74 thoughts on “Roland Teases New Keyboard

  1. It was a risky move. I’m thinking you really don’t want to say “We are BACK.” and not actually BE back. And I completely agree that the soundtrack on that demo vid does not fill us with hope/anticipation. I suppose in some ways the Korg Kronos had a lot of things going on that kind of at least went along with the hype. Kurzweil doesn’t get enough credit for making really powerful digital synths (IMO). Roland does need to come up with something special- but will the follow the crowd and make another analog emulation?

  2. Looks like a BK-7 or so. Arranger with workstation and Organ features. An advanced GW-8?
    Nothing that can be compared with a Kronos imho.

  3. this company needs an sea change before we’ll see them moving on the analog trend.

    i owned a Fantom Xa and loved it. there were a few patches that, along with the arpeggiator, made for a very playable keyboard.
    programming it, however, was a nightmare.
    i traded it for different equipment but still miss those 3 patches that i loved.

    1. My stomach sank soon as I saw you posted. And for the record, Roland is not back. They have decidedly chosen a different market to appeal to, whatever that market is, it is decidedly against anything remotely interesting.

      1. Man, what is up with you and being completely rude to posters? Please stop.

        As for Roland, I really hope this is something actually cool. I love all of my old Roland gear, and they make up most of my gear. Old Roland was cool and I hope new Roland will eventually get that.

        1. What I wonder is whether there’s a disconnect between what Roland is making and what people want to buy, or whether this sort of all-in-one digital workstation is really what most people buy.

          i can see where a lot of keyboard buyers would go for keyboards tons of features, and all the new Roland keyboards definitely deliver lots of features.

          More experienced players, though, appreciate keyboards that are straightforward to use, maybe with not as many features but keyboards that do what they do well. Do you think we’re not buying enough synths for Roland to worry about us?

          1. I think roland should make keyboards like U 20 or XP 30.
            We should get 16 buttons like XP 60 right below the display so that we get 16 sounds readily,2 assignable faders or nobs,patch remain on/off function and a solo button on board, I think these are very important things for using keyboard for a live show,hope roland will bring some fantastic stuff very soon.

  4. Back? Didn’t know they left. Were they on vacation? After bringing out the Jupiter-80? And the Jupiter-50? And the Integra-7? I’m wondering about Yamaha now. They’ve been on vacation with various variations of the Motif for about twelve years now. And pianos, yes, I know. And motorcycles. It’s nice to be diversified.

    1. Yes, this. I never understood the Roland beating, especially as its the Yamaha that was the most boring “synth” manufacturer of this millenia.

  5. Nobody has a stronger legacy of electronic music gear than Roland – yet I sense a new affordable workstation is on the way.

  6. I’m not going to be happy with them until I see the words juno or Jupiter paired with the word analog and without the words virtual or modeling.

  7. put me at the helm and I guarantee everything will be analogue and have the prefix “SH-” or the words “Modular System”…. all home organs and accordions will be sent into space.

        1. do you really think the one thing that’s holding you all back from having that number one hit is the lack of a decent drum machine on the market?

  8. Sadly: Yawn…. I see nothing that hints at an interesting change in direction. Their overall interface and UI design has been uninspiring for many years now (personally).
    Roland has no ‘edge’ anymore.

    1. With Fantom and V-Synth their UI had such a lead, that even after an “uninspired” decade they are still having the best UI in synths.

      Even without touch screen Fantom X beats Korgs vain touch screen imlementations(I mean, I believe every synth should at least have cheap 5$ resistive touch screen, but Korg hasn’t used their touch screens in any meaningful way before Krome, and its cheap, corner cutting slow ass entrylevel rompler, that makes any UI improvements pain in the ass)(and I am a Korg fan)

      1. The M3 Touch screen and the Oasys before it are highly usable and useful ….. not to mention krome. I disagree with your assessment.

