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Roland Tr909



roland tr909

logo 909

audio demo trend price : 2000€
manual service manual demo video sample comments

Roland Tr-909 rhythm composer (1983)

The legendary cult drum machine considered maybe as sought-after as the elder brother Tr808.

The 909 was a commercial failure and Roland retired the machine from the market after a few months.



info LAPTOP (weight: 4.5 kg) white cream color made out of plastic.
Main panel features a basic display with red segments, 31 knobs + 23 buttons + 16 pads with no velocity)
Back panel terminal connectors: Midi and tape interface, a Sync 5-DIN IN, main out + 10 individual outs, trigger out (controlled by rimshot), a pedalswitch input for start/stop and finally a memory cartridge slot.

info Power supply is internal.


info SOUND based on a CPU NEC UPD7811G manages up to 10 voices each with individual mix levels. The 909 sound generation is split into 2 main groups:
1) analog
2) digital

info ANALOG family is generated like by several mini-synthesizers with individual circuits with onboard VCO oscillators, noise generators, envelope VCA stages and filtered by lowpass filters.
There are 4 analog percussions:

-1. Bass Drum (parameters: tune/ decay/ attack)
The BD can be pitched or adjusted in the decay time (the length) while attack is not like a traditional synthesizer EG ADSR, instead it adds a variable click at the beginning.

-2. Snare Drum (parameters: tune/ tone/ snappy).
The tone emphasizes the VCF filter and the total Decay, while snappy makes the sound snappier adding more white noise.

- 3. Tom
(parameters: tune/ decay)
There are 3 toms (HI - LOW- MID) with same characteristics but different pitch range. The Decay length can individually set for the 3 percussions.

- 4. Rim Shot:
no control

- 5. handclap:
no control
Very similar to Tr808 circuit with this inimitable Roland faked-reverb in the background.


info DIGITAL section offers 3 PCM samples coded at 6 bits resolution and 18 kHz frequency, the rest of the audio signal path is pure analog including EG, VCF and VCA.
PCM shots are stored in a 32 Kb ROM HITACHI HN61256P.

- 1. Close-Open Hi-Hat (parameters: tune/decay)
The decay makes a long open sound. Open and closed HH share same circuit so they cannot be played at the same time.

- 2. Crash
(parameter: tune)
Just sample tuning

- 3. Ride (parameter: tune)
Just sample tuning

pcm samples

info SEQUENCER is quite simple and ready to produce some grooves in a snap, based on award-winning 16 step step entries or tapping method.
There are 3 main sequencer functions that enhance the pattern groove:
- 1. ACCENT: makes a specific step louder (for a single instruments or all).
- 2. SHUFFLE: swings the beat for a more human rhythms.
- 3. FLAME: adds a syncope on a step (does not apply to rimshot, claps, hihats, crash and ride).


info SYNC internal tempo range from 37 to 290 BPM or external clock synch is possible in 3 ways:
- 1. 5 DIN SYNC signal at 24 PPQ frequency.
- 2. Midi clock
- 3. Tape sync

info MIDI it is possible to trigger the sound percussions directly by Midi (channel can be selected).
Implementation is rather basic and offers only plain notes ON/OFF messages.

info MEMORY the internal RAM holds up to 4 songs (tracks) 48 patterns (max 896 measures) in 3 banks A-B-C. Patterns and songs are saved into the TR if batteries (2X 1.5V) are fitted, then these can be saved to tape dump or in a M-64C RAM cartridge.


tr8 Roland tr8 - digital tr808 and 909 emulation from 2014.
jomox xbase09 JOMOX xbase 09- maybe the most famous commercial analog-digital clone along with novation drumstation .
tr909 clones

Various DIY clones:

-project 9090



audio demo

effet Soundcloud Tr909

demo1 demo2


Roland TR-909 Drum Machine demo Roland TR-909 & Elektron A TR-909 ROLAND TR-808
Drum Machine demo Roland TR-909 & Elektron A TR-909 + ROLAND TR-808






wiseman says:

Download FREE tr909 samples set.

roalnd tr909 brochure


roalnd tr 909 flyer


tr909 specs



shirt from ebay


mug from ebay







start stop bassdrum pot alps


- pure history
sounds like no one


- expensive
-may need technical care


"OK, it is an expensive techno toy and you do not care for this kind of sounds, but You will NOT find any clones, VST, fancy DIY that match a true tr909."


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Roland tr909 5 out of 5 based on 18 ratings. price €2000