Roland Releases Zenbeats, Cross-Platform Music Creation App


Roland has announced the release of Zenbeats, a music creation app that runs cross-platform and is free to access on Android, ChromeOS, iOS, Windows, and macOS devices.

The acquisition of Open LabsStagelight app serves as the foundation for Roland Zenbeats.

Zenbeats is designed for use on all screen types, from mobile devices to notebooks and desktops, and work can be shared among platforms. Beginners can easily make beats and create entire songs with Zenbeats’ interactive built-in lessons, while more experienced creators will enjoy exploring the app’s composition, collaboration, and production features.

Existing Stagelight users are invited to download Zenbeats and continue their music-making. Zenbeats also includes expressive onscreen instruments, third party plugin integration including drag and drop support, collaborative jamming via Ableton Link, streamlined cloud support, and enhanced exporting options.

Roland CEO and Representative Director Jun-ichi Miki states, “Roland’s mission has remained the same since it was founded in 1972—to inspire the enjoyment of creativity for everyone. With Zenbeats, anyone can enjoy casual music-making using the devices they already own, and we are certain that our existing loyal fans will inspire us by how they bring the app into their musical lives.”

Access / Pricing Levels: Zenbeats pricing options come in three tiers: Free, Unlock, and Ultimate.

  • Free enables anyone to get started immediately with music creation, providing access to songs, lessons, powerful instruments, diverse sounds, and expansion options.
  • The Unlock tier is available at two price points: Android and ChromeOS, iOS ($14.99 USD), or Windows and macOS ($49.99 USD). Unlock gives access to all of Zenbeats’ in-app features including eight instruments, 14 effects, plugins (VST/AU/AUv3 where supported), and additional store credits to add more content to the user’s library.
  • Ultimate access ($149.99 USD) is for those “looking to collect everything Roland Zenbeats has to offer.” Unlock every platform for all Android, ChromeOS, iOS, Windows, and macOS devices. Ultimate also includes the Zenbeats StorePass, which provides instant access to 40 preset packs, 40 loop packs, and sounds currently available.

Introductory offer.  For a limited time, Roland is offering Zenbeats at a US $99 introductory price, which includes:

  • All-access VIP pass to Zenbeats, including every loop and preset pack
  • Ultimate unlocks all Zenbeats features across all platforms and devices
  • All in-app loop packs included
  • All in-app preset packs included
  • \Over 6000 sounds

Device compatibility. Zenbeats is available on most devices* including Chrome OS systems supporting Android apps, Android 4.4+, iOS 11+, macOS 10.7+ and Windows PCs running Windows 7 or higher with dual-core CPU or better, 2GB of RAM and 400MB of available storage. Zenbeats is available in English, Japanese, Spanish, French, and German.

To learn more, visit Roland.com.

*Software is not available in all countries and regions.
Zenbeats uses “élastique efficient V3 by zplane.development” as its time-stretching engine.

23 thoughts on “Roland Releases Zenbeats, Cross-Platform Music Creation App

    1. Before you get too excited, you might want to check what people say about the Zenbeats experience, at this point. There are several glitches and the business scheme is frustrating to a lot of people.
      There are plenty of reasons to upgrade to a newer iPad (including a non-Pro one). But Roland’s version of Stagelight is probably not it.

  1. I tried this out yesterday, purchased the £15 extension pack in order to enable AUv3 support. That is the key feature for me.

    ZenBeats itself is way behind KORG’s Gadget, ugly, clunky, unintuitive to the point of being barely usable.

    BUT it does support AUv3 which is a huge plus, allowing you to play most of the other synths on your device.

    KORG simply refuse to enable in Gadget and lock you in to their synths only – this is frustrating as there is a huge host of truly excellent and original synths on iOS.

    1. yeah that is one thing – I actually love the sound of a lot of gadget synths but would looooove to be able to bring in others to compliment it though – the same way I would love to have the electribe wave itself as an auv3 in other apps

  2. Opening it the second time, the app wanted to force me to register a Roland account. The business model is clearly not selling something at a fair price, but rather binding customers.

    I have immediately removed the app and will move on. There’s better ways to make beats on iPads.

  3. Great program. Use Stagelight a lot. I use it mainly on PC and honestly find it more useful than my other DAWs in a number of ways. Why? It syncs with all my midi devices. I can control tempo to my H/W synths with it which my other software can’t do correctly. All sorts of ways to connect things. I appreciate that. Also, I LOVE the beat making interface. You can do a ton with it. You can also use your own sounds.

    The UI is a little weird in spots on PC but that’s a port for ya. The New Song icon on the Roland version is terrible though. Nothing should be center bottom like that. Keep it all in the menu.

    Really the ONLY thing missing for me is the ability to actually fine edit audio samples. You can cut and trim and add automation but doing anything else with a sample is awkward or impossible. But I have other programs for that.

    They do need to ditch the stupid points payment thing. It’s almost 2020, there’s no need for that anymore.

  4. Tried it .. then removed. What I wish Roland would do is port some of their Cloud instruments to IOS .. for instance the Jupiter 8, Juno 106, and D50 .. those sound pretty good on my desktop. As far as beat makers and DAW’s we’re covered already Roland .. but good luck ..

      1. Curious if you tried ZenBeat much? It’s just strange because so many people had good things to say about Stagelight when it came out. But everyone seems to hate this. It’s literally the same app. Perhaps because it’s Roland and people expect more from them, I dunno.

  5. Cloud subscriptions are like a family who doesn’t just get drunk and fight over Thanksgiving dinner, but does it twice a month year-round. I can loosely imagine a professional having motive and money for the variety you can sometimes get that way, but there are numerous better options for the rest of us, especially instruments you can own outright. They last as long as the host computer, anyway. Hardware lasts until someone gets drunk and falls on it or the cat pees right where the power supply is located.

  6. Cloud subsibcriptions are the VERY LAST thing I ever want to see in my muscial life. To me it is one of the most stupid and obvious forms of trying to force musicians into constant payments, for casual use.

    I accept a prepaid system for samples, where I can use up my “points” whenever I want, but I will never accept continous payment by subscription. And frankly, I hope this whole kind of system will not survive and crash rather sooner than later.

    I also couldn’t care less about something like stagelight, which I can’t remotely regard as a professional DAW: it’s rather a limited use toy with some nice features, which I don’t need and want.

    AUV3 compatibility is fine, but Zenbeats would only be worth checking, if it was a simple buy with in app buys, not being forced into any Roland registration.

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