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Enjoy a 360º Tour of Roland’s Private Museum in Japan

Are you a gear fanatic that salivates at the site of classic Roland hardware?

If the answer is yes, or you’re just curious to see what 28 years of Roland gear history looks like in one room, you’ve come to the right place! Instead of traveling all the way to Japan, you can now enjoy unobstructed 360º vies inside Roland’s private museum in Hamamatsu.

The tour is split into sections, with the guide walking the viewer through an impressive range of Roland products released between 1972 and 2000. The tour includes synthesizers, drum machines, classic pianos and anything else Roland released during that time period.

Tech-heads rejoice, press play and ensure you’re watching this on full screen:

 

 

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Jam Out on the Free 303-Inspired Digital Acid Machine

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 3.24.34 PMBehold, a free online beta program called the “acid machine.” This nifty program created by Liverpool-based web development and sound design group Errozero comes equipped with two synthesizers, a drum machine, and a sequencer. There goes hours upon hours of mindless entertainment producing acid tracks with sounds inspired by the original Roland TB-303. Read more

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Thick Analog Tones From Roland’s New System-500

We first got wind of Roland’s System-1M modular synth at this year’s Musikmesse, and even saw some demo prototypes of the System5500, but we haven’t heard anything about the latter until now. Roland is notorious for slowly teasing us with details regarding upcoming gear releases, so it’s definitely been a long time coming. Based on the iconic System-100M, the brand new 500 series has received a major overhaul, fitting in a sleek and sexy Eurorack format. However, while the AIRA series (including TR-8 and System-100M) are digitally modelled on analog gear, the 500 series is, in fact, fully analog. For the initial launch, we’re looking at five modules, including the 512 dual VCO, 521 dual VCF, 530 dual VCA, 540 Envelope/LFO, and 572 Phase shifter/Delay/LFO. It’s a lot of gear, but the tones you can get from a proper analog modular system are truly unreal. Scroll down for detailed explanations of each module.

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System-500 512

For starters, we have the 512 dual VCO; as the name tells us, consists of two voltage-controlled oscilators, each of which can be set to pulse, triangle, and sawtooth waveforms. Pulse width can be manipulated by panel control or even CV modulation. The oscillators’ frequencies can also be synced with each other in one of two modes (weak or strong) to acheive a classic ‘sync’ sound.

For full specs and more info, visit the 512 product page.

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System-500 521

Second in the series is the 521 dual VCF module, featuring two separate low-pass filters, each with its own frequency cutoff and resonance controls. Each filter also includes a high-pass filter with a fixed frequency (although there are two switchable cutoff points)

For full specs and more info, visit the 521 product page.

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System-500 530

The 530 dual VCA module handles the amplification in your signal chain; each amp mixes three audio sources, and each source has three CV controls available. Finally, the 530 has an enormously useful switch to select between linear and exponential response settings.

Amplification duties are taken care of with the 530 dual VCA module, with each amp mixing three audio signals and three CV controls for each signal. The 530 also features a selector switch for linear or exponential response modes.

For full specs and more info, visit the 530 product page.

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System-500 540

The 540 is the next step in the signal chain, featuring a dual envelope generator and LFO, featuring two independent sets of ADSR controls. The sections can be triggered internally, externally, or even manually (separately for each envelope), and the output can even be inverted.

For full specs and more info, visit the 540 product page.

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System-500 572

Last, but certainly not least, we arrive at the 572, which features a five-stage phase shifter, analog delay, a control voltage gate decay, and an LFO. The phase shifter includes frequency and resonance controls, and the delay section allows you to set the delay time and feedback. Both the delay and phase shifter allow for modulation via the internal LFO or even external CV signals. Finally, the unit features dry/wet controls, which can be controlled on the front panel, or, (you guessed it) CV control.

For full specs and more info, visit the 572 product page.

 

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SYR-E84 Eurorack Case

Now that we’ve gone over all five module units, it’s important to remember that we’re going to need a nice rack to put them in. Well, I suppose you could have them sprawled out across the room, but what fun is that? The best option seems to be the SYR-E84 Eurorack case, a rugged and portable rack with a high-current power supply. Although it’s truly perfect for mobile producers or live electronic music performers, we’re fairly certain that SYR-E84 find its way into the hands of producers of all ability levels.

From more information and full specifications on the SYR-E84 check out the product page.

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Roland AIRA Modular System Announcement

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Roland has seen much success in recent years with the release of their AIRA series, which includes a vocal transformer along with digital reissues of the System-1 Modular, TB-303, TR-808, and TR-909, named AIRA System-1, TB-3 and the TR-8 (the latter of which fuses the 808 and 909). Due to the success of the AIRA product line, there has been much speculation about a new addition to the series. Earlier this week Roland vaguely confirmed the speculation, posting the image above on the AIRA mini-site with the caption “Get Patching”.

The image featured on Roland’s site shows a patchbay, so it’s clear that this release will be a modular unit of some sort. The layout is similar to the System-1, although it is uncertain whether this is just a modular version of the same circuitry, or an entirely new machine altogether. We see four modules in the image and can only make wild speculations.

Roland will be officially announcing more details at the Musikmesse Fair in Frankfurt next weekend. Until then, check out some Roland related videos below. We’ve included a video of A Guy Called Gerald jamming with Roland Gear, our exclusive interview with Kink in the Roland booth at NAMM 2015, as well as a throwback to the old Roland System 700 and 100m.