The Sample Company has released Round Robin 808 R&D, a freely downloadable WAV and NI Kontakt sample library featuring the sounds of the 808 drum machine.
The free Round Robin 808 R&D sample pack is based on The Sample Company’s commercially available Preservation Series 808 ($50) library. The idea behind the library was to record multiple takes of each 808 drum sound in order to capture the subtle differences between the different hits due to the instrument’s analog nature. This makes for a sound library that sounds closer to the original instrument. The free version of the kit contains 510 individual samples whereas the full kit contains 1,860 samples in total.
If you own the full version of NI Kontakt, you can take full advantage of the included NKI patches. There’s a patch for each 808 drum sound (bass drum, snare, clap, etc.) with preprogrammed round robin variations. The Sample Company has also included a multi-patch which stacks all the individual patches together into a full 808 kit. Once you’ve loaded the multi, you can adjust the volume, pan, and pitch of each drum element. Keep in mind that the patches will only work for fifteen minutes at a time in the freeware Kontakt Player plugin. This is the demo limitation of Kontakt Player.
If you don’t own NI Kontakt, the good news is that The Sample Company has provided all the samples in 24-bit WAV format. You can use these to create your own custom patches in your sampler instrument of choice. We recommend Grace as one of the best freeware samplers around, along with TX16Wx which is another great pick.
As for the sound quality of the included samples, it’s at a very high level. It seems that The Sample Company didn’t go crazy with post-processing, instead focusing on delivering a clean and authentic sounding 808 kit. The results are very good and I’ll definitely keep this library on my hard drive despite owning multiple excellent 808 sample packs and virtual instruments.
To download your free copy of Round Robin 808 R&D, simply add it to your shopping cart on the product page linked below and complete the checkout process. You’ll be asked to enter your name and email address before receiving the download link.
UPDATE: To anyone wondering if the samples from the freebie pack can be used commercially, here is the official answer from The Sample Company. “The agreement states that you CAN use the sounds royalty-free and for commercial use. The only thing users are not allowed to do is re-distribute the samples or use the samples to build their own sample library for resale.”
Round Robin 808 R&D is available for free download via The Sample Company (32.6 MB download size, ZIP archive, contains 510 audio samples in 24-bit WAV format, 16 instrument patches in NKI format for NI Kontakt).