Since its launch in 1984, the Roland Rhythm Composes TR-707 has been responsible for the infectious drum grooves and sounds in House and Acid House.
An underrated drum machine and cheap alternative to the TR-909, the TR-707 has the identical hat, crash and clap sounds to the more expensive 909.
The incredible sound, as well as the shuffle and flam effects of the 707, can be heard on releases by Aphex Twin, Squarepusher and Marshall Jefferson.
This article is going to explore some of the best sounding 707 sample packs available on the market today. I hope this will help you add that sought-after flavor to your tracks.
Below is a short list of the 707 drum samples we talk about in this article. Scroll down for more details or click for audio demos.
1. Influx Studios – TR-707 Vintage Drum Hits
Starting us off we have the Black Octopus – TR-707 Vintage Drum Hits by Influx Studio. This sample pack combines 386 well-captured one-shots, 11 loops, and an Ableton Instrument Rack.
An analog classic available right inside your DAW. The vibe of the original analog machine has been captured using the sought-after Neve 1073 pre-amp, UREI 1176 Compressor, Empirical Labs Distressor and Thermionic Culture Vulture Tube Distortion unit adding further harmonic glue to the samples.
Each sample is crisp and clear, capturing the essence of the original TR-707 perfectly. To create these vintage drum samples, Influx Studio has used an original Roland TR-707 and a TR-707 with a modified ROM Patchbay. The modified ROM Patchbay is for extra pitching and glitch effects.
Things We Liked
These Roland 707 drum samples are perfect for any producer sick of the same 909 and 808 samples. A similar sound, but completely different vibe. The attention to detail in the capture of these samples is particularly impressive. Each sound is high quality and authentic, without losing any of the charm and vibe of the original machine.
Having an Ableton Instrument Rack included in the pack is particularly useful for those who enjoy programming drums via MIDI and use Ableton Live. Try opening one of your tracks laden with 808 and 909 samples, and swap out sounds for the 707s. The glitched samples add a unique flavor. The regular 707’s sound both vintage in how they feel, but modern in how they sound.
2. Wave Alchemy – Drum Machine Collection
Drum Machine Collection by Wave Alchemy is an enormous curation of 4000 well-crafted drum machine sounds including a nice collection of 707 drum samples. Recorded as 24-bit WAV files, these samples are ready to work in any Digital Audio Workstation or drum sequencer.
Each sound in the pack has been recorded using a unique, high-end recording chain to capture the depth and character of the original machines. Once recorded, further outboard processing, audio editing, and creative sample layering have been used to bring the classic sounds forward to the productions of today.
If you are searching specifically for TR-707 samples, this package may not be the pack for you. In comparison to the Influx Studio pack explored above, it’s lacking. The Drum Machine Collection contains more than just the 707, though.
Included are TR-606, TR-808, and TR-909s, Linn Drums, Oberheim DXs, as well as a host of other classic drum machines from the 1970s onwards. If you’re in the market for more than just the 707, this package is an incredible, exhaustive collection.
Things We Liked
I love any sample pack that takes the time to program drum kits for individual software samplers as opposed to relying on a single piece of software. Wave Alchemy has also created pre-mapped, ready to play drum kits for Battery, Kontakt, NNXT, Halion, and SFZ. Load up the TR-707 patch in your drum sampler of choice and get programming the next ‘Window Licker’ groove.
An ideal package for anybody wishing to expand their drum sample collection, with a broad coverage of sounds available. This pack is worth a place on your hard drive for the modernization of these TR-707 sounds, alone.
3. Gold Baby – SP-1200 Vol 2
The E-mu SP-12 and SP-1200 were THE ultimate drum sampler and machine for producing Hip-Hop and Rap. The limited sampling rate and bit depth of 26 kHz / 12 bit added a saturation described as sounding like old vinyl. Daft Punk, Dr. Dre, and Prodigy will not travel without their E-mu machines. The grittiness of the SP-1200 is responsible for many of those hard-hitting drum sounds we have all grown to love.
Enter Gold Baby’s SP-1200 Vol 2. 1524 samples recorded for this killer collection, packed to the brim with all the crunch, warmth, punch and dirt of the original E-mu machine. This pack contains the TR-707, 727, Linn LM2, DMX, vinyl, real drums, synths, percussion, and FX.
