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TR-909 beat machine anniversary celebrated with product avalanche

TR-909 beat machine anniversar...
A compact, portable version of the TR-909 called the TR-09 leads Roland's 909 Day celebrations
A compact, portable version of the TR-909 called the TR-09 leads Roland's 909 Day celebrations
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The Aerophone AE-10 is built around Roland's SuperNatural modeling engine, which is designed to faithfully reproduce the sound and feel of an acoustic instrument
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The Aerophone AE-10 is built around Roland's SuperNatural modeling engine, which is designed to faithfully reproduce the sound and feel of an acoustic instrument
As well as sax, clarinet, flute and oboe, an arsenal of synthesized sounds is placed at the player's disposal
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As well as sax, clarinet, flute and oboe, an arsenal of synthesized sounds is placed at the player's disposal
The Areophone AE-10 digital wind instrument
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The Areophone AE-10 digital wind instrument
The Boss GT-1 Guitar Effects Processor is said to be equally suited to beginners, weekend warriors, and traveling players and includes more than a hundred effects driven by the flagship GT-series engine. It's been given a street price of $199.
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The Boss GT-1 Guitar Effects Processor is said to be equally suited to beginners, weekend warriors, and traveling players and includes more than a hundred effects driven by the flagship GT-series engine. It's been given a street price of $199.
The new Katana guitar amp lineup from Boss, which consists of three combo amplifiers and an amp head. The 50-watt Katana-50 combo is priced at $199. The 100-watt Katana-100 comes in at $329. The Katana-100/212 has a $499 price tag. The 100-watt Katana-Head should cost no more than $349.
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The new Katana guitar amp lineup from Boss, which consists of three combo amplifiers and an amp head. The 50-watt Katana-50 combo is priced at $199. The 100-watt Katana-100 comes in at $329. The Katana-100/212 has a $499 price tag. The 100-watt Katana-Head should cost no more than $349.
The Boutique Series from Roland comprises the TB-03 bass line synth (left), the VP-03 vocoder (center) and the TR-09 rhythm machine (right)
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The Boutique Series from Roland comprises the TB-03 bass line synth (left), the VP-03 vocoder (center) and the TR-09 rhythm machine (right)
The DJ-99 2-channel analog DJ Mixer is reported to feature a pro-grade crossfader, dedicated DVS (digital vinyl system) ins and outs and a 3-band EQ for each input. It's priced at $249 street.
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The DJ-99 2-channel analog DJ Mixer is reported to feature a pro-grade crossfader, dedicated DVS (digital vinyl system) ins and outs and a 3-band EQ for each input. It's priced at $249 street.
Roland's first DJ controller has been developed in partnership with software house Serato
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Roland's first DJ controller has been developed in partnership with software house Serato
The compact and battery-powered EC-10M ELCajon Mic Processor allows players to trigger electronic layered sounds to accompany an acoustic performance. Its street price is listed as $229.
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The compact and battery-powered EC-10M ELCajon Mic Processor allows players to trigger electronic layered sounds to accompany an acoustic performance. Its street price is listed as $229.
Roland has added two new instruments to its V-Accordion lineup. The FR-4x piano accordion (shown here in red) is priced at $3,999, while the FR-4xb button-type accordion (not shown) costs $4,199.
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Roland has added two new instruments to its V-Accordion lineup. The FR-4x piano accordion (shown here in red) is priced at $3,999, while the FR-4xb button-type accordion (not shown) costs $4,199.
Four new digital piano's joined the 909 Day party. The FP-90 has a $1,799 price tag. The RP501R model costs $1,499. The DP603 comes in at $1,999. And the GP607 mini grand tops the range at $4,999.
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Four new digital piano's joined the 909 Day party. The FP-90 has a $1,799 price tag. The RP501R model costs $1,499. The DP603 comes in at $1,999. And the GP607 mini grand tops the range at $4,999.
There are now two new flagship V-drum kits in Roland's roster. The TD-50K (pictured) has a street price of $4,799. The TD-50KV (not pictured) kit comes in at $7,499.
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There are now two new flagship V-drum kits in Roland's roster. The TD-50K (pictured) has a street price of $4,799. The TD-50KV (not pictured) kit comes in at $7,499.
An original TR-909 drum machine
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An original TR-909 drum machine
Roland says that the company has been the beating heart of the DJ community for 33 years, and has released a TR-909 turntable to celebrate. The TT-99 is priced at $349.
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Roland says that the company has been the beating heart of the DJ community for 33 years, and has released a TR-909 turntable to celebrate. The TT-99 is priced at $349.
The System-8 Plug-Out synthesizer is built around Roland's Analog Circuit Behavior technology
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The System-8 Plug-Out synthesizer is built around Roland's Analog Circuit Behavior technology
The panel above the 49-key keyboard offers control over the sonics and effects via backlit knobs, sliders and buttons
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The panel above the 49-key keyboard offers control over the sonics and effects via backlit knobs, sliders and buttons
The "Plug-Out" part of the name refers to the System-8's ability to control up to three Roland software synthesizers
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The "Plug-Out" part of the name refers to the System-8's ability to control up to three Roland software synthesizers
A compact, portable version of the TR-909 called the TR-09 leads Roland's 909 Day celebrations
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A compact, portable version of the TR-909 called the TR-09 leads Roland's 909 Day celebrations

The TR-909 drum machine was launched 33 years ago. Though the analog/sample-based hybrid is perhaps not quite as iconic as the 808 it replaced, musicians continue to seek out its sounds today. Roland marked the 909's birthday with a 24-hour product release party that included a DJ controller, a new plug-out synth, some BOSS guitar amps and a digital saxophone. Let's jump on the 909 bus and take a quick tour.

