Roland Brings the Classic Sound Canvas Synth Module to iOS

Much of the big noise from the recent NAMM show was about bringing back the classic analog synths of the 60s and 70s. But what about the workhorses of the digital era? Those tools for those of us starving for polyphony on a budget? Roland is answering this with the introduction of the Sound Canvas module for iOS.


When I was building my digital music studio after college in the late 80s I knew I wanted to assemble a breadth of sounds – Yamaha, Roland, Korg, etc- representing digital and analog synths. Due to the cost and size of synthesizers, sound modules were becoming increasingly popular due to better MIDI interconnectivity and computer control. Since I had a Roland keyboard I chose Yamaha sound modules.

A few years later Roland announced the Sound Canvas half-rack sound modules with 16-part multi-timbral, 24 voice capabilities. Also – it was loaded with great classic Roland sounds! By then I was using the Roland JV-880 rack synth module, which makes playing with the new iPad version of the Sound Canvas great – for $14.99 you get many of the great sounds and editing tools that cost me hundreds of dollars to buy in the 90s!

Now Roland has introduced the Sound Canvas for iOS devices. Here are some features:

  • 1,600 high-quality sounds plus 63 drum sets onboard, perfect for MIDI data playback
  • Two types of graphical user interface: “Sound Canvas skin” for music data creation and “Player skin” for practicing with instruments or karaoke application
  • Built-in Reverb, Chorus, Delay, 2-band EQ and 64 types of insertion effects
  • Versatile SMF player featuring playback options including “Loop” mode for playing a specific area of the song repeatedly and “Song List Play” for continuous playback of several SMF songs in sequence
  • iPhone or iPad can be used as an external sound source, when connected to an external MIDI interface such as the Roland UM-1 (sold separately)
  • Compatible with music apps that support Core MIDI

Requires iOS : 8.1 or later
Works on : iPhone5s, iPhone6, iPhone6 Plus, iPad Air or later, iPad mini2 or later
Roland Sound Canvas for iOS is available in the App Store for US $14.99.

Head to Roland for more details, or to the iTunes App Store to buy Roland Sound Canvas for iOS – it is $14.99, a great price for the capabilities!

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About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!