Musikmesse 2013: Roland has introduced the BK-9 Backing Keyboard, their new flagship in their BK-series lineup of live performance keyboards
Even with a 76-note keyboard, the BK-9 is designed to easy to transport, weighing under 21 pounds (9.4 kg). It offers over 1,700 sounds and 70 drum kits. There’s also a Virtual Tone Wheel organ with harmonic bars, plus a User Tone area dedicated for future sound expansion collections from Roland.
Here’s a video overview:
Here’s a performance demo:
The Roland BK-9
For accompaniment, there are 540 built-in rhythms. Via optional USB memory, users can add unlimited additional rhythms and play MP3, WAV, and SMF files as well. A powerful enhancement for live playing is the Mixer function, which allows for instant adjustment of rhythm and real-time part levels, MFX parameters, and more using the harmonic bars on the front panel.
Five independent multi-effects engines (MFX) offer an large range of sound processing possibilities, with three MFX dedicated to rhythms and two MFX dedicated to real-time parts. Two Mastering Processors allow stage performers to optimize the sound of the rhythm and real-time sections separately to suit particular venues and add final polish for recordings.
The BK-9’s interface has been designed for maximum efficiency and ease of use while performing, with a dual LCD system and simple, intuitive controls. Players can store up to 10 Favorite tones for each real-time part, an extremely convenient feature for live playing. There are 1000 onboard Music Assistants, and users can save unlimited Performance Lists to USB memory.
A built-in 16-track sequencer provides a professional platform for composing and editing SMF data, while the Rhythm Composer allows users to create and customize their own rhythms with ease. The convenient Chord Loop feature instantly captures rhythm backings as WAV audio loops, and also lets players build chord sequences from rhythms to use as the basis for song composing in the sequencer.
With the Audio Key function, audio files stored on USB memory can be assigned to the top seven keyboard keys, allowing for quick-access playback while performing. Additionally, BK-9 performances can be easily recorded directly to USB memory as CD-ready WAV audio.
Vocalists will appreciate the convenient XLR microphone input, which features phantom power, a dedicated reverb effect, and easily accessible front-panel controls. A Video Out jack is provided for displaying embedded MP3/SMF lyrics and chord symbols on an external display.
The BK-9 is compatible with Roland Wireless Connect, which provides cable-free communication with Apple’s iOS devices via Roland’s optional WNA1100-RL Wireless USB Adapter. Alternately, an iPad can be connected to the BK-9 with a USB cable when using Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit. Many free apps are available to enhance the BK-9 experience, including Air Recorder for jamming and capturing performances (iPhone/iPad), BK Partner for selecting tones and rhythms (iPad), Lyrics Viewer for displaying SMF lyrics (iPad), and a number of others.
Pricing and availability: BK-9 MSRP is $2999 (Street $2499).