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How to setup Ableton Live with Roland Boutique devices.

Each Roland Boutique is a little bit different even if they share a common design. They have the same footprint, most of them have the same connectivity (Phone, Mix in, Output, MIDI IN OUT) some them even have CV Gate , Trigger out / in. And all of them have UB audio and MIDI. But… they do not, NOOOO! They do not use USB the same way.

Let me show you different ways to use Roland Boutique with you favorite DAW.

How to hook up more multiple Roland Boutique to Ableton Live

How to use the TR-09 USB audio with Ableton Live

The Roland TR-08 can also work as an stereo audio input interface!!

Okay. I have been trying to figure out how the USB audio really works on the TR-09 and TR-08. I expected it to work like on the TR-8.

  • Pretty straight forward :
    • Download the driver:
    • Connect USB
    • Turn on the device
    • Have 1 input per sound + 1 input for external audio in + Stereo Mix (with FX). Yep! That is the TR-8

But it’s not like that on the TR-09 and TR-8. There is these options of USB out + analogue Parallel Out?! Why? What is the purpose of those? They had something in mind when designing that. What is it? It’s not in the manual, not the online documentation. Why these options? I keep circling around it, reading, watching video, writing to Roland Canada.  After bringing all that together, I tested different things.

In my video about the USB audio for the TR-09 I found out that the MIX IN audio information is included into the USB MIX OUT (Inputs 1&2 in LIVE). And that if you assigned all sounds only to USB outs, then the MIX (1&2) serves as an extra Input for another boutique synth. Simplifying your USB setup.

When testing the TR-08 for the same I found that It goes a little further than the TR-09. Each TR-08 sounds are always sent to separate USB audio in. You can select each of them separately so they are sent in the mix out (Inputs 1&2 in LIVE). The TR-08 has 10 inputs for the separate sounds (CHH and OHH are on the same audio channel) + the 2 main mix out that also includes the MIX IN audio signal.  If you have a TR (08 or 09) and one boutique synth (or any other synth), then you only need 1 USB cable to have all the TR sounds + MIX IN.

Now I understand why these options exist in the TRs.