If you were watching coverage of Roland's 909 day on September 9th, you'll know that over 30 new products were released. Following the rumours and a few leaked photos, everyone was anticipating new versions of the 909 and 303 and that's exactly what Roland delivered alongside a modern version of the VP-330 Vocoder as part of their Boutique series. Here's the official Roland press release with more details...
Roland has unveiled three new additions to the Roland Boutique series. The TR-09 Rhythm Composer, TB-03 Bass Line, and VP-03 Vocoder each recreate the sound, interface, and operation of classic Roland products. Powered by Roland's advanced ACB (Analog Circuit Behavior) technology, they also offer enhanced features and modern connectivity, making them ideal for today's musicians.
The TR-09 (Street $399) offers the power of Roland's iconic TR-909 drum machine in a compact and affordable format. It recreates the influential hybrid sound of its predecessor using ACB tech, complete with the familiar 16-step TR-REC programming style and a choice of Step or Tap write modes. The TR-09 also offers greater flexibility than the original, letting musicians fine-tune parameters and switch modes without interrupting their beats. It's also designed for easy connectivity to external gear, with a choice of MIDI, USB, and trigger ports giving control over vintage analog synths, modular gear, and DAWs.
Inspired by Roland's famous TB-303 Bass Line Synth, the new TB-03 ($349) uses ACB to fully capture the authentic sound and character of the original. The new four-digit LED display allows for enhanced programming, while rotary dials give hands-on control over tuning, cutoff, resonance, envelope mod, decay, and accent. Saw and square waveforms are present, alongside new overdrive, delay, and reverb effects. In addition to the original's Pitch and Time write modes, there's an all-new Step mode and fine tempo control, and sequences can continue playing while switching modes. Ports for external gear include a dedicated trigger input to drive the internal sequencer, plus MIDI IN/OUT, USB, and CV/Gate for control over analog gear, modular synths and DAWs.
The compact new VP-03 ($349) takes cues from the legendary VP-330 Vocoder Plus, using ACB tech to emulate the original's fusion of synthesized sound and the human voice. True to the VP-330, the VP-03 has vocoder, human voice, and string sound sources on board. It also includes a gooseneck XLR microphone, and can be paired with the optional K-25m Keyboard Unit for enhanced performance. New features include 16 Chord Memory setups for one-finger chord playback, plus a new Voice Step Sequencer for dynamic rhythmic effects. Alongside line and headphones outs, the VP-03 also includes MIDI I/O for connecting with other devices and 24-bit DAW audio interface capability via a Micro USB connector.
Intended for flexible use on stage, in the studio, or at home, all three new Roland Boutique units run on 4 x AA batteries or USB bus power, ready for when inspiration strikes. Each module also includes a powered mini-speaker, a convenient feature for monitoring sound on the go.
Pricing and Availability:
The first standalone semi-modular from Pittsburgh Modular