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How Roland Is Celebrating 50 Years of Electronic Music

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In 2022, the pioneering electronic music company Roland is celebrating its 50th anniversary. And to celebrate 50 years at the forefront of this field, Roland has launched a dedicated website and teased lots of new products launching through the year.

Roland Launches a Dedicated Website for Its 50th Anniversary

Roland's first products from 1972
Image Credit: Roland.com

Roland At 50 is a comprehensive look back at the company’s history, its best-known products, and the artists who use them today. From drum machines to samplers and synthesizers, the site takes us all the way from the 70s and 80s to Roland’s present-day innovations.

Founded by Ikutaro Kakehashi in Osaka, Japan in 1972, Roland was made for the people; hobbyists who couldn’t necessarily afford an Arp or Moog synthesizer.

Its first official product was a drum machine, the Rhythm 77. Based on the R1 Rhythm Ace, Kakehashi’s previous invention at his last company Ace Electronic Industries, the Rhythm 77 paved the way for the iconic Roland TR series. And so began the story of Roland.

What Roland Has Planned for 2022

As fun as nostalgia is, it’s more interesting (and useful) to look at the present and future, so here’s what Roland has planned for 2022 to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The Roland Aerophone AE-20

Based on the Aerophone Pro, the Aerophone AE-20 is a compact wind instrument synthesizer. It has woodwind, strings, brass, and synthesizer presets which are all accessible with one button.

The AE-20 uses the same synthesizer engine as the Roland FANTOM and JUPITER-X synthesizers, the ZEN-Core Synthesis System, making its sounds transferrable across multiple Roland instruments.

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The Roland Aerophone AE-20
Image Credit: Roland.com

Roland and Livestreaming

January 2022 was a prolific month for Roland, as the company announced numerous contributions to livestreaming technology.

The AeroCaster wireless multi-camera system includes a hardware control surface and interface, the Roland AeroCaster Switch app for iPadOS, and the Roland AeroCaster Camera app for iOS and Android. With the Roland AeroCaster system, you can stream directly to YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Live.

Roland also introduced its UVC-02 Web Presentation Dock, a portable hub which can connect via HDMI to any pro-level camera and microphone, making web presentations more polished and easier to put together. All you need is a USB cable to send your audio and video footage to any video meeting or streaming platform.

In conjunction with the UVC-02 Web Presentation Dock and the AeroCaster system, Roland unveiled a new microphone built for livestreaming. The CGM-30 gooseneck microphone plugs right into the UVC-02 Web Presentation Dock via XLR cable, making it easier than ever to capture crisp, clear audio for your livestreams and video meetings.

Roland Aerocaster system
Image Credit: Roland.com

The Roland JD-08 and JX-08 Sound Modules

Roland took the JD-800 synthesizer and repackaged its sounds and style into the JD-08 for the ultimate foray into 90s electronic music. In addition to the original JD-800 waveform sounds, the Roland JD-08 has a two-part polyphonic sequencer, built-in effects, and full USB-C MIDI compatibility.

The Roland JX-08 takes us back to the 80s with the sounds of the Roland JX-8P synthesizer and the programming features of its companion programming unit, the PG-800. It has built-in effects including the iconic Roland Juno 106 Chorus, additional polyphony with 20 more voices than the original, and full USB-C MIDI compatibility.

Related: The Best USB MIDI Controllers for Musicians

Roland JD-08 and JX-08
Image Credits: Roland JX-08 from Roland.com and Roland JD-08 from Roland.com

Roland Cloud Connect

Roland Cloud Connect gives you full access to a 1-year Roland Cloud membership and its included sounds. The WC-1 adaptor connects wirelessly to your mobile devices, so you can have thousands of classic Roland sounds available right from your tablet or smartphone.

Roland Cloud Connect also includes unlimited expansion packs, which is great if you’re already a Roland Cloud member.

It’s available on Android and iOS.

Roland Cloud connect
Image Credit: Roland.com

Roland Is Looking to the Past and Future

For 50 years, Roland has influenced not just technology in electronic music, but also its creation. As the electronic music world continues to open its arms to independent artists and beginners by offering affordable software and instruments, Roland remains a cornerstone of this exciting new era.


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