An electronic Cajon, a new amp and the release of a classic, sought after pedal…
Ahead of NAMM 2016 we take a look at the great new products coming from our friends at Roland. Including a great range of Midi Controllers, guitar pedals, amplifiers, an electric Cajon drum and a very special digital piano.
A-01 MIDI Controller and Sound Generator
Choosing the right controller for your music production set up is a daunting task for any musician, given the huge amount of choice available. However, Roland once again show that they are right at the front of the pack when it comes to creating products that just work well, and take into account the needs of the musician. The A-01 Controller and sound generator is a one stop solution for those who want to be able to make music on the go at home, backstage or on the plane, thanks to smartphone and tablet connectivity. But don’t be fooled by its small demeanour – the A01 Boutique MIDI Controller and Sound Generator can allow you to control your home studio set up or let you create music from scratch. Battery-operated by (4 x AA) or USB bus-powered, a built in 0.5 W mini speaker as well as CV/GATE outputs for legacy analogue/modular synthesizers and A 16-step sequencer is also included. The perfect addition for any setup in need of a highly portable option to catch inspiration when it strikes. It can bridge your analogue and digital gear and it’s also an 8 bit lofi synth too! Brilliant.
Blues Cube Hot Guitar Amplifier
From home practice sessions to the stage, the Roland Blues Cube Hot Guitar Amplifier offers 30 watts of power through a custom 12-inch speaker delivering that signature Roland Tube Logic design. It’s that tube tone you want without the weight or the nightmare of having to change valves on a regular basis. The Blues Cube Hot offers preamp and output tube distortion characteristics at all levels. Clean tones to serious overdrive are easily dialled in from a single knob and a footswitch jack allows for remote control of those boost and tone functions you need. Roland have also included USB connectivity providing a simple solution for guitarists who want to capture those record-ready tones on their computer.
EC-10 EL Cajon
Roland’s commitment to forward thinking and innovation has seen the revered brand produce an acoustic Cajon with a difference – a wide variety of built in electronic sounds. Cajon players can now benefit from Roland’s renowned electronic percussion technology and blend in traditional percussion sounds digitally such as a shaker, tambourine and a variety of electronic drums and sound effects with the EC-10 EL Cajon. The Integrated amplifier and coaxial speaker means you can complement your acoustic sounds with 30 built in electronic kits and with just 6 X AA batteries it runs for 12 hours for true portability. It’s a traditional Cajon – but from the future!
BOSS ES-5 Effects Switching System
For fans of the flagship ES-8 who struggled to fit the pedalboard system on their own rig, your prayers have been answered. The BOSS ES-5 is a scaled down and highly affordable alternative to the ES-8 but just as useful. This is no cheap imitation – it’s the essential features of the ES-8 wrapped up in a more compact housing. Recall complex effects combinations at the touch of a button without having to commit to a huge pedalboard. Send tap tempo, store 200 patch memories and switch amp channels effortlessly.
FP-30 Digital Piano
Roland have created a high-end piano perfect for live performances and studio use but with a focus on portability. The FP-30 Digital piano is a professional level piano that is ideal for piano students, touring musicians and those who want a top quality 88-note instrument without having to dedicate an entire room to a piano – not that there’s anything wrong with that of course! A great feature comes in the form of the Twin Piano mode, which allows student and teacher to play side by side in the same octave ranges – perfect for music teachers! With Bluetooth technology for connecting your piano to the likes of Garageband, piaScore, Sheet Music Direct, and many others as well as a range of great sounds the FP-30 digital piano is perfect for piano players of all ages and skill levels and can offer an amazing opportunity for those who produce their own music.
Waza Craft VB-2W Vibrato
When BOSS release a new pedal, everyone gets excited – it’s understandable! But when BOSS re-release a pedal that was previously discontinued – well, you can imagine the excitement… one might say it goes into “overdrive” (bad pun). Guitarists of the world rejoice; BOSS have announced the release of the Waza Craft VB-2W Vibrato Pedal. For those who have been on the search for a vintage BOSS VB-2 Vibrato circa 1982-1986 (and considering re-mortgaging their home to afford to pay for one) this pedal is for you. By faithfully reproducing the BBD-driven analogue tone of the VB-2, the Waza Craft VB-2W gives you that coveted vibrato sound whilst offering a variety of new features including a jack ready for an expression pedal. No longer will you have to trawl eBay for a battered version of the VB-2 now that the BOSS Waza Craft VB-2W is here. Get that Vibrato sound you’re looking for now!
Lee Glynn is a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who lives in Liverpool, England. After moving to the UK from Perth, Australia, Lee enjoyed a successful career as guitarist in Liverpool based rock band Sound of Guns. After releasing two albums, a myriad of EPs / singles and touring extensively around the world for 6 years including stops at Glastonbury, Latitude Festival, as well as the coveted Reading & Leeds Festivals, Lee decided it was a time for a change of scenery.