Roland TR-909

DRUM MACHINE  |  BACK

roland tr-909The Roland TR-909 Rhythm Composer is a partially analog, partially sample-based drum machine built by the Japanese Roland Corporation in 1983.[1] The brainchild of Tadao Kikumoto, the engineer behind the Roland TB-303,[2] it features a 16-step step sequencer and a drum kit that aimed for realism and cost-effectiveness. It is fully-programmable, and like its predecessor, the TR-808, it can store entire songs with multiple sections, as opposed to simply storing patterns. Only around 10,000 units were produced.[citation needed]

As with the TB-303, the realism of the TR-909 was severely limited by technical constraints, and this showed when the machines were released at relatively low prices before its rise in popularity, coinciding with the beginnings of techno and acid. More expensive, sample-based drum computers were better at faithfully reproducing real drum sounds, while the TR-909 sounded synthetic.

The drum kit contains the following sounds:

All drums except for the hi-hats and cymbals are synthetically generated; there is an oscillator circuit with a dedicated filter and envelope curve. The hi-hats and cymbals are 6-bit samples, compressed and combined with a volume envelope curve (and tuning) to allow slight modification. Thanks to the analog circuitry, various aspects of the drum sound can be modified (pitch, attack, decay).

There is also a feature called "accent"—a primitive means of humanizing the drumbeat. In a simplified model of a drummer and a kit, the loudness of the sound created would basically depend on the velocity at which the drummer hits a given part of the kit. A human drummer can emphasize certain notes by playing them louder, and the accent parameter provides a means to boost a particular step. A more complex model would also include timbral change, but reproducing this effect using the TR-909's analog electronics wasn't feasible[verification needed]. It took the industry a while to even offer this effect in sample based drum machines, due to the price of sample memory and the number of samples one would have to take to faithfully reproduce it.[verification needed]

Part of the charm of the TR-909 comes from its 16-step sequencer — today it might look primitive, not allowing subtle grooves and being limited in variety with only 16 steps, while a more lively, complicated drum pattern might need much more than that. On the other hand, acid techno music is usually simple compared to the styles that might require more than 16 steps to a bar. For example, punching the buttons 1, 5, 9 and 13 on the bass drum part would create a simple "four to the floor" beat.

While the sequencer is running, a light runs from step 1 to step 16.

The TR-909 has several editing modes: pattern editing where one focuses solely on the 16 steps, and track editing, which allows for chaining various patterns in a row. Because it has MIDI, it's also possible to control other instruments with the sequencer.

This machine and its unique sequencer (both Roland and other manufacturers used either a grid-based sequencer, showing the dots on an LCD, or another method that did not display the pattern at all) were the basis for so-called grooveboxes — self-contained compact synthesizer workstations with rudimentary keyboards and pattern-based sequencers, aimed at creators of electronic music, using sample-based sound generation and a number of realtime controls.

