All about the Roland TR-09 Rhythm Composer

The Roland TR-09 Rhythm Composer might be new, but it has a history. In 1984 Tadao Kikumoto of Roland Japan, the brains behind the TB-303, created the Roland TR-909 Rhythm Composer. In his mind the TR909 Drum Machine was surely to be memorable due to its partial analogue and partial sample based sound engine, or more the point groundbreaking as the first drum machine with MIDI. Little did he know that his innovation would trigger a number of musical cultures that would help shape not only a generation but the future of electronic music. The Roland TR909 was one of the main protagonists in the Techno and Acid musical movements in the late 20th century.

Roland TR-09 Rhythm Composer review of features

So as a child of the 80’s and 90’s, when Roland gave us the news that they were going to release the Roland TR-09, a drum machine styled on the original TR909, my world just got a whole lot better. Like many, I owned a TR909 but was crazy enough to sell it in the late 90’s.

The Roland TR-09 is in the same chassis as the Roland Boutique series so is far more compact than its’ predecessor. Regardless of size the drum machine still has the speaker hammering sound and character of the TR909 plus, most importantly, its’ user interface. The TR-09 has four separate audio outputs over USB audio, external instrument control through a trigger output and USB MIDI making it the perfect addition to an existing studio or performance system.

The interface offers the classic Step and Tap write modes which allow the user to run patterns while working in both write and play modes. The Roland TR09 sequencer has 16 steps, and each has 16 sub-steps giving further detail. Just like the original TR909, the Shuffle/Flam parameter can be selected using the buttons, for greater control, use the display and rotary encoder to perfect any pattern. Real Time and recordable control over many parameters including tune, level and decay allow the user to mould the TR-09 to suite their own musical styles. All tweaks, patterns and edits can be backed up via USB.

Roland TR-09 Inputs and Outputs

In the effects locker the TR09 has a built in compressor which really turbocharges the punch of the bass drum and snare.

As for the boring but important stuff… the Roland TR-09 runs on either battery or USB power, delivers 24-bit/96 kHz audio quality (if only that technology was about in 1984!), has a built in mini speaker and is built like a tank. Like the other Roland Boutiques series the Roland TR09 is compatible with the K-25 keyboard unit.

Check out the full specification and get your name on the list on either our Red Dog Music site or with our sister company Production Room and you can be one of the first in the UK to get your hands on the incredible new drum machine, the Roland TR-09.

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