NAMM: Roland Brings Back The Keytar

2009 WInter NAMM Show: Roland introduced the AX-Synth – a new keytar that may make you look like a mouthbreather, but at least offers a great range of real-time controls and a built in synth engine.

The AX-Synth is self-contained, offering a built-in synth engine, and comes loaded with solo-oriented sounds from Roland’s current generation synths. 


The AX-Synth features 49 velocity-sensitive keys and includes a 128-voice polyphonic sound engine with 256 distinct tones, accessible from eight bank buttons. It can also send and receive standard MIDI messages for use with other keyboards or sound modules.

The AX-Synth includes a dedicated V-LINK button to control visual elements, and a PC software editor for designing unique sounds and effects. (No Mac version has been announced.)

The Roland AX-Synth offers a variety of real-time controls, including Ribbon, Modulation Bar, D BEAM, and Assignable Knob controllers. The AX-Synth is battery-powered and wireless, letting you move freely around the stage.

“We have been looking forward to bringing back the AX-Series in style, and the AX-Synth is it,” says Sean Montgomery Senior Product Manager. “Not only will the keyboardist be able to get out from behind their rack onstage, they will also have the finest Roland sounds at their fingertips with the onboard sound engine.”

The AX-Synth will be available in the first half of 2009. Pricing is TBA.

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