Roland digital keyboard

Roland digital keyboard DEFAULT

Roland Keyboards & MIDI

About Keyboards & MIDI

Traditionally tickling the ivories meant sitting on a piano bench and playing a large instrument with 88 keys. While acoustic pianos remain popular their digital counterparts have become some of the most widely-used instrument in today's high-tech music community. Not only are they musical instruments they’re compact workstations capable of performing an entire repertoire of digital music tasks.

A standard keyboard is designed with 88 keys. 61-key and 76-key models are available but their range is slightly more limited than full-sized keyboards. Some synthesizers and MIDI controllers have key counts as low as 25. Because they're used mainly in digital sound applications MIDI's and synthesizers don't require such a wide range of keys. A keyboards ability to emulate the sound and feel of an acoustic piano is called touch sensitivity. If a musician strikes the keys with little pressure the keyboard produces a soft quieter sound. Conversely if they strike the keys with force the sound will be louder and harder. Weighed keys function in much the same way. Weighted keys offer the most resistance and the closest match to keys found on a regular piano. Non-weighted and synth keys are one in the same: they move freely and allow for fast fingering.

Led by accomplished brands like Williams Yamaha Casio Kawai Roland Suzuki and Akai keyboards have established themselves as vital instruments for learning and performance and are accompanied by a wide variety of accessories and teaching tools. Piano method bookslessons and survival kits are all great resources for beginning keyboard players. If a musician is more advanced they may want to explore synthesizers and MIDI controllers - these keyboards have more options and features than regular digital pianos and open up a whole new world of digital playing possibilities.

Sours: https://www.musicarts.com

Roland Digital Pianos


For nearly 300 years, the piano has enriched our lives with its expressive sounds, becoming an integral part of our music culture. Roland has been at the forefront of piano innovation since the release of our first all-electronic piano in 1973. Schmitt Music piano stores offer a variety of Roland instruments including their V-Piano Grand models, Premium Upright digitals, and Upright models – all featuring Roland’s SuperNATURAL sound engine. Click here to learn more about Roland digital pianos.

DIGITAL UPRIGHT PIANOS

Top Technologies, No-Compromise Performance
Roland HP-507 digital pianoOn digital upright piano models, like the HP504, Roland’s latest technologies bring superior piano performance to an attractive and affordable instrument for your home. The SuperNATURAL Piano sound engine has been enhanced with a Dynamic Harmonic feature for fortissimo playing, while the new PHA-4 Premium Keyboard with Escapement and Ivory Feel includes the latest touch-sensing technology to fully explore SuperNATURAL Piano’s rich tonal variations and natural dynamics. Individual Note Voicing lets you tailor the sound of each note to your taste, and you can now enjoy the unique sound field of an acoustic piano during your private practice sessions, thanks to the innovative Headphones 3D Ambience effect. And with Roland’s great iOS piano apps, it’s easy to use your favorite Apple mobile devices with the HP504 to enhance your learning and have more fun with the piano.

PREMIUM UPRIGHT PIANOS

Since 1972, Roland has worked to create the ultimate piano experience, and our new LX pianos are among the most exciting yet. We wanted to build a luxurious upright piano for the connoisseur, with the rich sound and graceful appearance of an acoustic, along with a multitude of advantages only possible with a digital piano. The LX-17 is powered by the latest version of our acclaimed SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling technology, along with a unique keyboard that blends wood and molded materials for great feel and durability. The LX-17 connects via Bluetooth technology to your smartphone or tablet so you can hear your music-making apps or online piano lessons through the piano’s powerful eight-speaker sound system. And even though it’s compact, the classically-styled LX-17 is our tallest upright piano and it’ll definitely make a big impact in your home especially with a choice of finishes including polished ebony and polished white.

V-PIANO DIGITAL GRAND PIANOS

The Total-Immersion, Authentic Grand Piano Experience
With its groundbreaking approach to grand-piano modeling, and incredibly realistic sound, touch, and response, Roland’s V-Piano has earned many international awards and accolades since its debut in 2009. It has become the #1 choice for many of the most discerning pianists on the planet. So how does the V-Piano evolve? Introducing the V-Piano Grand! Built into an elegant grand-piano cabinet, and with a unique, multi-channel sound system that reacts naturally and intelligently to your performance, this exquisite instrument blurs the line between digital and acoustic worlds. Stepping up from the previous generation, the V-Piano Grand’s sound generator has been further refined, and new piano models have been added to the onboard library. Welcome to a new world of performance, sophistication, and musical innovation.

Contact a Schmitt Music Piano Specialist to schedule your Roland piano showing, or visit your Schmitt Music piano store today.


Learn more about Roland’s SuperNATURAL Piano sound engine:

Sours: https://www.schmittmusic.com/keyboard-piano/digital-keyboards/digital-piano-products/roland/
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Best Roland Digital Pianos & Keyboards: The Definitive Guide

Roland Digital Pianos & Keyboards

Roland is easily one of the most recognizable names in the music business.

Their name alone is enough to inspire confidence in the sound and build quality of a keyboard, which is no small feat considering their expansive product range.

Since Roland has products geared towards users at every price point, you might feel a bit overwhelmed by the amount of options you have.

What’s the difference between a synthesizer and a workstation? What’s the difference between the many key actions? What’s SuperNATURAL?

Have no fear. This article will give you an overview of the best Roland digital pianos while also giving some insight into the workings of Roland’s many keyboard-based instruments, including: digital pianos, arranger keyboards, stage keyboards, synthesizers, and workstations.

Note that we’ll be skipping over Roland’s products in the pro-audio category and their guitar/bass products under their BOSS brand.

While these products are also well received throughout the industry, this article will focus on keyboards and digital pianos.

About Roland

  • Founded: 1972
  • Headquarters: Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan
  • Number of Employees: 3,060
  • Products: Digital Pianos, Synthesizers, Electronic Drums, Organs, Pro Recording & Production Equipment, Guitar/Bass Equipment

Roland, founded in 1972, might seem young compared to other industry giants like Yamaha, but they’ve definitely had their fair share of successes, which have catapulted them to stardom.

Roland’s timeless nature stems from their huge legion of iconic instruments, most of which are easily recognizable in hit songs through the years, even today.

Roland Jupiter 8

Roland Jupiter 8

While Yamaha’s DX7 controlled the realm of digital synthesis in pop music, Roland’s Jupiter 8 and Juno-60 were go-to synthesizers for lush pads and leads.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller was a masterpiece, and the producer, Quincy Jones, used the Jupiter 8 for the rolling bassline and synth brass sounds.

While the Linn Drum has become the de facto standard for drum machines with its acoustic-like drum sounds, Roland’s TR-808 and TR-909 remain relevant to this day.

Iconic moments include Marvin Gaye (in 1982’s Sexual Healing), Kayne West (in his 2008’s 808s and Heartbreak album), and Taylor Swift (using Max Martin’s original TR-808 in 2014’s chart topper Blank Space).

Roland TR-808

Roland TR-808

Finally, Roland’s been at the forefront of digital piano technology since the early 80s.

Beginning with their RD-series, they have attempted to charge into the digital piano market, relying on innovation and experience to gain a foothold. After nearly 30 years of dominance, I’d say they’ve succeeded.

Many features we take for granted today, such as pressure sensitivity, MIDI, and modeling, were pioneered by Roland in their early years.

The secret to Roland’s success is their focus on innovation, polish, and playability.

Roland’s CEO, Jun-ichi Miki, states, “Our mission at Roland is to bring the thrill and excitement of creative experiences to imaginative people all over the world.” It’s hard to argue with their results.

The 3D video tour below (drag your mouse to get a 360° view) will walk you through all the ranges of musical instruments that Roland have been creating and improving over the years.

As someone who loves following the world of music technology, I can’t help but appreciate what Roland has done.

With SuperNATURAL, Roland didn’t just make a modeling engine to tick a checkbox.

It’s one of the rare piano modeling technologies that trusts you as the user with the cockpit controls. With their JD-Xi synthesizer, Roland brought polyphonic analog synthesis back to the mainstream.

With their FA-series workstation keyboards, Roland made workstations less intimidating to the player who just wanted good sounds without the scariness of having to design them.

In 2021, Roland partnered with Pianote, a popular online piano platform, which uses technology and video lessons to teach you how to play this marvelous instrument. So if you live in the US or Canada and own a Roland piano, you can get 3 months of Pianote lessons for free!

I could go on and on about how Roland shaped the industry, but that’s not why we’re here. Instead, let’s jump to the important details of Roland’s technologies and products.

Roland Product Line-up

Roland makes a huge variety of products, so covering them individually would take way too long.

We’ve separated the different keyboards into specific categories based on their feature set and intended use. We’ll then give our quick takes on the corresponding series and products, providing links to detailed reviews whenever available. That said, let’s jump in.

Portable Keyboards

Portable keyboards are aimed at piano-playing novices. These keyboards, as the name implies, feature key-beds with less than 88-keys and use the basic synth-action keys without many bells and whistles.

Don’t expect too much in terms of build quality either, as you’ll be dealing with pure lightweight plastic (which could be a blessing in disguise if you’re constantly on the move).

While these keyboards are a little lacking in terms of design, they make up for it in features.

These keyboards usually come with a huge amount of sounds, though they are passable at best. Also, it’s hard to argue with the low price tag, often going for around $100-$300.

If you know someone who’s unsure if music will be a long-term passion, they’re probably in the market for a portable keyboard.


GO:Series

Instrument Type: Portable Keyboard

User Level: Beginner

Price Range: $300-$400

Models:

  • Roland GO:PIANO88
  • Roland GO:PIANO
  • Roland GO:KEYS

The GO:Series is a relatively new addition to Roland’s product lineup, focusing on packing playability and as many features as possible into a compact package.

