Power on modes

The TR-8 has a number of different modes available depending on what button is depressed when the power is switched on. These are described in the following table.

Press and hold the button in the left-hand column and power on the TR-8 to get into the desired mode.

Key Function
None Normal Power on.
CLEAR Factory Reset
PAD 1 Firmware Update
PAD 2 Pattern and Kit backup

The different modes and the functions available are detailed in the sections below.

Factory Reset

Press and hold CLEAR and power on.

Display shows ‘rSt’
Press START/STOP button.
When display shows ‘CNP’ power off (Scatter wheel LEDs flash).

NOTE: This will also reload the factory patterns and kits, so make sure any edited patterns or kits are backed up prior to performing this operation.


Press and hold PTN SELECT and power on.

START/STOP button flashes, the instrument LEDs and pads 1-4 are lit and the display shows C10.

Change the MIDI Channel

C10 refers to the MIDI channel used by the TR-8. To change the channel rotate the TEMPO wheel. The channel number is updated in the display as the wheel is turned.

Assignable Outputs

The TR-8 has two assignable outputs along with the main ones. Any combination of the instrumts can be set to use the outputs. This means that some additional external effects, say, can be used on selected instruments.

The instrument LEDs that are lit show those instruments that are routed via the main audio output. Press the A/B buttons to set individual instruments to the assignable outputs.
A refers to ASSIGNABLE OUT A. Press and hold A and select the instruments to be routed via output A. Release the A button and the the instrument LEDs will return to show the main output routing. Any instruments that have been changed to use the assignable outputs will no longer show as lit when neither button A or B are pressed.

The operation for OUTPUT B is the same as for A.

PAD Functions

The pads 1-7 have specific functions when in setup mode:

PAD 1 – MIDI Clock source

  • LIT – Clock is derived either via MIDI or USB. USB has priority
  • UNLIT – Clock is internal



PAD 3 – Audio signal boost

  • LIT – Output level boost is ON
  • UNLIT – Output level boost id OFF

PAD 4 – External audio mode

  • LIT – Input is STEREO
  • UNLIT – Input is MONO

PAD 5 – Scatter Mode

  • LIT – Momentary
  • UNLIT – Latched

PAD 6 – MIDI Play/Stop messages

  • LIT – Disabled
  • UNLIT – Enabled

PAD 7 – Sequencer timing mode

  • LIT – TR-8 uses precise timing
  • UNLIT – TR-8 emulates TR-808 timing


Enter SETUP mode, press and hold TAP. By default, the display will show the number of minutes inactivity until the screensaver comes on. The default is 5.

Turn TEMPO wheel to adjust time. When display shows OFF, screensaver is disabled.

Colour Scheme

Enter SETUP Mode, press and hold scatter DEPTH button and turn scatter wheel to select colour pattern.

1 is the default
2 is a dimmed version of the default
3 thru 6 change the instrument pads to various colour schemes.

Press the START/STOP button to save any changes. The TR-8 will restart.

Firmware Update

To perform an update:

1. Power off the TR-8
2. Press and hold STEP 1 pad, then power on the TR-8.
All of the instrument LEDs flash.
3. Connect a USB cable to the TR-8
The BD instrument LED and STEP 1 buttons flash and the TR-8 appears as a drive on the PC.
4. Copy the system file from the download directory into the TR-8 drive. When complete, eject the drive from the PC and disconnect the USB cable, then press STEP 2 pad.
5. When the update completes, power cycle the TR-8 to start the new firmware.

Pattern and Kit Backup and Restore

1. Power off the TR-8
2. Press and hold STEP 2 pad, then power on the TR-8.0
If there is no USB cable connected to the TR-8 when powered on, all of the pads are lit solid green.
Connect a USB cable and the STEP pads flash in a zarjaz, alternating coloured pattern, the BD and RC LEDs come on with the other instruments LEDs flashing one after the other. The Scatter wheel LEDs flash.
3. The drive that appears in the PC now contains two folders, BACKUP and RESTORE. The BACKUP folder contains 32 files, sixteen kit (TR8_KITn.PRM) files and 16 pattern files (TR8_PTNn.PRM). To backup these files, copy them to another drive/folder on the PC.
4. To restore kits and patterns, copy the required files from the PC to the RESTORE folder on the TR-8 drive. Note that the files you copy must follow the same naming format as shown above. In addition, note also that kits and patterns in the RESTORE directory will overwrite whatever is currently stored in the TR-8.
5. Disconnect the USB cable.
6. Wait until the light display changes from the flashing rainbow pattern and the pads turn green, restart the TR-8.

Saving Patterns

There is no explicit save function on the TR-8. Any changes to patterns are automatically saved to the current pattern. This includes any kit, effect or accent changes.
Because of this, there is no undo function either, so it is not possible to revert back to an original pattern once changes are made. The only way to ‘undo’ any changes is to remove them from the current pattern.

It is possible to lock patterns from being changed in the TR-8’s storage however and this is done by applying a LOCK to the pattern. To lock a pattern, press and hold the PTN SELECT button and turn the TEMPO wheel so that the display shows LocK. To unlock a pattern, press and hold the PTN SELECT button and turn the TEMPO wheel so that the display shows OFF.

Copy Patterns

In order to copy patterns play must be stopped.

Press PTN SELECT. Select the PAD corresponding to the pattern to be copied, then press the PAD to paste the copied pattern to.

NOTE: If the destination pattern location is LOCKED, the paste operation will not work. Press and hold the PTN SELECT button and turn the TEMPO wheel to turn the LOCK off.

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