Unlike the beatbox it replaced, the 909 drum machine was part analog and part sample-based. It came with a built-in step sequencer, the ability to store entire songs instead of just patterns and baked-in MIDI capabilities.

There were beat machines available at the time that sounded more convincing, such as Roger Linn's LM-1, but musicians and producers could get a fresh, new Roland unit for a fraction of the cost. As such it went on to become the rhythmic heart of countless House, Techno and Hip-Hop creations. Notable 909 chart-toppers include Fatboy Slim, the Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy and Moby.

No surprise then that Roland is in celebratory mood. Rather than list all of the bevy of beauties announced as part of 909 Day, we've picked a few highlights and thrown the rest in the gallery. To kick things off, no 909 celebration would be complete without a new rhythm machine based on the original.

The Boutique Series from Roland comprises the TB-03 bass line synth (left), the VP-03 vocoder (center) and the TR-09 rhythm machine (right)
The Boutique Series from Roland comprises the TB-03 bass line synth (left), the VP-03 vocoder (center) and the TR-09 rhythm machine (right)

The hybrid sound, step sequencing and fine-tune parameter control of the TR-909 have been recreated for the more compact and less expensive TR-09. It offers a choice of Step or Tap write modes, beats can continue to be played while creating new patterns, there's a choice of MIDI, USB or trigger ports and it can run on four AA-sized batteries for music production on the move.

Roland says that the TR-09 should cost you no more than US$399. Two other members of the Boutique Series have also been announced: the $349 TB-03 bass line synth (based on the TB-303) and the similarly-priced VP-03 vocoder (influenced by the classic VP-330 Vocoder Plus).

For dedicated disc spinners

Roland's first DJ controller has been developed in partnership with software house Serato. The DJ-808 features a pro-level 4-channel digital mixer, low-latency platters, built-in drum sequencer and vocal processing.

The platters have integrated displays for playback status and two decks can controlled from a single platter. The included TR-S drum machine is packed with 606, 707, 808 and 909 drum sounds that can be triggered using velocity-sensitive RGB pads. The TR-S step sequencer can also trigger a new 8-slot Serato Sampler within the Serato DJ software.

Roland's first DJ controller has been developed in partnership with software house Serato
Roland's first DJ controller has been developed in partnership with software house Serato

Performers can plug in a high quality microphone into the XLR combo jack and seriously mess with the sound of their voice. The DJ-808 sports inputs for turntables and its own phono pre-amp, AIRA Link and USB ports and MIDI out. It's also home to both 3.5 mm and 6.4 mm headphone jacks.

Roland reckons the new DJ controller has a street price of US$1,499.

Pushing the right buttons

The System-8 Plug-Out synthesizer is built around Roland's Analog Circuit Behavior technology that's said to be capable of authentically reproducing the sound and behavior of historic analog synths. This engine drives the synth's eight voice polyphony, its three oscillators, the large number of available filters and its LFOs.

The "Plug-Out" part of the name refers to the System-8's ability to control up to three Roland software synthesizers
The "Plug-Out" part of the name refers to the System-8's ability to control up to three Roland software synthesizers

The panel above the 49-key keyboard offers control over the sonics and effects via backlit knobs, sliders and buttons. The synth packs a polyphonic 64-step sequencer, an arpeggio function and a built-in vocoder. CV/Gate outputs cater for hooking the System-8 up with modular synthesizers and vintage hardware.

The "Plug-Out" part of the name refers to the System-8's ability to control up to three Roland software synthesizers. The company has also included new Jupiter-8 and Juno-106 Plug-Outs with the package.

The street price for the System-8 is quoted as $1,499.

Blow wind

Roland has brought its SuperNatural modeling engine to the 909 celebrations for the release of a new digital wind instrument called the Aerophone AE-10. As the name suggests, the SuperNatural technology is designed to faithfully reproduce the sound and feel of an acoustic instrument.

As well as sax, clarinet, flute and oboe, an arsenal of synthesized sounds is placed at the player's disposal
As well as sax, clarinet, flute and oboe, an arsenal of synthesized sounds is placed at the player's disposal

The fingering layout is reported to mimic a traditional saxophone, though includes the modeled sounds of other acoustic instruments such as the clarinet, flute and oboe in addition to smooth soprano, alto, tenor and baritone sax tones. An arsenal of synthesized sounds is also placed at the player's disposal.

The AE-10 is powered by six AA-sized batteries, has built-in speakers and a headphone jack, and includes an input for connecting to a smartphone. Its street price is reported to be $799.

Source: Roland

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