The GO:Piano is basic in terms of bells and whistles, but it includes an impressive sound engine for the price.

It is arguably the best low-cost beginner keyboard out there if you’re looking for piano sounds. An 88-key variant is also available for a slight bit more cost.

The GO:Keys, on the other hand, feels like a unique instrument.

The GO:Keys is all about performances and allows you to build up a song from scratch using the loop functionality, adding elements in one at a time to create lush, studio-ready arrangements.

It also does this in a beginner-friendly fashion, so even non-musicians can enjoy it.

This is very different to how Yamaha and Casio do their portable arranger keyboards, and it’s welcome to see Roland’s innovative spirit at this price point.


E-X Series

Instrument Type: Portable Arranger Keyboard

User Level: Beginner

Price Range: $250-$300

Models:

  • Roland E-X20
  • Roland E-X30

The E-X Series keyboards are arranger models, but this market has always been dominated by Yamaha (with their affordable PSR range) and Casio (with their CTK-series).

Roland’s E-X20 didn’t exactly turn heads when it was released, doing little to separate itself from the pack.

However, the recent release of the E-X30 might just be the break-out hit Roland was looking for.

While we’ve yet to get our hands on the newcomer, many publications are giving it glowing reviews, citing an improved sound engine as a massive plus over the competition.

Standard arranger features aside, the deal maker here is the piano sounds, which sound quite realistic considering the price point.


Portable Digital Pianos

If you’re serious about learning to play the piano, you NEED to have some semblance of realism. This means you’re looking for good keys and sound quality.

If you’re budget-conscious, this means you’ll be looking into portable digital pianos. These are sometimes referred to as slab digital pianos due to the way they look.

They don’t feature the furniture-style cabinets you’d find on full-fledged digital pianos, but they do include fully weighted hammer action keys, an upgrade from keyboards and more preferable for serious practice.

FP-Series

Instrument type: Portable Digital Piano

User Level: Beginner to Advanced

Price Range: $500-$2,000

Models:

  • Roland FP-10
  • Roland FP-30X
  • Roland FP-60X
  • Roland FP-90X

The FP-series is one of Roland’s best-selling product lines, and it’s not hard to see why.

All FP-series digital pianos (except the flagship FP-90X) feature the PHA-4 Standard key action and the SuperNATURAL sound engine, essentially making them the complete package when it comes to piano playing.

It is important to note that you’re getting a no-frills experience here, as well as a limited selection of sounds, though they are of a significantly higher quality than those on the GO:series above.

Fun fact! The FP-90 (predecessor of the FP-90X) received the 2017 Red Dot Design award for an excellent control scheme, which is futuristic and intuitive.

This beat out 5,500 entries in its category, which was no small feat. The same design was recreated with the FP-60X, with slight differences to achieve a lower price point.


Console Digital Pianos

While portable digital pianos focus on delivering a compact yet complete experience, console digital pianos feature large furniture-style cabinets that look similar to real acoustic uprights and grands.

The larger cabinets on high-end models aren’t just for show either, for they incorporate multi-speaker sound systems that deliver a more accurate soundscape during play.

Naturally, this comes at the cost of portability, but I’d say the trade-off is more than acceptable since you’re getting better sound quality, even on the cheaper models.

If you know for certain that you’ll be practicing in the comfort of your own home, a console digital piano might be right for you.

RP- and F-Series

Instrument Type: Console/Home Digital Piano

User Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Price Range: $1,000-$1,600

Models:

  • Roland RP102
  • Roland RP701
  • Roland F701

The RP- and F-Series console digital pianos are very similar, differing only in design. While the RP-Series features a traditional cabinet, the F-series uses a modern slim design popularized by Casio.

Feature-wise, these digital pianos are similar to the FP-series discussed earlier, featuring the PHA-4 Standard key action and the SuperNATURAL Piano Sound engine.

A personal upside I like about these over their FP-counterparts is the sliding cover, a godsend if you play in a dusty environment.

Obviously, you also get a 3-pedal setup with these digital pianos. With the FP-series, that would be a separate purchase.


HP- and DP-Series

Instrument Type: Console/Home Digital Piano

User Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Price Range: $1,800-$2,500

Models:

  • Roland HP-601
  • Roland HP-603/HP-603A
  • Roland DP-603 (same as the HP-603 but with a different cabinet design)
  • Roland HP-605
  • Roland HP-702
  • Roland HP-704

If realism is what you’re after, then the HP- and DP-series’ high-end design and speakers will be for you.

These cabinet-style digital pianos are significant upgrades over the RP- and F-Series discussed above, featuring the more advanced version of the SuperNATURAL sound engine (Piano Modeling) and the PHA-50 premium keyboard action (except for the HP-702).

The biggest upgrade here is the design. These look entirely premium with their wood-style chassis and stand, and the speaker system takes full advantage of this extra density to provide a richer low-end to your playing.

Higher-end models like the HP-704 even feature a quad-speaker setup.


LX-series

Instrument Type: Console/Home Digital Piano (Premium)

User Level: Advanced

Price Range: $2,500-$5,000

Models:

  • Roland LX-7
  • Roland LX-17
  • Roland LX-705
  • Roland LX-706
  • Roland LX-708

This is currently the best console digital piano Roland offers, featuring the PureAcoustic Piano Modeling technology that seeks to recreate the magical sound of a Steinway without relying on samples.

This involves purely modeled sounds, as opposed to SuperNATURAL’s hybrid approach.

The LX-series also features the Hybrid Grand Keyboard, a variation of the PHA-50 keyboard that increases the key and pivot length.

Add an 8-speaker set up and Roland’s Acoustic Projection System to the mix and you’ve got something that sounds impressively authentic.

Just like the FP-90, the LX700 series was even awarded the 2019 Red Dot Product Design Award and the 2019 iF Design Award, a testament to their success in merging a beautiful chassis with great sound replication.

This was even more impressive than the 2017 victory, as there were 12000 other competitors in the same category!


Kiyola Series

Instrument Type: Designer Console/Home Digital Piano

User Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Price Range: $4,000-5,000

Models:


Roland’s Kiyola series adopts the furniture-style design ethos of console digital pianos and takes it to the limit. These pianos are luxury products made in Japan in partnership with Japanese furniture designer Karimoku.

They are designed to look good in just about any room, rocking a handcrafted wood cabinet that looks stylish yet modern.

Even the chairs and pedals are designed to be as ergonomic as possible, the mark of a great furniture designer at work.

The looks aren’t the only great aspect of the Kiyola series. This series uses the excellent PHA-50 key action and SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling, giving you a great experience in terms of both visual and auditory stimulation.


GP-Grand Series

Instrument Type: Digital Grand Piano

User Level: Advanced

Price Range: $5,000 – $12,000

Models:

  • Roland GP-607 (Mini-size)
  • Roland GP-609 (Full-size)

While the LX-series is the peak of Roland’s sound engineering technology at the time of writing.

Roland’s GP-series covers their uncompromising side, recreating the classic grand piano style chassis in its entirety, but replacing the strings with specially designed speaker cabinets that utilize the chassis to deliver a powerful soundscape.

Pianos are reproduced using SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling and allow for infinite polyphony, thanks to the purely modeled sounds.

The PHA-50 keyboard also gives you the premium quality keys Roland is known for.


Stage Pianos

While portable digital pianos seem fine for stage performance, you can do so much more. For the gigging musician, stage pianos are the answer.

They cut out onboard speakers but add a ton of extra features and controls to the mix, giving the stage performer the ability to prep sounds both before performances and on the fly, mid-performance.

Stage pianos also come with robust preset management and a collection of onboard effects, allowing performers to switch sounds as necessary without much hassle.

Know that stage pianos aren’t the same as workstation keyboards, which we’ll cover in a second. These are far simpler and often opt for ease-of-use over detailed editing functions.

RD-series

Instrument Type: Stage Piano

User Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Price Range: $2000-$3000

Models:

Roland’s RD-series was where they first experimented with modeling technology, and the same brand still exists today in the form of the RD-2000.

The RD-2000 is a great digital piano in general, featuring the PHA-50 key action as well as two sound generation engines, the V-Piano and SuperNATURAL hybrid tech.

So the RD-2000 sounds and feels good, but what truly sets the RD-2000 apart is its controls.

There are knobs, buttons, and faders spread across the front panel, allowing quick modifications and sound mixing without menu diving.

This is a huge draw for performers, letting them take advantage of 1,000+ onboard sounds.


V-Combo Series

Instrument Type: Performance Keyboard

User Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Price Range: $1,000 – $1,500

Models:

  • Roland VR-09
  • Roland VR-700 (discontinued)
  • Roland VR-730

While most of us are content with the included organ and synth sounds available on most digital pianos, organists will always lament the lack of the iconic tone bar controls found on the classic Vox Continental and Farfisa organs, with their distinctive rotary speaker sound.

Roland’s VR-series, more commonly known as the V-Combo series, is Roland’s portable performance stage keyboard that comes with waterfall-style keys and aftertouch, making it a very expressive instrument that excels at non-piano sounds.

The hands-on control scheme means you have knobs and buttons, and even tone bars galore, giving you direct access to on-the-fly parameter changes.


Synthesizers & Synthesizer Workstations

Synthesizers were what propelled Roland to greatness back in the 1980s, and they’ve returned to form since the mixed bag that was the Roland Gaia-SH.

Synthesizers are a special kind of instrument that relies on electronics like oscillators and filters to produce otherworldly sounds you’d never hear from an acoustic instrument.

