Roland Creates Futuristic Drone Piano To Celebrate Its 50th Anniversary

At CES 2023, Roland is showcasing its 50th Anniversary Concept Model Piano – a futuristic piano design that features flying drone speakers.

The Roland 50th Anniversary Concept Model Piano is a design concept, rather than a product, designed to challenge traditional assumptions about the instrument and to showcase some of the company’s latest technologies.

Here’s what they have to say about the unique instrument:

“The concept piano’s one-piece molded wooden body, designed in collaboration with Japanese furniture maker Karimoku, was inspired by the fusion of the past and future, while its exterior, comprised of Japanese oak wood, provides deep piano tones from its speakers.

More than a beautiful design, the 50th anniversary piano aims to fill a gap in the industry. In the age of digital pianos, many find rich sound quality is sacrificed for innovation. With that, Roland’s concept piano offers a 360-degree speaker system, which is able to send sound in any direction through its 14 adjustable speakers placed strategically throughout.

In addition to those onboard speakers, the sound field around the piano will be enhanced with drone speakers, the first of their kind, which float above the piano for an enhanced sound quality and eye-catching experience. These drones operate on a low latency dedicated communication channel, allowing players to control their positioning as they play. Through these unique structural advancements, this concept piano is able to provide the sound quality of classic instruments, all while maintaining the modern enhancements of Roland technology.

The 50th anniversary piano offers advanced connectivity through the operation of these drones, as well as through its touch-panel table, which is embedded within the lid, supporting video conferencing, piano lessons and streaming tutorials, available through Roland Cloud.”

While the Roland 50th Anniversary Concept Piano is not for sale, CES attendees can check it out at Roland’s exhibit at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 5-8, 2023, at LVCC, Central Hall 15301. More information on the design is available at the Roland site.

via Anig Browl

31 thoughts on “Roland Creates Futuristic Drone Piano To Celebrate Its 50th Anniversary

    1. Well that’s the idea of a concept, isn’t it. It doesn’t have to be a viable product, it can be just for…fun!

      1. Is the drone bit actually made as a one-off product, or just a photoshop mock-up? The blurb reads as though it is real, but CES has finished and I couldn’t see any footage online.

        (Anyway, for all the complaints, CES is “consumer electronics”, which reasonably includes home digital piano tech, but you wouldn’t really expect to include JP8 clones there.)

  1. The drones are part of a stage show. After playing for a while, the pianist picks up a large fly swatter with a Roland logo on it and beats the drones out of the air frantically, as if it was a Three Stooges short. Then they pick up playing, right where they were.

  2. oooo! i like that. with a cover for the screen so I don’t have to look at it, of course. just put the speakers on pedestals. drones are annoying.

    wasn’t that in “everything you wanted to know about sex, but were afraid to ask”?

  3. Who’d have thought that the company behind such humdrum instruments as the Jupiter-8, TR-808 and TB-303 could rise to such heights?

    1. maybe you would like it better if had the size of a stamp, had a 25.000$ price tag, and a teenage engineering brand logo. 😉

  4. Everyone: Why not do an analogue reissue of your most popular products of all time. Cultlike in their status in electronic music, namely the TB303, TR909 and TR808 (and if you get time the quirky 606).
    Roland: Flying Drone Piano!!

    1. you are not taking into consideration commenters are 0.000001% of the people who actually buy anything (its not eurorack 🙂 ) most people see the products at youtube, shops or at their friends studio and couldn’t care less if its analog as long as it looks similar and sound familiar. but even if they made analog clone of their products, people will always have something to cry about, i guess they will cry about the price being too high and will count how many knockoffs they can buy for the same price, we have seen how much love moog received with the latest model-d. for whoever after a perfect clone just buy a din-sync replica.

  5. Was so caught up in sarcasm that i did not instantly realize that the drones are acutally flying speakers!
    Now i want flying speakers! – minus the piano 🙂

  6. The flying speakers are exactly the kind of “forward thinking” that show the designers have no real concept of technology. It’s like hearing someone rave about how we will all live in VR worlds in 10 years. But when the ideas hit meatspace, reality takes over.

  7. As a concept sure. As a real thing nah. Same way as flying cars won’t be a thing. So much noise it will drive you mad.

    For a 50th Anniversary concept thing I would’ve rather seen a new over the top JD-XA type synth (analog + digital) Something that people would actually want to buy.

  8. Yeah, that humming from those drones wont be bothersome at all.
    Although, I _do_ welcome all new thinking design ideas…. just that not all should be set in factory motion.

  9. And when Roland actually does something innovative, people complain that it isn’t reissuing the same 5 “iconic” synths for the nth time. Let’s face it: at this point in time is completely irrelevant if Roland does come out with analog versions of their classic synths: you have at least 3 different versions of their analog emulations for each instrument emulated, an actual analog mono synth, 2 analog/digital hybrids…Enough is enough. If you ask more of the same, you’ll get more of the same, and in Roland’s case we’ve already reached the point of saturation. Time for more interesting stuff like this, finally.

Leave a Reply