See availability on eBay

Collectors item Roland TR 909 with bold lineage exKraftwerk
Collectors item Roland TR 909 with bold lineage exKraftwerk
$31,601.46
Time Remaining: 20d 19h 23m
Buy It Now for only: $31,601.46
Add to watch list
Roland TR 909 Fantastic Condition w Professionally Modified Kick and Hi Hats
Roland TR 909 Fantastic Condition w Professionally Modified Kick and Hi Hats
$4,900.00
Time Remaining: 5h 11m
Buy It Now for only: $4,900.00
Add to watch list
ROLAND TR 909 Rhythm Composer in Excellent Condition
ROLAND TR 909 Rhythm Composer in Excellent Condition
$4,100.00
Time Remaining: 10d 12h 4m
Buy It Now for only: $4,100.00
Add to watch list
Roland TR 909 110V
Roland TR 909 110V
$3,547.13
Time Remaining: 14d 9h 53m
Buy It Now for only: $3,547.13
Add to watch list
Roland TR 8 Aira Rhythm Performer TR 808 TR 909 Reproduction l Authorized Dealer
Roland TR 8 Aira Rhythm Performer TR 808 TR 909 Reproduction l Authorized Dealer
$499.99
Time Remaining: 23d 21h
Buy It Now for only: $499.99
Add to watch list
Roland 80s vtg Official Varsity Jacket XL Leather Synth Rap TR 808 909 707 303
Roland 80s vtg Official Varsity Jacket XL Leather Synth Rap TR 808 909 707 303
$499.99
Time Remaining: 10d 22h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $499.99
Add to watch list
Roland Aira TR 8 Rhythm Performer Drum Machine TR 808 and TR 909 Sounds
Roland Aira TR 8 Rhythm Performer Drum Machine TR 808 and TR 909 Sounds
$499.99
Time Remaining: 14h 29m
Buy It Now for only: $499.99
Add to watch list
Roland AIRA TR 8 Rhythm Performer 808 909 Drum Machine New JRR Shop
Roland AIRA TR 8 Rhythm Performer 808 909 Drum Machine New JRR Shop
$499.99
Time Remaining: 15d 1h 27m
Buy It Now for only: $499.99
Add to watch list
Roland TR 8 Rhythm Performer TR 808 TR 909 Sounds USB MIDI Drum Machine
Roland TR 8 Rhythm Performer TR 808 TR 909 Sounds USB MIDI Drum Machine
$499.99
Time Remaining: 22d 2h 22m
Buy It Now for only: $499.99
Add to watch list
Roland AIRA TR 8 Rhythm Performer TR 909 TR 808 Drum Machine
Roland AIRA TR 8 Rhythm Performer TR 909 TR 808 Drum Machine
$499.00
Time Remaining: 18d 17h 18m
Buy It Now for only: $499.00
Add to watch list
New Roland AIRA TR 8 Rhythm Performer DJ Studio Live 808 909 707 Drum Machine
New Roland AIRA TR 8 Rhythm Performer DJ Studio Live 808 909 707 Drum Machine
$499.00
Time Remaining: 29d 15h 41m
Buy It Now for only: $499.00
Add to watch list
Roland TR 09 Boutique Drum Rhythm Composer TR 909 New ver l Authorized Dealer
Roland TR 09 Boutique Drum Rhythm Composer TR 909 New ver l Authorized Dealer
$399.99
Time Remaining: 15d 19h 49m
Buy It Now for only: $399.99
Add to watch list
Roland TR 8 AIRA 808 909 Rhythm Drum Machine in box TR 8 ARMENS
Roland TR 8 AIRA 808 909 Rhythm Drum Machine in box TR 8 ARMENS
$409.00
Time Remaining: 7d 19h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $409.00
Add to watch list
Roland AIRA TR 8 Rhythm Performer DJ Studio Live 808 909 707 Drum Machine
Roland AIRA TR 8 Rhythm Performer DJ Studio Live 808 909 707 Drum Machine
$399.99
Time Remaining: 16h 22m
Buy It Now for only: $399.99
Add to watch list
New Roland TR 09 Remake TR 909 Drum Machine Aira Synthesizer w Free Roland Bag
New Roland TR 09 Remake TR 909 Drum Machine Aira Synthesizer w Free Roland Bag
$399.99
Time Remaining: 3d 21h 22m
Buy It Now for only: $399.99
Add to watch list
Roland Aira TR 09 Boutique Rhythm Composer TR 909 Style Drum Machine
Roland Aira TR 09 Boutique Rhythm Composer TR 909 Style Drum Machine
$399.99
Time Remaining: 5d 22h 57m
Buy It Now for only: $399.99
Add to watch list
Roland TR 09 Rhythm Composer Recreation of Iconic TR 909 Drum Machine New
Roland TR 09 Rhythm Composer Recreation of Iconic TR 909 Drum Machine New
$399.99
Time Remaining: 13d 4h
Buy It Now for only: $399.99
Add to watch list
Roland TR 09 Rhythm Performer TR 909 Drum Machine New JRR Shop
Roland TR 09 Rhythm Performer TR 909 Drum Machine New JRR Shop
$399.99
Time Remaining: 20d 16h 38m
Buy It Now for only: $399.99
Add to watch list
Roland TT 99 Direct Drive DJ Turntable TR 909 Edition NEW l Authorized Dealer
Roland TT 99 Direct Drive DJ Turntable TR 909 Edition NEW l Authorized Dealer
$399.99
Time Remaining: 21d 3h 21m
Buy It Now for only: $399.99
Add to watch list
Roland DJ 99 2 Channel DJ Mixer TR 909 Special Edition l USA Authorized Dealer
Roland DJ 99 2 Channel DJ Mixer TR 909 Special Edition l USA Authorized Dealer
$299.99
Time Remaining: 19d 19h 57m
Buy It Now for only: $299.99
Add to watch list






EBAY US AUCTIONS

Overhauled! ROLAND Juno-106 juno 106 Perfect Working! Excellent+++
Friday, October 20th, 2017
Roland TR 909 No Reserve
Friday, October 20th, 2017
Overhauled! ROLAND Juno 106 Perfect Working! Excellent+++ w/Custom wood side
Friday, October 20th, 2017
Roland Juno-106S juno106S Perfect Working Very Nice Condition Serial # 5216**
Friday, October 20th, 2017
VINTAGE 1980S ROLAND TR-909 RHYTHM COMPOSER DRUM MACHINE grlc2160
Thursday, October 19th, 2017
Moog Music Minimoog Model D Synthesizer (Used)
Thursday, October 19th, 2017
Moog Mother-32 Tabletop Semi-Modular Synthesizer Sequencer Module Eurorack
Thursday, October 19th, 2017
Roland Juno-106S juno106S Perfect Working Very Nice Condition Serial # 5218**
Thursday, October 19th, 2017
Roland Juno-106S juno106S Perfect Working Very Nice Condition Serial # 52189*
Thursday, October 19th, 2017
Moog Music Minimoog Model D Analog Synthesizer
Thursday, October 19th, 2017
Moog Minimoog D Replacement Front Panel Aluminum Faceplate
Thursday, October 19th, 2017
Moog Mother 32 Semi-Modular Synthesizer
Thursday, October 19th, 2017
Roland Juno-106 Keyboard Synthesizer synthspa renewed  
Thursday, October 19th, 2017
Roland SH-101 GAIA Keyboard Analog Synthesizer Used Japan
Thursday, October 19th, 2017
Roland Juno-106 Keyboard Synthesizer
Wednesday, October 18th, 2017
Moog Mother 32 Semi-modular Eurorack-format Analog Synthesizer, New!
Wednesday, October 18th, 2017
Roland Juno-106 Panel Board PCB291-911 Replacement Parts – B326
Wednesday, October 18th, 2017
Moog Mother 32 Semi Modular Analog Synthesizer
Wednesday, October 18th, 2017