New products are among 30 that were announced on '909 Day' (ie, today)
A couple of weeks ago, we told you that Roland might be bringing out 'Boutique' versions of its famous TR-909 and TR-808 drum machines. Today that was confirmed, along with a whole host of other new products that Roland is launching including a drum machine-equipped DJ controller developed in association with Serato.
The new versions of the TR-909 and TR-303 are known as the TR-09 and TB-03, and form part of the Boutique range. Roland's Boutique products are modernised, reissued versions of classic hardware; the range launched with some updated Juno synths last year. Now the drum machine and bass synth that kickstarted the house and techno revolution are getting the Boutique treatment - entirely as predicted.
The TR-09 is pretty faithful to the original machine, bar the addition of a USB port (and some new preset sounds courtesy of Mumdance). The TB-03, on the other hand, has had a bit more of an overhaul, and now features a small LCD screen for easier programming, a new Step mode, three new effects and MIDI, USB, CV and gate outputs.
Also new in the Boutique range is the VP-03, which is based on the 1979 VP-330 Vocoder Plus.
Finally, also getting in on the 909 Day action have been Red Bull Music Academy, who today published an in-depth look at the original TR-909's role in shaping the emerging sounds of house and techno in the 1980s, written by our very own Matt Anniss - read that here.
Elsewhere, Roland's much-discussed but so far hush-hush collaboration with Serato has resulted in the DJ-808, a new DJ controller for use with the popular DJ software that also just happens to include a 16-sequencer for triggering TR-909, 808, 707 and 606 drum sounds, as well as any samples you load into the Serato Sampler engine.
Also announced today were new Aira-branded headphones (the first fruit of Roland's recent acquisition of V-Moda) and some new synths and keyboards, but more on those another time...