Power on modes

The TR-8S only appears to have single power on mode that allows updates to the firmware. Press and hold the [SHIFT] button whilst turning on the unit. The update can be performed either by connecting the TR-8S to your PC via USB, or by copying the update file to an SD card and inserting this into the slot on the TR-8S. Either way, the [SHIFT] button is used when powering on with the differnce in the way the update is deployed. DO NOT copy any files to the TR-8S or SD Card other than those supplied by Roland for the TR-8S!

The other Power-on modes, such as used on the System-1, TB-3 and MX-1 for functions like turning off the Screen Saver, are no longer required as they are available via the [UTILITY] button. The Utility menu allows changing such settings as the LED lights, fader colours, MIDI, Sync, Sample Import and other functions.

For instance, to turn off the Screen Saver Demo mode on the TR-8S, press [UTILTY] then use the [VALUE] knob to scroll thru the options until the dislay reads LED and press [ENTER]. Use the [VALUE] knob again until the display reads Demo press [ENTER]. Adjust the [VALUE] knob until the display reads OFF. The menu will return to the LED menu. Press [UTILITY] to exit.

Changes made to the Utility settings need to be saved by pressing [WRITE] and selecting SYSTEM by turning the [VALUE] knob.

SD Cards and Samples

Of all the enhancements of the TR-8S over the TR-8 one of the most interesting is the ability to load your own samples and use them as instruments in your kits. Although they do not specify how much memory is available, Roland provide up to 600 seconds (10 minutes) of sample time for 44.1Khz mono samples. This will obviously reduce for higher rate or stereo samples.

There are two other specs defined by Roland for user samples, the first is that the longest length of time for a single sample is around 180 seconds (three minutes) and then second is that the maximum number of samples that can be imported is 400.

Sample input is done via an SD card, with samples copied to the SD card either connected to a PC via a card reader, or with the SD card inserted in the 8S and connected via USB to a PC. Once the samples are loaded onto the SD card, then they can be imported using the Utility menu. Samples in the root of the SAMPLE directory can be installed indivdually, samples in Folders within the SAMPLE directory will all be installed in one operation.

Although you can bulk install samples, you can only remove them one at a time. You can delete multiple files, but you still need to select them one at a time. Installed samples will not be overwritten either. If a sample name already exists when a file with the same name is imported, both files will show as available instruments.

SD Card Compatibilty

Pretty much any generic SDHC card should work for the TR-8S, with the only consideration being the memory size, as the TR-8S will only format cards up to 32GB.

FWIW, I use this Sandisk (Amazon Link) card for both the TR-8s and System-8.

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