The Roland TR-909 and the Akai S950 are legendary instruments in the history of electronic music and need no introduction. The S909 Ableton Live Drum Rack is the bastard child of these two icons.
The aim of this instrument is to provide easy access to the sonic imprint of the S950 sampler on the iconic Roland drum machine. The controls allow you to dial in different sampling frequencies (bandwidth), input levels (saturation) and pitch changes at the flick of a switch.
Each combination of the bandwidth, saturation and pitch controls selects a different sample, rather than applying any virtual effects. The 909's instruments were each sampled (from the original hardware) directly by the S950 at different bandwidth and input levels and then recorded at different pitches. This resulted in over 2300 individual samples. These were then mapped in an Ableton Drum Rack for easy access to parameters in the DAW or via a Push 2 controller.
Each 909 instrument is available at at least 3 saturation levels (5 in the case of the kick drum). From mild saturation to obvious distortion. There are also 3 sample rates for each instrument, from the maximum 19.2 kHz down to 5 kHz (depending on the instrument). This parameter is labelled 'bandwidth' as on the original unit. Turn down the bandwidth and increase the saturation for maximum crunch. Lastly, adjusting the pitch parameter changes the pitch at which the S950 plays back the sample (as opposed to re-pitching within the DAW) allowing for further audio degradation.