For electronic music producers and sound designers, a good synth is an immensely useful tool that can’t be replaced easily.

Synthesizers don’t come with weighted keys. Instead, they use the synth action keys we’ve discussed earlier, focusing on playability rather than realism.

While the learning curve takes some getting used to, knowing how to synthesize sounds is a useful skill that many performers can’t live without.

JD-series

Instrument type: Portable Digital Piano

User Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Price Range: $500-$2,000

Models:

  • Roland JD-Xi
  • Roland JD-XA

The Roland Gaia-SH was poorly received for its lackluster digital synth engine, and Roland felt like it was losing its touch with what synth enthusiasts wanted. Thankfully they returned to form with the JD-series.

The JD-series incorporates Roland’s innovative spirit into the stagnant synth industry.

Companies like Korg and Dave Smith Instruments were looking to bring back pure analog synths (with the Minilogue and the Prophet), whereas companies like Yamaha and Elektron embraced the power and flexibility of digital simulation.

Roland’s idea with the JD-Xi and the following JD-XA was to mix their tried-and-true digital sounds with an analog part.

The end result is a versatile instrument that nails analog and artificial warmth, and the addition of a built-in vocoder unit makes the JD-series extremely fun regardless of how you’re using it.


Juno-DS

Instrument Type: Synthesizer

User Level: Beginner to Advanced

Price Range: $700-$1,000

Models:

  • Roland JUNO-DS61
  • Roland JUNO-DS76
  • Roland JUNO-DS88

The Juno synthesizers were some of Roland’s best work back in the day, with the classic Juno-60 being coveted to this day for its rich saw wave and dual-mode chorus.

The modern-day Juno-DS series takes a more hybridized approach to synthesis, having more in common with the Fantom FA-series workstations (discussed later) than the analog synthesizer of days past.

The Juno-DS works great as a performance keyboard though and is a popular stage keyboard among gigging musicians due to its flexibility.

The synthesizer features here are entirely digital (as this was released before the synth rebirth around 2015), but the modulation features are reminiscent of the way classic synthesizers work.

Like the JD-series, the Juno-DS keyboards include an onboard vocoder as well and come with a lot more sounds and instruments, giving them a ton of sonic variety.


Arranger and Music Workstations

Workstations have slowly become the weapon of choice for stage performers in recent years.

While workstations were designed specifically for studio use, having huge bulky bodies that aren’t easy to transport, their power and sonic capabilities meant stage performers could do just about everything from a single board.

If you really want to make full-fledged arrangements, a workstation can help (though computer-based digital audio workstations are now the norm).

These powerful instruments contain everything you need, from sequencers, mixing tools, creative FX, audio recording, to even manipulation tools.

The same flexibility is a huge deal when performing, as you can tailor sounds to your exact specifications as per the needs of the band or song.

Roland, along with Korg and Yamaha, are arguably the top 3 manufacturers when it comes to modern-day workstations.

FA-series

Instrument Type: Music Workstation

User Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Price Range: $1,300-$1,800

Models:

  • Roland FA-06
  • Roland FA-07
  • Roland FA-08

The FA-series is Roland’s mid-range workstation line.

Straight out of the box, you get 2,000+ sounds to shape to your whim, powered by the SuperNATURAL sound engine and ripped straight from the rack-mount INTEGRA-7 sound module.

The control-scheme is what makes the FA-series a top choice among performers, thanks to its hands-on nature.

The color screen is also high-resolution and informative, a rarity at this price point. Roland aimed to take the ‘work’ out of ‘workstation’ without sacrificing much in terms of power. I’d say this strikes the right balance.

For music production purposes, you’ve got a 16-track sequencer and a 16-tone studio set feature, making this good for both stage and studio use.


Fantom Series (2019)

Instrument Type: Music Workstation

User Level: Advanced

Price Range: $3,000-$4,000

Models:

  • Fantom-6
  • Fantom-7
  • Fantom-8

The Fantom series has been dormant for the past decade, but it used to be a solid contender with the other flagship, no-compromise workstations.

The same field has been dominated by Korg’s Kronos and Yamaha’s Montage (previously Motif) series for the longest time, and Roland has seemingly diverted their resources towards more performance focused keyboards (to great effect!).

It was quite surprising that Roland announced 3 new models in the range, and they’re clearly aimed at dethroning the current kings.

We haven’t had a chance to test it out yet, but it seems to be focused on delivering a streamlined yet in-depth experience, with an emphasis on workflow.

That’s actually great. I find myself preferring smooth, usable experiences over compromising power, and that’s why I tend to prefer the Korg Krome over the Kronos, the MODX over the Montage, and so on.

Expandability also seems to be a focus, as Roland promises expandable sound palettes via downloadable content, and you can even utilize your own sound library with the sample pad matrix.

Something that I’m definitely looking forward to is the true analog filter, something practically unheard of in workstation keyboards.

The ability to merge analogue warmth with detailed sample libraries will definitely get the creative juices rolling.


BK-series

Instrument Type: Arranger Keyboard

User Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Price Range: $700-$1,350

Models:


While the FA-series competes directly with the industry standard Korg Krome EX and Yamaha MODX, the BK-series takes a different approach, aiming squarely at the one-man-band market.

This might feel out of place in the same category as the FA-series, but a 16-track sequencer with all the essential effects and mixing tools makes this a far cry from the more limited E-X-Series keyboards discussed in the early portable keyboard section.

The BK-Series strength lies in its sound quality. While the sounds aren’t terrific, they’re miles better than the functional-only sounds you find on arranger keyboards, making this BK-series worthy of consideration for people wanting to perform solo.


E-A-series

Instrument Type: Arranger Keyboard

User Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Price Range: $1,000-$1,500

Models:


While the E-X series focuses on the beginners, the E-A7 takes the arranger formula and mixes it with workstation and sampler features, making an arranger/workstation hybrid with a unique niche.

Coming with 1,500 tones and a huge variety of backing styles, the E-A7 allows you to perform full-sounding tracks without the need for bandmates.

The dual screen setup also means a lot more info can be shown, giving you full control over your sounds and the backing tracks individually.

The unique part of the E-A7 is the expandability factor, hence the ‘E’ in the name. You can add in your own samples through software or download further sounds from Roland’s Axial online repository.

Roland Sound Generation

Musicians have always been trying to emulate real sounds with digital equipment, and pianos were always the holy grail of sound generation.

Digital pianos require a ton of space allocated to sample memory to achieve realism, which wasn’t possible back in the days when 12MB of memory was considered precious.

Roland Sound Generation

While other companies struggled to find the magical balance between compression and quality, Roland took another approach.

That’s how modeling came into play. Instead of capturing audio snapshots of different playing intensities for each key, Roland added a hybrid synthesized element into the mix.

While the end results were anything but realistic, the mindset would eventually achieve greatness after a few iterations.


V-Piano Pure Modeling Piano Engine

In 2009, Roland released a digital piano dubbed the V-Piano, which was the first physically-modeled digital piano ever released.

Depending on whom you ask, this was either a revolution or a ‘why bother’ moment. Regardless of your stance on modeled pianos, I think it’s hard to deny how good these sound, especially considering the engine’s age.

Roland V-Piano Stage

Roland V-Piano

We won’t go into too much detail regarding the V-Piano engine in this article, since it’s only available on the RD-2000 stage piano.

No samples are used at all in the generation of the piano sound. Everything is synthesized instead. This does have a special perk though – an unlimited polyphony count.

Sadly, the negative perception meant that the V-Piano engine was never adopted wholesale.

Thankfully, the underappreciated innovations of the V-Piano model were incorporated into the next entry in this list.


SuperNATURAL Sound Engine

SuperNATURAL made its first appearance in 2008, appearing in the Fantom-G workstations of the time.

A more prominent appearance was in 2011’s Jupiter-80, a performance multi-instrument that focused on synth sounds.

Roland SuperNATURAL technology

SuperNATURAL takes a hybrid approach to sound generation, using a partially-synthesized sound layered with samples to capture both the flexibility of artificial tones with the natural feel of recorded sounds.

The benefits were twofold. On one hand, you get the nuanced detail you’d expect from typical studio-sampled keyboards (that many argue can’t be recreated using pure modeling).

On the other hand, people who complain about unrealistic modeling get placated!

In all seriousness, the SuperNATURAL sound engine is great. The fact that samples are incorporated means it isn’t limited to just piano sounds. It covers everything from electric pianos, to synthesizers, to drums!

The true magic comes from the modeling side of things.

V-Piano gave you a ton of variables to tweak to your liking. Want to close the lid 3/4s of the way down? Want to reduce the string tension while retaining the pitch? Practically everything was possible.

SuperNATURAL gives you a nearly identical amount of customization when it comes to the pianos and electric pianos via the Piano Designer.

Musical Intruments

It also gives you options tailored to other sounds, such as the filter frequency on synthesizers, glide on flute sounds, and so on.

The most notable aspect of SuperNATURAL modeling is how it’s implemented. Instead of trying to model every single aspect of the instrument, SuperNATURAL focuses on your playing.

For example, while playing a brass ensemble part, SuperNATURAL tracks your playing dynamics via keyboard sensors. It switches between velocity layers, EQ curves, and sample types (staccato or legato etc.) on the fly.

If you’re intimidated by all the technical jargon, you don’t need to worry. All this tracking and modulation happens behind the scenes and simply helps to bridge the gap between the static nature of samples and the natural dynamics of an acoustic instrument.

Roland advertises SuperNATURAL as being ‘transparent,’ and that’s an apt description.

There’s a lot of engineering that goes into both the software and hardware, resulting in a sound engine that feels natural to play.

That’s basically what the SuperNATURAL sound engine entails. Depending on the keyboard or digital piano you’re getting, there might be differences in terms of how much you’re getting.