        1. I had M3, and its touch screen certainly IS helpful, BUT, still, even with the touch screen they some how managed to make worse, less intuitive interface, that has less functionality, than Fantom X. The functionality they later added in update was nice addition, and with it they reached Fantom X’s level of functionality, but, it was too much for the processor and it was pain in the ass to use.

          It was understandable though, as it was an add on and a gift horse. For Krome, there is no excuses, its slow ass from the start and Korg really SHOULD have spent $1 more on the processor to make it usable; to meet some kind of standards.

          Also. What is most alarming; this functionality SHOULD have been in Kronos from the beginning, its their flag ship after all, and now its interface is diplomatically said an improved version of 1995 Trinity. And I like the no BS bureau application layout a geat deal, just add the functionality damnit!!!!

          I have nothing against resistive screens; in fact I prefer them for the lower price and increased accuracy(as well as lower electricity and processing power consumption), but Korg haven’t made use of them…well, of course they at least have them in their synths…

          Heres some tips for Korg, and perhaps for others, if Korg really wants to slowly kill themselves by staying in their 1995 Trinity standards:
          -Don’t release a touch screen synth without using the touch screen(well, the Rolands 3000โ‚ฌ performance synth with a touchscreen used an iPad to make the edits…wtf is that!!?!!?!?)
          -Virtual knobs and sliders should be obvious, Kronos insults its users with its ridiculous “Data slider -interface”
          -Use the resistive screens strength, the accuracy, and implement accurate stylus functions, like wave form and envelope drawing by hand
          -Sequencer must have micro editing functions used with touch screen, BUT, use strong enough processor to make it usable. It doesn’t rise the cost, trying to whip your software team is more expensive, than using couple of dollars for better processor. Slightly more powerfull processor wont be too hot either.

          1. I love the touch screen on my M3 it gives me great speed on edits. I have a Korg Extreme and that touch screen is not very good. The Kronos layout with sliders and also the M3 works very well for music production. The thing that I hate about the Kronos was they didn’t put those very useful drum pads on it like they did on the M3.

  9. YAY!! Another digital WORKSTATION with a USB port!!

    So sad – considering the insane amount of money OTHER companies have made on both hardware and virtual emulations of vintage Roland gear, (I mean how is that every sample library publisher STILL manages to release a drum sample library with 808 and 909 sounds EVERY YEAR – proving that there is still demand because, obviously SOMEONE is buying them!) you’d figure that Roland would capitalize on that and step back in the ring and show everybody how it’s done when it comes to Hardware. But no such luck!

    1. Roland appear to be walking through the R&D and Marketing minefield blindfolded with Digital drums sticks in their ears.

  10. They should have asked Elektron how to do a teaser video. I might be the slightest bit intrigued, no matter HOW bad this keyboard is going to be.

  11. I think the “we are back” was meant to be a play on words announcing a new BK model. The funny thing is though, they are so oblivious as to how most of us see them, that we all assume they realize that they are gone. When in reality they think they’re being cute. So sad.

  12. This almost does sound like an april fools joke, let’s hope it is. The sounds in this demo are not far from the old general MIDI sounds eg. terrible.

    1. Why do people hate on the d-beam? I’d like to see roland do more with it, but I don’t think it’s any sillier than a mod wheel. How about quantized d-beams or d-beams that step through sequences… or multiple d beams. ๐Ÿ™‚ Use one d beam to change the target parameters or range of another d beam.

      I think the “d” is the worst part of it. Why not m-beam, R-beam or just beam? D-beam is too close to d-bag, I think. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. the old D-beam was better it reached about six feet …. insane things could be done with that 6 feet and a copy of Ableton.

  13. I just heard my EMU Command Station piss itself laughing as is heard the video…nothing to see here people, move on, move on…

  14. Looks like an arranger.

    It’s really strange that the American Market doesn’t embrace arrangers in the same way the rest of the world does. It’s like we all associate them with wedding bands and “uncool” gigs.

    YES…. they lack sex appeal. Yes… they aren’t analog. Yes… they usually have really cheesy auto-accompaniment.

