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 TS-808 by Tactile Sounds is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin for Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin.
Product TS-808
Developer Tactile Sounds
Price (MSRP)
Type / Tags Drum SynthTactile SoundsTS-808
Plug-in, App & Soundware Format(s)
Operating System Availability
Download Released
Downloads Released
Miscellaneous Information
Copy ProtectionNone

TS-808 is a software emulation of the Roland TR-808 hardware drum machine. It was created by reference to the TR-808 service notes and extensive analysis of samples.


  • TS-808 is a drum synth, not a sampler.
  • Most of the voices have more parameters and a greater range than their hardware predecessors.
  • All parameters can be automated.
  • Remote control is available via host mapping or MIDI learn.
  • There are 8 outputs.
  • Each voice can be routed to any output.

All Voices

  • All voices have controls for Level (* Lev), Velocity Sensitivity (* < V), and Output (* Out).
  • Any voice can be routed to any of the 8 outputs.

Bass Drum

  • The base frequency of the BD is 48.999 Hz, better known as G1 or MIDI note 31.
  • BD Tune alters the pitch by up to +-12 semitones, i.e. a value of +2 will raise the base frequency of the BD by 2 semitones, to A1 (55 Hz).

Snare Drum

  • The base frequencies of the SD tone generators are 174.614 Hz (F3) and 349.228 Hz (F4).
  • SD Tune alters the pitch of the tone generators by up to +-12 semitones.


  • The base frequencies of the toms are:
    • LT - 97.999 Hz (G2).
    • MT - 146.832 Hz (D3).
    • HT - 220 Hz (A3).
  • The Tune parameters alter the pitch by up to +-3 semitones.
  • The Rev parameters control the amount of pink noise mixed with the signal.


  • The base frequencies of the congas are:
    • LC - 195.997 Hz (G3).
    • MC - 293.664 Hz (D4).
    • HC - 440 Hz (A4).
  • The Tune parameters alter the pitch by up to +-3 semitones.
  • The Decay parameters extend or reduce the decay time of the signal.

Rim Shot

  • There are two tone generators for the RS.
  • The signals are half-wave rectified. The rectified signal is mixed with the clean signal.
  • RS Tone controls the mix.
  • At -5 only the rectified signal is present, at 5 only the clean signal.
  • At 0 the mix is equal and the sound is very close to that of the TR-808.


  • The base frequency of the CL is 2349.318 Hz (D7).
  • CL Tune alters the pitch by up to +-6 semitones.


  • The CP is composed of a strike portion and a reverb portion.
  • CPR Lev controls the amount of the reverb portion present in the mix.
  • CPS Dec and CPR Dec control the decay times of the strike and reverb portions respectively.


  • The MA is just bandpass filtered white noise shaped by an envelope.
  • MA Tune varies the frequency of the band pass filter from around 350Hz to 10500 Hz.
  • MA Attack & MA Decay control the envelope generator.
  • When all controls are at 10 the sound is all but identical to that of the TR-808.

Cow Bell

  • The CB comprises two half-wave rectified square waves run through a bandpass filter.
  • According to the schematics, the frequencies are 540 Hz and 800 Hz. In the samples Tactile Sounds analysed, they were closer to 565 Hz and 849 Hz. Tactile Sounds settled on base frequencies of 523.251 Hz and 783.991 Hz - a perfect fifth, and in tune with the rest of the voices.
  • CB Tune alters these pitches by up to +-12 semitones.
  • CB Buzz controls the amount of the rectified signal in the final mix.
  • CB Clang controls the amount by which the oscillators are detuned.

Hi Hats

  • The CH and OH of the TR-808 have different envelopes and filters. In the TS-808 the envelopes are different but the filter is shared.
  • HH Tune varies the cutoff frequency of the filter, from ~8000 Hz to ~11000 Hz.
  • HH Dec controls the decay time of the OH.
Made with SynthEdit
Latest User Reviews Average user rating of 4.50 from 2 reviews

Reviewed By torridgristle
February 3, 2019

I've been using TS-808 for years now and it has always gotten me what I wanted: 808 sounds. The live synthesized audio provides more variation and liveliness than static one-shot samples and the controls on the synthesis provide more control than the largest of TR-808 sample libraries.

The multiple outputs available in TS-808 is greatly appreciated and frankly necessary for modern processed 808 sounds.

It has the GM Standard mapping for MIDI so there's no need to rework MIDI scores or MIDI drum kits, and it also has a more compact 16-note range above that at C5 that I personally prefer using for programming rhythms.

A minor detail that I really appreciate is the ability to type in the values for knobs rather than only being able to turn the knobs with a mouse. Not only does this let me obsess over my sound, it also lets me enter values that exceed the limit of the knobs for wild and impossible sounds that still operate based on emulated circuitry.

The UI is beautiful and uncluttered, designed by Limeflavour who does great work.

Finally, for free? It blows the hundreds of paid TR-808 sample packs straight out of the water. It's an elegant solution to anyone's 808 problems.

Read Review

Reviewed By The Chase
May 5, 2018

This remains the best freeware 808 emulation that isn't sample-based.

Does it sound like an 808 is in front of you? No, but neither does Roland's own reissue. If you want to spend $0 and you are modulating/automating enough to require a synth over samples, this is the one.

Read Review


Discussion: Active
3 February 2019 at 4:15pm

The latest version is actually and is archived on VST4Free.

10 March 2020 at 8:43am

Download link is broken anyway to put a working on up, Thanks.

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Average user rating of 4.50 from 2 reviews

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