Roland Intros Ax-Edge Keytar

Roland today introduced the AX-Edge Keytar, a performance synthesizer designed to be played in a standing position with a shoulder strap.

The AX-Edge features 49 full-sized keys and a ‘professional sound set crafted specifically for keytarists’. The Keytar’s look can be customized with interchangeable Edge Blades.

Features:

  • 49 full-sized keys with velocity and channel aftertouch
  • 4 parts + vocoder with mic Input
  • 320 programs and over 500 preset tones for keytarist
  • 79 types of part multi-effects and part EQ, 79 types of program multi-effects, chorus, reverb, master compressor, and master EQ
  • Tone Remain function switches sounds seamlessly without unnatural sound cutoff
  • Ribbon controller, modulation bar, and assignable controls for expressive performance
  • Up to 4 hours of battery-powered* operation; can also be powered via AC adaptor
    *Rechargeable Ni-MH batteries only.
  • Bluetooth MIDI and editor app for wireless sound customization
  • Weighs 9 lb. 5 oz./4.2 kg (without batteries)
  • Available in black and white models with removable Edge Blade for custom look
  • One extra Edge Blade included to complement your AX-Edge model
  • Audio file playback via external USB memory
  • Master MIDI controller functionality for remote operation of sound modules, plug-ins, and more
  • Dual display system optimized for live performance
  • Optional ST-AX2 stand provides stable support when the instrument is not in use

Pricing and availability are TBA. See the Roland site for details.

45 thoughts on “Roland Intros Ax-Edge Keytar

    1. Lots of people I’ve seen use them … Howard Jones, Blondie & The Human League immediately spring to mind … personally I don’t like the angle of the keys for playing

  1. Oh Roland, never ceases to disappoint!
    They may habe found their market and target audience, but for sure it‘s not the most of us browsing this site

  2. I actually love this, though I may have aged out of the keytar demographic!

    It’s got an internal engine, it’s a MIDI controller, it’s got aftertouch….pretty well spec’d out.

  3. Because the most of you browsing this site, want cheap knockoffs of old and famous Roland gear, made by the “shameless copycat” company with that ugly yellow logo.
    Suddenly analog is a must, while it’s just a buzzword when they talk about Arturia gear.

    Edit: this was meant as a reply to Rallo’s comment, but it seems that this site didn’t catch it.

  4. Well, I think I hate it less than the AX-Synth, but not by much. Hey Roland, talk to people who actually use these things before designing them!!!! We don’t want a sound engine, we don’t want it to be so big, we want an actual pitch wheel. At least it has aftertouch. But I’ll stick with my AZ-1 and my Vortex 2, which is actually pretty good and probably $1000 less than this turkey.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, players usually have their own sounds that they designed with gear they already own, what we need is something that weighs 3 lbs less, and no sound module built-in, but is a good controller.

      1. In other words, the Alesis Vortex MKIII. While not perfect it is actually pretty good. The wireless blows, but I use the Panda-Audio MidiBeam and that thing is great. And you could by 4 of the Alesis for what this will cost.

  5. You people are crazy, this things got more style than most anything out there right now and the specs are great. I’d love to own one of these. Get out from behind your modular coffins and play on stage! The face that it has wireless midi and could link up to any off stage synth ads a whole new level

  6. Pretty nice! I’ve got an AX1, and I never could understand why it’s got many octaves — it’s a pain to play with two hands, and one hand doesn’t need so many octaves. A shorter keyboard would make for easier posing, I think.

  7. I wonder if they did market research.
    How are keytars supposed to gain any market attraction when they are romplers. Neither strictly Midi controllers, nor synths with a purpose built engine. But romplers…
    I’ve seen keytars in use, by cover bands, but it isn’t like they haven’t had other synths/romplers/workstations on stage that they could have controlled over midi. Those would probably sound better, and with wireless midi and batterypower, the player could then be fully wireless (no audio cable, not even one connected to a wireless sender system).
    When a product comes with built in sounds, it will often be judge by those, even if it could in theory be used as strictly a midi controller…

  8. This is great. I was wondering what I should buy, what with the Korg RK100-S out of production (with crazy prices for the last stock, and hard as hell to find pre-owned) and the Vortex lacking built-in sounds. Somebody mentioned the fact that is a rompler: luckily it is; when I play a keytar, I want decent sounds that I can modulate, I want simplicity, not the depth of my analogue or VA synths because it’s a live-oriented instrument. But with full midi support you can hook up a Yamaha Bluetooth adapter and connect it to any PC or tablet. I hope it won’t be priced as much as Korg did with the RK100-S (quite overpriced, a factor that heavily contributed to its demise), but it looks promising and aesthetically beautiful. The only thing I don’t like is the number of octaves: I wish it had just three, for it would make for a more portable and less unwieldy instrument.

  9. Price NEWS: preorders are open on Gear4Music, Roland is asking “only” 1000€. Way too much, it’s not even wooden like the RK-100S: seems like keytars won’t get cheap anytime soon, unless Behringer make their move in this niche market.

    1. RK-100S, it’s the keytar with 8 voices and 3 octaves of minikeys, isn’t it? So 32 times less than new Roland’s engine? yep, indeed, it’s too expensive, buy a KORG’s version of keytar…

      1. It’s a keytar, not a stage synth. Unless you’re playing piano with a damper pedal, you have to explain me (from an objective point of view, RolandForever: nomen omen?) how on earth you’re going to play so many notes at a time. Short answer, you cannot until you have more than two hands, so high polyphony is pointless on an ideally monophonic instrument (and 32 would be, anyway, way too low to play a few scale with damper with a piano patch). And Korg knew this. I agree on the keys, though the mini are the same ones found on the MS-20 mini or Arp Odyssey, so totally playable and pretty good, imho, for a guitar-like instrument (a lead oriented one, that is, unless you plan on playing pads and chords: I wouldn’t). If I had to choose solely on dimensions, the RK is way more portable, because the Roland one is as high as a bass: 3 octaves would have been way better. Finally, Korg’s was made of wood: it’s, again, useless, but the materials add to the cost. Just to be nit-picking, adding features the final user won’t use at all doesn’t justify a higher price tag. And you can’t even take for granted that everybody would prefer Roland’s synth engine over Korg’s (that is, the MicroKorg XL’s one).
        But as I already stated, the RK-100S too was overpriced: if you can buy the Vortex for 250€, adding a rompler engine shouldn’t cost more then 300€ to the user.

  10. Maaaaaan…that looks like the BC Rich of keytars. Batman Beyond looking bs. yuck city.
    Someone needs to design a keytar that is based off of mid-century Vespa designs. Cream and seafoam green like an espresso machine. Or an Avon Pink Cadillac. Really anything but the 60s Batmobile.

  11. ha ha – I love the way the video concentrates almost entirely on the ability to stick on new edges. I can imagine a whole load of leopard skin wearing hair metal guys from 1989 getting completely excited about that!

  12. hahaha. what’s that?
    who plays these… ‘Howard Jones, Blondie & The Human League.’ it’s back to the 80’s
    so you’ve got to slip in and out of the shop with this wrapped in a brown paper bag. oh, the shame of the keytar player

  13. Roland should learn from Arturia on how to make good promotion videos… That is not very informative, other than the removable thing…

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