Roland Shows Off New Technology at NAMM
“It’s been a great show for us,” said Amanda Whiting, PR/Media Relations manager, who provided a whirlwind tour around their booths (they had three). “One of the most exciting things we have is the new GW-8 Workstation, the next generation of one of our most popular keyboards.”
The keyboard features a sound engine with “Styles of the Americas.” Whiting explained that depending on what region of the world the keyboard was sold, the sounds available tilted slightly toward that region. The one she showed off had options appealing to those who love Latin music, “while the version we sell in Asia, has options featuring Asian musical elements.”
In addition to onboard styles, the GW-8 allows for playback of MP3, WAV, AIFF, or SMF files directly from USB flash memory for accompanying backing tracks. The GW-8 can also be constantly refreshed with new songs and styles via USB/flash memory. The keyboard offers an infrared D Beam, a pitch-bend/modulation lever, and a pair of control knobs for real-time expression. An extra large backlit LCD screen will appeal to those playing on dark stages and in dimly lit studios.
Roland is expecting big things out of its RG-1 Digital Piano this year. Striving for the look and feel of a real high-end grand piano but with a much smaller foot print, Whiting demonstrated the PHA II “Ivory Feel” keyboard with escapement, which absorbs moisture to replicate the secure, slip-proof feel of ivory keys. The escapement reproduces the characteristic “click feel” of a grand piano that so often eludes other instruments. The RG-1 also yields a heavier touch in the lower range and lighter touch in the upper, and provides lighter resistance for pianissimo passages and stronger resistance for fortissimo. Flexible file compatibility enables playback of .WAV files and standard MIDI files for accompanying solo performances or practice, and it also boasts an impressive built-in stereo speaker system.
Product and marketing specialist David Garza was around to show off the new RMP-12 marching percussion instrument. “You can mount it or march with it,” he said. “It has 128 sounds, and you can make it have different sounds on the head and the rims.” Less anyone think that an electronic drum would get snubbed by the storied tradition that is marching band, Garza was quick to point out that Drum Corp International (DCI) just gave the RMP-12 its seal of approval.
Garza said that this new drum is the latest addition to the Rhythm Coach line of products that offers versatility for practice and performance applications. It’s the world’s first electronic marching percussion instrument to incorporate Roland’s patented multi-layer mesh head technology, allowing drummers to practice longer with less stress and fatigue. The battery-powered RMP-12 is lightweight and portable, and can easily attach to standard marching carriers or concert snare stands.
“This drum is especially popular with winter guards,” he added.
“This recorder has a 32 gig card, which means it can record for 22 days straight,” said Edirol by Roland’s product marketing manager Michael Barrett. “And it comes with a remote control, which means you can set it up on the other side of the club, and control it from the band stand up to 50 feet away.” He added that when recording with the R-09HR, there’s no extra gear to buy or cables to connect. In addition to newly developed Isolated Adaptive Recording Circuit (I.A.R.C.), a pro-quality stereo microphone is built into the unit, complete with a dedicated analog input control, low-cut filter, limiter/AGC (Auto Gain Control), and gain boost. The onboard electret condenser microphone elements are compact, sensitive, and placed to capture three-dimensional sound naturally and accurately.