One thing is for certain – Roland’s SuperNATURAL engine is good and is still in use today (after several iterations), 11 years after its release.

While we will focus on the SuperNATURAL piano variants, it’s worth noting that SuperNATURAL comes in a few other varieties, such as SuperNATURAL E. Piano, SuperNATURAL Synth, SuperNATURAL Drums, and so on.

These are sometimes included in higher-end workstations and synthesizers, like the RD-2000 and the FA-08, and you can identify them via the many editable parameters.

SuperNATURAL Piano Sound (Entry-Level Variant)

A variant of the SuperNATURAL sound engine discussed above is featured on Roland’s entry-level digital pianos, such as the FP-30X, RP-102, F701, RP701, etc.

This also uses the hybrid approach, though it definitely isn’t as detailed in terms of tracking.

This version of the SuperNATURAL engine is more basic and relies more on the classic multi-sample playback system to reproduce piano sounds.

Roland SuperNATURAL Piano Sound

The main downgrade from the higher-end SuperNATURAL implementations are the reliance on PCM-sample playback for non-piano sounds, resulting in a less natural sound.

However, you’re buying an entry-level digital piano for practice, so it’s not that big of a deal.

It should also be noted that more recent versions of the SuperNATURAL Piano Sound are upgraded from the older models.

The model in the RD-2000 is much improved over the first models on the early HP3xx series (HP-302, HP-305, HP-307).

SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling (High-End Variant)

Roland gave piano modeling its second wind with SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling, a variation of the sound engine dedicated to piano tones that cuts out the sample aspect entirely..

It’s worth remembering that SuperNATURAL wasn’t dedicated to pianos when it was introduced. It was made for synth sounds.

This version of SuperNATURAL takes V-Piano inspiration a step further and attempts to recreate piano sounds with digital signal processing (DSP) technology.

This variation on the SuperNATURAL formula makes an appearance on Roland’s higher-end instruments, like their HP-series, LX- and GP-series.

Roland SuperNATURAL seamless tone transition

Roland doesn’t advertise the modeling variant of SuperNATURAL too much, but as a rule of thumb, if you see the words SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling, it’s probably entirely synthesized.

In terms of sound authenticity, these are a clear step up from the lower-end hybrid SuperNATURAL engine, providing more detail and organic elements in the sound.

That said, SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling is neither better nor worse than the SuperNATURAL Piano Sound. It’s just different. One uses modeling while the other is based upon samples.

I’ve talked to people who actually preferred the sample-based engine, claiming that SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling sounds synthetic and unnatural. So, it’s a matter of taste really.

At the same time, there’s no denying that the fully-modeled engine gives you more options for tweaking the sound as well as greater expressiveness, which is hard to achieve using only samples.

While modeling technology hasn’t enjoyed the best reputation, this paved the way for the latest pure modeling technology found in one of Roland’s latest pianos.


PureAcoustic Piano Modeling

Featured exclusively on Roland’s LX 700 series, PureAcoustic Piano Modeling is Roland’s latest attempt at pure modeling without any samples.

This comes nearly 10 years after the V-Piano model, released in 2009, and incorporates advancements made in technology throughout the years.

Roland Pure Acoustic Modeling

What makes PureAcoustic Piano Modeling so special? Unlike V-Piano and SuperNATURAL, PureAcoustic uses two processors, one for an American piano and the other for a European one.

One can hear the Steinway influence from sound demos and it’s a surprisingly good emulation of the real thing.

While I’ve always liked the V-Piano for what it does well, I can’t deny how good PureAcoustic Piano Modeling sounds.

If I had a single complaint about V-Piano, it would be the note decay. Real pianos have a resonant decay that is hard to replicate without samples (and some piano modeling engines supplement their synthesized sounds with sampled decays just to sidestep the issue).

Imagine my surprise that the LX-708 nails this perfectly!

The LX700-series also simulates the room aspect of samples. Since real sounds are recorded in a real space, there will be a bit of natural reverb embedded into the sample.

Roland LX708 speakers

8-speaker setup on the LX708

With V-Piano, the reverb was mainly done through typical reverb algorithms, so nothing too special.

Here the embedded reverb is also sampled, which is mind-boggling when you consider the complexities that come with simulating reverb on a per-key basis.

The beautiful sounds also take inspiration from SuperNATURAL, tracking your keypresses with many sensors to ensure that the digital strings react as a real piano would.

The end results are very realistic, and I can’t wait for these models to go into the more affordable digital pianos from Roland.


Piano Designer

Roland is definitely one of the kings when it comes to piano modeling, but what sets them apart is their willingness to give you the controls to change things as you please.

In this section, we’ll focus on the SuperNATURAL Piano Designer, as it is the most prolific.

Roland Piano Designer

In general, Piano Designer allows you to modify these following parameters of your piano:

  • Lid
  • Key-Off Noise
  • Hammer Noise
  • Duplex Scale
  • Full Scale String Resonance
  • Damper Resonance
  • Key Off Resonance
  • Cabinet Resonance
  • Soundboard Type
  • Damper Noise
  • Single Note Tuning
  • Single Note Volume
  • Single Note Character

However, you won’t find these exact options on all Roland’s instruments. Depending on the model, you can get fewer or more tweakable parameters (usually more expensive digital pianos will give you more options).

Also, you can find similar software solutions from other digital piano manufacturers as well. Yamaha has Piano Room and Kawai has Virtual Technician, Casio has Acoustic Simulator.

Personally, I don’t find myself diving deep into the Piano Designer often. Unless I’m playing a dark rock song, I rarely change anything at all (and even then, I’m just lowering the Lid parameter to get a ‘far-back’ sound).

However, if you’re interested in fine-tuning your sound to perfection, the Piano Designer is amazingly detailed and is generally not too hard to use.

Roland Keyboard Actions

Apart from the sound engines, a digital piano is only as good as the included key action. It doesn’t matter how good a piano sounds if the keys feel bad. Normally, the best key actions feel similar to those found on actual pianos.

It might be important to note that Roland doesn’t focus heavily on delivering a realistic piano playing experience. Instead, the focus is on playability.

After all, digital pianos come with more than just acoustic piano tones, and the hefty keys found on actual pianos would be quite difficult to use for organ and synth playing.


Synth Action/Semi-Weighted

These keys are featured on Roland’s instruments that don’t focus on realistic feel, like the E- and BK-series.

This key action doesn’t even have a specific name, but it’s similar enough that we can cover them all in a single category.

Synth Action

Synth-action keys completely forgo weight and feel springy and fast. Synthesizer players favor these keys, especially for lead parts.

Semi-weighted keys are also considered synth-action, but there’s a bit of resistance on the action that tries to emulate the feel of a real piano (though not very well).

These keys are favored by organ players and electric piano players alike due to added expressivity.


Ivory Feel-G

A somewhat outdated, fully-weighted key action, now succeeded by the PHA-4 Standard action, these keys are still featured on the 88-key JUNO-DS variants, but it’s nothing too special.

These keys feel good enough on the workstation keyboard, featuring accurate velocity detection and return speed. Even so, they lack the graded effect and modern triple sensors.

Roland Keyboard Actions


PHA-4 Standard

This is the key action featured on Roland’s entry-level and intermediate-level digital pianos, such as the instruments in the FP-series (aside from the FP-90X), RP-series, etc.

The PHA in the name stands for Progressive Hammer Action, which attempts to emulate the graded feel of real pianos.

Roland PHA-4 Standard key action

On an actual piano, the lower notes are heavier and harder to press, whereas the upper keys are lighter. The PHA key actions simulate this feel by using variable weights and tends to do a good job in general.

Despite being on the lower-end of Roland’s key action selection, the PHA-4 Standard action feels surprisingly good and is arguably the best entry-level hammer action on the market.

The keytops feature synthetic ivory and a matte finish to prevent slippage, and triple sensors ensure that keypresses are detected accurately, even on rapid repetitions.


PHA-50

The PHA-50 action has succeeded the previous PHA-4 Premium and PHA-4 Concert key actions used in high-end Roland instruments.

This is a significant upgrade over the PHA-4 Standard action and incorporates a hybrid material construction featuring real wood to make it feel even more realistic.

Roland PHA-50 key action

PHA-50 Hybrid Wood/Plastic Keyboard

The PHA-50 action also uses triple sensors and they are tuned to be even more reactive to velocity, making the overall playing experience a lot more enjoyable.

Many keyboardists love the PHA-50 action and I’m also a fan. While it leans towards being lighter than I prefer, it still feels great and versatile, covering just about any kind of sound you can imagine.


Hybrid Grand Keyboard

This is a variation on the previously discussed PHA-50, featured exclusively on the LX700 series digital pianos.

The main differences are longer keys and, as a result, longer key pivot lengths. This reduces fatigue and makes playing the keys a lot more enjoyable across extended periods of time.

Roland PHA-50 vs Hybrid Grand keyboard

The Hybrid Grand action also incorporates a stabilizing pin, making vertical key movement smoother and quieter.

In terms of actual feel, I’d say the Hybrid Grand action feels close to the real deal, having the heft and depth you’d expect from a real grand piano (which is what the LX700 series is trying to recreate).

Conclusion

Roland’s huge product line means there’s something for everyone.

I’ve worked with session keyboardists who love their FA workstations to death, and I’ve also seen many musicians in training who love the FP-series for its price to value ratio.

That’s not even mentioning how many drummers utilize Roland’s V-Drums modules and how a ton of guitarists (myself included) use Roland’s BOSS pedals all the time.

Roland really knows how to make instruments that sound and feel good to use, and there’s no doubt they’ve got a lot more in the works.

