Whilst the TR707 was a success for Roland, it was still an expensive beatbox for many. Ok.... nowhere near the stratospheric prices of the Linns and so on that preceded it but still a fair old chunk of money for the average muso.

Roland had also enjoyed a fair degree of success with their TR727 Latin American percussion beatbox but again, the price was prohibitive for the majority of people especially for such an esoteric soundset.

With that in mind, Roland released the budget TR505 that combined basic drums sounds and a few LA percussion samples in one convenient, cost effective package opening up the drum machine market to an even wider market of beatbox novices.

The 505 also broke away from Roland's 'traditional' step-time programming method for patterns and instead, patterns were enterd in real-time (with quantise of course). The pads weren't velocity sensitive though and dynamics were achieved using the 'ACCENT' pad (as was common on drum machines at the time).

But despite the compromises and economies made to bring the humble 505 to the market at a budget price, it was a surprisingly capable little treasure with punchy and highly usable (12-bit) sounds that stand up well even today.

Hollow Sun contributor, Greg Thomas, kindly donated the full soundset from the TR505.