The next big Roland product unveiling isn’t at a trade show – it’s on the Internet. At a 24-hour streaming “online musical instruments festival,” the Japanese giant is promising a bunch of new stuff (30+).
The date is an auspicious one for the company – September 9, or 909. And sure enough, they’re also calling it a celebration of 33 years of their legendary drum machine.
In addition to the product unveilings, they’re live in a bunch of cities with artist performances and other events, too – LA, NYC, Toronto, Paris, Brussels, Tokyo, and here in Berlin, among others. (The global south gets left out of that, which is a bit unfortunate!)
We are always on the Internet, as it were, but we’ll be catching up with Roland in Berlin, I hope – in person, even.
Watch the trailer for more:
As for what to expect in products, this is structured an awful lot like a Roland press conference. (And with all due respect to Roland the brand, whose products I often love, I do … rather hope this is very different from such a press conference, which is better geared for dealers than the rest of us.)
They’re doing launches in multiple categories – synths, keyboards, DJ stuff, but also video equipment. In other words, it’s all CDM territory (even Create Digital Motion).
And this video shows just how excited they are about the 909 bit. It seems new AIRA stuff is a definite go. I still wouldn’t put it past the company to do a reissue of the 909, by the way, given used prices – and given that Roland has done all sorts of things we would have never imagined until recently. (Eurorack?!)
But given the 909 date, and the fact that 909 sounds were already available for the AIRA TR-8 machine, some sort of new 909 product seems a no-brainer to me. I’m guessing something either called the TR-9 as a successor to the hit AIRA drum machine, or a 909-based product in the more compact, ready-to-play Boutique line.
We’ll be watching. And in case you don’t want to watch the whole stream, we’ll of course also get news for you as soon as we can.
I have no idea what it means to redefine the future, exactly. I’m going to put off figuring that out until tomorrow. Oh… wait.