Ikutaro Kakehashi: Roland Founder And Music Pioneer Dies Aged 87

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At Roland, he presided over a golden age of product innovation, giving the world not only the TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines, but also helping to create (among others) the TB-303, Jupiter-8 and D-50 synths.

Whiting on Facebook, Roland developer Tommy Snyder, who worked with Kakehashi for 38 years, said: "He was a super amusing, wonderful and gifted human being, and his contributions to the musical instrument world, and music, touched millions of people worldwide".

After losing a controlling interest in Ace, he left the company in 1972 and founded Roland. The Roland Corporation produced many types of drum machines, including the Roland CR-78 and the iconic Roland TR-808.

Ikutaro Kakehashi founded the Roland Corporation in 1972, which went on to manufacture all manner of music-making equipment, from effects pedals, to electric pianos and synthesizers.

Born in Osaka, Japan in 1930, he began his career fixing organs in the '50s.

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As a key force behind the growth of electronic musical instruments through the '70s and '80s, Kakehashi's impact on the sound of pop music can still be heard today. Although it was initially seen as a commercial failure and discontinued in 1983 after only three years on the market, the 808 became a defining element in the sounds of hip-hop and dance music. In 2013, he and Sequential Circuits founder Dave Smith received a technical Grammy for their work on MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) technology.

Rapper Kanye West's 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak showcases the machine throughout.

Many musicians also paid tribute to Kakehashi on Twitter.

Among the fans of Kakehashi's creations was the Japanese electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra, which counts Academy Award-winning Ryuichi Sakamoto as one of its members.