Getting in a little early on the 9th September “909 Day” DSP Synthesizers is launching a new range of “Plugin” synthesizers on USB sticks. Kicking it off with the R909 and the R808.
It’s a virtual synthesizer housed in a USB stick which you simply plug into your computer and use as a sound source. Load up an editor in your DAW and there’s an audio output on the USB stick itself. It feels a little weird but it’s also very simple and could be very effective. It’s a bit like the Trueno analog synth on a USB stick we saw back in December. But I think this is a much simpler sound engine but captures the same idea of having a portable synth-on-a-stick that you can use anywhere, on everything.
R909 uses a 30kHz sampling rate at 16bit. It is 11 voice polyphonic and uses Virtual Analog Technology to recreate the 909 drum machine. All it lacks is the knobs and buttons. Rather than designed their own editor DSP Synths has designed the R909 to follow the MIDI implementation of the Roland TR-09 Boutique. This means that an editor designed for the TR-09 will work with the R909. In particular the Editor/VST plugin from Horst Meyer. That’s a very sneaky bit of genius.
I’m not entirely sure how the R909 appears in your DAW or how easy it is to access without a dedicated editor. These things will no doubt become obvious once you’re using one.
The R909 is class compliant, doesn’t require any drivers and will work on MacOS, Windows, iOS and Android. Just plug it in and you’ve got a 909 drum machine ready to go. As with the Trueno I like the idea that you can carry around synths and sound sources on easily transferrable USB sticks. There’s no installation or authorisations and it has its own output which can route through a larger system – although that can also be an issue if you are trying to do things in the box.
Until the end of 909 Day the R909 will have a special price of $9.09 rather than the regular $29. That’s a nice bargain even when you factor in the €5.90 cost of the editor. And yes there’s also an 808 version.