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Roland TR-909

Rhythm Machine

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Roland TR-909
Roland TR-909
3 800.00 street price

If TR-808 was the "rhythm" godfather of hip-hop and electro music, then TR-909 meant the same for techno and house music. TR-909 was released 3 years after its predecessor, which offers an partially analog and kind of a hybrid sound generation. After a while, the price of 909 plummeted, and Roland released TR-707 to help consolidate the foundation of early dance music. And at the very moment when techno and house pioneers touched the drum machine and felt its sound, especially that bass, a new generation of 909 rhythm tracks smashed the dawn of the epoch.

The classic rhythm machine embraces PCM samples (hi-hat, ride, crash) with analogue modeling (kick, snare, etc.) of live percussion. Its memory allows storing up to 96 patterns, distributing them to banks I and II. The library offers 11 types of percussion: kick, snare, tom, rimshot, clap, hi-hat, crash and cymbals.

In general, the percussion synthesizer uses small pieces of "electronic material" to achieve a similar to real drums sound. Kick offers attack knobs, decay and pitch, which can alter the voice considerably. Snare sounds particularly rich – here there are tune, tone and snappy for you to tweak the sonic signal. The rest of the drums also have an individual tuning and decay (except for clap and rim shots).

By the way, there’s a very good pitch correlation by means of which it is easy to equate pitch of each instrument.

A simple 16-step sequencer with the ability to save patterns is ideal for a kick 4/4. Besides, by adding swing/flam and thanks to MIDI control it will certainly exceed all expectations in terms of flexibility in use.

Trying to compile a list of all the famous sound producers using TR-909 is just meaningless, for it is very difficult to find a techno or house musician who never used it in his studio. However, we will point some of them out: 808 State, Air, Future Sound of London, Moby, Fatboy Slim, Orbital, Überzone, Underworld, The Prodigy, Faithless, ATB, Eat Static, Jimmy Edgar, Richie Hawtin, A Guy Called Gerald, Jean-Michel Jarre, Luke Vibert, the Chemical Brothers.


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More info
Usage area
Bass Synthesizer 
Percussion Synthesizer 
Rhytm/ Drum Machine 
Usage Design/ Form Factor
Without Keys, Desktop 
Digital (D) 
Tone Generator / Sound Synthesis
Technology of Sound Generation PCM
Programs/ Voices/ Timbres
Drum Kits Preset11
Percussion/ Drum Capabilities Kick Drum
Percussion/ Drum Capabilities Snare Drum
Percussion/ Drum Capabilities Hi-Hat Open
Percussion/ Drum Capabilities Hi-Hat Close
Percussion/ Drum Capabilities Cymbal
Percussion/ Drum Capabilities Tom
Max Step Count16
Pattern Sequencer 
Preset patterns96
MIDI in/ out
Pads Matrix
Pads Count16
Audio out
Dedicated output per voice 
All voices mixed in one output 
Power Supply External
Power consumption14 W
Height105 mm
Width486 mm
Depth300 mm
Weight4.500 kg
Production start1983
Production end1985
Production ended

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  • enpdf2.6Mb Roland TR-909 Owner's Manual