Last week we were treated to some awesome new Roland synths and controllers, and to follow it up they are announcing a new digital wind instrument that us powerful yet easy to learn: the AE-01 Aerophone Mini.
One of the first of the Roland Boutique series was the JU-06, recreating the classic Juno-106 synth (one of my personal favorites that I constantly regret selling) – but after a quick run it was also the first one pulled off the market. So I was thrilled to hear that for 909Day Roland is releasing an updated version that includes not just the Juno 106, but also the Juno 6 and Juno 60!
Even before the 808 and 909 changed the face of rhythm production, Roland had many legendary and iconic products including the early entries of the JUPITER series.
Two of Roland’s most influential early products are the TR-808 and TR-909 Rhythm Composers, and each year on August 8th (808) and September 9th (909) the community celebrates by sharing favorites created with the classic tools and Roland offers great sales and launches awesome new products. This year is no exception, and we are covering each of the new products separately.
Continuing the September 9th tradition of new product launches, Roland has announced two new GROOVEBOX products that reintroduce a concept they pioneered back in 1996 and that remains relevant with artists today.
If you happen to like playing the guitar or are just a music fan, Roland’s BTM-1 Bluetooth Speaker might be the one device you need to entertain your family and friends this summer.
In many ways, you can compare the Roland R-07 to a smartphone microphone the same way you’d compare a DSLR to a smartphone camera. Except that while cameras have consistently and considerably improved on phones, the audio input has merely crept forward.
I’ve long been an advocate for making music on the Apple iPad – to me it has been a key reason to always have one by my side. But while it is a great device to allow for chaining up synthesizers and recording occasional audio one track at a time, that has been pretty much the end – until now.
Roland has been making great strides in connecting with aspiring musicians in recent years with their GO series of devices – they allow an affordable entry point with capabilities that never feel like a compromise.
When I needed to learn keyboard basics, I did what many people I knew were doing — I bought a cheap, plastic mini-key limited device with a small set of second-rate sounds. It accomplished the task of letting me learn notes and communicate ideas — but little else.
With the solid audio and video quality of modern smartphones, there isn’t much else anyone needs to stream live … unless you want multiple cameras and true professional quality. Enter the Roland VR-1HD, a mixer for dynamic multi-camera broadcasting to bring your live streaming videos to life.
This week is the Musicmesse Festival in Frankfurt, Germany. This event, along with January’s NAMM, are the biggest events for the music industry and the place for new gear announcements. We won’t cover everything, but Roland has some new gear that simply needs to be discussed. The big announcement is their hotly anticipated JD-Xa Analog + Digital Crossover Synthesizer!
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.
If you ask anyone involved with electronic music during the digital age to name an instrument – it would be the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer drum machine. The sounds appear on countless songs from the last 30+ years, and vintage systems sell for steep prices. Now Roland is back with the Aira line that is both classic and modern.
Do you know what MIDI is? Many people don’t know the acronym, which stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. But they know the applications – controlled sequences, drum machines, full orchestras controlled by a single person. Here is a quote from one of the creators, Dave Smith: You could play one keyboard with your right hand and another keyboard with your left hand. But [musicians] couldn’t play more than one at the same time because there was no way of electrically interconnecting them. Computers were fast enough to be able to sequence notes, control the number of keyboards and drum machines…
Back in the early 90’s object-oriented technology was a happening buzzword, and Roland introduced COSM – Composite Object Sound Modeling – with their next-generation guitar synthesizer system, the VG-8. But rather than just a guitar synth, it introduced the concept of a ‘virtual guitar’. The thought was that rather than just playing Pat Metheny-esque lead lines, guitarists would be better served if they had a system that provided maximum flexibility of sound. COSM allows string-by-string tuning, processing, and pitch shifting. This allows for on-the-fly tuning changes, virtual capos, and the ability to emulate nearly any other guitar sound from a…