DrumVerse R8

Roland R8 Samples

The R-8 is a late 80s drum machine that combined high quality 16-bit samples with a plenty of sound-editing options and human-like grooves; it went on to become the studio drum machine of the early 90s. It marked a shift towards more ‘human’ sounding drums and was featured on at least two landmark albums. DrumVerse R8 offers a complete collection of Roland R8 samples, including Ableton Live racks that emulate the machine’s unique functionality.

Originally released in 1989, with a ‘mkII’ version following in 1992, the R-8 offered electronic musicians a way to create dynamic drum patterns with a degree of human feel, thus the Human Rhythm Composer tag. It also offered a huge, expandable library of sounds via 11 expansion cards, featuring a plethora of high quality drum sounds, some of the best TR-808 and TR-909 sounds around, as well as everything from mallets to SFX. 

Classic Records

The R-8 went on to become the studio drum machine of the early 90s; if you haven’t heard of it before then you’ve probably heard it all over Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works 85-92, The Cure’s Disintegration, Prince’s Diamonds and Pearls, and early Autechre records.

The R-8 featured high quality samples in combination with a unique feature that splits each sound into two layers, which are repitched at different scales when controlling the sample pitch, and also dynamically relayered via a Nuance control. The nuance control can also be randomized via a Groove control that takes machine-like programming and produces more humanized sounds.

Roland R8 Sample Pack

Sample Pack

The DrumVerse R8 Sample Pack captures everything this machine has to offer, including all 67 factory sounds, all 26 of the ‘copy instruments’, (variations of the factory sounds), and 286 samples collected from all eleven of the available R-8 expansion cards. The sample pack also features 149 variation samples created by manipulating the tuning and decay of the sound parameters.

All of these sounds were recorded through the DI input of a Rupert Neve Designs Shelford Channel to add light saturation and impart the samples with analog warmth. The samples are all neatly labelled and organised by drum type for easy browsing in your sampler or DAW of choice.

Roland R8 Samples

Ableton Live Pack

The DrumVerse R8 Ableton Live Pack goes a step further, featuring Ableton Live Instrument and Drum Racks that emulate the original R-8 behaviour, including the way that samples are split into two layers for repitching and ‘nuance’ control. Each R-8 sample has it’s own Instrument Rack with controls emulating nuance, letting you repitch samples just like on the hardware, and letting you add randomization to both for easily humanized tracks.

The Ableton Live pack also features 50 Drum Racks that include recreated factory kits from both the R-8 and the rack mounted R8M, as well as custom ‘classic records’ kits.

Aphex Twin drum samples

DrumVerse R8 Demos

All drum sounds created entirely with DrumVerse R8 Ableton Live kits.

  • Fifths (Aphex Works Kit) 00:00
  • Indigo (Diamonds Kit) 00:00
  • Stacked (Indie Pop Kit) 00:00


The DrumVerse R8 Sample Pack download contains 528 24bit/44.1kHz WAV format samples that are compatible with any DAW software or beat machine (Ableton, FL Studio, Logic, Reason, MPC, Maschine, Studio One, Bitwig, etc).

To use the Ableton Live Pack, you will need a copy of Ableton Live 10.1 or later. The included devices work with all Editions of Live, including Lite, Intro and Standard.

If you pick up the sample pack, you'll get an automatic discount towards the Ableton Live pack if you decide to upgrade in the future.

DrumVerse R8


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DrumVerse R8 is also available in the Ableton Sounds Bundle and the Everything Bundle.