Roland hints at TR-909 reissue with ‘909 Celebration Event’
Roland made headlines last fall with Roland Boutique, a line of vintage modules that would be revamped for modern signal flow. Among the first to be revived were the iconic Jupiter-8 and Juno-106 synths which both appeared in a streamlined form. The program was a runaway success.
Now, the company has announced a “TR-909 Celebration Event” on September 9 which will involve a series of product announcements via global live stream which many are speculating will include a Boutique reissue of the titular machine.
“For 33 years the TR-909 has been one of the most definitive sounds in electronic music and the beating heart of DJ culture,” Roland posted. “Join us as we celebrate 33 years of the “909” with the release of many new and inspiring electronic instruments.”
Though it hasn’t been in production since 1985, the iconic machine has endured unwavering popularity among analog collectors and underground producers. Roland hasn’t commented on the fury of speculation just yet, but the rumors have been persistent since the Boutique rollout last year.
Roland has since published a series of interviews with both retired and current engineers who worked on the Boutique series that seem to hint at a TR-909 release. In one, a former engineer describes imparting the design secrets of classic machines down to a new generation. In another, the interviewer states “Expectations for the release of the TR-808, TR-909, and TB-303 as the second edition of Roland Boutique is likely to be great,” to which developer Takeshi Tojo replies: “Yes, I think so too. I think we will be getting a lot of feedback after this release, so we’d like to listen to what our customers have to say and decide on what to do next.”
If the TR-909 does indeed reappear, chances are it will be more of a cousin to the original than a modernized duplicate. Roland debuted the TR-8 back in 2014 which combined the classic samples of both the 808 and the 909 into one affordable package. Whichever form the new machine may take, it’s likely to fly off shelves.
The company has several categories lined up to reveal including two synthesizer categories, one for DJ gear, keyboards, and even a ‘special DJ performance.’ The live stream will begin on the Roland site at 9:10am CEST on September 9.