Aug 22

SPECIAL OFFER

If you have a Roland Gaia Synth, have you tried our expansion packs? For some great value why not buy all 3 – that is 192 Sound Patches for only £23.99 (which is about $40 or 30 Euros).

The Roland Gaia Extravaganza, Clubland and the Dance XS soundsets are available for download as a 3-pack special offer giving you 3 complete banks of 64 patches at a reduced price. This epic adventure into sound design extends your sonic palette with a massive range of Genres and Sound Types and provides you with 192 new patches.

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Mar 10

musikmesse-2014-new-products

Doesn’t it come around quickly – It is here again that great show at Frankfurt, Germany – Musikmesse 2014. Last year’s show with some really great sunshine may just be beaten by this show, which has already got everyone interested in new products two days before the show opens.

Today we have seen announcements from Waldorf, Akai, Nord and Waves and I am sure there will be more to come. Of course the eagerly awaited Roland Aira kit will be there.

My list of Musikmesse and new products is looking like this at present:-

Nord Lead A1R rack-mountable version of the Lead A1
Akai APC40 mkII Controller
Akai Rhythm Wolf Drum Machine & Bass Synth
Waves and Abbey Road – Real ADT Plug-In
Waldorf Streichfett – String Synth
Roland AIRA – System – 1 PLUG-OUT Synthesizer
Roland AIRA – VT-3 Voice Transformer
Roland AIRA – TB-3 Touch Bassline
Roland AIRA – TR-8 Rhythm Performer
Arturia Spark Version 2
Audient ASP880 New 8-channel mic pre with Digital I/O

Jan 24

Best of Namm 2014

SONY DSC

The NAMM show is such a great event running from 23 January 2014 to 26 January 2014 in its usual location of Anaheim Convention Center, 800 West Katella Avenue
Anaheim, although I have seen there will also be a Namm show in Russia in September 2014.

Sometimes the companies build the hype to such an extent that you feel a little let down when you see the new products, but as you dig a little deeper, there is normally something for everyone. Whether it is precisely what you are after is another matter but you can easily get drawn in and dream of possibilities for you.

For me, I have my own selection of goodies from the show, so apart from the four that we have already looked at:- ROLAND FA-06 and FA-08 Synth Workstation, ROLAND RD-800 Stage Piano, ROLAND TM-2 Trigger Module and M-AUDIO Finger Trigger Pro, my favourites are:-

NORD AI
ARTURIA SPARK 2
IZOTOPE BREAKTWEAKER
ELEKTRON THE ANALOG RYTM
KORG TRITON TAKTIL
WAVES: ABBEY ROAD REEL ADT,
KORG GADGET SYNTH STUDIO FOR IPAD
KORG KEYTAR RK-100S

It looks like ROLAND VT-3 VOCAL TRANSFORMER and ROLAND ARIA will not be at NAMM 2014 and following Waldorf’s tease of possibly a new synth, nothing as materialised as yet.

I hope to look at the above in a little more detail, so stay tuned

Jan 18

New Roland TM-2 Trigger Module

Another unexpected new product from Roland is the new Roland TM-2 Trigger Module. There have also been quite a few rumours about a new drum machine based on the Roland 808 and I hope to bring you details of this when it is launched next week at NAMM 2014. Will Roland have any other surprises for us next week?

Anyway the Roland TM-2 Trigger Module is aimed at acoustic drummers who want to electronic sounds to their existing setup and/or beef up their acoustic sounds with a layer of electronics.

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Jan 16

The second new Roland Product that caught my eye was the new Roland RD-800 Piano

This You Tube Clip from Keyboard Mag does an excellent job of showing just how good this Piano is. It is a quality instrument but will cost you £1799 but watching this I am sure you will think it is worth it.

I had an RD-150 some years ago and loved it. I always remember its simple quick two track recorder for quickly putting ideas. There is now a much better version on the RD-800 allowing you to record as a wav file on a USB stick.
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Jan 15

Roland FA-06 and Roland FA-08 Workstation

 

Roland -FA06-FA08-Music-Workstation-2014

I was really looking forward to finding out what new products Roland would be announcing today for their first quarter of 2014 just prior to Namm 2014.

