SampleScience 808 Lab lets you play classic 808 sounds in key

Each drum sound also has its own set of sound-shaping parameters.

When you purchase through affiliate links on, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more
SampleScience 808 Lab

Most recently known for its consistent output of vaporwave and VHS-era-inspired plug-ins, SampleScience has released 808 Lab, a TR-808 emulation with enhanced control over pitch and tone.

The TR-808 needs little introduction. It’s by far the most iconic drum machine of all time, perhaps only contested by its sibling, the TR-909. Naturally, the sought-after sound has been replicated across software and hardware hundreds of times. At the very least, you probably have a TR-808 sample pack buried somewhere amidst your sound library. So what makes SampleScience’s iteration so special?

With 808 Lab, the main hook is the ability to play each TR-808 sound chromatically, which allows you to play, for example, an 808 bassline across your keyboard and piano roll. According to the brand, “each tonal sound of the 808 has been tuned to perfection”, with each of the original 16 sounds available to play.

The inclusion of Body, Tone, Click, Decay and Level for each element of 808 Lab gives the plug-in a bit of an edge, too. Plus, built-in saturation, amp floor and ceiling controls offer rapidly accessible tone colouring. Some of the sounds also feature an integrated reverb control.

808 Lab is available in VST, VST3 and AU formats for Windows and macOS – High Sierra and Mojave only – at a price of $30. Find out more at

For more plug-in and music tech news click here.


Get the latest news, reviews and tutorials to your inbox.

Join Our Mailing List & Get Exclusive DealsSign Up Now

The world’s leading media brand at the intersection of music and technology.

© 2024 MusicTech is part of NME Networks.