Even if the Roland Cloud continues to polarize (monthly fees), one can praise Roland for the good regular updates. Already at the NAMM 2018, Roland announced that they will release their legendary drum machines 808 and 909 as plugin. After the TR-808 is already available, the 909 is now also downloadable for cloud users.
What Roland Has To Say About The New TR-909 Plugin
Following hot on the heels of the legendary TR-808, Roland Cloud is proud to bring you the software adaption of one of the most recognizable instruments in electronic dance music, the TR-909 Rhythm Composer!
Analog-Digital Hybrid, Before It Was Even a Thing
In 1983, Roland followed the massively influential TR-808 with the TR-909. Only around 10,000 were made, but the influence of this machine is heard, and felt, to this very day. Digital samples of “real drums” had become fashionable, but these sounds were not tweakable and, let’s be honest, still didn’t sound like real drums. So, Roland took a hybrid approach that used analog circuitry for the kick, snare, hi-hat, clap, and toms, and used digital sampling for the cymbals. The result was one of the most beloved and influential musical instruments ever made. It’s the sound you hear in your head when you think of speaker-pummeling, floor-shaking dance music.
Since its release more than four decades ago, the TR-909 has joined the hallowed halls of legendary instruments alongside its older sibling, the TR-808. While the 808 may get more of the limelight, the 909 sparked something in musicians and producers of the day, making it the rhythmic foundation of trailblazing new genres like house, techno and hip-hop. And like many vintage Roland instruments, it was far more than the sum of its parts. The TR-909 has a vibe. Its interface and the way the sounds interact with each other and change their character with knob tweaks are all part of the experience. It’s why original 909s go for thousands of dollars on the used market. And while the 909 is often imitated with sound-alike sample-packs and less-than-faithful emulations, a real 909 feels alive and injects that special something into a track.
A Real 909
Using our next-generation circuit modeling technology, we’ve faithfully recreated the original circuitry that gave the TR-909 its distinctive sound—including its analog-digital hybrid nature. So, in addition to detailed behavior models of the analog circuits, we’ve integrated the original sample ROM, and even modeled the primitive digital technology present in the vintage hardware. It’s what gave the 909 cymbals their characteristic sound, making them a perennial favorite of dance music producers the world over. All this painstaking detail means you can finally have the authentic sound and vibe of a real 909 in your DAW—and now with some exciting, modern enhancements.
Each pattern has eight variations so you can create evolving sequences that keep things interesting. The classic 16-step “TR-REC” sequencer expands to include a sequencer lane for each drum instrument so you can program faster and more fluidly. The sequencer has adjustable flams and sub-steps so you can create detailed fills and ratcheting sequences. Each instrument has its own “last step” and shuffle settings so you can play with timing, experiment with polyrhythms, and dial in just the right groove for your tracks. You can even drag patterns from the TR-909 directly into your DAW as MIDI or audio clips!
Connected means Enhanced
The TR-909 Software Rhythm Composer also debuts new integration with Roland’s recently released TR-8S Rhythm Performer. TR-8S users can send patterns from the hardware directly to the TR-909 plugin, including pattern variations and names. Conversely, users can create patterns on the go with the TR-909 plugin, and then send them back to the TR-8S hardware for performance or further production. The TR-8S also comes ready-mapped for direct hands-on remote control of the TR-909 Software Rhythm Composer’s parameters, like volume, tune, and decay. A concurrent update also adds the same functionality to the TR-808 Software Rhythm Composer.
TR-909 is available now to Roland Cloud members via the Roland Cloud Manager. New users can sign up for a 30-day trial.
More information here: Roland Cloud