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Hands On Review: Roland Integra-7

Roland has rocked the synth/keyboard world over and over again with their many innovations, from the original analog Jupiter to the digital D-50, from the JV-1080 (and all of its expansion cards) to the recent Jupiter-80 — not to mention their incredible digital pianos. And let’s not forget their industry-leading electronic drum kits. Imagine how cool it would be to have the full range of Roland’s synth, drum, and keyboard sounds in your studio or live rig.

As nice as that would be, not many of us could achieve it — if nothing else, finding and maintaining those vintage Roland synths is a difficult proposition. But there is another alternative: the all-new Integra-7. The Integra-7 is a 2-space rack module that is a virtual library of all things Roland, with a stupefying selection of 6,000 onboard sounds. Need TR-808 or TR-909 sounds? In there. A gorgeous grand piano or an electric piano? In there. Vintage and modern analog and digital synths? In there. Orchestra strings? Ethnic instruments? Guitars? Brass? Acoustic drums? Special effects? Yep, all in there!

The Integra-7 offers 16 parts, each with its own EQ and multi-effects, 24-bit/96kHz sound quality, and loads more. Put it this way: it’s no problem to create a full band, an ensemble, or an orchestral arrangement using the Integra-7. Also included is Motional Surround, derived from Roland’s proprietary RSS processing, which provides 360-degree placement of each part — either in stereo or true 5.1 surround!

The Integra-7 is not lacking in the I/O department, either. There are four sets of stereo outputs, including a pair of balanced XLR outputs and a digital output. A USB connection allows you to stream 24-bit/96kHz digital audio directly to a computer, and it also gives you MIDI control.

You can wirelessly control the Integra-7 using your iPad and Roland’s free Integra-7 Editor app. The Integra-7 Editor app gives you complete control over the Integra-7, as well as the attractive full-screen user interface that makes operating the unit super intuitive.

It’s hard not to rave about the Integra-7. The power of this synth borders on the ludicrous. If you can have only one synth to cover all your sonic needs, this is it. If you’re looking to expand your palette, this is it. If you love creating sounds and textures, this is it. If you love acoustic instruments, this is it. The list goes on and on, but so does the capability of the Integra-7. Sorry, Roland, I won’t be returning the review unit. It’s staying right here with me!

Mitch Gallagher

About Mitch Gallagher

Sweetwater Editorial Director, Mitch Gallagher, is one of the leading music/pro audio/audio recording authorities in the world. The former senior technical editor of Keyboard magazine and former editor-in-chief of EQ magazine, Gallagher has published thousands of articles, is the author of seven books and one instructional DVD, and appears in well over 500 videos on YouTube. He teaches audio recording and music business at Purdue University/Indiana University, and has appeared at festivals, conventions, and conferences around the world.
Read more articles by Mitch »

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  • Roland Integra-7 Synthesizer Module
    Roland Integra-7 Synthesizer Module 16-part Sound Module with SuperNATURAL Engine, Behavior Modeling, 6,000+ Sounds, Dedicated FX Engines for Each Part, and Pre-loaded 8GB Thumb Drive Roland's INTEGRA-7 SuperNATURAL Sound Module gives you immense creative power, both live and in the studio. INTEGRA-7 fortifies your keyboard rig with a colossal cornucopia of...
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