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Roland Musical Instruments Founder Dies at 87

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Roland Music Founder Dies at 87

The founder of infamous musical instruments company Roland, Ikutaro Kakehashi, has died at the age of 87.

The company has had a massive impact on the creation and business of music. It’s electronic music production equipment has literally shaped the sounds of entire genres.

The sounds of the most famous piece of equipment the company produced – the TR-808 drum machine – can be heard on virtually all radio and chart hits over the last several years.

The drum machine is the source behind the Dirty South and Trap sounds so familiar in multiple genre’s of popular music today. That 808 “bounce” or “boom” is a direct descendant of that prolific drum machine created by Kakehashi and company.

The company also manufactured devices like the 808-follow-up TR-909 drum machine and the TB-303 bass synth.

According to Complete Music Update:

In a post on Facebook, Japan-based musician and former advisor to Roland, Tommy Snyder, said: “Ikutaro Kakehashi, founder of Roland, father of the TR-909, TR-808, godfather of MIDI, and someone who I have collaborated with for 38 years, and also considered as my second father, passed away at the age of 87. He was a super funny, wonderful and gifted human being, and his contributions to the musical instrument world, and music, touched millions of people worldwide”.

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The man behind the music production company has literally changed music itself, for the better. May he rest in peace, and may his family gain strength in knowing the impact his life’s passion made on culture.

Many artists have paid respect and tribute to the icon upon hearing news of his death.

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