At first, I was a little disappointed as their are not many and their didn’t appear to be anything ‘new’ in the true sense of the word. On closer inspection their are a couple of interesting additions and to start with I want to have a look at the new FA synth workstations that come in two sizes the FA-06 (61 key) and the weighted action FA-08 (88 note).

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Jan 11

Forget Christmas – January is the Month for Music Makers

 

roland-connect-2014-new-products

January is my Christmas with the anticipation of what is to come. On the 15th January, Roland are to announce their new products and from the 23rd to 26th January 2014 we have the famous Namm show from Anaheim Convention Centre, 800 West Katella Avenue Anaheim, CA 92802.

namm_show_2014

So what are we likely to see in 2014? Will it be something new from access like a Ti 3 or something outstanding from Yamaha to put to bed the MOTIF and MOX series for good. I am sad to see the undeveloped Roland Fantom 8. In my opinion there is nothing like it out there. It had so much potential. I truly hope that if Roland bring out another 88 note synth it has a fantastic piano action keyboard like the Fantom 8 unlike the MOTIF or the Kronos who quite frankly should supply a much better key action for the cost.

roland-fantom-g8

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Sep 4

These types of product releases always catch my eye, especially when they come from Roland – The new Roland Handsonic HPD-20 Digital Hand Percussion. This looks packed with goodies and a noticable improvement over the original HPD-10 and the larger HPD-15 with more instruments and kits. You get 850 excellent sounds with quality of Roland’s SuperNATURAL sound engine. If you add in 13 very sensitive and playable pads, Multi-effects, EQ and Ambience and WAV import via USB you start to have something very special, very portable to hit the streets with.

The specification is very impressive but I sincerely wish they would step up to today’s quality sample rates. I was disappointed to see that as we fast approach 2014 that Roland are still using 16 bits at 44.1 kHz. I think it is about time we saw 24Bit and 96 KHz from them – it has gone on long enough. Please let us have some Flagship quality.

Ok now I am off my soapbox, what other goodies does the Handsonic HPD-20 have? Well possibly the most asked for is ability to import your own samples and the HPD-20 has it. You can import up to 500 of your own WAV sounds via USB flash memory – excellent.

It has great controller qualities and you could use it to control and play virtual instruments and record your MIDI and audio performances in your DAW.
There is storage capacity for two hundred kits of which a hundred of them have have been readily setup for you ready to just instantly play.

Around the back you will find sufficient connections; MIDI In and Out, Trigger Input, Hi-Hat Controller Input, Stereo Output and Phones, Mix In and Footswitch, USB Computer and USB Memory Ports.

Have a quick look at this:-


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Jul 25

I came across this You Tube clip from Sarah Jones (Bat for Lashes, Hot Chip) and her use of the new Roland BT-1 Bar Trigger Pad. I purchased one of these and I must say I agree with everything Sarah says on this clip.

The shape and size makes it ideal to fit in with any setup whether it is acoustic drums or electronic setup. The playing surface is a nice size and its curved shape perfectly fits around your drum rims.

It has a very responsive feel to it and no crosstalk and it is very inexpensive. It is only a single trigger. I wish Roland would make them in pairs so that you don’t have to waste a dual input on a single trigger.

Great Clip Sarah

roland-BT-1-bar-trigger-pad

Jun 28

Roland have only just announced (a few minutes ago) on their Roland Connect Site – June 2013, of the release of their new AC40 Compact Acoustic Chorus Stereo Amplifier; Micro CUBE GX ultra-compact Amplifier; CUBE-20GX Amplifier with Pro COSM tones and iCUBE LINK; CUBE-40GX Hi-Octane Amplifier with iCUBE LINK and the CUBE-80GX a versatile stage or studio Amplifier with iOS connectivity. Have a look at the YouTube clip to give you a better idea and watch some beautiful playing from Nita Strauss of the Iron Maidens.

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