For the last few years, if you've fancied getting hold of the authentic hardware that house and techno was built from - namely Roland's TB-303 bass synth and the TR-909 drum machine- you would have been looking at shelling out a couple of thousand pounds on the second hand market. With both 303s and 909s long since being out of production, and interest in classic house and techno at an all time high, trade in the shrinking number of original models has reached fever pitch. Roland have finally noticed and done the obvious; decided to reissue both.
These reissues will be slightly different, and go under the name of the Bassline TB-03 and the Rhythm Performer TR-09. Unlike the original models, they use Roland's analogue emulator technology rather than being true analogue machines - no doubt there will be arguments going back and forth for years on how much difference this leads to in sound. On the positive side, both models now come with a USB port to enable simple linking to laptops. The price on both is also remarkably reasonable - $399 for the TR-09 and $349 for the TB-03. Perhaps the 808 is going to be sorted out next...?
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