New Roland Aira video teases revived TR-909 drum machine

Here we go again. Another Roland Aira teaser video, and the prospect of another classic drum machine being rebooted. This time it's the TR-909 that falls under the microscope, as its creators explain why its sounds were generated using a mixture of analogue synthesis and sampling.

Whether this suggests that the new version - which we're assuming will be called the TR-09 - will work on similar lines remains to be seen. The indications do certainly seem to be that more than one kind of tone generating technology will be employed.

Furthermore, the Aira product line-up is now taking shape. Two of the four slots on the Roland Aira website are now taken up with 808 and 909 content, and we know that the VT-3 Vocal Transformer is on the way. What the fourth slot will be filled with remains to be seen, but would Roland really get into this revivalist mindset and not involve the TB-303?

The other big question is whether the Aira products will actually be at NAMM at all? A lot of people are assuming that they will be - and the timing of the teaser campaign suggests as much - but the Roland Aira website says that the first public showing will be in February 2014. Not this week, in other words.

More news as it appears. And that, it would seem, could be anytime.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.