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Roland TR-909

22-May-2017

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Roland TR-909



Category:  Products / drum / old analog drums

Added: 14-Dec-98  |  Author: admin

New price: discontinued  |   S/H price: Up to 1000 UK or US

Roland TR-909

Oh God !!... Well, we had to add it didn't we, as there's no escaping the master from which the clones were born....... Now there's quite a few 909 clones around, outside of sample set's, but despite all that, some swear by the original, and I have to say... Roland TR style step programming for me is the ultimate, with the 16 steps easily visible..... it's such a doddle to quickly slip in a few extra snare notes as the light flashes past for the next pass... kinda like using Cubase 'drum-map', but on a machine... anyhow..... I have only used the 909 when working with friends who own/ed them, so this is a spec page, with as much extra info as I could remember/find.... here we go....

The TR (Transistor Rhythm) 909 was the last of the TR series that used any analog sounds..... the following TR 707 was samples only.... You get a 70/30 palette of analog and samples on the 909.... The hatz, crash and ride are samples... the rest analog.... The timing of this units release (1983) was it's downfall really, as within a year or around the same time, machines like the horrible Linn-Drum and early Yamaha RX machines etc started to appear.... with sampled & realistic (!!...well, at the time !!) kik, and snare drums available, the 909 was doomed as folks rushed to get a machine that 'sounded' like real drums.

However... interestingly, due also to it's release time, the 909 did include midi spec's, it'll output clock data (not note data)... so you can use it as a sequencer... (for internal or external sounds)... a clock device... (to run your other sequencer in sync with)... or as a straight drum unit sync'd to external midi clock... best of both worlds really huh ??.... anyway..... enuff poetry has been written about this beasty... so, on with the info & spec's.

Ok... we can split the unit into two half's.... the sequencer... and sound bitz..... the sequencer is the usual TR thing.... 16 steps running across from left to right.... each step has an led light... in step time, you select a drum sound, then every button from 1 - 16 that you depress, is a drum hit for the choosen sound.... With the 909, pressing once gives a lower volume.... again produces higher volume and 3rd time turns the note off.. so you select a sound... input some notes, select a new sound... input notes etc etc.

Each 16 step sequence is a Pattern....you create patterns, and chain the patterns together into songs... The 909 allows 2 banks of 48 patterns to be bunged into 2 banks of 4 total songs... There was even a data cartridge as far as I know to save the whole memory onto... There is also Tap record... like, metronome plays.....choose sound... tap along etc... but the classic TR programming method is in Step-time.



Now... There are 16 steps/buttons to a pattern.....but what happens if you work outside of 4/4 patterns??.... actually, the 909 has 4 preset time-sig' buttons... Check out the black strip above, (devided into 4 by horizontal white lines, above the 16 buttons)... It's devided into 4 ready to go templates to assist visually with the programming once you've entered these modes.... check it out..... easy huh?

If you want to get real weird with Time-signatures, you can do-it-yourself too. You can create any step/length of pattern, by just holding down the usual TR 'Last-Step' button, and which-ever of the 16 buttons you hit will literaly become the last step of the sequence/pattern.

The 909 can also sequence an external sound source, with it's 'External-Instrument' setting, which accesses a new pattern mode, where you can programme a pattern to go with every internal drum pattern.... this accompanying pattern will only trigger an external device.... and is limited to 16 notes, but you can have an 'External' pattern play with every internal drum pattern..... and of course, you can hear the external synth being sounded, and the internal 909 drums at the same time to work with if you're making a bassline or whatever..... You just have to set the unit into 'External Instrument' when you access 'Pattern-Write' mode.

Further to the 2 set volumes for inputting notes, there is the 'Accent' feature, which is just the same as programming an actual sound for inputting data..... but each step of the sequence that has an Accent placed there, will accent any sound on that step of the sequence..... volume of instruments is then further set/adjusted using the actual instrument volume controls, either pre-set to the volume you like, or adjusted live... (crescendo building snare rolls etc)

There is also a 'Shuffle facility, but I never really had much to do with it the times I played with a 909, so I'm vague for that one......anyhow..... If you wanna know how to programme Roland TR style stepmode, grab the Rebirth demo s/w (s/ware or synth section here), and check out the 808 section, which pretty much covers it.... they're all basically the same, whether it's the 606,808 or 909.. or even the 707 kept the same interface.... they are great !

