Roland’s AIRA hardware represented a confirmation from the Japanese tech giant that it remained very much committed to hardware. But that doesn’t mean people don’t also want to bring the software and hardware sides of their studios together. “TR-8 EFX.Remote PC / MAC” could probably do with a bit of work on its name but there’s no doubting its utility at hooking up your TR-8 hardware to your computer.
Connect the two up and you get software control of many of the hardware parameters, which is kind of the opposite of what a lot of people are trying to do, namely creating hardware controllers for software. In VST or standalone modes, you get easy access to the drum pads and XY pads, the ability to assign and record fader movements in DAWs like Live, as well as access to the Scatter type and Drum Kit controls. This is all possible because musical instrument hardware is almost always fundamentally governed by MIDI on some level, whether internally or at least made compatible with external MIDI controllers. This enterprising developer would seem to have figured out how to leverage the available MIDI parameters of the hardware and created a cool-looking software interface.
It costs just €5 and can be downloaded from the developer’s own site at http://tb-8efxremote.jimdo.com. It apparently comes with the disclaimer that there’s no warranty, though you’d have to work pretty hard to do any actual damage. At worst you could just factory reset the hardware.