Building Techno and House rhythms on the Roland TR-909
“I bought my 909 in the ’90s when it was at the peak of its popularity in Techno, House and Rave music. This old faithful has been to many raves and house parties back in the day, yet, amazingly, still works and more importantly, grooves like a fox on rollerblades.”
The Roland TR-909 Rhythm Composer is a partially analog, partially sample-based, drum machine introduced by the Japanese Roland Corporation in 1983. The brainchild of Tadao Kikumoto, the engineer behind the Roland TB-303, it features a 16-step step sequencer and a drum kit that aimed for realism and cost-effectiveness. It is fully programmable, and like its predecessor, the TR-808, it can store entire songs with multiple sections, as opposed to simply storing patterns. It was the first MIDI-equipped drum machine. Around 10,000 units were produced.