Roland Intros BK-3 Backing Keyboard

Roland has introduced the BK-3, a new backing keyboard that features a wide range of sounds and rhythms, song playback via USB memory and built-in speakers.

Here’s the official intro video:


  • Portable, self-contained keyboard with built-in sound system
  • High-quality sounds, rhythms, and Music Assistants
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Compatible with music rhythms from Roland’s BK, E, G, and VA series
  • Play a variety of backing formats (SMF, MP3, WAV, and rhythms) and record performances with optional USB memory
  • Roland Wireless Connect capability for cable-free communication with iPhone and iPad; free iOS apps available for music sharing, lyrics display, and more
  • Available in black or white finish

Pricing and availability are TBA.

35 thoughts on “Roland Intros BK-3 Backing Keyboard

  1. Roland MC09 – 2002, Roland SH32 – 2001, Roland EF303 – 2000 — it’s been a while since Roland last released anything of interest. These were some forward-thinking and creative devices, and it’s clear it has taken time and required knowledge to design them. What Roland does now, seems like what a lagging behind undergrad can project in the first hour after waking up with a hangover.

    Just to think of, all does a company that once released TB-303, TR-808, Jupiter 8, and JP-8000, is introduces backing keyboards with built-in speakers! And yes, it is 2012 already. How they aren’t bankrupt yet is a mystery to me.

    1. This makes no sense. I don’t have the stats but I do sell keyboards, and I can tell you that the majority of keyboards sold do have built in speakers. It’s products like this that keep the company afloat.

  2. BK-5 and BK-3 don’t sound bad and are good for beginners with not much money.
    Why are they even mentioned here? It’s not really a synth.

  3. Buy a BK3 and you too have have lots of pretty young girls hanging around you!

    Who cares what it actually sounds like? You get no idea of that from this ad.

  4. “entry level” It says it in the product description.

    When a kid want to learn how to play the keys you don’t rush out and by them a 3K analogue machine.

    Laughing so hard at people raging at Roland xD

  5. if i was 15 and was wanting to learn to play keyboard and didn’t know anything about synthesizers i would be stoked to own this nice seeming product.

    there is no reason to rag on a backing keyboard.

  6. Geeeezuz! You guys are not gonna believe what just happened. I clicked the link to watch the video and I was took back to the greasy 80s. I’m going to buy this. I want zeee girls around me dancing like my grandma.

  7. I guess too few people heard “starter keyboard.” Setting aside that it just HAD to open with disco, c’mon, its a nice beginner piece. This is what you give your kids first. They’d be overloaded and overly pampered if you handed a total newbie a Fantom or a Kronos. Don’t be an elitist sphincter about it even existing. Think about how great it would be to have Mom & Dad give you one to see where you take it. Besides, Roland makes a good business of offering simple starter keyboards. A person who starts on one of these can easily become a future workstation buyer.

  8. Everybody like to complain about the new Roland and Korg keyboards, but the reality is that not many people buy expensive analog dream synths. Remember the Andromeda? Great synth but nobody bought them.

    There need to be beginner keyboards like this and they’re getting better and better.

  9. There is nothing wrong with starter keyboards, heck, my first keyboard purchase was a floor-model Yamaha PSR-520, back in ’98. It is nowhere close to being a synthesizer, but I loved it. I still have it hanging around in the corner of my studio, and will never part with it.

    Combined with Studio Vision Pro and MIDI I learned that I could reach a new level of expression. Not true synthesis, but MIDI allowed me to learn about ADSR, brightness, cutoff, etc. and do crazy things with the built-in PSR patches. I quickly learned that the keyboard sounded too plain away from the computer, and I wanted something with more flexibility.

    That being said, I’m sure this will be a great starter keyboard for many. I am a little confused why it’s featured on a synth site, but this isn’t my site, and I enjoy reading the articles anyway. Sometimes the elitist comments are the most entertaining aspect.

  10. I don’t know… It is perfectly acceptable to target the easiest markets to secure financial growth. That is how Korg/Roland/Yamaha continue to make money I suppose. Some of the greatest series of synthesizers made by all of these companies were not as wildly successful and far reaching as, say, a cheaply made generic workstation that most kids can aspire to afford. All of the awesome synths we remember: modular moogs, other early moogs, roland systems, yamaha CS series, old Korg stuff like the Lambda String synth etc. were made it seems in part to innovate, regardless of the risk (well maybe not the Lambda, but it sounds bloody great, see Pepe’s demos).
    Perhaps those folks in charge of the companies at the time (i.e. Dr. Moog) had a passion for making synthesizers and sharing them with the small niche markets that existed because they loved synthesizers and wanted to get them out there… That may be the difference between then and now. NOW we have the Arturia-Usson Minibrute, Tom Oberheim SEMs and two-voice reissue, Dave Smith Instruments, Vermona, etc. The list goes on. The markets have simply shifted and now we are looking in the wrong places. Nice discrete-component analog equipment has, and will likely for some time yet, be expensive, but solid investments that will last longer than most digital/computer based gear. We best look elsewhere for quality synthesizers that innovate.

  11. Roland makes a ton of products that cover a fair range of interests. An entry-level product is an entry-level product, it’s a different line of product from your lush analog goodness. And see, instead of bashing and arguing about this product, I’d rather hear people make good music.

    Seriously, I hate how people are bitter over petty matters like this.

  12. Not only can I see this making sense for starter players, singer-songwriters, etc, but I can also see this keyboard being big with subway musicians. Easy to have backing instruments, songs you’ve made at home, built in speakers. For that audience I could see this being a nice instrument.

    Not every product has to be for everyone. Things are made for specific markets.

  13. wow this is way cooler than the shit they sold when I was in school ( ignore that my school had a room full of juno’s. )

    the fact you can play along to mp3s and record your performance and sync with apple apps is really cool. I love keyboards with speakers. casiotone!

  14. wow this is way cooler than the crap they sold when I was in school ( ignore that my school had a room full of juno’s. )

    the fact you can play along to mp3s and record your performance and sync with apple apps is really cool. I love keyboards with speakers. casiotone!

  15. I think the problem (besides the horrible advertising) is that we somehow expect this to be way overpriced. For $100, this would be nice, but, being a Roland, we know that’s not going to happen.

    The reason many of us are upset at Roland is that they seem not to care about lagging in technology and being overpriced at the same time. Except for the USB, fifteen years ago, this keyboard wouldn’t have been special… today, knowing that it will probably cost north of $200, it’s going to be a joke. Yamaha has been killing Roland in the arrangers market (from entry level to high end) and even Casio is putting Roland to shame these days (their <$1000 Privia Digital Pianos feel and sound as good as the Rolands that cost 3 times more, for instance). I used to love Roland but I-m one of the ones who can't understand how can they still be in this business.

    I, for one, even though I love "synths", also enjoy reading about these horrible things called "arrangers" (gasp!). I'd love to know when the new Tyros gets announced, for instance, if similar things exist as VST's, etc.

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