Analog sound engines on the Rytm

Hi all,

I’m looking for a proper tutorial-explanation-going-thru-thing on the analog sound engines?
something like which are 808, 909, etc… inspired and most importantly what are the single parameters doing.



For information about the parameters and what they do see the appendix in the manual, it gives a pretty good overview.

None of the machines are specifically 808/909 etc. However BD hard is probably closest to 909 BD, Silky is probably closest to 606/808. The hi-hats and cymbals are pretty close to 606/808 style, the toms are 606/808 style, the cowbell is 808 style, the rimshot and clap are not very close to any vintage machine, the snares are not either IMHO.

All in all I think the Rytm analog engines are best utilised to come up with their own thing, you can get fairly close to vintage machines with varying degrees of success but emulation isn’t their strength IMHO.

I think that for me the envelopes (amplitude, filter and pitch) don’t have the correct response to do extremely convincing Roland drum emulations, for the most part.
This isn’t to be critical for the sake of it, I think that the way the circuits are designed in for example the 808, certain design constraints and limitations mean that unless the topology is copied then things like the way the envelopes behave isn’t going to be successful. The reason for this is because in the Rytm they are designed to have a wider range/scope, so the circuits are more complex, which means they are different.

I won’t go into all the boring details, but a simple one is the way the 808 bass drum works, it is a very simple twin filter network just on the edge of oscillation, when the sound is triggered a short pulse ‘excites’ the filter, also the pulse is mixed into the filter to give the transient click.
So if we look at a typical analog filter and determine how its controls would equate to the 808 bass drum, the cutoff frequency would determine the pitch, and the resonance would determine the decay. The Rytm BD machines don’t have the same topology, being from what I can determine sine/triangle VCO’s mostly, with pitch sweep.
So in this case (808 BD) the closest way would be to use two tracks, both using impulse machine going into resonant filters, to emulate the way the 808 does it.


I think 808 emulations using the engines have been released by users , so it might be worth buying them and then going through the parameters to see how they’ve been done.

But I agree that making unique sounds is more interesting , if you want 808 maybe use samples and overlay rtym engine analog sound to add variety.

There are a lot of options on the market right now if you want 909, 808, or even 606 sounds. Getting something dedicated for that might make a lot more sense than trying to make the Rytm sound like something it isn’t.

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thanks, man!
I really love this forum!

btw.: isn’t the 808 BD just a self oscillating filter sweep?

No. Almost, but no. See A Physically-Informed, Circuit-Bendable, Digital Model of the Roland TR-808 Bass Drum Circuit

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nice paper, man! thanks :slight_smile:

There’s a whole series; highly recommended!

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Also, don’t forget you can just use actual 808(etc) samples, this is also a great way to beef up or make really interesting sounds. Layer up!

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yeah of course!
but I wanna learn more about the engines (Like the name of this topic says…).
since I’m coming more from sound design (so basically I avoid samples where I can… ;))
I’m interested more in the synthesis side of the Rytm.


These are a great resource to get some synthesized 808s from the analog machines!