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808 then and now: an intergenerational event

FutureDJs is partnering with Manchester Metropolitan University on 28th November for a live event in the Virtuoso classroom. This will be a celebration of the Roland TR-808 drum machine and its continuing impact on music. The event will consist of a panel discussion on 80s and 90s club culture, as well as a demonstration of the TR-08 (the modern successor to the TR-808) by Virtuoso music tutors. Read on to find out how you could win a TR-08!

The TR-08, a compact modern successor to the legendary TR-808

Despite being released 40 years ago, sounds of the TR-808 can still be heard in music today. The most obvious of these is the 808 kick, which on the original drum machine could be programmed to have a long ‘decay’, meaning the sound of the kick takes longer to fade. This effect was designed to emulate the decay of a real kick drum, however, because of its deep and ‘sizzly’ sound, producers quickly began to use it experimentally in their music.

This is what’s referred to when people talk about the ‘808 sound’, and emulations of it can still be heard in music across many genres, especially pop, trap and dancehall.

Few pieces of equipment have had such a profound impact on music as the TR-808 or sustained such a legacy for so long. At the heart of our upcoming event with MMU is the celebration of dance music culture across generations, making the 808 the perfect topic to guide discussions. As part of the event, ‘Lapsed Clubber’ panellists from Manchester’s 80s and 90s club scene will be sharing their experiences to a younger audience of students.

The event will be hosted in the Virtuoso virtual classroom.

FutureDJs are passionate about encouraging the next generation of artists. That’s why we are offering a limited number of free spaces for under 16’s to attend this virtual event, and giving every attendee a Soundtrap account and lanyard as well as a copy of our How to DJ book. And as amazing added bonus, all attendees will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a brand-new Roland TR-08, the compact successor to the original TR-808 — worth £350.

This is not an event to miss. Reserve a place for your child at this free event by emailing their details to and we will register their place in the virtual classroom.

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