There’s now a playable online drum machine based on the Roland TR-909 – Tech


Electronic and software engineer Matthew Cieplak has created a fully functional system browser-based drum machine based on the original Roland TR-909.

The virtual instrument, named ER-99, is now ready to be used online for free through Cieplak’s Extralife Instruments webpage – and it comes with a great selection of features.

Built to celebrate international 909 daythe emulator pays homage to the world’s most beloved TR-909, or in Cieplak’s words, “a famous Japanese drum machine from the 1980s”.

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Cieplak, who is also a musician, has several hardware and software projects of the same strain, although this is his first drum machine designed for web use.

The browser-based instrument can be operated by pressing the number keys on the keyboard. “Turn the knobs to change the sound of each instrument,” reads the description of the ER-99.

“The 16 buttons at the bottom display the sequence for each instrument. Click once to activate a stage and click again to add an accent (indicated by a brighter light). The emphasis of accented notes is controlled by the ‘Accent’ knob,” he adds.

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64-step sequences can also be created using the BARS buttons in the center. “You can store clips and sound presets using the menus above,” reads the description. “These are stored in your browser’s memory and will be recalled on your next visit (to this computer).”

Although the machine’s drum sounds are synthesized using the WebAudio API, everything else is sample-based. Cieplak also notes that WebMIDI tends to add ’70-100 milliseconds’ latency to receive played music.

Some of Cieplak’s previous creations include a 6-channel ‘Hex Drum’ trigger sequencer, a Eurorack analog guitar synthesizer patch “loosely based on the Moog Moogerfooger MF-107”, and Super Sixteen, an open source hardware sequencer for the Eurorack synthesizer format.

Discover the ER-99 emulator hereand find more Cieplak projects.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter

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