    BUT… forget about the built-in patterns/styles… (make your own). Many high end arrangers come with sound libraries comparable to their company’s high-end workstations. The good ones come with tools that make the process of song-writing easier. Instead of focusing on groove, they intelligently (sometimes) partition the elements of a song into manageable chunks, letting you easily organize your thoughts about the song.

    Intro, verse, chorus, hook, bridge, turnaround, bass, comps and chord progression, melody, solo, fills, harmony… sensibly laid out for guys writing commercial or tradition sruff in a variety of styles… Arrangers can REALLY be useful for musicians looking to complete paying studio gigs or when flying solo at a gig.

    If this teaser is for a new arranger, I promise there will be a market for it. Good arrangers are very capable instruments in the hands of capable musicians.

    Still, I’d much rather have them re-issue their old analog stuff, make a new MV-series sampler, a new tape echo, or release some of their better Sonar plugs for Mac. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. oh my.
    almost feel bad for them. this sounds so cheesy it is actually funny.
    and the “we are back” claim..it all just gives a pathetic impression.

  16. Deffo looks like an cheesy organ type keyboard. The sliders are marked like organ drawbars in ft. I wish they’d bring back a new sh101/mc202 affordable analog synth, but I doubt they will. I’d be nice, but I’m happy with what Korg are doing and will bag myself a nice MS20 mini with the hope of a Monopoly in the future :o)

  17. Roland doesn’t care about electronic music.*

    If they did they wouldn’t be able to use that slogan without LFO as the soundtrack.

    *Unless you count the awesome v-synth (xt), which is still boss. Although I’d dig an update! Supernatural technology that lets you make un-natural and creative sounds, instead of more accurately mimicking acoustics , yes please! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Well it is disappointing, but in reality we should just come to terms with the fact that they are not a dedicated synthesizer company anymore than Yamaha, Casio, etc. They produce products with synthesizer features, but actual SYNTHESIS i.e. combining waveforms and applying other modulators to a signal chain is not too prevalent. This is alright. There is a market and they are in it. It is not a market we are all into, and that is fine.

  19. One could argue that Roland has not changed at all, that the products we like were mostly flukes. 303, 808, 909 were all meant for accompaniment, like mich of their current product range. Maybe it is we who are mistaken about who Roland was and the current direction is where they were always heading. It seems that way. I still wish they would re-issue some old products. Development cost would be minimal. However maybe they are afraid of a success which would undermine their current philosophy and call their judgement into question.

    1. You have a good point there and i think we have to understand, that they fish in different waters now.
      The 303 was a commercial flop at the time of it’s production and never intended as a genre defining instrument. selling workstations and “live performance” keybaords to the worhship market brings probably much more turnover than producing retro tech synths and drum boxes for our small demographic of analog synths enthusiasts. over 80% of my hardware is pre ’86 Roland gear, and i have finally come to piece that i will probably never buy a new roland . on the bright sight the build quality of the old stuff was fantastic and serviceable, so i can enjoy it for years to come and just look at what other manufactures have to offer. It still stings sometimes though, when i watch new Roland promo videos portraying fun loving Midiots, while i imagine what they could do instead ๐Ÿ™

  20. flukes?… yeah you may be right. I must have owned dozens of Roland products from my first in 1974 (an SH-3a) to my last a V-Synth…. and a review of all those years show little consistency. I’ve said this before, but I think Roland need to establish a “Pro Synth” division. Divert parts of the budget that go to accordions and home organs and start back where they made their name.

  21. Admin must have serious problem with negative posts. So it so simply to ban any person from the corresponding post. Like me from the BK-9. I don’t care very much but … Congratulation! you must be very proud for your democratic decisions.

  22. think roland should make keyboards like U 20 or XP 30.
    We should get 16 buttons like XP 60 right below the display so that we get 16 sounds readily,2 assignable faders or nobs,patch remain on/off function and a solo button on board, I think these are very important things for using keyboard for a live show,hope roland will bring some fantastic stuff very soon.

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