The recent Fantom (2019) release shows that Roland isn’t sitting on their laurels. They are actively looking to expand their product line with even more great instruments.

If you’ve ever owned or used Roland digital pianos or keyboards in the past, feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.

We’d love to hear about your likes and dislikes of Roland’s products, as there’s only so much my own opinions can contribute. Discussions benefit everyone, so we look forward to hearing from you!


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Best Digital Pianos & Keyboards (All Price Points)

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Digital Piano vs Keyboard vs Synthesizer (Full Comparison)

Sours: https://www.pianodreamers.com/roland-digital-pianos/
Roland RD-2000 - All Playing, No Talking!

Roland Corporation

Japanese audiovisual equipment company

Roland Logo
TypePrivate company, formerly public (K.K.)

Traded as

Formerly TYO: 7944
IndustryElectronics
Founded18 April 1972; 49 years ago (1972-04-18)
Osaka, Japan
Headquarters

Hamamatsu, Shizuoka

,

Japan

Key people

Ikutaro Kakehashi, Junichi Miki[1]
ProductsElectronic musical instruments, Synthesizers, Digital pianos, Electronic drums, Guitar amplifiers, Guitar synthesizers, Effects units, Mixing consoles, Digital recorders, DJ controllers, Vision mixers, Accordions

Number of employees

3,060(2013)
Websiteroland.com

Roland Corporation (ローランド株式会社, Rōrando Kabushiki Kaisha) is a Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, electronic equipment and software. It was founded by Ikutaro Kakehashi in Osaka on April 18, 1972. In 2005, Roland's headquarters relocated to Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. It has factories in Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, and the USA. As of March 31, 2010, it employed 2,699 people.[2] In 2014, Roland was subject to a management buyout by Roland's CEO Junichi Miki, supported by Taiyo Pacific Partners.[1]

Roland has manufactured numerous instruments that have had lasting impacts on music, such as the Juno-106 synthesizer,[3]TB-303 bass synthesizer,[4] and TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines.[5] Roland was also instrumental in the development of MIDI, a standardized means of synchronizing electronic instruments manufactured by different companies. In 2016, Fact wrote that Roland "arguably did more to shape electronic music than any other [company] in history".[6]

History[edit]

1970s[edit]

Having created Ace Electronic Industries Inc in 1960, Ikutaro Kakehashi founded Roland in Osaka on April 18, 1972.[7] While rival companies Moog and ARP targeted professional musicians and academics, Kakehashi, who had no musical training, wanted to appeal to amateurs and hobbyists, and focused on miniaturization, affordability, and simplicity.[8]

SH-1000 (1973)

RE-201 Space Echo (1976)

Jazz Chorus JC-120 (1975)

MC-8 MicroComposer (1977)

The "Roland" name was selected for export purposes, as Kakehashi was interested in a name that was easy to pronounce for his worldwide target markets. The name was found in a telephone directory, and Kakehashi was satisfied with the simple two-syllable word and its soft consonants. The letter "R" was chosen because it was not used by many other music equipment companies, and would therefore stand out in trade show directories and industry listings. Kakehashi did not learn of the French epic poem The Song of Roland until later.[9]

With seven employees from his former company, a rented shed, and $100,000, Kakehashi built on his experience at Ace, introducing a drum machine, the TR-77 or Rhythm 77, as Roland's first product, followed by the TR-33 and TR-55 released that same year. In 1973, Roland introduced the first compact synthesizer produced in Japan and the first synthesizer produced by Roland, the SH-1000, as well as their first non-preset synthesizer, the SH-3.[citation needed]

The company was also manufacturing effects pedals, introducing the RE-201 Space Echo in 1974, and expanding into guitar amplifiers the following year with the JC-60 and JC-120 Jazz Chorus, whose chorus circuit would become the first Boss Corporation product, the CE-1 Chorus Ensemble, the following year. In 1976, Roland introduced the semi-modular System 100 and the modular System 700 synthesizers.[citation needed]

In 1977, the company introduced one of the earliest microprocessor-driven music sequencers, the MC-8 MicroComposer, and the first guitar synthesizer, the GR-500. Just one year later, they introduced the CompuRhythm CR-78, the first drum machine that enabled users to program and store their own drum patterns.[10]

1980s[edit]

During the 1980s and 1990s, Roland released several instruments that have had a lasting influence on popular music.[7] After Kakehashi realized microprocessors could be used to program drum machines,[11] Roland launched the TR-808 drum machine, its first programmable drum machine, in 1980.[12] Although it was not an immediate commercial success, the 808 was eventually used on more hit records than any other drum machine[13] and became a cornerstone of the emerging electronic and hip hop genres.[14] It has been described as hip hop's equivalent to the Fender Stratocaster guitar, which dramatically influenced the development of rock music.[15][16][17] The 808 was followed in 1983 by the TR-909,[5] which, alongside the TB-303 synthesizer, influenced the development of dance music such as techno, house and acid.[18][19] Roland released the Roland Jupiter-8 in 1981.

Roland played a key role in the development of MIDI, a standardized means of synchronizing electronic musical instruments manufactured by different companies.[20] Kakehashi proposed developing a standard with representatives from Oberheim Electronics, Sequential Circuits, Yamaha, Korg and Kawai.[20] He and Dave Smith of Sequential Circuits unveiled MIDI in 1983.[21][22] It remains the industry standard.[23]

1990s[edit]

Roland SH-32 WAS Synthesizer

In, 1991 Roland released the JD-800, a digital synthesizer with a lot of sliders.[24] In 1993, they released the JD-990, which is the rackmount version of the JD-800.[25] In 1994, Kakehashi founded the Roland Foundation and became chairman. In 1995 he was appointed the chairman of Roland Corporation.

2000s[edit]

In 2001 Kakehashi resigned from the position and was appointed as Special Executive Adviser of Roland Corporation. In 2002, he published an autobiography, I Believe in Music. His second book, An Age Without Samples: Originality and Creativity in the Digital World, was published in 2017.[26]

Brands[edit]

Roland markets products under a number of brand names, each of which are used on products geared toward a different niche.[27]

  • The Roland brand is used on a wide range of products including synthesizers, digital pianos, electronically enhanced accordions, electronic drum systems, dance/DJ gear, guitar synthesizers, amplifiers, and recording products. Many of these products are now also available through Roland Cloud, a VST subscription service.
  • Boss is a brand used for products geared toward guitar players and is used for guitar pedals, effects units, rhythm and accompaniment machines, guitar amplifiers, and portable recording equipment.
  • Edirol was a line of professional video-editing and video-presentation systems, as well as portable digital audio recorders. Edirol also had Desktop Media (DTM) products, more production-oriented, and included computer audio interfaces, mixers, and speakers. Following Roland's purchase of a controlling interest in Cakewalk Software, most of the division's products were rebranded as Cakewalk products or blended with the professional audio/RSS products to form Roland Systems Group.[28]
  • Roland Systems Group is a line of professional commercial audio and video products.
  • Amdek was incorporated in 1981 "as a manufacturer of computerized music peripherals and as a distributor of assembled electronic music instrument parts."[29] The Amdek brand is best remembered for a series of user-assembled effects pedals and accessories, marketed until 1983;[30] at least 16 kits are known to have existed.[31] Amdek's primary focus was on the potential uses of personal computers to assist musicians, and in 1982 they introduced the DXY-100, the company's first pen plotter, with the intent of allowing users to print out their own sheet music. Soon realizing the printer had a much larger market potential, in 1983 Amdek became the Roland DG Corporation.
  • Roland DG produces computerized vinyl cutters, thermal transfer printer/cutters, wide-format inkjet printers and printer/cutters, 3D scanners and dental milling devices, and engravers.[32]
  • At one point, Roland acquired the then-defunct Rhodes name, and released a number of digital keyboards bearing the Rhodes brand. Harold Rhodes had regained the rights to the name in 2000 prior to his death that same year. Rhodes was dissatisfied with Roland's treatment of the marque, and had plans to re-introduce his iconic electric piano, but died before he was able to bring it to market.[33]
  • V-MODA designs and develops "world‑class high‑fidelity headphones and audio devices" and became a part of the Roland family on 8 August 2016 also known as 808 Day.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ab"Announcement concerning Implementation of MBO and Recommendation to Tender"(PDF). Roland Corporation. May 14, 2014.
  2. ^"Roland Corporate Data". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  3. ^"Blast from the past: Roland Juno-106". MusicRadar. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  4. ^Hamill, Jasper. "The world's most famous electronic instrument is back. Will anyone buy the reissued TB-303?". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  5. ^ abReid, Gordon (December 2014). "The history of Roland: part 2 | Sound On Sound". Sound on Sound. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  6. ^"The 14 drum machines that shaped modern music". FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music. 2016-09-22. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  7. ^ abMcKee, Ruth; Grierson, Jamie (2 April 2017). "Roland founder and music pioneer Ikutaro Kakehashi dies aged 87". Retrieved 29 May 2017 – via The Guardian.
  8. ^The life and times of Ikutaro Kakehashi, the Roland pioneer modern music owes everything to, Fact
  9. ^I Believe In Music, Ikutaro Kakehashi with Robert Olsen, 2002. p. 64
  10. ^Reid, Gordon (2004), "The History Of Roland Part 1: 1930–1978", Sound on Sound (November), retrieved 19 June 2011
  11. ^Kirn, Peter (2011). Keyboard Presents the Evolution of Electronic Dance Music. Backbeat Books. ISBN .
  12. ^"Everything you ever wanted to know about the Roland TR-808 but were afraid to ask". Fact. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  13. ^Wells, Peter (2004), A Beginner's Guide to Digital Video, AVA Books, p. 18, ISBN , retrieved 20 May 2011
  14. ^Anderson, Jason (27 November 2008). "Slaves to the rhythm". CBC News. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  15. ^McKee, Ruth; Grierson, Jamie (2 April 2017). "Roland founder and music pioneer Ikutaro Kakehashi dies aged 87". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  16. ^Baldwin, Roberto (14 February 2014). "Early hip-hop's greatest drum machine just got resurrected". Wired. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  17. ^Richards, Chris (2 December 2008). "What's an 808?". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  18. ^"Nine Great Tracks That Use the Roland TR-909". Complex. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  19. ^"9 of the best 909 tracks using the TR-909". Mixmag. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  20. ^ abChadabe, Joel (1 May 2000). "Part IV: The Seeds of the Future". Electronic Musician. Penton Media. XVI (5). Archived from the original on 28 September 2012.
  21. ^Chadabe, Joel (1 May 2000). "Part IV: The Seeds of the Future". Electronic Musician. Penton Media. XVI (5). Archived from the original on 28 September 2012.
  22. ^The 30 Top Instruments and Innovations of Roland’s Ikutaro Kakehashi (1930-2017), Electronic Musician
  23. ^"The life and times of Ikutaro Kakehashi, the Roland pioneer modern music owes everything to". FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music. 2017-04-02. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  24. ^"The History Of Roland: Part 3". www.soundonsound.com. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  25. ^"The History Of Roland: Part 4". www.soundonsound.com. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  26. ^"Ikutaro Kakehashi, Engineer Behind Revolutionary Drum Machine, Dies at 87". Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  27. ^"Brands and Business Domains". Archived from the original on 2014-02-17.
  28. ^"Roland rebrands for the future". Archived from the original on 2012-05-07.
  29. ^"The Milestones In the History of Our Company".
  30. ^Hughes, Tom (2004). Analog Man's Guide to Vintage Effects, p. 100. For Musicians Only Publishing. ISBN 0-9759209-0-1.
  31. ^"All musical AMDEK devices (by Roland Digital Group)".
  32. ^"A History of Innovation Worldwide".
  33. ^"Biography of Harold Rhodes".
  34. ^"About". www.v-moda.com. Retrieved 2020-06-24.

