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Microphone Month 5

Roland D-Beam sensitivity

“I’m having a problem with the D-Beam on my (Roland) HandSonic (HPD-15). It seems like the sensitivity changes when I play it in different places. What causes this?”

It is very possible that the sensitivity of the D-Beam on your HPD-15 – that cool hand percussion instrument from Roland – is changing from gig to gig, or in different environments. Remember that a D-Beam (which you can find on many of Roland’s current crop of synths and groove machines) is an infrared beam that interacts with the distance between your hand (or any solid object) and the instrument itself. Due to the nature of infrared sensors, the sensitivity of the D-Beam will be less in a dark environment than in a well lit one. With this in mind, Roland has made it possible to adjust the sensitivity of the D-Beam. So, when you’ve arrived at your gig, make sure you have a few minutes to test it and make sure it fits your playing style. Here is the procedure to adjust the sensitivity:

1. Press [SYSTEM] on the front panel. [SYSTEM] will light up.
2. Press [PARAMETER (arrow right)] and you’ll see the “DBEAM Sens” screen.
3. Place your hand about 12″(in a dark environment) and 20″ (in a light environment) above the D-Beam and turn the [PATCH/VALUE] wheel to adjust the sensitivity. Move the meter at the upper right of the screen to the center line. The D-Beam will now respond as far as the position where your hand was when you made this adjustment.

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