Does anyone own an original Roland TR-909

Discussion in 'Working with Sound' started by StormChaser, May 20, 2024.

  1. StormChaser

    StormChaser Producer

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    Hi

    I am hoping someone with an original Roland TR-909 can help.

    Back in 1989 I went to a live show with some friends at Brixton Academy to bring in the New Year to 1990, what a night we all had.

    One of the artists was Adamski I will never forget the set he did, I instantly fell in love with the sound of the Roland TR-909, even though at the time I didn't know what he was using or what a TR-909 was.

    Recently a friend who came with me sent me a link to the event on YouTube and its taken me right back to this amazing night.

    I was looking up the TR-909 I very quickly realised I have no chance of finding one without spending silly money, instead I have purchased a Roland TR-8S hoping to be able to create the sound and pattern that I love so much from the main beat from this live set, which incidentally was on pretty much every track of his Live and Direct album.

    However I am stuck, whatever is happening with the sound of open or closed Hi-Hats I just cant figure out how to produce the same sound none of the 909 clones I have even raw sample has the chingy sound of either the open of closed Hi-Hat.

    I am wondering is it something you get only on an original TR-909, I have the TR-09, Roland Cloud TR-909, Roland TR-8S, and raw 909 Samples but they dont have the sound as in the video or whats on the Live and Direct album.

    I know for certain that all the drum sounds came from a stock Roland TR-909 and no other samples were used, I tweeted Adamski years ago when I was first looking at a TR-909 and he replied saying "all the drum sounds and patterns were generated on a stock TR-909, no other samples were used in the live shows or in the creation of the Live and Direct album, I did use a cartridge but that was to store my patterns on, I hope this helps"

    Here are some examples of the sound I am talking about and the sound I am trying to create.



    06:29 he turns off the chingy sound and 06:44 he brings it back in.
    06:40
    to 08:05 (Those hats sound awesome, how does he get the louder chingy sound)
    09:50 Again they sound awesome

    Here is another example taken from one of the tracks on his Live and Direct Album



    0:30s in. (I just love this beat)
    02:17s You can hear just the OpenHH and then 02:26s he brings in the chingy sound which I assume is the CloseHH but on all of my TR-909 clones you cannot have an OpennHH and ClosedHH on the same step as one is choked out and none of the ClosedHH I have sound anything like this, even with the decay up to the max.

    If anyone can help answer this or how I would create this I would be forever in your debt. I cant tell you how long I have wanted to find this sound.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post.

    Best Regards

    SC
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2024
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  3. guns and gold

    guns and gold Member

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    maybe behringer rd-9 for you? looks like this demo hits your 'ching' in the first few frames
     
  4. Shiori Oishi

    Shiori Oishi Kapellmeister

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    Hi there! I don't know if this will help, but recently I started a similar quest for "that sound". It's not over yet, but since then I have come to realize that context matters more than I could grasp in the beginning. For instance, I figured that my ultra creamy (really, no better word for it) favorite bass tone sounds NOTHING like what I want when soloed, but when added to the mix, voilà! It's not just signal processing (as opposed to the raw tone, patch or sample), it's also about the interaction with the other instruments. Maybe you know this already... just trying to help in case you're just comparing raw samples in solo to one another.
     
  5. mi6ix

    mi6ix Noisemaker

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    reverbs make a helluva difference when it comes to hats, throw on a plate or convolution to see the sparkle that manifests.
     
  6. clone

    clone Audiosexual

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    This thread is a strange approach to your question. Almost anyone who has a 909 is going to tell you it can make noises that are worth the money they paid for it. That doesn't answer your question. And in most cases, someone is not going to fire up a piece of vintage hardware so someone else can compare noises. The guy you are asking may or may not be giving you an accurate answer, and is instead forgetting the compressor or dj mixer he sent it through with some 12 band graphic eq on it. Whatever the case may be.

    The real difference you are going to notice with a hardware version is that when you track the audio into your DAW, not every hit will be exactly the same. It is an analog sound source hitting your audio interface's Analog to Digital Convertors. Maybe consider getting a Behringer clone version.

    People allow one silly specific sound to grow in importance far beyond reality. Say you buy a Jomox Xbase 999 or 09, for a steep price. It sounds a lot like a 909, but you would turn it on, start recording, and not even care it was not exactly the same. Or you can sample a real 909, and it's still not going to sound exactly the same anyway. If your hihat sample being slightly different matters enough to merit a few thousand bucks worth of vintage drum machine, it's because the rest of your track is not all that great.

    You are right about the Cloud versions of the Roland drum machines. They are close enough where you can add processing, and you will be the only one to know it is not a real 909 for 100% certain. Most people will assume it isn't one anyway. If I wanted to get something as close as possible to this sound, I would use D16 Drumazon 2 and call it a day. Or Microtonic. People have been making "909" samples using it for years.

