Roland Corporation  

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"Much has been written about Kraftwerk being the originators of house. While this is a nice idea, the truth is far more complex. Due to the relatively cheap availability of drum machines and synthesisers from Japanese companies like Roland (the feted 808 and 909 drum machines both originated in Japan) something was bound to happen anyway." -- John McCready

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Roland Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, electronic equipment and software.

Timeline of noteworthy products

  • 1981 - Roland TR-808: Among the first and most popular programmable drum machines; its distinctive analog sounds, such as its cowbell sound, have become pop music clich├ęs, heard on countless recordings.
  • 1982 - Roland TB-303: Defined the "acid" sound for house music.
  • 1984 - Roland TR-909: An extremely popular drum machine during the early 1990s, the sounds of which (particularly the kick drum and Open Hi-Hat) are still essential components of modern electronic dance music. The first Roland drum machine to use analog sound synthesis combined with digital sample playback.

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