Roland TR-909
Roland TR-909

TR-909, Drum Machine from Roland in the TR series.

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All user reviews for the Roland TR-909

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Average Score:4.0( 4/5 based on 11 reviews )
 5 reviews45 %
 3 reviews27 %
 1 user review9 %
 2 reviews18 %

redox75's review"The TR 909 IS THE TRUE BOSS!!!"

Roland TR-909
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!).

Cbass909's review

Roland TR-909
A unique drum machine, despite the number of copies available and which aren't anything like it!!
Its price is pretty high, granted, but it's because it's really worth it!!
It's for all fans of big e-drums.

Analog drum machine.
Analog: Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Low/Mid/High Tom, Rim Shot, Hand Clap
Samples: Open/Closed Hi Hat, Crash/Ride Cymbal

16 patterns x 3 banks, 4 tracks of maximum 896 bars x 3 banks.
External memory: RAM cartridge (M-64C)
Controls: Depending on the sound, tuning, decay, etc. and... midi + sync24 out
Year of launch: 1983


It has been used by all techno big names:
jeff mills , garnier , carl craig ...
Techno music wouldn't exist without the 909!!!
Super easy to use, live editing, very clear manual. Some functions are a pain to find without the manual.


The sounds are extremely powerful. They simply can't be compared to the multiple copies available, the bass drum makes your spine tingle!! Snares and hi-hats are terrific, the clap is unique, toms are really good... WOW!!!!! It's amazing for techno fans.


I have tried the so-called new TR909!
What a bunch of impostors!!!
I have tried a lot of drum machines, but the TR 909 is unbeatable and remains the drum machine par excellence!!! Although the 808 is also very good!!! And I can also recommend the tr 707+727!!

Anonymous 's review

Roland TR-909
The features have been mentioned over and over again, so I see no need to go through them again.

Pros: Super groovy sequencer, separate outs.

Cons: No effects (but then again...)


It couldn't be easier to use, except for some functions that require you to press five buttons at the same time.

Other than that, it's a real treat to write music, edit sounds and play live!!


The sounds are nothing new, but wow!!!!

Realistic is not the right term, but they are perfect for electronic music. (a real kick, a real snare, real cymbals, nothing plasticky!!).

This drum machine had incredible dynamics and a very airy sound, which gives it an irreplaceable presence within a mix.

I tried to find a replacement for quite a long time, but it was a waste of time, it's simple incomparable (even with alleged replicas).


I just got it and spent the entire weekend with it.

What I like best about it are its sound and editing.
What I like least are the advanced functions, which aren't easy to find (like copying a pattern).

I tried lots of models before realizing it is impossible to replace it!!!

Its a good value for money, considering what it does.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again. If I had the money, I would actually buy a second one.

undlab's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Perfect"

Roland TR-909
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.

Anonymous 's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Roland TR-909
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 (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Roland TR-909







totolafrance's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Roland TR-909
Dj Caractrisques give below. note spare output for each instrument and rglages comlplets pitch, decay, etc. .. for each sound.
Noon home and owns a syncho to drive a TB303 (roland bass line) and sequencers JQ60, CSQ 100 and 700 of the same brand. When we had everything the era (the 80s) we had a real worstation of quality.

Today everything seems normal and we have a more multi purpose in that we did not 'pack vintage


Simple configuration, scheduling pattern necessity of logic and a look in the manual. edition of the sounds is easy because each function is specific on Knob. no memory of her, while actually on the job and we amme the end of the manual paper copy a table representing the front of the TR909 to record the value of each Knob (manual storage is the case say ...)
But the era is royal.


To the sounds if you want to imitate a real battery is screwed. just how good the Enola Gay "

No effect was thus as it sounds rgl ragissent VLOC but not the multilayer sample is the same sound + or - hard.
The decay rglages on snares can add the "thickness" of the sound or make it "dribble" a little. The pitch can vary the sounds (1 pitch by her) but he is pitching the sound so when you go down too much kick for example, it certainly gets its fatter but loses momentum. Toms in the high pitch background have the look of SD8/SD9 simmons.
And it is that I do not understand the comments on the sounds: Roland uses the same samples for TR808 / TR707 and TR727 for the TR909. Cons by not adjusting the pitch and decay ... these machines on a small diffrence o sound. But when I read that the clap is daunting, there are at least 30 machines on the market that do this same clap. Another mythical dream like the TB303.
Take for example the plug overkill. It uses the sampler kontatk and has a bookcase of drum sounds to mourn the Mona Lisa. It integrates a lot of effects and dynamic sound 10X multimdia the TR909. And that's just one example, y'en others.
aa t a good machine, today it is Completely Exceeds too expensive for its effectiveness.


I used the first time in 1984. I had the complete set Juno60 JSQ60 + + + TR909 TB303.
short of a true worstation 80s. I did a good job with everything, but I took the head synchronize it.
Today we 1000X has a synth (Korg Triton, Yamaha ground etc ...) with more effects. For the techno-man and other electronic music player I advise them to pass on a virus or access Nordlead or on the latest Roland synths and Korg. they will find a thousand times more blessed.
For collectors, y'en need a bin, there's lots of red LEDs on it and it's nice when everything lights up and flashes.
I have mine, I have all sounds sampl o if I sold it and taking advantage of prices that seem to me OCCAZ oversize.

FALL59's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Roland TR-909
Good connectivity (forerunner to era)
Few ditable for those analog sounds (yes he not 100% analog the beast).
no effect, I judge squenceur not too groovy but rather carrbr />

Config, easy squenceur edition but not easy to departure.


Imagine not make a sound research or find a particular sound
archi sounds are heard me they me very quickly lass.
although I loved the kick that's all.


This machine was for me a dream teens (I bathed in techno all my adolescence)
I did not have the money to pay me (she reprsentait for me the holy of grawl BAR)
and I had a 808 (much more affordable to the era).
With up to 808 I finally could access them.
In the end I waited several years to be the final dcu
I find it too limited, too course and not so that a potato (that's for sure that compresses and Galise bites you get there).
I keep one year and have a ratchet 808.
In conclusion I think SAGITs more a collection of nostalgic pice for a good deal of techno, the investment is not worth it.
Someone below says that without the 909 techno would not,
maybe but if it was necessary there 10-15 years is no longer the case today

retroliver's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Roland TR-909
Analog Bar 1984 but missed too many used in the prod tech house
especially the incredible dynamic kick and tom, clap amazing and a small line of charley inimitable
sequencer with a groovy shuffle more cubase
as separate outputs with 10 sonoritéées: too much


Easy to use
sequencer swing and very handy
roland midi sync and sync 24
a track to an external instrument is one of his secrets


We love or hate, but not diverse enough for my taste
power and dynamic


I use it for 5 years, it is reliable and is legendary
value for money is not good

zecorner's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Roland TR-909
Separate outputs
edited separately
sequencer basic but charming ...




Big Sound


J uses for 3 years.
a little pricey, but collection ....