Developer Yoshinosuke Horiuchi came up with this modelling of the classic TR-808 Rhythm Composer during lockdown and is offering it for free. It can take you inside the coded heart of 808 sound design.
It’s a bit complicated to get running but then it is free so you can’t complain too much. It runs on the SuperCollider audio coding platform which you have to download first. It’s an extremely powerful platform where you can design synthesis and processing. Thankfully you don’t have to worry about it too much because Yoshinosuke has created a lovely user interface for the front end. But if you did want to dig down and change the way the SC-808 works or sounds then all the coding is freely modifiable.
Once installed you’ll have to download some form of virtual MIDI driver in order to get it and your DAW to send and receive MIDI. You’ve then got to run the SC-808 as a piece of code – full instructions are included.
The SC-808 sounds and looks great but perhaps the charm of this piece of software is how configurable it is. If you ever wanted to get into the nitty-gritty of 808 emulation then this is definitely for you. For more casual users it feels like an alarming amount of work to get it all to function.
- Download SC-808 from here.