Roland had established themselves as one of the big innovators when it came to drum machines... after all, they had a huge range of preset drum machines that had established themselves well in in the home organ market. Then they had the CR78, a curious hybrid of preset/programmable drum machine and, of course, they had the the (now) venerable TR808 and TR909.

However, it has to be remembered that at the time, Roland were suffering at the hands of the LinnDrum and the Emu Drumulator which were eclipsing their drum machine sales and which had taken the world by storm with their 'real' drum sounds.

So, in 1985, in an attempt to win back their diminishing market, Roland relented and released a drum machine that was comprised solely of drum samples... the TR707 was born.

The TR707 offered a good range (for the time) of sampled drums and some percussion sounds that went head-to-head with the leading drum machines of the time in an affordable package. Programming was the same as their previous 808 and 909 but the 707 also featured an innovative LCD that showed the pattern visually. Each sound had its own slider for level control and there were individual outputs as well.

I have no idea of how well the TR707 faired against the stiff competiiton of the time but it was affordable for a drum machine of that era (around $900) and I saw enough of them in my travels to think that it must have been fairly successful for them.