Resident Advisor visits Roland in Japan. I Love the story from Atsushi Hoshiai, who has been working for Roland for 33 years and was involved with developing the 909. After trying and trying to synthesize a sound similar to a real cymbal they couldn’t get it right. So Atsushi brought a cymbal from home and they just sampled it.
Hoshiai still hasn’t wrapped his head around the impact Roland’s machines have had, though he’s philosophical about and flattered by their immense popularity. “The fact that people are using the sample of the sound of me drumming a long time ago—it means that we are playing together. So I feel amazing about being able to play with all sorts of musicians from all around the world. But at the same time, if you ask me if that means I listen to the music using those sounds, well”—he lets out a laugh—”actually, I haven’t really.”