Using its “next-generation circuit modeling technology”, Roland says it has faithfully recreated the original circuitry that gave the TR-909 its distinctive sound, including its analog-digital hybrid nature.
In addition to detailed behavior models of the original analogue circuits, the Japanese giant has also integrated the old sample ROM, and even modeled the primitive digital technology used in the vintage hardware.
Aside from all the authentic recreation, there are also some modern enhancements added to the new plugin, with the sequencer getting an injection of features.
Each pattern has eight variations so you can create evolving sequences that keep things interesting. The classic 16-step "TR-REC" sequencer expands to include a sequencer lane for each drum instrument.
Along with adjustable flams and sub-steps, each instrument has its own “last step” and shuffle settings, allowing you to play with timing and experiment with polyrhythms. Another neat addition is the ability to drag patterns from the TR-909 directly into your DAW as MIDI or audio clips.
Both the TR-808 and TR-909 plugins are designed work with the new TR-8S Rhythm Performer. It’s now possible to send patterns, variations and names from the TR-8S hardware directly to the 808/909 plugin.
Alternatively, you can create patterns on your computer and send them back to the TR-8S for performance or further production. You can even control the parameters of the 808/909 plugins, including volume, tune and decay, via the hands-on controls of the TR-8S.
To get hold of the TR-909 plugin, you will need to sign up to the Roland Cloud subscription service, which will cost you $19.95/£18.95 per month, or $215.40/£185 a year. There’s also a 30-day trial for those who just wish to try it out. More information can be found on the Roland Cloud website.