All sounds have been fed through the SP-1200 for that distinctive character. These samples are perfect for anybody working with Hip-Hop, Rap and House and are wanting to add that late 80s/early 90s attitude to their productions.
Things We Liked
As well as the enormous collection of samples, SP-1200 Vol 2 includes swing templates in MIDI and instrument patches for Battery, EXS24, and Kontakt. The swing templates alone are worth the investment in this pack. The unmistakable swing of the SP-1200 can be heard on everything from “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” to “One Time 4 Your Mind” to “California Love”. Having access to groove templates of a machine that busted dancefloors is well worth the investment, and you already know how I feel about those instrument patches.
4. Sample Magic – Vinyl and Tape Drum Machines
If you’re the kind of producer who demands a vast sonic palette when creating your beats, they don’t come much broader than this. Sample Magic’s Vinyl and Tape Drum Machines is a collection of over 1300 sounds.
These sounds have been collected from 20 much sought-after drum machines. As per the point of this article, the focus is on the TR-707, which is one of the included 20 drum machines sampled for this collection. Each sound has been recorded using high-quality equipment; such as the Neve 1073 pre-amp and presented in five different sonic environments.
The cleanest samples are found in the ‘Desk’ folder. Each sound has been processed through a Focusrite pre-amp, a Masalec EQ and a Waves limiter (tickled), to add subtle body and warmth to the sounds. The desk sounds are suitable for the tweaker producer who prefers carving their sound themselves.
The ‘A80 Tape’ folder contains sounds that have been recorded to a Studer A80 tape machine. These A80 Tape sounds are warm, like the desk sounds, but have been pushed further for rich, light tape saturation. This processing adds the classic sound of tape to the already classic sounds outputted from the drum machine.
The ‘Vinyl’ folder does precisely what it says on the tin. Think warmth, body, fullness, and air. Processed using a Phoenix Thermionic valve compressor and cut to vinyl, before being re-recorded digitally. Think maximum analog tone and vibe when you think of the vinyl folder.
Stepping it up a notch the ‘A80 Tape + Tascam Cassette’ combines the richness of the A80 Tape with the grit, punch, and attitude of a cassette tape. The rich distortion and pitch modulation are particularly useful in genres requiring lo-fi drums! The final folder is called ‘Smashed.’ ‘Smashed’ is a maxed-out console, screaming with rich distortion, perfect for extreme lo-fi. Although these samples aren’t TR-707 exclusive, the tonal options you are provided with makes this a very appealing package.
Things We Liked
Whether you need a late 80’s pop vibe, with a set of ‘Desk’ samples, you’re trying to create a West Coast vibe with ‘A80 Tape’ samples, or you’ve flown ‘Smashed’ in a breakdown to spin the songs axis, this is a sample pack well worth the time. This package also includes 20 drum kits for Kong, Battery, Maschine 2, Ableton Drum Rack and EXS24.
The TR-707 may not be as sexy as the TR-808 or TR-909, but it’s made a mark on music. Its price allowed it to fall into the hands of musicians that couldn’t afford the TR-909 but wanted the same clap sound and similar functionality. If your beats are tired of 808’s and 909’s, the TR-707 is a fantastic alternative.
The sample packs explored above range in complexity of sound. The majority of the packs above are not TR-707 specific, so if you’re only looking to expand your drum collection and not specifically after a TR-707 sound pack, there is plenty of choice in this article.
I find the different tonal variations above to be quite exciting. As stated before, any sample pack with patches for Instrument Racks of some description is a winner for me. I like to treat samples as I would a drum computer. Load up the sounds you want and hit the pads until the beat is on fire.
The MIDI shuffle grooves of the SP-1200 featured in Gold Baby’s sample pack is particularly impressive if you’re looking to add a vibe that defined an era and genre. Being able to choose between crisp, clean, fresh out of the drum machine samples and the darker, vintage, rich – in some cases overdriven – samples are particularly compelling due to the versatility of sounds and moods available to you. Regardless, as always, visit the manufacturer’s websites and listen to their audio examples to find the pack that suits your need.