NAMM 2019: Roland New Products for Winter NAMM 2019

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Sparkle Clean Tone Capsule for the Blues Cube Guitar Amplifier Series
The ultimate transparent tube voice, designed in collaboration with guitar legend Jeff “Skunk” Baxter

Roland (Exhibit 10702, Hall A) announces the Blues Cube Sparkle Clean Tone Capsule, bringing yet another premium voice to the Blues Cube guitar amplifier series. Designed in collaboration with renowned guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, this user-installable Tone Capsule delivers a versatile range of transparent clean tones with punch, presence, and clarity. The core voicing is based around the KT66, a vintage British output tube noted for its full sound, high headroom, and dynamic feel. A Blues Cube amplifier with the Sparkle Clean Tone Capsule installed delivers a richly expressive clean voice that’s ideal for pop, country, and jazz styles, pedal steel players, and any guitarist who shapes their sound with stompbox pedals. 

Roland’s groundbreaking Blues Cube amplifiers feature the comprehensive Tube Logic approach, which fully captures the highly musical sound and inspiring feel of classic tube guitar amps. One of the many benefits of Tube Logic is the ability to instantly change the amplifier’s voicing via a Tone Capsule socket on the chassis. The Sparkle Clean Tone Capsule is the latest member of a growing lineup that includes Tone Capsules developed with Eric Johnson, Robben Ford, Oz Noy, and Kirk Fletcher.

“Blues Cube amplifiers are revolutionary, and the Tone Capsule concept is brilliant,” stated Jeff “Skunk” Baxter. “I’ve been working with Roland for over 40 years, and they’ve unlocked the secret to creating a guitar amplifier with superb features, extraordinary capabilities, and unmatched tone. Instead of spending hours modifying and tailoring the electronics to get the sound, features, and performance I need, all I have to do is plug in my Tone Capsule and the amp is instantly customized exactly the way I want it. I have been waiting for a guitar amplifier like this for a long, long time.”

The Sparkle Clean Tone Capsule is compatible with the Blues Cube Artist, Artist212, Stage, and Tour amplifier models.

The Roland Blues Cube Sparkle Clean Tone Capsule will be available TBA with U.S. pricing of $149.99.


Roland Blues Cube Sparkle Clean Tone Capsule

TM-1 Trigger Module
Compact and affordable floor-based module makes it easy for any drummer to start their hybrid journey

Roland (Exhibit 10702, Hall A) introduces the TM-1 Trigger Module, the latest addition to the company’s leading lineup of hybrid drumming products. Today’s professional drummers commonly use hybrid setups that add electronic elements to their acoustic drum kits. But for players who are new to hybrid drumming, getting started can seem a little daunting. Compact and very easy to operate, the TM-1 offers a simple solution for first-time users, allowing them to bring hybrid power to their acoustic drum kit with zero hassle.

Modern music styles often feature signature drum sounds created with studio processing, as well as electronic drum/percussion tracks and looped grooves that cannot be replicated with an acoustic kit. And sometimes it’s just not possible for a player to bring every drum or percussion instrument they want to a gig. The TM-1 provides instant access to all these sounds, so drummers can tackle any musical scenario with ease. It features 15 ready-to-play kits with two instruments in each, and the onboard kits include various kick and snare combinations, and even synth loops.

Designed much like a floor-based guitar effect pedal, the TM-1 runs on batteries or AC power and fits nicely alongside other elements of an acoustic kit. Two dual-trigger inputs can accommodate up to four Roland trigger devices, while direct-access control knobs and two footswitches make operation a breeze.

Another advantage of a hybrid drum setup is the ability to choose and customize sounds for an entire setlist, so each song gets the perfect drum sound. With the TM-1 editor app for Mac/Windows computers and iOS/Android devices, it’s possible to import original audio samples, assign sounds to each trigger pad, and quickly customize sounds in numerous ways. And with convenient editing from a smartphone, there’s no need to bring a laptop to the gig for last-minute tweaks.

The TM-1 is compatible with a variety of Roland trigger devices, including the BT-1 Bar Trigger Pad, RT-series acoustic drum triggers, V-Pads, and others.

The Roland TM-1 Trigger Module will be available February 2019 with U.S. pricing of $159.99.

AX-Edge Keytar

Step into the spotlight with a unique mobile performance synth featuring pro sounds, customizable looks, and more

Roland (Exhibit 10702, Hall A) is displaying the AX-Edge Keytar, a performance synthesizer designed to be played in a standing position with a shoulder strap. The AX-Edge features 49 full-sized keys and a professional sound set crafted specifically for keytarists. It offers a sleek, modern design with the unique ability to interchange Edge Blades and customize the instrument’s look. Compact and battery operated, the AX-Edge enables performing keyboardists to take center stage and put their music in the spotlight.

Roland’s AX-Edge models are available in black or white finishes, and the black model features an all-black keyboard for a dark, sophisticated appearance. Each AX-Edge model comes with an extra Edge Blade in the box (a silver Edge Blade for the black model and a gold Edge Blade for the white), allowing the player to create a fresh look that complements their personal performance style.

Optimized for stage performance, the powerful AX-Edge features Roland’s latest sound technologies and are designed to cut through even in loud bands. Dedicated buttons provide instant access to edgy leads, fat basses, and all types of sounds perfect for the performing keytarist.

