Thursday, August 30, 2012

Roland TR-909 drum machine four page brochure, 1984

Roland TR-909 drum machine four page brochure from March1984.

Last post of August - end of the summer. Wanted to post something kinda special - at least to me any ways.

My TR-909 is special to me. And this TR-909 brochure isn't far behind. In my scale of all things "special", these two items fall somewhere between a good steak and my dog. Yup. That special.  :D

And I don't think I'm the only one that puts their 909 just behind their dog in specialness. I'm a firm believer that you can tell just how special something is by how good the Wikipedia page is. Not how long or detailed. Just how 'good'. And the TR-909 page is short, but pretty darn good.

Sure, Wikipedia tells me it still needs a few more citations, but that page is full of facts. And I love facts. Like first MIDI-equipped drum machine. And 10,000 units made.


Love 'em.

The brochure itself is just as awesome.  It's part of Roland's "We Design the Future" set of brochure that started printing around 1982 or so, the most recent of which I posted was the MSQ-100 and MSQ-700 digital keyboard recorder brochures.

The link to the MSQ-700 blog post includes links to other brochures in the series including the SH-101, and Roland's "Rhythm machines" - TB-303, TR-606 and TR-909. 

The 909 brochure shares many of the themes with the others in the series. The front cover is split in half, sporting a lovely photo of the machine on the bottom. The theme colours used in the other brochures are also present - light pinks and greens. But we get a real treat when we open it up to reveal that page 2 and 3 share an awesome black background colour. It works so well with the light-coloured 909 that it looks simply dashing!

These inside pages contain all those great facts I love so much, lined up down the left hand side next to a really large photo of the front panel. And, as is tradition with these brochures, Roland provides a number of typical use scenarios showing how the machine can be wired up with other great Roland products. Since the 909 has both a reliable SYNC jack as well as newly-introduced and not-yet-proven MIDI jacks, Roland plays it safe by including syncing scenarios using both technologies - bringing along for the ride an MSQ-700, MC-202 (! - another one of the favourites in my studio), and a JX-3P/Jupiter 6.

Well played Roland... well played.

The only beef with these middle pages is the cropped image of the 909 in the top right corner, on top of an image of a 909. Not sure we really need that profile shot.  Just makes the page look a little messy.

The back page has to be the most disappointing of any Roland back pages I've come across recently. The specs are fine, but the fact that Roland only promotes two other instruments - one of them being the lowly HP-400 Electric Piano - is a little bit of a downer to end such a gorgeous piece of art.

But them the breaks.

Like I said - its the end of August. And best of all, its 7:30 in the evening and it's still +34 degrees C out.  Booya! Time to go enjoy.... an air conditioned movie theatre.

Finally seeing Batman. I know. About time.

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