For your beat-producing pleasure here is a custom-built “Fairchild 808” Sample and Drum Rack pack. And man, did we get to play with some tasty kit while making it!
The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer is a drum machine that needs no introduction – a classic piece of kit whose sounds have been sampled more times than James Brown, and synthesised in imitation
software and hardware more times than we’d care to count. Introduced by Roland in 1980 as a tool to help musicians creating demos without access to a drummer, the 808 went on to become a household name, appearing on more records than any other drum machine. While there are countless 808 samples packs available, it’s the way this particular collection was recorded that gets us excited…
With an asking price of around $40,000 the Fairchild 670 compressor is a rare beast – in fact the one that these samples where squished through is the only 670 in Australia, residing in the luxurious surrounds of the largest recording facilities in the land, Studios 301 Sydney. With 20 valves, 14 transformers and weighing in at around 30kg, the Fairchild as adored for the character it adds to signal as it is for its limiting and compression.
This particular 670 lives in 301’s Studio 2, home to another tasty piece of kit, the SSL K-Series mixing console.
The samples were recorded by manager of Studios 301 and Ableton Certified Trainer Anthony Garvin as we were preparing for our next focus course on Mixing and Mastering. They were recorded from an original TR-808 through one of 301’s custom built DI boxes, and then patched through the Fairchild 670 via the SSL K-Series console, finally being captured into Ableton Live by an Apogee Rosetta 200 ADC. Multiple passes of some of the samples where made to include variations on each element, such as a short punchy kick, and the long-decay sub type kick.
The Drum Rack
The samples now all sit in a neat little Drum Rack created by Liveschool Ableton Certified Trainer Adam Maggs, who consolidated them into the Drum Rack, but also extended their usability through the addition of macros which allow you to swap each type of kick or snare, or allow for additional (extreme) limiting, as well as a noise reduction dial which reduces some of the inherent noise from working with analog gear (the noise is most noticeable when using the extreme Limiter macros). By clicking on each sample cell, further macros are revealed for each type of sound – like tuning each drum, or controlling kick drum lengths.
Download the live drum rack here – we hope you enjoy making music with it as much as we did creating it!
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