tom and no hand claps, or any bell-like sounds. But since the bass drum is weak, I usually program this machine with the Bass Drum as the Low Tom, and the Low Tom as Mid and High as High. Of course, then you have to use another source for bass drum, but you really need to do that anyway with this machine.

Here's two great pages: and

There's also a little bit of info at my site:

If you can't afford a big x0x (808, 909) or can't find a vintage (CR78, CR8000) then this is a great, cheap way to add analog to your rhythm section.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Nov-10-1998 at 03:08
Tripoli a professional user from U S A writes:
Such a cool little cute silver thang. I LOVE IT! The sounds are excellent & the hi hats, to me, just sizzle in the gruv! Although, can anyone help me out on where I can get all the mods done on it,in the U.S. or at least all the schematics to them? I'd really like to expand my silver box to it's fullest. "Like it's not there already.....???" THANXS!.....

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Nov-03-1998 at 19:56
stacks a part time user from US of Assholes writes:
Well what can I say. I had this little baby in my hot hands for a little over a week and by the end of that week I churned out a couple decent drum tracks, the snares and the toms rock, the cymbals are a bit noisy. I am looking to buy one so e mail if you want to get rid of yours, can trade tb 303 with broken cutoff. love

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:12
Kristofer Ulfves a hobbyist user from Umea, Sweden writes:
A cool little japanse plastic box. Very nice design and nice sounds too, especially the

toms and hihats...It's only weakness is the bassdrum, which lacks the decay-controll available on

the 808. However, some simple mods makes this little bastard nearly as useful as the 808. The hihats

are supriceably flexible. And hey! There's even pots for snappy, cymbal decay and tuning for the toms

inside! See for yourself!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:12
Joseph A.Russo a hobbyist user from Canada writes:
This little machine is pretty cool!! paid it only $120 used..very nice analogue

sounds..pretty limited compared to the 808's got a pretty good interface.

Seven percussion sounds to choose from and you can accent the sounds...most of all

it portable ( a little bit bigger than a foot) and it uses "C" batteries!

the manual is amazing!! This is a very cool little box!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:12
rodrigo saez a part time user from Chile writes:
Well, I´m just digging into it since a couple of days, I have get a tr 606, for 50 bucks in a free store, and, for the little thing I know already, I think is quite interesting for experimentation.

I´m actually interested in a crossover between old jazz and trip hop, also is quite interesting using loops of hardcore noises and tropical or drum and bass rhythms.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:12
Nate a professional user from USA writes:
My favorite analogue drum machine hands down. Just add the output and snare mod

and your set. No way can you sample this one and get the same feel. If you like

analogue hihats and snares look no further. The kick, toms and cymbal are very

usefull too, if you know what your doing. Try this cymbal trick. Place a cymbal

on every 1/4 note (1-5-9-13) and set the volume very low so you can bearly hear


Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:12
PHB a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I couldn't agree more with the review. I'm suprised no one else has added comments. This was my first drum machine. I own and have owned LOTS more (DR55,DR110,DR550mkII,DR660,TR626,TR808,KPR77,KR100,XR10,MPCdsm1&2) but this little brother of the TR808 and close cousin to the TB303 (they look virtually identical) is one unique little acid beatbox. I've heard it buried in many songs, but if you want to get a real good idea what it sounds like go to your local music store where you can audition CD's before you buy them, get the soundtrack to "Lost Highway", play the track "Eye" by the Smashing Pumpkins. YES, that wonderful analog beat in the background is none other than the lovely little 606. (It's also used by Skinny Puppy).

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:12
Kluster1 a professional user from your girlfriends closet. writes:
richard C (aka prototype 109 - am I right in thinking that there is a techno outfit witha similar name? I've had mine for 6 or 7 years ho hum), a hobbyist user from England ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ To the guy who wrote the above message:^^^^^^^^ `you're a dip-shit. It's Prototype 909, Nine-Oh-Nine, like the fargin' instrument. Damn you're a dumb son of a piece of monkey nuggett....geez. People like you make me wanna dirty my pants....... Assmuncher. May Peace Prevail On Earth~ Kluster1 ~a proud member of The .ClusterBomb. Moron Parade

Rating: 0 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:12
LogiK a professional user from USA writes:
It's kindof like a dance musician's laptop. I can battery-power this thing and bust out the fat beats on the bus on my way to work. The sounds are pure 808-y goodness, excepting the toms (interesting woody sound with internally variable reverb) and the bass drum, which is cool sounding but lacks the big booom of the 808. I'll be modding mine soon to rectify the situation. It is also exceptionally easy to program. It has its shortcomings, but for $150 you can't really go wrong! (the price of 1 808 one could buy 5 of these, and you can do the simple modifications yourself!) Peace out and keep those beats flowing....

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:12
Tomas Nordmark a hobbyist user from Sweden writes:
I just bought this little cute machine. The first time I heard

the sound I just was going shiiiiiiiiiiit. This is really cool

I thought. Bye one, it´s cruel, it´s swinging!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:12
luca a part time user from Italy writes:
Roland TR606 sounds good,but used on live acts is too dry and to EQ it isn't always funny. Anyhow it looks great,is cheap and is amusant to sequence.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:12
a hobbyist user from England writes:
confused- review of 606:- I use mine for non techno purposes ( ie guitar stuff on my 4 track/studio use etc) and put through some distortian and delay sounds great. Especially the cymbals and snare which sound really whacked out through a guitar amplifier with the overdrive right up. i used to use ot for gettign a Velvet Undeground/ JAMC drum sound with plenty of reverb. In fact the bass drum gets really nicely bumped up witht this method and I got mine sounding like a huge kettle drum in an elevator shaft!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:12
Bytes a professional user from USA writes:
Great sounding analogue drum machine ,although not as flexible as TR 808,technically, it's a simplifed version of 808 ,i got mine for $50 US get if you can find one cheap(50-100)by the by i've heard about mods you can perform on it ,if you have any info on that please email me.THANKS!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:12

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