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New Electronic Instruments from Roland

Geary Yelton

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Roland has been tearing it up lately with product introductions, today announcing cool new synths and grooveboxes that should be of special interest to Synth and Software readers.

The next–generation Fantom synthesizer is a keyboard blending onboard production capabilities with extensive computer integration. Its expandable 16-part sound engine delivers multiple simultaneous synthesis technologies. With plenty of knobs and a large color touchscreen, it gives you tons of hands-on control, and its I/O complement supplies connections for three USB controllers, three stereo inputs, and 16 stereo outputs. Designed with seamless workflow in mind, the Fantom comes with a choice of 61-, 76-, and 88-note keyboards and should be available before the end this month.

The Jupiter-X is the latest in a long line of synths that began 41 years ago with the Jupiter-4.

Its new Zen-Core digital sound engine emulates classic keyboards and drum machines from throughout Roland’s history. Its arpeggiator harnesses artificial intelligence to generate patterns, beats, and phrases, and its five-part sound engine—four for synth and one for drums—lets you split between five different instruments. With all-metal construction and a 61-note keyboard, the Jupiter-X is designed for stage and studio use. It won’t ship until at least April, but the more portable, affordable Jupiter-Xm has a 37-note keyboard and will be available later this month.

Roland also announced two new grooveboxes, the MC-707 and MC-101.

Both are self-contained production platforms that also integrate well with computer-based environments. Like the Jupiter-X, they carry on a Roland tradition, this one beginning with the original MC-303 Groovebox in 1996. The MC-707 combines 8-track audio recording, sequencing, sampling, synthesis, and effects processing with loads of onboard timbres, loops, and phrases and a user interface with 16 velocity-sensitive pads. The smaller MC-101 features the same sounds, sequencing, and effects, but with 4-track audio recording and a smaller form factor that can run on batteries. Both grooveboxes will ship later in September.

For more information on these and other instruments, visit roland.com/us/.

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