ROLAND’S NAMM LINE-UP REVEALED Roland boosts product range, unveiling a whopping 19 new models at this year’s NAMM show a
By the time you read this, the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, will have been and gone. And now the dust has settled, we can start bringing you news of the latest releases and highlights, one of which was the announcement by Roland of the launch of no fewer than 19 new products.
The products cover pretty much the whole spectrum of music technology, but perhaps of most interest to Music Tech readers will be the GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer. a
This features two independent sound engines, each loaded with more than 900 sounds including pianos, organs, strings,synths and drums, while a third sound engine driven by Roland’s own COSM technology offers scores of classic guitar and bass sounds. All of these can be controlled from any guitar equipped with a Roland GK interface or other GK-compatible pickup. The GR-55 can also be used as a simple guitar-to-computer interface and features a range of onboard sound-processing tools as well as a USB port for the playing of backing tracks.
Speaking of audio interfaces, the new Roland lineup includes three of them: the UM-ONE USB MIDI interface and the DUO-CAPTURE UA-33 and TRI-CAPTURE UA-11 USB audio interface. The former is said to be aimed at hobbyists and educators who just need basic MIDI connectivity. The TRI-CAPTURE features an XLR microphone input with phantom power, a 1/4-inch jack with a Hi-Z switch and a stereo aux input, while on the output front you get stereo outs and a headphone socket. Offering a choice of three recording modes, the TRI-CAPTURE supports sample rates up to 24-bit/96kHz and comes bundled with a copy of Cakewalk’s Sonar X1 LE. b
The DUO-CAPTURE is essentially a scaled-down version of the same thing, coming without the aux input or the bundled software.
Next up is a whole bunch of new Roland keyboards to tell you about. The V-Piano Grand is the new flagship model in the V-Piano range, with an improved sound-generation engine and enhanced emulation of
Next up is a whole bunch of new Roland keyboards to tell you about. The V-Piano Grand is the new flagship model in the V-Piano range, with an improved sound-generation engine and enhanced emulation of the behaviour of a piano’s different components, enabling even greater user tweaking to get the perfect sound. The RD series of digital stage pianos has been augmented with the launch of the new RD-300NX, an engine and enhanced emulation of
TheV-Piano Grand is thenew flagship model,withanimproved sound-generation engine affordable addition with an all-new Ivory Feel G keyboard, while for the organists out there, the new Atelier Combo AT-350C comes with a range of rock, pop and jazz voices. It features 49 keys on the upper tier and 64 on the lower, with 20- and 25-note pedalboards available as an optional extra.
For the drummers among you, there are four additions to the V-Drums range: the TD-4K2, TD-4KX2, TD-9K and TD-9KX2. The entry-level TD-4K models are based around the TD-4 Percussion Sound Module, the intermediate TD-9K models around the TD-9 Percussion Sound Module, with the main differences we can see – without seeing the actual product – being that the latter has more onboard kits and supports playback of mp3 or WAV backing tracks.
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Vforvictory Many of the new products that Roland is showing at NAMM carry the ‘V’ tag – including ‘the world’s first digital diatonic accordion’, the FR-18 V-Accordion seen here.The ‘V’ range consists of electronic instruments that seek to emulate the characteristics of their acoustic equivalents in virtual form – hence the name.The first ‘V’ product was the original set of V-Drums, launched back in 1997. Since then the ‘V’ lineup has grown to include audio interfaces/controllers (the V-Studio range), accordions (starting in 2004 with the FR-7 V-Accordion), pianos (the original V-Piano arrived in 2009), bass amps (the V-Bass series of modellers) and organs (see 2010’s V Combo VR-700), as well as, rather confusingly, a line of V-Synths that launched in 2003 and the V-Studio console.
(starting in 2004 with the FR-7
(starting in 2004 with the FR-7
and organs (see 2010’s V
launched in 2003 and the launched in 2003 and the
Back on the guitar front, the CUBE-XL range of amplifiers is now extended with three new bass models: the CUBE-20XL BASS, CUBE-60XL BASS and CUBE-120XL BASS. Also of interest to guitarists will be the RC-30 and RC-3 Loop Station pedals: battery-powered loop recording pedals designed for live performance and now featuring a new Boss chip. c
The roll-call of new Roland goodies also includes the VIMA JM-5 and BK-7m. The VIMA JM-5 d is a vocal FX unit featuring 128-voice polyphony and an SSC Sound Engine with over 1,000 sounds and 57 drum kits as well as various karaoke-specific features. The BK-7m e is designed to provide backing for buskers and other live soloists; based around a similar sound engine to the VIMA JM-5, it features 400 arrangement styles in ten rhythm families.
And finally… We’re not sure how many accordionists read Music Tech, but if you’ve been starting to find your traditional instrument a little bit limited – and wishing you too could benefit from Roland’s V-Accordion technology – then the FR-18 V-Accordion is the instrument for you!
Expect to see full reviews of many of these products in Music Tech over the coming months. Not quite sure when we’ll fit the accordion in, mind... Contact Roland 01792 702701 Web www.roland.co.uk
Telefunken launches ‘affordable’ microphone range
Established in 1903 by Kaiser Wilhelm II himself, Telefunken is one of Germany’s largest and oldest suppliers of electrical and electronic equipment. But the name ‘Telefunken’ will probably most readily bring to mind Telefunken USA, formed in 2003 specifically to create reproductions of the company’s much sought-after vintage microphones.
Until now, though, those reproductions have been prohibitively expensive for most of us. Now, the R-F-T series has been launched, with a view to bringing Telefunken quality to a wider audience. The first in the R-F-T series is the AR-51, based around the electronics of a C-12 but with an outsourced capsule and PSU. With nine selectable polar patterns, Telefunken says it’ll cope with just about anything you care to throw at it, but suggests it’s best suited for vocals, drums, acoustic guitar and saxophone.
And the price of this budget beauty? A mere £1,649. We’ll have two, then. Contact Unity Audio 01440 785843 Web www.unityaudio.co.uk
SOUNDBYTES Hip to the strip New from US manufacturer API Audio is The Channel Strip. The unit includes the company’s 512C mic preamp, 550A EQ, 527 compressor and 325 line driver, which are being made available in one standalone box (ie, not built-in to a console) for the first time. The Channel Strip is available now, priced £2,400. For more information, hit up www.kmraudio.com
VST-enabled groovebox breaks new ground Rhizomes to be cheerful
First seen at Musikmesse nearly a year ago, the Rhizome, from French company Feeltune, is finally about to land in stores. The Rhizome is a groovebox-style machine, only with the added bonus that it’s compatible with all VST instruments.
Feeltune suggests that Rhizome’s primary use will be as a live performance device. It features four large colour displays and 102 controllers. There are six USB, one FireWire, one DVI, one HDMI and one network gigabit port on the basic Rhizome SE version; the Rhizome XE adds six analogue inputs and some bundled VSTs, with both machines featuring two 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processors, 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive. The top-of-the-range UXE version offers four 2.5GHz chips, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. All units measure 524x427x141mm and weigh 12.5kg. Prices are expected to start at around €3,000, though this was still TBC as we went to press. Contact Via website Web www.feeltune.com magazine February 2011 | 07