Ok.... Sounds, well, we all know them, (unless you were brought up by some wierd religious cult, who kept you locked in a coal-celler all your life !!).... kik, snare... 3 toms... clapz, open + closed hatz, ride, crash, sidestick.

If you look at the image above, you'll see the sounds are seperated into their own sections... (the black control-knobs)..... The kik has 4 controls... Tune, Level (volume), Attack, and Decay....... The Snare also has 4....has Tune, Level, Tone, and Snappy (how much white noise is added)..... The other sounds have more basic controls.

Ok.... I gotta chip now, I'll add more tomorrow,(24/2/98) but outputs are stereo out, plus 10 individual outs.... you got DIN sync to wire it to a 303 or MC 202.... and there's midi IN and OUT/THRU... as well as FSK tape sync (er.... if you can be bothered).... as well as a 14V trigger out from the rimshot.








Product Videos


Programming a Roland TR-909

A crash course in programming a Roland TR-909 drum machine. Quite a catchy dance beat being produced...


TR-909 tap write demo

Built in the 80s this machine later became the foundation of dance music...


TB-303 loves the TR-909 too

just listen to what I've done this evening. Knob Twiddling is soooo nice!...


TR-909 loves the TB-303

don't know what to say.. Just a little twiddling on these old ladies :-)...







Product Manuals or Files

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Category:  Products / drum / old analog drums






User Comments

Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: charles
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer,Hobby-ist
Date: 09-Sep-99

i would like to buy one i had one but i lost it .so if you know wher i can buy
one plese email me sign miss my 909

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: Maarten
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 12-Nov-99

Shit man , I would hand-cuff myself to this machine!

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: jamie c
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 23-Nov-99

i LOVE MINEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: North Support
Email: Email supplied but hidden
http://www.north-support.com
Activity: Professional
Date: 17-Feb-00

Mother of all modern music...that sounds feels like breastfeeding the scene of today...

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: Jamie
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 18-Apr-00

I have the tr-909...Unbelievable sounds. I though Rebirth was great until I heard the real thing! I purchased this box because I saw someone using it at a show...It all sounded so warm and beautiful...Not quite as flat as samples can sound. if ANYONE could tell me who it was I saw (At Nation in early March is Washington DC...he played right before Carl Cox) I would be greatly indebted to you...The 909 has done more for my desire to continue with producing when I'm feeling unproductive than anything else. Unfortunately, the MIDI clock on mine drifts a little, but a little tweaking on the other side usually fixes that right up. Suck it up and get one. You won't be sorry, I guarantee. Besides, you will own a piece of history!!

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: jaynasty
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 23-Aug-01

In reply to Jamie: could it be...Richie Hawtin...

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: Eugene
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 12-Feb-02

I own a 909; if my house burns down, it's the first thing I'd take out the building.

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: Solid Algoriddim
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 14-Feb-02

i have a mint condition tr 909 with its original packaging, brand new, and am looking to trade it for a fat synth (virus b) or somethig. would also take a mint tb-303 if i could find one. this is an incredible, history making machine....but mine just sits in the box cuz it sequencing is so damn antiquated....write me if you have a decent offer

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: solid algoriddim
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 14-Feb-02

oh yeah, my e-mail is hydrobilly @ yahoo.com, in reference to that last post about wanting to trade my 909.

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: denny
Email: Email supplied but hidden
-
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 07-May-02

graet site i have one ate home.
i kan not work whithout it .
i make house productens with it.
greetings from holland

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: thomas
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 03-Aug-02

This box is obviously the best. Bass drum sound is worthy the price. Easy to use, midi & din connections... I don't know who could ask more...Don't try one if you can't buy one you would make nightmare til the time you get it. I have one to sell if you're interested. Contact me if you wanna blast your speakers.

