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Roland TR-909

Drum Machinefrom the Roland TR series

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User Reviews


By redox75, 15/09/2014
Easy to program, midi, roland old-school sync, and the typical roland sequencer that earned the TR its reputation.

I now think the sequencer of the 808 is more "lively." It has a magical groove which isn't as present on the 909, except when play with the shuffle, which makes it more interesting.
I have noticed, for example, that putting the TR 808 in sync out mode to start the 909 in sync in mode, the latter adopts the magical groove of the 808.
I think it's due to the sync clock of the 808 being less stable, so the precision of the intervals, which ought to be a defect, turns out to be a good quality.
But if you do it the other way around it doesn't work!


There's no need for a manual, except for step-by-step editing.
It has multiple separate outputs, three trig outs to trigger the sequencers and arpeggiators of your good old analog toys. Real-time processing of some instruments is great and it really alows you to "rebuild a song" with the same pattern by playing with the volumes, attacks, decay, tuning, etc...
The external card slot is a great plus to save your songs/patterns, just like the MIDI, for those who use it.


I can't say that all sounds are great. The snares are all right, but the ones on the 808 are better, and the same goes for the ride/crash.

But it's THE KICK that can really make a difference in an electronic music production, even though the one of the 808 and 606 are pretty good, too. Some sounds of the 707 are similar to those of the 909, like the clap and hi--hat.

I have always loved the 909, but I have a weakness for the 808, which has that "special something" that can't be defined and a more vintage sound.


I just got it, after having exchanged it for one of the two TB 303s I had.
It was in a great condition (I checked the buttons, knobs, etc.).

I wanted one ever since I started my TR collection in 1995. It currently sells for about 1200/2200 euros and it's very rare to come by. Like other vintage gear, it's an "investment.".
Anyone who has one in a good condition in 15/20 years will make a fortune with it because it will be a 50-year old legend.
That's why it's worth buying spare parts right now, so you can service and repair it.

The current price is due to supply and demand, anything that's rare is expensive. And even if the TR 8 isn't bad at all, and even just as good for some sounds, it doesn't bear comparison with the 909. The latter has an incredible punch and everybody wants one.
The same applies to other analog drum machines and synths (just take a look at the Jupiter 8, whose price has sky-rocketed to over 6000 euros, the same it cost new back in 1981!).


By undlab, 05/08/2014
No need to present it.


Very simple.
Super sequencer.


Pure sound of Techno.


It is the drum machine Techno (with of course his sister TR-808).
The sounds are very well known but the kick is unique. I have had other analog BAR, supposedly clones 909, but this is not the same at all, not at all.
The 909 put me a slap, I was not expecting it, she such a presence, it's just great.
She is on very limited and very very expensive.
But I do not regret my purchase.

Pulsewave's review

By Pulsewave, 24/08/2011
BAR with programmable sequencer contains 11 sounds, most can be modified in real time.

7 analog sounds (created from electronic components)
-------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------
-Bass Drum (tune, level, attack, decay)
-Snare Drum (tune, level, tone, snappy)
-Low Tom (tune, level, decay)
-Mid Tom (tune, level, decay)
-High Tom (tune, level, decay)
-rim Shot (level)
-Hand Clap (level)

3 digital sounds (created from samples):
-------------------------------------------------- ---------------
-Hi-Hat (HH Closed / Open HH) (level, decay)
-Cymbal (Crash / Ride) (level, tune)

Sequencer 96 patterns (2 banks with 3 groups of 16 patterns)
8 songs
4 different scale
Internal tempo 37-290 BPM
Stereo audio output (Master Out)
Independent output for each sound (Multi Out)
Functions: accent and shuffle / flam
MIDI: 1 In, 2 Out
Sync In
Input Start / Stop
Trig Out Out (rim shot)
Cassette interface for data backup (Save / Out), (Load / In)
Optional M-64C cartridge memory (patterns)
Input and output jacks on 6.35
Consumption: 14 W
Dimensions: 486x105x300 mm
Weight: 4.5 kg


Creation of "patterns" in real time and / or editing step or MIDI.

MIDI allows for 909 different velocity to each sound, in contrast MIDI TR-707 and 727 with velocities than uniformly applies!

For those who do not use MIDI, there is the "Sync In". But as the name suggests, the "Sync In" is only able to receive a signal allowing the TR to be synchronized from an external device with it a "Sync out".

A slight panning sounds can be heard on the stereo output.
The sounds are automatically "transferred" from the main output when using the individual outputs.

See manual for the rest :)


I read everything and anything about it, just know that the TR-909 with its own sound and has a peach of hell.


Many people are unaware that the TR-909 are not all the same! I do not want to dwell on it but just know that there are 5 different versions, including 3 revisions bring some small changes to certain sounds. I myself was in possession of several TR-909 and none sounded identically the same! My first, I bought € 370 (15,000 fb) in 1995. Today, it's anything right? Another important point I want to emphasize is that these beautiful little machines you will fall in the road sooner or later. Normal after more than 25 years of loyal service some components are nearing the end of life.
A word ..

julolive's review

By julolive, 23/05/2010






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Roland TR-909 tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer:Roland
  • Model:TR-909
  • Series:TR
  • Category:Drum Machines
  • Added in our database on: 05/23/2002

We have no technical specifications for this product
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Other names: tr 909, tr909