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Roland’s Legendary 909, 808, 303 are getting a facelift?

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If so, the timing could not be better. With classic 909 house back in vogue and hardware music tools on the rise, Roland returns to the picture in a big way with a new product line called Aira. We don’t yet know the full details but a number of teaser videos, and leaked photos provide a fairly clear picture.

The classic 808 and 909 were known for their beefy analogue characteristics and circuitry, in fact it’s rumored that no 2 machines sound exactly the same. This musical aura combined with an easy to use interface have amped up their price in recent years(currently between $1200-$1800 depending on condition). Roland apparently took notice and is prepared to offer something new, and potentially even better.
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In the following video’s Japanese engineers from Roland reflect on the legacy of the 909 and 303, while hinting at something new to come.

There are now some pretty good photos floating around the net that show 4 units

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For more information visits Roland’s Aria page, and stay tuned as our editorial team got the full scoop on these products at NAMM and we expect a full product announcement very soon!

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  • DJ Rapture

    New 303.

    Called it.

    In all seriousness, I am extremely excited for these. They are legendary instruments and deserve to be brought back in all their analog glory. I recognize the TR-8 and the TB-3, but I didn’t recognize the other two. Those should be interesting!

    • Ryan Supak

      One of them is a reboot of the Boss Voice Transformer (which are actually in high demand by private investigators and the like to this day for disguising voices on the telephone). I’ve seen them on eBay modded to use Telephone Jacks instead of the original interconnects (which I think was 1/4″ in, RCA out.)

      rs

  • Ryan Supak

    The TR-8 looks exciting to me because it looks like an instrument that will reward physical dexterity in the same way something like a guitar will, as opposed to something that you’re supposed to pre-program and hit “play” on (then maybe just twiddle some knobs while it plays).

    rs

  • Oddie O’Phyle

    it’ll be nice to get my hands on one of these to see what they feel and sound like.

  • Jude Mangino

    The one on the middle-right looks like the 303 replacement! Is that a touchscreen sequencer? If so, that would be AMAZING!

    • DJ Rapture

      Touchscreens don’t give off light like that. They’re buttons.