    So does saturation.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2024
  7. Synth Life

    Synth Life Noisemaker

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    Saw him at The Fox in Atlanta opening for Erasure within months or maybe weeks of this.
     
  8. PumasNFatLaces

    PumasNFatLaces Ultrasonic

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    On the d16 Drumazon and Roland Cloud versions like the original, there's a knob called Channel Decay. Turn it up to delay the attack of the hats, from my ears Adamski hh sounds seems slow on the attack IMHO. Hope it helps.
     
  9. stopped

    stopped Producer

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  10. PAskaperse

    PAskaperse Member

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    He had five
     
  11. clone

    clone Audiosexual

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    Definitely. You can get one "cheap" if you find one locally, but if you look for a 1604 on eBay or Reverb you will find people with some serious mental problems. There are plugins to make stuff sound like this also. Old samplers, and so on.

    I was there for that set. I did not know there was video of it.
     
  12. belucky

    belucky Newbie

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    Tried matching the two variations from the 2nd example 2:16-2:39. Kinda got close.
    I couldn't do this with just Roland Cloud 909, I had to export the sounds and use a sampler.
    Pitched down one semitone, some EQ, used Decimort for light bitrate reduction and filtering, and some transient shaper adjustments.
    Had to have two different hihats for each loop, the OH is just different decay. Also midi sequencing had more impact than I expected.
     

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  13. Myfanwy

    Myfanwy Platinum Record

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    For all the technicians here there is a really interesting thing about all 45xx op amps like 4558 of 4580 that were and still are used in many mixers, interfaces and audio gear of all kind.

    https://e2e.ti.com/support/audio-gr...rms-the-signal-experiences-amplitude-wrapping

    If you overload the input stage with a signal that is higher than the power supply, a really nasty distortion is going on, not just clipping, but "wrapping" of the negative wave. I noticed this for the first time in the 90s with a mixer that produced a very harsh and noisy distortion I hadn't heard before if driven really hard. You could get extreme distortion effects with it.

    This is a known problem with all 45xx op amps, and usually you design the circuit so it doesn't happen. But to get extreme results or for "circuit bending", it may be useful.

    Same should be possible to achieve with a wave shaper plugin and a curve that wraps around on one end.
     
  14. clone

    clone Audiosexual

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    people would deliberately clip the mackie 1604 and it would definitely distort in a way some people liked it. some people even claim they can tell the difference between the various sub-models and by year of manufacture. Of course, I've never seen anyone actually prove it. I guess I could see having two of them, but who actually has an example of each year just sitting around to test something like that? "oh, i just remember" doesn't fly.

    People go back and forth with these emulation vs hardware discussions, but rarely take the console used, and any other outboard fx; into account.
     
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  15. Will Kweks

    Will Kweks Platinum Record

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    Indy outs, man, indy outs. Sure, the programming as well, but for the sound.

    Sounds stupid but processing each instrument separately, mainly hammering on channel overdrives and not compressing the entire drumset as a bus.

    All the difference. Same goes for a 808 and most drum machines of that era, it was fun seeing people trying one out for the first time... "that's it?! it sounds so... weak".
     
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  16. clone

    clone Audiosexual

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    Definitely. Those hats are saturated or the channel is overloaded; meanwhile, that kick would get boosted and saturated if that was an option. It sounds like 2 units.
     
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  17. StormChaser

    StormChaser Producer

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    That does sound kinda of similar, I did think of getting the RD-9 but didnt like just the mono main output.

    Maybe I will relook at it.

    Thank you for the suggestion.
     
  18. StormChaser

    StormChaser Producer

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    Hey

    Yeah that does make perfect sense even but all the 909 clones I have doesnt sound anything like his sound. It almost like I want to be able to adjust decay to go even further than the max setting.
     
  19. StormChaser

    StormChaser Producer

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    Very interesting, thank you for taking the time tp reply.

    I have just purchased Drumazon 2 and Microtonic and will give them a try tonight.

    If I have to spend £5K on an real TR-909 then so be but would rather not.

    I will let you know what I think about Drumazon and Microtinic once I have installed them.

    Thank you again
     
  20. StormChaser

    StormChaser Producer

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    On the clones I have I have adjusted the decay as far as it goes but still doesnt sound anything like the two examples. Its almost like I want to adjust the decay more that what the maximum setting allows me too.
     
  21. clone

    clone Audiosexual

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    If you are ever to buy something vintage and this expensive; you should be buying it to sell it for more money. Every time you turn the thing on, you are rolling the dice with your money. It makes something not even any fun to use. No hi hat sample is worth 3K.
     
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