Users can customize sounds by wirelessly connecting to the AX-Edge Editor app with Bluetooth® MIDI. Splits and layers take full advantage of the full-sized keyboard, along with stunning effects and studio-quality tone in any venue. A Tone Remain function allows players to switch sounds seamlessly without notes or effect tails being cut off prematurely.

Featuring highly intuitive neck controls, the AX-Edge offers maximum expression and there’s a modulation bar and pressure-sensitive pitch ribbon, easy-to-reach portamento, hold, octave, and program change buttons, and an array of assignable controls that can be tailored to any performance style.

Additionally, the AX-Edge is filled with stage features, including an innovative dual display system, arpeggiator, and onboard song player for handling backing duties. A built-in vocoder can be layered with internal sounds to create unique backing vocals or funky, retro lead parts.

The AX-Edge provides up to four full hours of mobile playing time (using rechargeable Ni-MH batteries). The instrument can also be powered via an AC adaptor.

The Roland AX-Edge is currently available with U.S. pricing of $999.99

Roland Pro AV’s VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer Lets Streaming Media Creators Engage in Real Time

 In our online world, audiences engage at a higher rate with live streamed video content and post more comments, compared to uploaded videos. With the Roland Pro AV (Exhibit 10702, Hall A) VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer, content creators can produce dynamic, multi-camera vlogcasts, podcasts, live streamed performances with amazing picture and sound that outperform and get better engagement than videos live streamed from just a mobile phone or static webcam.

Compact and portable, the VR-1HD has three HDMI inputs that each accept HD and computer video resolutions up to 1080p, avoiding compatibility issues. HDMI embedded audio from all sources can be mixed with the two studio-quality XLR microphone inputs and analog line input. Further, the VR-1HD is designed with dedicated controls and features that accommodate operation by talent during live broadcasting, a benefit that easily puts talent in their own director’s chair.

When editing video to post online or for playback during video streaming, the VR1-HD offers options for layering video along with high impact transitions. With Scene Switching, end-users can instantly switch between ‘scenes’ containing preset arrangements of layered sources in customizable inset windows. The VR-1HD can be connected to a computer via USB 3.0 for livecasting or recording.

The VR-1HD’s three Auto Switching Modes simplify talent-as-operator use for applications like live musician performance and live streamed vlogging. In the Video Follows Audio mode, cameras are switched based on who’s speaking into their microphone. With Beat Sync Switching, the VR-1HD will switch camera inputs based on musical tempo. In Auto Scan mode, the VR-1HD can be set to switch between sources either in order or randomly at a preset rate.

The VR-1HD also features an Auto Mixing function to balance sound levels. Audio sources can also be set to automatically change when video sources are switched by engaging the Audio Follows Video mode. The VR-1HD’s audio processing capabilities include equalizers, compressors, gates and reverbs, as well as Roland’s Voice Transformer technology for real-time effects ranging from gender transformation to radical stylized vocal character. Recorded sounds can be triggered by a button push to play back from USB memory.

Users can take advantage of preset sound effects, jingles and theme songs and more content assignable to Audio Effects buttons, to play during a video or performance. Streaming performances and presentations are also made easy by using USB 3.0 ports on the user’s computer. 

The Roland Pro AV VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer will be available in Q2 2019 with U.S. pricing of $1495.00.

VT-4 Voice Transformer

Compact and powerful vocal effects processor for singers, DJs, electronic musicians, and web broadcasters

Roland (Exhibit 10702, Hall A) is displaying the VT-4 Voice Transformer, a powerful effects processor for manipulating the human voice. Compact and easy to use, the VT-4 allows the user to connect a microphone and quickly craft unique vocal sounds with performance-oriented controls. Harmony, vocoding, pitch shifting, hard tuning, ambience, and other high-quality effects are available, providing everything from subtle augmentation to radical transformation. Battery-powered and ready to travel, the VT-4 is perfect for singers, DJs, web broadcasters, and all those who use their voice in a creative application.

Today’s musical styles use unusual vocal sounds with heavy processing, making them stand out and grab the listener’s attention. The VT-4 puts a wealth of modern and retro vocal effects at the user’s fingertips, eliminating the need to employ a complicated setup with a computer and plug-ins.

The VT-4 features an intuitive interface for instant creative control. Users can manipulate their sound in real-time constantly altering the effect to suit the track and enhance the performance. Direct control over both pitch and format instantly transforms a vocal persona with male/female gender characteristics, electronic timbres, robot voices, and more.

Achieving complex vocal effects with the VT-4 is easy, and multiple effects can be used at the same time. Each effect has a selection of one-touch variations for quick access to different vocoder characteristics, lo-fi effects, multi-part harmonies, and distinct kinds of reverb and delay. Users can chain effects, set the controls how they like, and save their setups in preset buttons for later recall.

Plugging in a MIDI keyboard to the VT-4, unlocks more expressive possibilities, allowing users to guide the Auto-Pitch, harmony, and vocoder engines with notes and chords. This makes it possible to hard-tune the vocal input to specific pitches, play keyboard leads with a funky vocoded flavor, and create multi-part backing vocal stacks on the fly. Plus, the VT-4’s compact footprint sits neatly on most keyboards. Additionally, the VT-4 is a powerful tool for bringing humor, drama, and variety to spoken-word applications. Offering simple controls and USB-audio capabilities, it’s uniquely suited to altering voices for YouTube broadcasts, Twitch and Facebook streams, podcasts, and more.

The Roland VT-4 Voice Transformer is currently available with U.S. pricing of $229.99.

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