Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Roland

Roland's new Cube Street EX portable amp

Roland has give its lightweight, battery-powered Cube Street amp from 2007 a powerful upgrade in the shape of the Street EX portable busking amp. Where the original featured two 2.5 W Neodymium speakers and promised 15 hours of use from six AA-sized batteries, the EX has two woofers and two tweeters for up to 50 W of output oomph, and can stay on the street for up to 20 hours on battery power.  Read More

Roland's most versatile and powerful HandSonic digital hand percussion instrument to date,...

Through many of us may kitchen-top-finger-tap or office-desk-thumb-drum out of impatience or boredom, folks like Jeremy Ellis and Wilhelm Grahsl have turned it into an impressive art form, with a little help from some digital friends. The latest version of the latter's hand percussion weapon of choice has now been released, the Roland HandSonic HPD-20.  Read More

Three new BOSS stomps featuring Roland's Multi-Dimensional Processing technology have been...

The company that's said to have put the "stomp" in stompbox has detailed three new guitar effects pedals, featuring a new technology called Multi-Dimensional Processing (MDP) developed by its parent company Roland. The TE-2 Tera Echo is a landmark pedal not only because of the new signal processing technology, but also by virtue of it being the one-hundredth BOSS Compact Series model to be released. The MO-2 Multi Overtone uses a guitar's harmonic characteristics to build unique rich sounds that enhance the normal tone. Roland says that the DA-2 Adaptive Distortion unit makes use of the MDP technology to deliver perfect distortion wherever you play on the neck.  Read More

Moritz Simon Geist has built a huge mechanical homage to Roland's iconic TR-808 drum machi...

If you're a fan of 1980s music, then there's a very good chance that you'll already be familiar with the electronic beats provided by what's widely regarded as the drum machine that started it all, Roland's TR-808. It set the mood for Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing, fired shots at David Byrne in the concert movie Stop Making Sense and was the inspiration for the naming of the band 808 State. In his own homage to the iconic device, electronic music tinkerer Moritz Simon Geist has mechanically reproduced 11 of its key sounds using real instruments played by robots within the supersized, wall-filling frame of the stunning MR-808.  Read More

Roland has unveiled a highly portable electronic drum set that can fold up small enough to...

Surely no working drummer would seriously entertain the use of drum pants or t-shirts to make the burden of transporting and setting up a kit a little easier, but even conventional acoustic skin bashers might give electronic drums a whirl. The e-drumkit takes up much less room in the back of the band's van, is always in tune and can sound just like the real thing, or just about anything else you might want the various pads to sound like. In the case of Roland's new TD-4KP V-Drums Portable, the whole setup can be collapsed down and carried under the arm.  Read More

Unlike typical 3D printers, iModela carves rather than builds its models

3D printers are certainly hot technology these days, with machines like the Printrbot, MakerBot and Cubify launching on a regular basis. But while most of these devices focus on building something from the ground up, Roland DG has unveiled a new machine that does the exact opposite. Rather than slowly building a model by adding layers of material, the iModela iM-01 3D Modeling Machine carves its creations down from a larger block of material, like a small, automated sculptor.  Read More

The new G-5 Strat features Roland's COSM modeling technology, offering players instant alt...

Roland and Fender have joined forces to create a guitar called the G-5, that fuses a traditional Stratocaster body shape with cutting edge digital music technology. Set to hit the shelves a few months before either of the Auto-Tune guitars from Peavey and Parker, the VG Strat G-5 offers similar alternate tuning at the turn of a knob, a host of onboard digital guitar emulations and the chance to dial in different pickup and signature guitar sounds, too.  Read More

Roland has announced that it new performance synth - the Jupiter-80 - is now shipping, off...

Roland says that realism is at the very heart of its new Jupiter-80 performance synth. The company claims that the kind of expressive acoustic instrument authenticity delivered by its analog sound modeling technology simply couldn't have been made available before now. Studio and live performers can access a huge bank of preset sounds which are said to go beyond mere sampling of acoustic, electric, orchestral and ethnic instruments, then manipulate those sounds into something vintage, modern or futuristic, or create and store their own layered sonic stacks. Control of the action comes courtesy of a touchscreen display and numerous buttons, knobs and sliders.  Read More

Roland has announced the release of the MICRO BR BR-80 pocket digital recording studio

When musical inspiration hits, it's vital to get it recorded before it disappears. Handheld recorders like Tascam's DR-07 MkII recorder and or Zoom's new H2n Handy Recorder are useful in this regard, but if you need a little more flexibility, something like a pocket-sized version of the BR800 portable recording studio could be the answer. Roland has announced that its BOSS MICRO BR multi-track digital recorder has now been updated. The MICRO BR BR-80 has twice the simultaneous playback tracks of its predecessor, a new effects processor and the ability to reduce the presence of vocal and lead guitar of pre-recorded audio to give players the chance to create their own.  Read More

Roland has announced the latest evolutionary leap in the world of guitar synth technology:...

In the late seventies, Roland took the sonic palette available to keyboard players and opened it up to guitarists, with the introduction on the GR-500. It was quite simply a marvel, but is positively primitive when compared to the latest evolutionary leap taken by the company with the GR-55 guitar synthesizer. Featuring a pair of independent synthesizer sound engines and a Composite Object Sound Modeling (COSM) engine, the device makes hundreds of different sounds available to the player – anything from pianos to strings, drums to synths, various acoustic and electric guitar and bass emulations, as well as numerous amplifiers.  Read More

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