Roland TR-09

Drum Machine

  • Compact replica of the legendary TR 909 drum machine
  • Sound, character and operating panel of the original TR 909
  • Simultaneous control of many parameters such as tune, level and decay
  • Programmable via the classic Step / Tap write modes
  • Uninterrupted play even when you switch between the "write" and "play" mode
  • 4 Separate outputs via USB audio
  • Trigger outputs for external instruments with trigger inputs
  • Metal front panel
  • Works with 4 x AA batteries or via USB power
  • 24 Bit / 96 kHz stereo in/out USB audio interface
  • Built-in mini speaker
  • Compatible with optional Roland K-25m keyboard
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 308 x 130 x 51 mm
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Sound samples

 
0:00
  • Demo 1
  • Demo 2
  • Demo 3

Further information

Sound Synthesis Modeling
Pads 0
Effects No
Bass No
Display Yes
Number of analog outputs 1
Headphone Connector Yes
Mains Operation Yes
Battery Operation Yes

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23 written ratings Read all reviews
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Very close to the 909 sound but with some limitations.

TrEr, 24.03.2017
It's difficult to review the TR-09 without comparing to a vintage 909. After all, Roland's marketing of the TR-09 is completely based on the success on the 909 so we should expect it to be pretty much identical.

Well, it isn't . Roland failed completely in that regard. No separate outputs and fragile miniature knobs/buttons that will never work for playing it "live" like a 909 are the biggest drawbacks. This makes the TR-09 a complete failure if you're looking for a direct replacement for a 909.

One could also wonder why Roland has chosen to stick with the completely outdated user interface with a product that in the end has ended up so different from a real 909. I guess the familiarity with the vintage 909 makes it easy and intuitive for old users. But for new users that aren't familiar with the 909 it feels like trying to learn a computer from the 80s. Lots of totally un-intuitive and complex key combinations are needed for even the most basic functions (like on a real 909). And the manual is of the typical horrible standard that we are used to from the Japanese synth manufacturers.

Still, it sounds great. Very close to a real 909. It lacks the undefiable warm "punch" in the lows and crisp highs of a 909 but it's close enough that no-one will notice the difference in a mix. And nobody uses a 909 unprocessed anyway these days, do they? After a bit of filtering, eq-ing and compression NO-ONE will be able to tell the difference between the TR-09 and a 909.

To make an exact re-issue of a 909 would cost a lot more. I'm sure Roland has carefully calculated the pricing that would give them the highest profit and designed it specifically for that price point. If looking at the TR-09 without making any comparisons to a real 909 it's a great product. But don't expect it to have the connectivity and "live" input capabilities of the 909. I'd say the biggest difference between the TR-09 and the 909 is that the 909 can be a great live performance instrument whereas the TR-09 is more of a studio tool for tweaking grooves in a controlled environment. I don't think the TR-09 has either the build quality, connectivity or the control panel for using it for live performances.

Great unit for any studio or home studio that needs a 909-style drum machine but don't expect it to be a 909.
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TR-09 Review

JoidyV, 12.04.2018
Excellent piece of equipment. The Sounds on the machine are of very good quality and classic, great for jamming on, great for using with Logic Pro X and great fun all round, just patiently waiting for my 303 to arrive so the real fun can begin.
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