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: glenn wilson
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 17-Dec-02

anyone know how to convert a canadian 909 to run on uk power, so basically a 110 to 240 converstion.

many thanks

regards Glenn............

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: steef
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 18-Dec-02

you just need a stepdown convertor
Glen, maplins or tandy stock em.

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: JD Babe
Email: Email supplied but hidden
www.jdbabe.com
Activity: Professional
Date: 30-Dec-02

Yes it's a bingo for club music but I think price is too high for this baby.
I bought mine for only 300 Euro's!

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: nassos
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 03-Feb-03

the P O W E RRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: spencer
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity:
Date: 04-Feb-03

on illogik.com I've listen some good tracks

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: Jason Arzberger
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 18-Aug-03

hello all.....
selling everything in my studio....
TR 909, TB303, 606, SH 101 with cases and
stands...comes with all power cables and I
will throw in all the midi cables and a FZ-1
sampler with a broken disk drive. All in good
condition. Price negotable.

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: GIFTED SOUL
Email: Email supplied but hidden
none
Activity: part-timer
Date: 09-Jun-04

TO WHOMEVER!
i AM DYING TO GET ONE OF THESE BAD MOTHERS!
EVER SINCE i STARTED PRODUCING HOUSE MUSIC. aND THAT WAS BACK IN THE MID 80'S.
EXACTLY WHEN CHICAGO CREATED HOUSE!
OH DEAR FOR THE LOVE OF GOD & THOSE SNAPPY SNARES AND OOOOOOH THE DRY POINTY KICKS!
PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME AND SELL ME ONE OF THOSE BAD BABYS!!!!!!!
I LIVE IN LEXINGTON NEBRASKA
MY HOME PHONE# IS 308 324-7139
MY CELL # IS 308 320- 0467 IF YOU ARE OUT OF STATE PLEASE DIAL A 1 AREA CODE THEN THE # THANKS MUCH APPRECIATED!

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: steve
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 17-May-07

This baby Rocks, Ive had mine for around 2 years now, im so glad i bought one. i paid alot of money for it 750 pounds. The tr909 comes into its own once you get the 10 outputs pumping through whatever you choose, the Bass drum is something else, its everything you could wish for and more, Its fat It sits in the mix with very little EQ but most of all its warm. If you do anysort of dance music get one, if you do any sort of music get one anyway just so you own a peace of history. I had mine in bits after 3 days so i could mod it, and luckly for me it worked when i switeched it on, the hats now retune, the bass drum tunes up/down by 2octaves and the decay now last 3-4 seconds (very 808,lol).
.

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Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: hip808
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 15-Jul-10

[quote] glenn wilson wrote: anyone know how to convert a canadian 909 to run on uk
power, so basically a 110 to 240 converstion.many thanksregards
Glenn............ [/quote]

Hi, have you got it modified from 110 to 240V? I have the same need. There is a Japanese shop,
FiveG, who can do it for JPY4,000 but Japan is too far for me. So, I think it can be modified and I
tried to read the service manual, yes, it can be done. However, I have no experience in doing this
and wonder if you or anyone have done it?

By the way, there's a few buttons don't work, do you know how to fix it?

Many thanks!

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Last added comment

Product:  Roland - TR-909
Name: KitKat
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 12-Aug-12

[quote] Jamie wrote: I have the tr-909...Unbelievable sounds. I though
Rebirth was great until I heard the real thing! I purchased this box because I
saw someone using it at a show...It all sounded so warm and beautiful...Not
quite as flat as samples can sound. if ANYONE could tell me who it was I saw
(At Nation in early March is Washington DC...he played right before Carl Cox) I
would be greatly indebted to you...The 909 has done more for my desire to
continue with producing when Im feeling unproductive than anything else.
Unfortunately, the MIDI clock on mine drifts a little, but a little tweaking on the
other side usually fixes that right up. Suck it up and get one. You wont be
sorry, I guarantee. Besides, you will own a piece of history!! [/quote]
Jeff Miils?

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



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