updated 11:55 pm EST, Thu January 15, 2009
Roland at NAMM
Roland has introduced a wide variety of digital music products at the NAMM show. For keyboard players, the company displayed several devices including an upright grand, two digital pianos, a few entry-level products and a 320-watt stereo amplifier. The TD-4S offers drummers a compact package with new sounds, while the DT-HD1 software teaches basic drum patterns and technique. A new 80-watt guitar amp and bass processor have also been unveiled, along with new synthesizers, an expansion board and a system update for the V-Synth GT.
The LX-10 digital upright features grand piano samples, while the 88-key layout integrates progressive hammer action to replicate the feel of a genuine piano. The device features built-in speakers, while the top lid can be opened or closed to change the acoustic presentation. The 88-key V-Piano offers an improved level of key action, along with a variety of tonal adjustments for each virtual piano.
The 88-key VIMA RK-300 features additional connectivity with CDs, MIDI files, iPods, and USB keys. The keyboard combines audio and visual presentation, such as keyboard playback with lyric display for karaoke. The RM-700 digital piano provides features video output and education tools, while the 61-key Prelude is geared for entry-level users. Rolands latest keyboard amp, the KC-880, offers a 320-watt amp that drives dual 12-inch woofers and two horn-tweeters.
The TD-4S digital drum kit features Roland's V-Pad snare in addition to velocity-sensitive toms and cymbals with choke capability. The drum stand is designed to be compact and lightweight, while leaving room to expand the set with upgraded cymbals. The DT-HD1 drum-tutor software works with the HD-1 drum kit connected to a PC via USB.
Roland unveiled a new 80-watt guitar amp, the Cube-80X, featuring a 12-inch speaker and 10 amp models. The amp offers two channels, spring reverb modeling, a looper and a chromatic tuner. Bassists can use the VB-99 processor with dozens of COSM models, including both vintage and modern sounds. Analog input can be converted to MIDI streams and then output via USB.
The AX-Synth shoulder synthesizer works as a remote keyboard, but with an integrated sound generator in addition to the USB MIDI connection. A dedicated V-Link button provides control over visual effects, while the user can use a bender mode for creative solos. The VP-770 provides a combination of synth and vocal features, with a headset mic and options to add electronic textures or emulations of large choirs.
Rounding out the NAMM announcements, the company released the Version 2.0 update for its V-Synth GT. The latest version adds several enhancements along with new effects and patches. An ARX-03 Brass expansion board is also now available for the Fantom-G series keyboard. The Sonic Cell synthesizer module now supports RTAS for use with Pro Tools.