Roland Announces GAIA 2 Synthesizer With Hybrid Wavetable & Virtual Analog Synth Engine

Roland today introduced the GAIA 2, an advanced synthesizer that combines wavetable and virtual analog engines, intuitive sound design workflow, expressive hands-on controls, Model Expansion support and more.

New features in the GAIA 2 include:

  • Updated Workflow – Intuitive one-control-per-function panel layout .
  • Hybrid Sound Engine – GAIA 2’s newly developed hybrid sound engine offers one wavetable oscillator and two virtual analog oscillators .
  • Motional Pad – The Motional Pad brings static sounds to life, adding real-time movement and expression to sounds.
  • Iconic Synth Sounds – supports Model Expansions and other content on Roland Cloud (including the SH-101 Model Expansion pre-installed).

Key Features:

  • The wavetable oscillator can morph between multiple waveforms, for everything from dramatic shifts to slowly evolving textures. Phase and shape modulation option sare also available to distort waveforms. Complementing the wavetable oscillator are twin virtual analog oscillators.
  • GAIA 2 also supports Roland Model Expansions, which recreate iconic synthesizers from the company’s long history. With a dedicated button, users can swap between the built-in sound engine and classics like the JUPITER-8 or JUNO-106. The SH-101 Model Expansion comes pre-installed, and additional titles and accompanying Sound Packs are available on Roland Cloud.
  • One-control-per-function layout and informative display.
  • Touch-controlled Motional Pad that brings static sounds to life. Users can assign nearly any synth or effect parameter to each of the X/Y points and then morph between them by moving a finger on the pad. It’s also possible to record movements to create complex, modulated transformations.
  • Sequencer with Random Pattern feature.
  • “Classic” Roland effects – Over 50 unique MFX types are available, plus a dedicated Chorus section for adding width and dimension. A Reverb/Delay section features a new studio-grade Shimmer Reverb and many other high-quality effect types.
  • Via USB-C, GAIA 2 functions as an audio/MIDI interface for music production apps on a computer, smartphone, or tablet. The class-compliant connection is plug-and-play, with no driver installation needed.
  • A USB Type-A port is also available for connecting a USB flash drive for data backup or a standard USB MIDI controller for extended operation.
  • GAIA 2 supports Roland Cloud Connect, an optional wireless adapter for browsing and downloading Roland Cloud content using a mobile device. A Roland Cloud Connect purchase also includes a year of Roland Cloud Pro membership with unlimited use of thousands of sounds, Model Expansions, and much more.

Pricing and Availability:

The GAIA 2 is available now for $899.99.

14 thoughts on “Roland Announces GAIA 2 Synthesizer With Hybrid Wavetable & Virtual Analog Synth Engine

  1. Roland back on track!
    Sound engine that seems to be derived from zen core but is its own thing (like on the sh-4d), thus fitting the interface nicely.
    Guess we do not get an sh-4d with keys then becasue there is the Gaia2 now.

    (Roland recoginzed that noone liked the full zencore engine caged in a hardware unit that cannot handle all of its parameters.)

    I like the Gaia2

  2. This kinda seems like a reboxing of the Jupiter-X, Juno-X, and Aira, unless I’m missing something – since it runs the same engines. Not dissing that, just observing. Getting big late 90’s VA synth panel vibes with the knobs and grays.

  3. Quite Korg minilogue looking rather than the relatively unique looking mk1. I think they’re convinced there’s room in that segment

  4. So, My turn to be a grouchy unreasonable old geezer ?

    I’m on my third GAIA SH01. Every time I sell one, I regret it and buy it again. I’ve resolved never to sell my current one. I love it, it’s mad in a unique way.

    There are a couple of things that make it a perfect introductory synth. And one thing that’s unique – it has a full path for each oscillator! Each Osc has a full, dedicated envelope and LFO, fully assigned to it. This is unbelievably friendly, and unbelievably powerful & fun to play with! I have not seen anything like it in synths 5 times the price, and when you finally do get enough LFOs and envelopes, it’s in some complicated modulation matrix that makes it unfun.

    So it’s a massive disappointment this does not have anything approaching it… and also loses the traditional Roland joystick that lets me bend like Beckham, err, I mean, guitarist 🙂

    When I woke up and saw the news this morning, my thoughts were

    1. GAIA 2, haha, that’s April’s Fools, everybody hates that synth but me!
    3. …. oh. It’s not either Roland or Gaia… it’s some Argon Korg Minilogue blend, impossible to distinguish from all the other ones. Which isn’t… bad, they’re all nice synths and great value and we are lucky to live in these times, but… it’s not the crazy, fun GAIA that I have 🙂

    My $0.005 of grouchy thoughts 🙂

  5. This was unexpected, but (bleep) if it doesn’t feel like a well-considered controller with a proper synth section. The audio/MIDI aspect is a wise inclusion. I like the USB-A port for outboard control; if you like, you can treat the GAIA2 like a module. Making the Cloud an option for expansions without requiring it is also appreciated. Better display, too.

    The first GAIA has an iffy reputation. Assuming that the keybed is correspondingly better, this one improves everything about it. Its a tidy upgrade at a decent price.

  6. Am I missing something, the specs seem to say that the keyboard isn’t velocity sensitive and, of course, no aftertouch. I admire Roland’s ability to make a product with so many features that look great and then seemingly intentionally leave out at least one important feature.

    1. The specs doesn’t mention the keyboard at all. The manual however shows velocity related settings. They also mention an optional expression pedal.

    2. I happily correct myself that the keyboard does seem to be velocity sensitive, great. But why is Roland so dead set against aftertouch?

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