last update: 05-07-99
Welcome to Drum Antix, your net resource for everything to do with our favorite drum machine, the Roland TR-606 Drumatix. This has been cut down to just an information archive. Here you can learn how to modify your TR-606, or just how to use it most efficiently.
The TR-606 is a drum machine which Roland manufactured from 1981 to 1983. It was designed to be used in tandem with the TB-303 Bassline so as to be able to reproduce a drummer and bass player for guitarists without backing bands.
It sold a fair few units (around 30000 apparently), but wasn't very popular amongst guitarists because the drum sounds weren't too realistic. All the sounds in the 606 are generated with analog technology - noise sources and voltage controlled filters. The kind of sounds created by this technology aren't realistic, but kind of electro/retro sounding.
When house and techno arrived in the mid-80s, musicians were looking for cheap gear which could make decent sounds, and the 606 was a perfect choice. Because guitarists didn't like the non-realistic sounds, they were only too happy to get rid of their 606s for a couple of dollars to kids who could really use them.
Now the 606 has become a basic tool for many electronic musicians, including Autechre, Aphex Twin, Plastikman, and Nine Inch Nails. Its excellent programming interface, bouncy sounds and small size make it an ideal machine for "just banging out patterns".
What many artists don't realize though is the power this machine can have when modified! Individual outputs for each drumsound increase the usability infinitely, and once you start modifying the sounds themselves, you can get a very capable drummachine indeed.
I hope this page will be of use to people looking for a fun new toy in their studio, and also to people who love their 606 dearly and want to expand its capabilities. Enjoy!
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Many thanks to Hyperreal and Music Machines for providing webspace!
this looks good with netscape 4.6 in 800x600x32bit resolution, but was designed to be fully lynx-compatible.
html written in ms-dos edit by alex cavaye
nb: please don't email me questions about the tr-606, as i no longer have time to answer them. check the links page for places where you can go to ask questions.