The announcement caps off Roland's #909Day.
Vintage Roland machines like the TB-303 and TR-909 routinely fetch high prices on the resale market. The original circuitry is becoming increasingly rare, yet demand for classic dance music sounds remains high. Roland has elected to release miniaturised versions of the TR-909, TB-303 and VP-330 Vocoder Plus as part of its Boutique line of instruments, each built using Roland's digital Analog Circuit Behaviour technology.
The TR-09 has the TR-style, 16-step sequencer found on the original, with patterns programmed in Step or Tap modes. There's a trigger out connected to the Rim channel for sequencing older synthesisers and Eurorack modules, along with the regular USB and MIDI out and inputs.
The TB-03 has a four-digit screen to ease the TB-303's notoriously difficult programming language. Square and Sawtooth waveforms are available with parameters for Tuning, Cut Off Freq, Resonance, Env Mod, Decay and Accent for sound sculpting. Three new effects have been added: overdrive, reverb and delay. In addition to USB and MIDI ports, there's a trigger input and CV and gate outputs for syncing with analogue hardware.
Modelled off the Roland VP-330 Vocoder Plus from 1979, the VP-03 blends human voice with string and vocoder sound sources. The Human Voice comes in male and female varieties and each sound source can be modulated with vibrato. Two touch strips, chord memory and a 16-step sequencer are also included.
Mumdance has also been enlisted to make a selection of presets for the TR-09 and the TB-03, which he described to RA as "sitting somewhere between grime and techno, some very staccato, and some very swingy."
We've got the new Roland gear in our Berlin office—check out the photo below.