606 and 707 day passed us by, but let’s not miss these two free gifts – a master class from Pittsburgh’s machine maven and a free plug-in version of a Roland TR, too.

I don’t know about you, but I’m personally gearing up for July 27 – TR-727 day, obviously! So I hope you’ll forgive me being slow on the draw, but these two are too good to pass up.

First, there’s the exceptional-as-always Shawn Rudiman, who shows what the TR-606 can be all about. This fairly mild-mannered drum machine can be transformative when applied musically, as Shawn shows on the TR-06 reboot.

It’s also a chance to glimpse the cockpit of his handcrafted Synthdrome studio in full flight.

Of course, the 606 is defined by its hats. But it’s worth saying the ’06 is not just a remake – tuning, probability, effects, decay, effects and sequence parameters, plus trigger outs. (Sequence parameters of course also includes swing, at last.)

Those triggers do make this fit perfectly with a modular rack; the TR-06 really makes a fine cornerstone to a modular or semi-modular/desktop rig – anything with analog ins.

Meanwhile, on July 7 (707 day) the question came up – is there a TR-707 plug-in? The answer is, yes, absolutely.

1985’s TR-707 has not merited its own remake on Roland Cloud, for instance – Ma Roland made a 606, 808, and 909 but the 7×7 series isn’t directly modeled. So we turn instead to third parties. The 707 doesn’t get a whole lot of love – to most it’s just “the cheap 909,” especially since there’s some considerable overlap in sounds. Underrated might be a lot to say here, but let’s at least say – it’s important, for its design (which has influenced a lot of hardware), and its influence on Chicago house and acid house plus Al Jeel pop music, so Illinois to Egypt. It does seem worth having in your plug-in library.

Because the 707 soundset is PCM-based waveform playback, it’s not hard to find. But I’m going to opt for the RT-7070 remake. It’s got that signature look, and a bunch of features:

  • LP/HP filter
  • 20 Drum kits
  • Reverb
  • Main decay
  • Pan controls and volume mixing per-part
  • Assignable outputs
  • Mac, Windows, 32-bit, 64-bit, and macOS Catalina+ Support.

Grab it here, along with various other freebies from these folks:

Plus, something like that is useful in software form for the same reason the TR-06 hardware serves Shawn in a hardware rig – you can pair the vanilla flavors of this well-recognized Roland with, say, a modular software host.

If you want to go further afield, there’s also this plug-in version that samples the 707 sound set from an E-MU Emax but… it’s probably more reliable to use the ESL plug-in and just add your own E-MU style digital grunge if you want.

Anyway, now that I have your attention, do start gearing up for the 27th and … send in those agogo creations.

Thanks to Vincent US for asking about 707 plug-ins, so – enjoy this, too: