The Roland serial number decoder
Database of Roland manufacture dates
Founded in 1972, Roland's first offerings were all drum machines, the TR-33, TR-55 and TR-77. They were designed to be small, cheap, simple to use and appeal to the amateurs and hobbyists. This ethos was the cornerstone of Rolands early products and while later on Roland produced many products aimed at professionals and studios their budget offerings have always been present and groundbreaking.
From the 80s onwards Roland equipment became extremely influential in music and in the case of the TR-808 and TB-303 creating their own genres. Its hard to imagine acid or acid-house without the TB-303 and Hip-hip would be very different without the TR-808. The TR-808 was the first programmable drum machine and has influenced all sorts of music and indeed other instruments. It has been used on more tracks than any other drum machine and the later TR-909 was instrumental in the progression of the techno related genres.
Over the years, as you can see by the list below Roland has been innovating and pushing the boundaries of what is musically possible.
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