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Roland MT-90U Review

The MT-90U makes learning songs both fun and easy.

I was intrigued by the unique nature of this product, which at first glance appears to be a portable boom box. However, beneath the surface lies a powerful teaching tool, which makes learning songs both fun and easy.

Setup was a snap! I just plugged in the included power supply and turned the unit on. I then downloaded some MIDI and MP3 files onto a USB key and connected it to the front port on the MT-90U. The system immediately recognized the drive and I was able to play back all my songs using a familiar interface a lot like a standard tape or CD player. The MIDI files played back, borrowing sounds from the high quality built in sound module and they sounded great. The MP3’s were faithfully reproduced by the small, yet powerful built in speaker.

Using the intuitive controls I was able to quickly locate a part in a song which I wanted to learn. The A/B loop function allows you to repeat a specific section of a song without the need to rewind. Once I had my loop going, I decided I really wanted to learn the part in a lower key, and by using the transpose feature, I quickly lowered the pitch by two semitones and started playing along. Once I was satisfied, I simply disengaged the loop function and the song began playing normally. I was really impressed by the ability to isolate instruments in MIDI tracks by simply muting the parts I didn’t want to hear. Another powerful feature is the ability to slow down MP3 and wav files without altering their pitch, which comes in handy when trying to figure out complicated parts.

All around I find the MT-90U to be a valuable asset to anyone teaching or learning music.

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