Roland TR-09 Sound Demo

This video, via Bonedo, offers a preview of the raw sound of the new Roland TR-09 drum machine.

The Roland TR-09 (Street $399) is a compact drum machine, inspired by the look and sound of Roland’s iconic TR-909 drum machine.


  • Features the sound and user interface of the original TR-909
  • Hands-on control over many parameters, including tune, level, decay, etc.
  • Programmable via classic Step and Tap write modes
  • Continue playing beats even while switching between write and play modes
  • Four separate outputs via USB audio
  • Trigger output for controlling external instruments equipped with trigger input
  • Metal front panel
  • Highly portable for mobile music making
  • Battery-operated (4 x AA) or USB powered
  • Built-in powered mini-speaker
  • Compatible with optional K-25m Keyboard Unit

See this previous video for a head-to-head comparison of the TR-09 & TR-909.

See the Roland site for more info.

24 thoughts on “Roland TR-09 Sound Demo

  1. “Sounds fine!”.
    I fear all Boutiques are set to let you shout out that on the first 10 minutes you hear it. The worth of a machine though, is understood when you do tracks with it, when you process its sound on mixing, and that’s IMHO the stage when you explosively tell the difference between digital and analog.

    All boutiques seem once a good pizza, but cooled on a microwave oven…

    1. The Roland 909 is magical. Made with star dust, old faery wings and basilisk blood, the 909 has a sound like no other. Sure, in that long-forgotten era many musicians wrongly viewed the 909 as a poor man’s 808 but time and tide has shown the 909 belongs in the pantheon of eternal drum machines.

      The magic of analog! Admittedly, the 909 used samples for the hi-hats and cymbals but it was mostly analog and that still counts!

      I’m astounded Roland has tried to circuit model their great drum machines and synths of yesteryear. Can their model accurately capture the actual, not metaphorical, pixie dust sprinkled liberally on these machines? No!

      And I don’t think you have to wait until the mixing stage to “explosively” recognize the difference between analog and digital. If a decision cannot be made from a Youtube video – the gold standard of audio fidelity – then the opinion is misinformed, at best, or prejudiced, at worse.

      1. Ian, that was lovely! Thank you, for a good laugh and your ability to reduce what is perceived to rubble, well done lad, well done indeed.

  2. I really would like to like it but man it sounds so lifeless, the sounds don’t breathe, the overall sound just sounds compressed, no dynamics whatsoever. plus it could do with more space between the knobs. not worth the money in my opinion, ok if it was cheaper

    1. It sounds fine for the price. In a year or so aftermarket prices Wil be a hundred or more less. How much would you want to charge for it??

    1. Except the TR-09 is better with a computer set up, because it lets you record four channels directly into your DAW and it’s better with live hardware performance, because its got trigger out for syncing with analog gear.

      1. i have to totally disagree with that, you get 5 individual outputs from the tanzmaus and as for live performance it gets nowhere near the automation and parameter capabilities of the tanzmaus. not to mention the intricate sonic variations you get from the tanzmaus. the tanzmaus is a far better creative tool with a lot more potential than the tr 09

  3. The only thing I truly dislike about it is the miniature size. The looks so strange, twiddling knobs which you can hardly grab with normal sized fingers, not to speak of those who have bigger hands. I mean, cutting costs is okay, but that trend is ridiculous and I hope that it will stop.
    At least Rolands SYSTEM-8 seems to look right from the first images I saw.

  4. I like the TR-09 and its a realistic option in the actual market.

    – Its time to asimilated that Roland is NEVER going to remake their classic analog products. For sure they are not going to invest in a lab in Japan to recreate the parts and components to build expensive analog products for people that later is going to attack Roland for the high prices of those products.

    – The bedroom studios don’t have the budget of $3000 to buy the original 909… these product its targeting that giant market. Its cheap and small, I like it.

    – Every new innovation from Roland will be digital not analog. They will only invest in digital replicas with ACB technology.

    – Boutique impose rules of size, polyphony and DSP power. Roland knows that they look like collectible toys almost impossible to play with so thats why the now include and upgrade to receive MIDI CCs for external control.

    – The new JD-x line probes that Roland makes them just because some people ask for real analog in a Roland product… they are generic instruments, generic VCOs and Filters, noting special or relevant.

    – In other side Look the price of the analog products like the 500 modular, just few people its going to invest in them and thats why Roland subcontract an smaller company to build them. (they are not created by Roland).

    … Its time to asimilated that Roland is NEVER going to remake their classic analog products.

  5. Elitists will complain about how it isn’t authentic. Meanwhile some kids somewhere will make actual music with it . . . much like the original 909.

    1. Exactly. People are complaining about how it doesn’t sound like an original. Don’t buy it and let people that want one and would make use of it do so. Those elitist are people that would like the music but scoff at someone using it in a live p.a.

    2. The wanks complaining about the TR-09 obviously know jack about music production, because most of the 909 sounds you hear in recordings are samples, and they’ve always been run through a compressor.

      The value in this is as an inexpensive drum machine or as a live performance tool – and this makes a hell of a lot more sense for both roles than a TR – 909.

      1. “heres an elastic band, pluck it see it sounds like a 909 kick, i put a sticker on it saying 909 see? so stop complaining about its sound and just go away and make music with it ok. Stop complaining about its rubbery sound you obviously just know jack about music production.”

        thats your argument to justify its digital sound? please.

  6. Love my tanzbar,, when you a/b the acb with it you can feel the difference!! 🙂 🙂 too bad they couldn’t make at least a couple of the voices analog, oh well. As said before, someone will make a good track on it,, but I just can’t see dropping that when the knobs on the aira 08 sounded so digital when tweaked,, the tanzbar so smooth and analog warm.. plus the parameter locks really help create unique sounding drum tracks.

  7. Does it do the crash/ride pitch bend on the tuning or does it step? It was my only gripe with the Drum Station and if it does it on this then I will buy it LOL

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