Further reading[edit]

  • "Made in Japan". Music Technology. Vol. 2 no. 2. December 1987. p. 47. ISSN 0957-6606. OCLC 24835173.

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_Corporation

Digital keyboard roland

Best Roland Digital Piano & Best Roland Synthesizer

Best Roland Digital Piano & Best Roland Synthesizer

If you are looking for a great piano option for the music lover in your life, you may be trying to figure out some of the best options that you can choose from. Among the options that you can choose from are the Roland Digital Pianos. This company offers a wide variety of options for music lovers of all skill levels and interests. Roland Digital Pianos are among the best on the market, so you will be pleased with whichever option you get.

What are the Best Roland Digital Piano/Synthesizer to Buy?

Whenever you are looking for pianos, there are a lot of things that you will need to consider. The first thing is your budget. Digital pianos can come in a wide range of prices, so you do need to consider that when you are looking at pianos. Another thing that you need to consider is the skill level of the person you are buying it for (including yourself).

For more skilled pianists, there are advanced features that can be found in other pianos. For a beginner, you will want something that is easier to use. This is something that you will also want to factor in when deciding on how much to spend on the piano.

There is also the type of music that you will be using it for. A synthesizer is for someone who wants additional effects to improve their music especially if they like to create something with an electric feel to it. If you want a more traditional sound, this will require a different type of music. You also need to consider if you want something where you can use music files or record them when you are playing. This will also require a specific style of the digital piano to accomplish.

10 Best Roland Digital Piano and Synthesizer Reviews

You really need to do your research to ensure that you buy the right digital piano for your (or your loved ones) individual needs. There are so many different options on the market that can be overwhelming for you to choose from, especially if you do not do your research before you start looking. Consider what your needs and wants are, then move forward from there.

1) Roland VR-09 V-Combo Organ

For both mobility and excellent features, this model is a choice to consider. There are a lot of sound features that users can find with this option, including the grand piano and electric piano sounds.

You will also find a great deal of synth options, which range from those vintage classics that have proven timeless to more modern options that give a new edge to the music. There is also an onboard looper, along with a huge selection of rhythm and drum sounds in its library.

On this keyboard, one of the great features is the real-time controls that allow you to tweak your music as you go while you are performing live. It also has surprisingly good sounds to it, especially with the horn and drum sounds. No matter what genre of music you prefer to play, this keyboard can help you achieve the sound that you want.

It has an amazing sound quality to it and it is an incredibly lightweight option so that you can take it with you wherever you need to go. Lastly, this keyboard is very user-friendly so people of all skill levels will be able to use this without too much of a hassle.

Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

2) Roland JUNO-DS88 88-key Synthesizer

Seasoned professionals that want a keyboard that offers all of the enhanced features and pro sounds should look at this one as an option. There are so many different sound options that you can find with this keyboard including electric piano, various organs, acoustic piano, and many other sounds that you will need on stage when you are performing.

If the sound options are not enough for you, there is an expansion slot where you can download more options from the company’s website. This is an excellent synthesizer that is portable for all of those performers who are constantly on the go.

One thing that people look for in a digital piano, especially a performer, is versatility. The ability to play a variety of different music can be essential to a musician. This keyboard also has a lot of mobility to it so you can take it to all of your performances and practices without much of a hassle.

It also has a great feel to it when it comes to the keys, which is very important to any pianist. You will find that this is an incredibly easy to use synthesizer, which can be excellent if you are a newer pianist.

Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

3) Roland F-140R Digital Piano

For the techie musician, this is a great choice. It looks and can sound like a regular piano, with tones that resemble a grand piano. There are over 72 different rhythm styles that users can enjoy, including 6 pianist styles for a more classical sound. You will also notice that there are over 300 additional tones for strings, electric pianos, synths, guitars, and a wide array of other sounds to create some pretty amazing music.

What really makes this stand out for the tech lover is that you can connect your tablet or smartphone to it through its Bluetooth features so that you can turn the sheet music pages completely wirelessly.

The quality of this keyboard is fantastic and it is very easy for anyone to assemble. This is a great stationary keyboard for musicians of all skill levels. It is easy to use and has surprisingly good sound quality, almost as good as an acoustic piano that most musicians tend to favour.

There are so many features of this keyboard that you will find the creative freedom you seek when making music with this digital keyboard. The only issue with this keyboard is that it is a stationary one meant to keep in one place rather than to travel with you.

Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

4) Roland RD-800 Digital Piano

With this choice, you are going to get a professional keyboard with a ton of features. There are well over 1100 sounds to choose from, including modern synth options and more vintage sounds. You can also select a variety of different sounds for pianos that make performing live pretty great.

This is a choice that offers versatility, which is perfect for the musician who wants to be able to maximize their creativity. The vintage feel and quality sound really make this piano stand out. Performers will also love how portable this is, making it easy to take with them for gigs or practices.

As far as performing live goes, you can very easily layer the music and create live sets. It can be a bit complicated to use at first but as you work with it, you will quickly catch on. The wide variety of samples that you can use with this keyboard that can allow for creativity and versatility when playing especially live.

This high-end keyboard is also an excellent choice for in-studio sessions. Overall, this specific keyboard can be an excellent choice for a seasoned professional that expects a little bit more out of their digital piano.

Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

5) Roland A-88: MIDI Keyboard Controller

The best feature of this keyboard is the fact that it is so compact and lightweight. The portability of this keyboard makes it an ideal option for the musician on the go. It feels like a weighted keyboard, which gives the musician a great feeling when they are playing.

Pianists look for the right feeling in their keyboard, something that this can offer. Another excellent feature is that will interest users is that this easily has one of the best MIDI controllers on the market.

The software that comes with this keyboard only adds to the excellence that comes in this compact little package. The sound module is the particularly stellar quality of this keyboard. You have plenty of options for most of your needs, though you may not get as much of a selection as you would hope.

The software that comes bundled in with this keyboard does an excellent job at replicating the sound of an analogue piano. There are plenty of easy to access knobs and switches, making playing a seamless and effortless task for you as a musician. With this keyboard, you are going to get a top of the line feel in a compact and lightweight little keyboard.

Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

6) Roland JUNO-DS61 61-key Synthesizer

One of the great features of this keyboard is the ability to record as you go. If you are looking to record song ideas on the fly, this keyboard can help you to accomplish this goal. You will also notice that it has some incredible features for if you are going to perform live somewhere, including updated sounds that sound amazing when performing.

There are also expansion slots, where you are able to download new waveforms directly from the company website. If you are looking for an excellent synthesizer, this is a great choice for you.

The sound quality of this keyboard is quite outstanding. Users can take music from their USB drive to enjoy a more customizable sound that will help your music to stand out and give you more options for creativity. Not only is the sound quality amazing, but you will also get fantastic quality from the recordings that you make.

It is lightweight and portable, something that is especially useful if you are going to be travelling a lot with this keyboard. There are so many great things about this keyboard, including the capabilities to really customize your music and make it your own through the array of parameter adjustments.

Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

7) Roland FP-30 DIGITAL PIANO Black

Here you will find a portable option that packs a lot of punch. This is an excellent keyboard that can excel as both a stationary piano or as one that can travel with you wherever you need to go with it. It has the same feel and sound as an authentic piano.

One of the best things about this piano is that portability you can get with it. This keyboard is both lightweight and compact, making it easy for you to take it to gigs or practices while also being small enough to not take up too much space in a room.

