Now, with the embargo lifted on new Roland gear, brace yourself for a lot of discussion. On some level, any comparison of a $349-$399 new gadget to anything before it is a bit silly – when original 909s start selling for three figures, let us know. And I think starting with a direct comparison misses the point: the TR-909 and TB-303 sound terrific, and you’re unlikely to record or play either totally dry. (Classic records, uh, used processing too, ya know?) Relax and go enjoy a great drum machine and bassline.
Of course, from the perspective of curiosity, though, why not compare? And I’m likewise keen to see what others think of these.
So, let’s have at it. Remember, this is all worth revisiting. Having talked to someone from the Harajuku office at Roland, in fact the team built totally new circuit models. They didn’t reuse the ones you’ve already heard on the AIRA TR-8 (as those sounds were sort of grafted atop an 808 model) or the AIRA TB-3 (which wasn’t strict with how it followed the 303 architecture). Roland says they were built anew. And unlike the AIRA, authenticity seems to have been more of a priority.
First, TR-09 and TR-909 comparisons:
And here’s a TB-03 / 303 comparison:
Plus, here we have some of the reviews.
Let us know what you think of these videos, if there’s anything you especially like or disagree with as far as the reviews, and if you spot more videos on YouTube etc.