Oct 14


If you have been into Electronic Drums like me since they first came out, you may well have had a Roland Kit at some point. For me, I have been working my way up from my early TD-7, through to the TD-10 and TD-20 modules until now the new TD-30. Affording a £5000 or more kit is not for the faint hearted. I have still not achieved it and I have made as many compromises as I possibly could along the way to achieve a decent kit and keep the cost as low as possible. The primary part of an electronic kit is without doubt the module or brain as it sometimes called. Although this is another big outlay, it did not seem too bad after the sale of my expanded TD-20 module.
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Sep 19

Here is a lot more useful information on the new Roland Integra-7 from Roland product demonstrator Gareth Bowan showing exactly how you get the most out of it. He also shows it in use with an iPad. It can only really be described as ‘the best of Roland’ – see what you think?

Sep 1

Well it does seem to be a time for a great deal of Music News and new product announcements. Amongst the news, I came across this spoiler for all you lucky Roland Jupiter 80 owners. I wonder whether this will work on the Jupiter 50 or whether there will be something similar available in the near future? Have a look at this clip to wet your appetite:-

Aug 31

Here is something new, small and handy for vocalists – it is the Roland VT-12 Vocal Trainer announced in Rolands third quarter of the year announcements of new products. This looks very interesting, it is quite colourful and compact. It has been described as a practice and warm-up tool for vocalists and has a visual pitch display, built-in exercises and backing tracks, two-voice support, and so much more.

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Aug 30

Well it looks like Germany has leaked some information on a new Synth module – the Roland Integra-7 Rack Synth Module. Roland are about to disclose their new products tomorrow the 31 August 2012 but we now have some details on this new rack the Integra-7.

I am of the opinion like many others who believe that we haven’t been provided with the options of Synth racks for the ones we love in recent years. I feel that it would have been nice if Roland had upgraded the Fantom X rack and let us have Fantom G rack. A Korg Kronos rack would have been ideal to many players who really wanted a Kronos but did not want yet another keyboard, especially when the keyboard itself was not that great. Yamaha too have sadly not looked into the possibility of a Motif XF Rack. So it is nice to see that Roland, who have moved on still further since the release of the Fantom G and who are now about to release a Rack for 2012.

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Aug 16


DANCE XS – 64 New Dance Sounds for your ROLAND GAIA SH-01 SYNTH. Packed with essential club-shaking sounds, Detuned and Filtered Sounds, Dance FX, Nu-Electro chords, moving Arps and Gritty Analogue Patches with a dash of bite, distortion and squelch.

Just a simple Tony Long Music download – Just click on the image on the left to take to you the GAIA Patches page where you can get all the details you need.

Also have a look at the great offers for the twin pack and the new 3 – Pack which has 192 Gaia Patches.


Aug 11

I just had a quick go of the new Roland Jupiter 50 at Andertons Music in Guildford. Kevin Jubb the Product Specialist for Roland took me through the benefits of this keyboard and some of the deeper editing screens. Kevin owns a Jupiter 80 and was therefore extremely familiar with the Jupiters. For me, I wanted to ascertain some of the advantages to the ‘Live’ player. Number one has got to be the weight. I picked it up off the stand and it is just so light to carry, yet playing it feels very stable indeed as if you are playing a much sturdier product. The keys felt great to play and this was the one thing that I was concerned the most about. There may be a difference between the key beds of the Jupiter 80 and the 50 but I could not detect it. The Jupiter 80 was on a stand under the Jupiter 50 so I could compare them nicely. Yes I would love to own an 80, but with the increased weight and the fact that it costs a £1000 more, the 50 looks a much more attractive proposition.

The next point is obviously the fact that it has no after touch. Kevin explained that this can still be achieved by assigning it to a pedal. I played quite a few of the sounds and the lack of after touch did not seem to bother me. OK now to the screen which is not the touch screen found on the 80. The screen seemed a lot better and bigger than I imagined it to be and Kevin reminded me about the iPad App for it, which is a great bonus. All the information is clearly laid out and editing can be done but the iPad App is going to make the process so much easier.

Soundwise, I fould this Synth really does have some oomph. The bass sounds were really giving Roland speakers some aggravation. You have only got to start to play a lead or a bass sound and you realise just how powerful the Jupiters are. The weakest sounds to me were the Brass but they were still very good and I felt that I could do something with them. Kevin explained how he uses a pedal with his Jupiter 80 to bring in other layers. For example you could be using a brass sound for the verse and then bring in a layer of another Brass sound or the same sound but an octave higher for the Chorus. This is ideal for ‘Live’ players as you don’t have to change to another patch and your existing sound becomes ‘thicker’ just at a tap of the footswitch – great stuff.

My time was running out so I asked Kevin about playing Wav files as backing and whether you could adjust the levels between your own playing and the backing. Kevin quickly showed me the editing screen that not only adjusted the levels but also the pitch and the speed making ideal to reheaese with singers and slow it down to practice.

Well it is looking very impressive to me. Thank you Kevin for your help and advice today.

Aug 10

Here are some more sound demos of the Roland TD-30 showing the fantastic combination of acoustic and electronic drum sounds. This is the best set Roland have done in my opinion and the content is far better than the TD-20. Roland usually focus their efforts on achieving real drum sounds and whilst that is great, in today’s music, you need far more than this. Have a listen to Craig Blundell’s demo here:-

Aug 7


In September 2011 Roland updated their now discontinued PM-01 Personal Drum monitor with the release of PM-03. This new addition to V-Drums personal-monitor family is the first 2.1 Channel monitor in this series. I always found that the Amplification of Electronic Drums to be the most difficult to achieve. There are of course different requirements and if you are at home with your exciting electronic kit, you want amplification that brings out the quality in the sounds and rhythms you are producing so that you have a similar experience to an acoustic drummer. Electronic kits have such great stereo facilities with sounds sometimes auto – panning, so your requirements are definitely stereo with something that can suitably cover the high and low frequency ranges. The live Electronic Drummer has a more complex requirement and personally needs to hear what he is playing, needs the rest of his band to hear the same and needs to project out to mix with the overall sound through the main PA to the audience. Roland provides a range of personal drum monitors to suit the varying demands. I will be looking at the PM-03 which is the smallest in the range but is a 2.1 setup. Whilst this has been designed more for the home user, I would like to evaluate its suitability as a personal monitor in a small live environment.

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Aug 1

I must say, I don’t believe it. I have hardly got to grips with Sonar X1 and they are talking New Sonar X2 already. So what is new?

Well they are saying that there is a new Modular ProChannel, a new Console Emulator, a new BREVERB SONAR, new Automation lanes and modes, new R-Mix SONAR, new ProChannel FX chains, a new TH2 Producer Amp Simulator, new Take Lanes, new Smart Grid, new Integrated SoundCloud and a new MusicXML export. On top of this they have made some improvements to their LP-64 EQ, LP-64 Multiband Compressor, Matrix Performance View, low latency audio engine, smart tool and the famous Piano Roll View. If you add that lot to what is there already, you have a serious looking and performing DAW.

I wish Roland would work equally as fast upgrading their Fantom G or replacing the DR880 Drum Machine.

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