System80 808 spring update

808 panel illustration

It was a little more than 2 months ago that System80 teased the 808. Interest has been intense.  Here’s a feature update and production timeline:

808, a classic drum machine for Eurorack

The System80 808 is a 16 voice analogue drum machine reformatted into a 60 HP Eurorack module.  It couples 16 analogue drum voices to an enhanced step sequencer. The drum circuits are exact clones of the original 808 schematics using the same semiconductors wherever possible. All operational amplifiers and bipolar transistors are the same as in the original. Each drum voice was carefully compared to two original 808s and small adjustments were made to tune each circuit to match the 35 year-old original reference machines.

Features

  • 16 analogue drum voices (6 single voices, 5 switchable dual voices) with global accent
  • Pattern sequencer with 1-32 steps
  • 12 banks of 16 patterns
  • 16 rhythm tracks
  • Shuffle and roll modes
  • External MIDI triggering of drum voices
  • 11 individual drum voice outputs + master output with volume control
  • 2 assignable trigger outputs
  • External sync via MIDI clock, DIN Sync or clock pulse.

What next?

The teaser video features the second prototype. We are in the process of refining the design to make it production ready. The final production prototype should be ready by late spring.

When can I get one?

Optimistically, late summer. Pessimistically, early fall. OK, even fall was overly optimistic. We’re still working on a release date.

How can I get one?

Once available, stock will be available for direct purchase from this website. We’ve had inquiries from dealers so there is a chance you may be able to purchase through your favourite local synth retailer.

How much will it cost?

This is the question we get asked most often and we don’t yet have a firm answer. The 808 has more than one thousand parts and even after robotic assembly there are many parts that need to be hand assembled. There are a couple of significant manufacturing expenses that have yet to be finalized, which prevents confirmation of a final price. There should be an update on pricing later this spring. Still working on pricing

Why Eurorack?

Eurorack is a compact modular synthesizer format that has been increasing in popularity for a number of years.  Even a small system can provide extensive tools for making and shaping sounds. The 808 has always benefited from external processing of its drum sounds so it seemed like a good fit for the Eurorack format. It has individual outputs for each drum voice and extensive options for synchronization.  Designing and manufacturing a desktop module provides a host of challenges but we’re definitely thinking about it…

What about external triggering?

An expander module that allows external triggering of the drum voices is in development.

When will there be audio demos?

We’re working on it.  We’ve been busy lately getting JOVE ready to ship. 808 audio demos coming soon…

JOVE, a Jupiter-6 inspired filter available now

JOVE was born out of our obsession with vintage Roland filters based around the IR3109 Operational Transconductance Amplifier (OTA). We designed an OTA-based  filter that doesn’t rely on this rare and expensive vintage part. JOVE is a modern recreation of the Jupiter-6’s unique sounding multimode filter but, in addition to the original 24 dB low pass, band pass, and high pass topologies, adds a 2-pole 12 dB mode reminiscent of the Jupiter-8. JOVE is in stock and ready to purchase now.