New Releases from Roland’s #909 Day

Tuesday 11th of September 2018
Last Friday, September 9 Roland celebrated the release of over 30 new products with their #909 day. In what was the biggest release of new products from a musical instrument company in recent memory, Roland released a wide variety of products through an online music festival, featuring demos and performances from artists across numerous cities such as Tokyo, Paris, New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, Berlin and more. Using the tagline of ‘the future redefined’ there was a substantial amount of hype built up around the product release and understandably a high expectation. With anything that gets hyped this much there’s always going to be a mixed reception from the wider community, but whether or not you think all of the products warrant the ‘future redefined’ tag, a closer look reveals that most of the releases are quite exciting. We take a look at some of our favourites.



From the Roland Boutique range, which means this will be for a limited time only! A scaled down version of the classic Roland TR-909 drum machine, but scaled down only in it’s visual size.  This thing packs all the functionality and sound quality of the original 909 and then more. Using Roland ACB (Analog Circuit Behaviour) technology these drum machines sound spot on to the original units that basically defined the sound of classic house and techno. It’s also, battery powered , features in built speakers for on the fly ideas, has MIDI in and out as well as 24-bit/96kHz USB out that can transmit 4 independent stereo tracks of audio.
Roland TR-909 Drum Machine


There’s a lot of things about the new TD-50 kit that contribute to why it’s a significant upgrade and the most powerful electronic drum kit ever made that we don’t have the time to go into detail. New pad and cymbal upgrades give you a better feeling kit as well as far greater dynamic and tonal control, you can now convert your 22″ acoustic kick drum to be your kick trigger, you can load your own kit samples into the kit and layer them with preexisting samples for limitless sound possibilities, there’s balanced outputs for easier stage setup – the list goes on. Check it out for yourself on the Roland site as depending on how your using the kit will depend on what new features appeal to you. But this is a mighty powerful and flexible instrument, a definite game changer.
Roland TD-50KV Drum Kit


The DJ-808 is a collaboration between Roland and Serato to create an all encompassing instrument for the live DJ/producer. While there are already products that will integrate with Serato, the DJ-808 is designed from the ground up, not only keeping the DJ software in mind but also giving you flexibility to integrate other AIRA controllers and synthesizers as well as incorporating an in built TR-S Drum machine, VT Voice Transformer and more to create a stand alone instrument perfect for expanding the creative possibilities of the live DJ.
Roland DJ-808


The VP-03 is a recreation of the classic VP-303 Vocoder made famous from a number of people but most memorably on Air’s Moon Safari album. Now including a voice step sequencer and one chord memory, the VP-03 is not only a great sounding vocoder but a really flexible little synth with amazing string sounds. 
Roland VP-03 Vocoder


Like the TR-09,  the new TB-03 from Roland’s boutique range harks back to a classic from the past, in this case the TB-303 bass synth. Again using ACB technology, this features the same layout, controls and sound character as the original unit but now implements a few modern upgrades such as build in effects and some enhanced programmability options.
Roland TB-03 Bass Synth


Not the most exciting of the releases and maybe the least to fit the ‘future redefined’ tag but closer inspection shows you why its actually pretty great. You get the same interfacing and pretty close to the same functionality as Boss’s flagship multi effects pedal the GT-100. Meaning that you get highly flexible assignability, the ability to change the order of any of the effects in your signal chain and really powerful digital audio processing in a really compact pedal at the price of the now obsolete ME-25. Perfect for fly-dates and people starting out in the pedal world.
Boss GT-1 Guitar Effects Processor


Don’t be mistaken by thinking these amps are for everyone, they’re not. But if you look at who they’re targeting then they do bring quite a lot to the table. The Katana range are superseding the Roland Cube 20GX, 40GX and 80GX with a new amp line that is the first to bare the Boss name. They are essentially a medium and high gain modelling rock amp at an incredibly affordable price and with a 50W 1×12, 100W 1×12, 100W 2×12 & 100W with multiple cab options and power attenuating capabilities making it perfectly capable for bedroom or on stage use. It’s not taking the place of your tweed deluxe, nor is it taking the place of your triple rectifier. But if you put it into the same world as the Valvetronix, Mustang and ID Core line then you will find a seriously powerful amplifier line that’s really budget friendly and sounds huge.
Boss Katana Amps


Roland are already the world leader when it comes to home digital pianos so as far as looking at new models on paper, they’re not going to be as exciting a release as what some other new technologies might offer. But all you need to do is go and play one of these GP-607’s and then you’ll see why this is a fantastic new release. Unparalleled sound and playability in any digital piano.
Roland GP-607 Digital Grand Piano


Inspired by over 4 decades of synthesizer design, the new System 8 is a seriously powerful synthesizer. Using Roland’s Analog Circuit Behaviour technology, the System 8 offers a huge pallette of sounds that not only looks sonically forward as a modern synth but through 3 plug-out synths it gives you the capability to load in spot-on recreations of Roland classics such as the Jupiter 8 and Juno 106.

Roland System 8 Synth
A very special mention also goes out to the AE-10 Aerophone which is sure to be inspiring new Bobby McFerrin albums and new age yoga drones for many years to come.
Next article

Remembering Prince: Five Classic Albums

Read next article
Go back to all articles

Your Cart