Another great feature is the Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to connect your keyboard to your mobile devices. There are over 30 different sounds that you can use with this keyboard, which is not nearly as much as you can get with other options, but it is still a substantial amount if you do not want to spend a fortune on a keyboard.

It does have the ability to use a USB stick, so you can compensate for the lack of onboard sounds. Another issue with this particular option is that it may not have the best sound quality when compared to other options, but this can be attributed to the placement of the speakers.

Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

8) Roland FP-50 Digital Piano Black

At first glimpse, this digital piano may seem very basic. It has about 90 rhythm types, with each style having 2 variations. It is a classy option that has a truly authentic feel to it, something that a musician who wants the traditional piano feel on the go can appreciate.

Speaking of on the go, this keyboard is incredibly portable. It is both lightweight and compact, making it easy to transport wherever you need it. Part of the musician life is to be on the go, so performers are always looking for high-quality options that they are able to take with them.

This keyboard also excels at being a great option for the home since it can fit in rooms without taking up a lot of space. It may not be the best option if you want something for performing live, but it does have the portability for you to be able to take it to practices.

Musicians at any level, whether they are a beginner or a longtime player, will love this keyboard. It does not have a lot of features, but that makes it great for people who are just starting out that want something that is easy to use.

Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

9) Roland GO61PC PIANO Education Bundle

This is a perfect option for the beginner musician. Users will notice that this model has standard full-size keys with 61 notes. There are also additional sounds that users can take advantage of to really create something unique and incredible with their keyboard, including organs and electric piano sounds.

Users will also love that it has a Bluetooth audio and MIDI support, which allows it to be connected to your tablet or smartphone.It is a portable keyboard so that you can take it to your lessons or anywhere else that you want to travel with it. Besides, you get all of the tools that you need as a pianist that is just starting out.

Users love the sound quality that may not be expected in a beginner digital piano. This is also a great beginner keyboard because it is incredibly easy to use. When you hook up your mobile device, you can play along to the music so that you can learn all of your favourite songs on the piano. With this ability to hook up to mobile devices you can also get apps that help you learn how to play, making learning the piano an easier task for any beginner.

Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

10) Roland RD-64 Digital Piano

For a quality of sound that mimics the classical grand piano, this is a digital piano that gives you that really authentic piano sound. There are 12 tones that you can access onboard this keyboard, which gives you some flexibility when you are playing it.

It is a compact keyboard, making it perfect for users who want a bit of mobility out of their keyboard. You can fit this keyboard in any vehicle, making it especially convenient. One of the things that users are going to most appreciate about this keyboard is the natural feeling that is very similar to a classical piano.

Essentially, this model is a little grand piano that you can transport with you wherever you need it. You will love the vintage feeling of classic keyboards when using it, giving you the right amount of traction that your fingers need for optimal play.

The sound quality on this keyboard is just as amazing as the feeling of playing it. It especially shines if you are looking for a high-quality acoustic sound to it. For users that need to travel a lot with their keyboard but want a more natural piano sound, you may want to consider this option.

Read User Reviews & Check Price On Amazon

Choosing the Best Roland Digital Piano and Synthesizer

These are all great options for you to consider when you are looking for a digital piano. Each of these options offers something different for every musician. This guide aims to help you decide which of these specific pianos is going to meet your individual needs as a musician.

Take a close look at all of the features and benefits so that you can fully understand what each of these has to offer so that you can make an informed decision as to which is the best for you.

You will need to have a plan of what you are looking for in a piano and how much you are willing to spend because these are important factors in deciding which piano is the best choice. Digital pianos are a worthwhile investment for all of your music needs, but you want to make sure that you invest in the perfect choice.

Sours: https://www.cmuse.org/best-roland-digital-piano/
Best Roland Keyboads in 2020

Roland Keyboards: 10 Best Picks From A Gigging Musician

Roland has been making some of the best digital pianos & keyboards for the last 45 years. In this article we’re going to be taking a look at what makes Roland so good, as well as which ones are the best.

Roland makes some of the very best key-beds and they are also known for some of the most iconic synthesizers in the keyboard world.

We’re going to be looking at keyboards, synthesizers, digital pianos, and MIDI controllers in this article.

Table of Contents

Best Roland Keyboards – A Quick Glance

What Should You Look For?

Synthesizer, Keyboard Or Digital Piano? 

If you’re a beginner and you’re looking at keyboards it is important to know just what kind you would like to purchase. These keyboards can do many different things and it is going to depend on what the user is looking to get out of them.

A synthesizer is going to give the musician all sorts of different sounds and it is the route that many musicians who are looking to play in bands go because of this. If you’re looking for a keyboard that is portable and cheap, then you will also have some options.

A digital piano is going to be more pricey, but if you’re looking for an instrument for your kid to begin piano lessons on, Roland makes high-quality digital pianos.

Amount Of Keys:

The amount of keys on your keyboard is important because having fewer keys can limit pianists. Most synthesizers are going to come with fewer keys, but this is because you don’t typically need as many keys for synthesizers.

Musicians playing classical piano or jazz are going to want something that has 88 weighted keys.

Price: 

How much are you looking to spend? You can end up spending a lot of money and it’s important to know your price limit. This comes down to knowing who you’re buying for.

If you’re buying for your kid and it’s their first time, you can get a cheaper product or digital piano to test the waters. This company is going to give you more life than a cheaper brand like Williams.

MIDI Capable?

Do you want it to be MIDI capable? This means, do you want it to have the ability to plug into your laptop and access hundreds of new sounds?

Weighted Keys:

If you’re playing classical or jazz piano you will definitely at some point want weighted keys. I learned the first few years of being a pianist on a cheap Casio keyboard, and as soon as I upgraded to a digital piano my finger dexterity increased ten-fold.

Weight:

The weight of a keyboard can be important seeing how the workstations used to be very heavy. The new workstations are about 30 pounds less than what they used to be. I believe this is because touring musicians can’t stand touring with 75-pound products.

Let’s get into the reviews below.

Note: Roland just announced their latest workstation, the Fantom. Check out my review for it above.

Roland Keyboard Reviews


Roland keyboards usually tend to blend the traditional synthesizer with a workstation.  Some of them are going to be synthesizers exclusively.

Roland FA-08 – Best Overall Workstation

Fa 08

The FA-08 is a workstation that you will be able to use for the rest of your life. This has a key bed that feels like you’re playing a real piano. I own the FA 08 and pretty much play it every day.

You can read my full review on the FA 08 in this article I wrote here.

This keyboard only weighs 35 pounds, which is crazy because the Fantom G8 weighed 74 pounds and was a little more difficult to tour with because of the weight. If you are going to be touring, the Fantom FA-08 is the is a perfect choice.

What they do so well is they make their workstations be MIDI compatible. Being MIDI-compatible means that if you are looking to hook up to your laptop and record and explore more sounds, you can do so very easily and also do so with the luxury of an amazing keyboard bed.

The FA-08 is an extremely powerful, light-weight studio and MIDI controller all in one. The FA-08 is their answer to MIDI controllers and also is the upgrade to the Fantom G series.

Different Models Of The FA 08

Roland made this product line available in three different models. If the price for the FA-08 is a little too pricey or too big for what you’re looking for, the FA-07 and the FA-06 are alternative options and are the same product, just with different key beds and fewer keys. The Fantom FA-07 is 76 keys and the FA-06 is 61 keys.

They have done a very good job at making products that stand the test of time and the Fantom series is a tremendous example of this.

This is definitely an investment and the price tag also reflects that. However, when compared to others that you can find for around the price, this workstation gives you so much more for the price.

Some of the top end MIDI instruments now are upwards of $1,000 and they only work when plugged into a laptop.

Features

  • Ivory feel weighted key bed
  • A sampler that features 16 assignable pads
  • Six assignable sound modify modifying knobs that also work with MIDI
  • Microphone and guitar mic jacks built-in for performing or recording
  • USB ports that allow for MIDI use with a laptop
  • Comes with over 2,000 unique sounds that can be altered and shaped with the assignable sound knobs
  • Extremely lightweight allows for a great touring product
  • Home screen that is very user-friendly and lit up          

Juno DS-88

JUNO DS 88

The Juno DS-88 is for the touring musician, as well as for the classical piano player looking for an affordable, yet a quality product that you can use at all levels.

Its key bed is the same as the Fantom Series and this is something that makes this instrument special. It is a lightweight keyboard, making it extremely easy to tour with.

The Juno DS-88 will give you very realistic sounding pianos and organs and the ability to bend them to your liking. The Juno series began in the 1970s and they have given us a keyboard now that lives up to the hype that the original Juno’s did.

This comes equipped with over 1200 different patches, with each patch being unique.

The Juno DS-88 is also a MIDI controller, which makes it also very appealing to touring musicians who may want an affordable keyboard that has a really nice key-bed.

Pros

  • Easy to manipulate sounds
  • Sampler
  • 8 pads that can be used for triggers and for running MIDI
  • MIDI capability
  • Weighted keys
  • Over 1,200 preset patches

Roland Gaia SH-01- Best Affordable Synthesizer

Roland Gaia SH-01

The Gaia is a synthesizer that is good as an introduction to synthesizers. It comes with a built-in easy to use arpeggiator and it has the capability to produce very large and rich sounding pads and basses.

With only 37 full-size keys, this synthesizer is extremely portable and I think it gives you more bang for your buck than say a Micro Korg. This is one of those products that you hear a patch and instantly want to write a song based around that specific sound.

If you like keyboards with 37 keys, you can view some of my favorite 37 key MIDI controllers in this article.

This device only weighs 10 pounds so it makes for an easy to travel with a synthesizer. They made this product to compete with some of the portable synths out there on the market and I think this synthesizer outshines most of them around its price.

This synthesizer can also be used as a MIDI controller

You’re starting to see this more and more with newer products and this is something they are doing extremely well.  With three oscillators, resonant filters, and 9 envelope generators, it’s like owning three different synthesizers in one.

The price of this synthesizer is something that is extremely affordable, especially for a synth like this that will last you throughout your musical journey.

Comparing the Gaia to what other companies are putting out, the Gaia definitely gives you the most bang for the buck.  Let’s take a look at some of the specs and things that make the Gaia a great buy.

Features

  • 37 full-size keys
  • Three oscillators
  • MIDI-capable
  • $600 makes for an affordable synthesizer
  • 64-voice polyphony for a massive sound
  • Layer up to 5 simultaneous effects including flanger, delay, reverb, and low boost

Roland GO61K

Roland GO61K

The Go is a Roland keyboard that was designed to be a travel-friendly keyboard for musicians who are on the go. This is packed with over

500 sounds for maximum creativity.

A cool feature with the Go is that it’s Bluetooth ready so you can connect it to a speaker.

This is portable and it is going to be on the cheaper end and we recommend this for kids, beginners or a musician who is looking for a cheaper instrument to take with them while they travel.

In addition to the Roland GO61, there is also the Roland Go:88. Check out my review here.


Roland VR-09 V-Combo Organ

Roland VR-09 V-Combo Organ

The VR-09 is a powerful electric piano that comes loaded with very organic sounding patches including piano, organ, and basses. This is a very powerful instrument that comes with 9 sliders for tone and effect shaping.

I would recommend this to players who are experienced and love rich sounding pads and organs. You can’t really go wrong with something like this and it is very sought after.


Roland F-140R Digital Piano 

Roland F-140R Digital Piano

The F-140R is a digital piano that doesn’t come with a ton of features, but it comes with 305 different organic sounds, as well as a fantastic key bed.

One of thing we talk about with this company often is their ability to make a key bed that feels like a real piano and this is definitely a digital piano that feels real.

Overall

When it comes to high-quality, the FP-140R is a no-brainer to me. I think very highly of this digital piano and I think advanced players would love it.


Roland SYSTEM-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer

Roland SYSTEM-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer

The System-8 is an extremely unique synthesizer because it gives you access to all of the classic synthesizers.

It is an analog synthesizer that delivers some really lush sounding pads that they are known for, and it also comes with a built-in arpeggiator as well as a vocoder.

Overall

The Roland System-8 is definitely worth checking out. A lot of people who own this keyboard swear by it. Overall, I think it’s a solid product.


Roland JD-Xi

JDXI Roland

The JD-XI is a great synthesizer for hip-hop production.

This synthesizer is often compared to the Micro Korg and I think this synthesizer is a much more powerful instrument than the Micro Korg XL.

If you’re a fan of the Micro Korg, you will surely like this synthesizer as it gives you more freedom and sound tweaking ability.

The JD-XI is a digital crossover synthesizer that has an analog engine, but digital oscillators. It comes with a built-in vocoder that has some really in-depth effects.

The JD-XI comes with drum samples that are really good for hip-hop production and it has some crazy sounding 808 samples as well. This synthesizer is also very light compared to other synthesizers.

If you’re looking to record, the JD-XI comes with MIDI so you can plug directly into a laptop or computer to record or write. The sequencer in the synthesizer is very powerful and is also easy to use.

Overall

I believe the JDXI is a massively underrated synthesizer. If you dig the Micro Korg, you should give this a try as well.


Roland FP-30

Roland FP-30

My opinion is that the FP-30 is affordable and it is also quality. I’ve played on this digital piano before and when I did I was blown away.

The FP-30 has recently been upgraded to its successor, the FP-30X. You can read our review about it above.

The action and feel of the keys feel perfect to me.

The FP-30 is the rival to the ever-popular Yamaha P-115. I think that the FP-30 keyboard just feels and sounds much better and it is in a similar price range. I think this product is unique in the sense that it also has Bluetooth connection abilities in case you want to use it as MIDI.

This Roland keyboard is becoming popular and I think Bluetooth is going to be really popular in the next few years with digital pianos and in the keyboard world in general.

This digital piano comes with a headphone jack for players that need to keep the noise down at times. I personally have always liked digital pianos with headphone jacks just for times when I was practicing a piece over and over and didn’t want everyone to hear my mistakes.

Let’s look at some of the specs below.
  • Roland’s supernatural piano engine
  • Onboard stereo amp and speakers
  • Strings, organs, drum sounds
  • USB to the device memory slot
  • Record ideas using the USB slot
  • Dual and split modes
  • Headphone jack
  • Compact and very light
Roland FP-30 Thoughts

If you’re in the market for a high-level digital piano, I recommend the FP-30. I even think the FP-10 is a good choice, however, if you can afford it, you can’t go wrong with the upgrade.

Roland Ax-Edge

Roland Ax-Edge keyboards

This could be the best keytar on the market right now. It has a ton of features that its predecessors never had.

The internal sounds blow all other internal sounds out of the water in my opinion.

Its functionality is also just supreme in every single way. The Ax-Edge can do everything that you will want it to be able to do and it comes loaded with internal patches.

This instrument is loaded with great presets and it can also be used as a MIDI controller.

Check out our product review here for more on the Ax-Edge.

Overall

I believe that if you are a fan of keytars, you will really enjoy the Ax-Edge. Personally, I think it’s probably the best available as well.

How Important Is A Headphone Jack For My Keyboard?

This depends on your situation and what you’re looking to do. Some musicians initially hate using headphones with their keyboard, but then as soon as they try it, they love it.

If you’re looking to practice without people hearing you, get yourself a decent pair of headphones and plug into the jack on the back of your instrument. I really like the sound that my instrument produces through my headphones and I think more people would like it if they tried it.


Roland Vs Korg

Should you buy a Roland or a Korg? This is a tough question and it is going to be a preference in some regards. Roland is more well known than Korg I would say for synthesizers.

Yes, Korg has made some amazing synthesizers in the day, but going back into the ’80s, Roland’s synthesizers have been iconic and used all over popular music and film scores.

As far as digital pianos and workstations go, Korg does make some very high-end products, as well as Roland.

I have always liked both of these brands, but I have always been partial to the Fantom Ivory feel piano keys on their products. The key-bed on the Fantom series feels like real ivory piano keys and to me that can’t really be beaten.


For Kids And Beginners

I like the Go-61. This is cheap, yet it has a lot of features. Keep in mind, if you buy a keyboard for your kid, the key-bed will not be weighted keys.

Now, everyone is different, but if it’s your kids’ first instrument, this isn’t a bad thing. Digital pianos and acoustic pianos can cost a lot, so it is very wise to try and find a good in-between before going all out on a purchase.


What Kind Of Roland Keyboard Is Best For Me?

This depends on exactly what you’re looking to do with your keyboards. For musicians who are looking to learn classical and or jazz piano, we recommend a digital piano.

If you’re a musician who is just starting out, we recommend a cheaper keyboard to test the waters. For musicians who are looking to play in bands and play gigs, a synthesizer is going to be a great start.

The Go also has some crazy features since it was built for traveling musicians who are looking to use a MIDI controller and make music with.


Their Key-Beds

They have outstanding keyboard beds in general. I have found that their key beds don’t feel as plastic heavy as some of the other products out there. In terms of realism, their keys feel about as close to ivory as you can get.

The key-action is also going to be very important when playing a keyboard. The good thing is that a Roland keyboard has incredible action. It is almost like playing a grand piano with the way the keys spring back to your fingers.

Do I Need A Sustain Pedal?

Yes, in almost every way. Sustaining notes is very important when playing the piano and it will help you in the long run if you have one.

If you are buying a synthesizer you can get away with not using a sustain pedal though. For keyboards and digital pianos, I recommend a sustain pedal even if it’s on the cheaper end. A cheaper sustain pedal will last you a while as long as you’re not standing and going crazy on top of it.

You don’t need a sustain pedal as a lot of the sustain pedals today are universal. Roland does make a triple pedal that has sustain, the sostenuto, and the soft pedal.

This unit is much more expensive than a universal pedal, however, it is quality if you want your keyboard or digital piano to have the same pedals on an acoustic piano. Many people really enjoy this, but this is not something that you need by any means.

Holding Value

Roland keyboards really hold their value well. Some of the vintage synthesizers are still very expensive and they aren’t really coming down in price. I’ve had Roland products for 10 years and looked back to see that they weren’t too far of what the retail was when I originally purchased them.

Roland Synthesizers And Their Beautiful Pads

The sound of their pads and strings are second to none in my honest opinion.  I recently played on a Paraphonic from the 1980s in the studio and

I immediately wanted to purchase it. These keyboards sound extremely warm and wide. Pretty much every sound on the Paraphonic had me wanting to hear more and write more.

They have always been known for having warm sounding pads and this is mainly because they’re analog keyboards. Some pads by other brands can be a little harsh in the high end and their pads have always just had that warm sound to them.

Where Are Roland Keyboards Made?

Roland was founded in 1972 in Osaka by Ikutaro Kakehashi. The headquarters then moved in 2005 to Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. Currently, Roland has factories in Taiwan, Japan, and the United States.

Conclusion

We hope this list provided you with the information about Roland keyboards that you were looking for. There are some vintage synthesizers that we didn’t put on this list because they are no longer being manufactured.

Chris Senner

Chris Senner is a passionate keyboardist, songwriter & blogger from Milwaukee, WI. He's toured the country with Vinyl Theatre & now has developed a passion for writing about all things keyboards.

Sours: https://keyboardkraze.com/best-roland-keyboards/

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