As usual, Roland released more cool new products per square inch than just about any other exhibitor at the show; a few of the highlights:
- V-drums: Roland's latest foray into the world of COSM has produced an absolutely stunning electronic drum system. We were blown away at the realistic tones and quality of the module and accompanying pads. It'll even do totally convincing brushes! List for the sound module will be $1895, a complete drum pad package (with stand and module) will also be available.
- VS-880 XPANDED: The new version 2 software, and a 1gb hard drive really have enhanced this already state-of-the-art unit. Complete automation, full MIDI control, new effects, enhanced disk drive functions, tempo maps, even more editing, and check this out: Roland has incorporated COSM into the VS-880! The new units feature a microphone simulator that can transform any mic into another. You might, for example, record tracks using Roland's affordable DR-10 or DR-20 dynamic mics ($95 and $150 respectively), then use the VS-880 to make those tracks sound like they were recorded using an expensive large diaphragm studio mic (we can't mention names, but you can probably guess the one we mean!). There are so many more new features in the unit, you really must check it out. VS-880 XPANDED lists for $2695, upgrades for existing units are priced at $125
- GR-30 ($895) is Roland's latest guitar synth, combining new sounds with a cool arpeggiator, and great tracking.
- The JP-8000 music synth is a throw-back to Roland's glorious analog synths, combining lots of knobs and control with modeled analog sounds, the JP-8000 ($2295) definitely fills the need for classic analog keyboard sounds.
- New to Roland's digital piano line is the RD-600 ($2495) with 64 note polyphony, hammer action, and more...
- VK-7 ($2495) is a new combo organ featuring Roland's "Virtual Tonewheel" technology for extremely convincing emulations of classic '60s and '70s organ sounds.
- JV-2080 builds on the successful JV-1080 by adding 4 more expansion slots - a total of 8 - for access to, get this: around 2,900 total patches when fully expanded. List price is $2095. Start cranking that patch select knob!!!
- New sounds: Roland introduced a new Bass and Drums Expansion Board for the JV and XP series ($475), as well as a module version called the M-BD1 ($695). With samples from players like Marcus Miller, Abraham Laboriel (Jr. and Sr.) and John Patitucci, you know it's hot! New to the L-CD series of sample CD-ROMs for the 700-Series samplers is Africa Vol. 2 ($195), a collection of hundreds of new samples and loops for your programming pleasure.
- New plug-ins were the buzz at the Sonic Foundry booth. Acoustics Modeler ($249) allows for the incorporation of extremely high quality modeled room acoustics into sound files. CD Architect ($395) writes Redbook audio direct to recordable CD. It has extensive support for PQ editing, as well as flexible playlist control.
- Tascam had their awesome new digital mixing board on display, and it looks to be the hot setup for those looking to seriously upgrade the quality of their studios. Priced at under $10,000, it offers pretty much everything you could possibly want or need in a mixing console, with full automation, and great sound quality. A great match for all the digital recorders in Tascam's extensive gear line up!
- The V5 tone wheel organ module ($899) is the newest in Voce's series of B3 simulators. It combines the latest in Digital Tonewheel technology with MIDI Drawbars for a compact, integrated electric organ package. The unit features controls for simulating virtually every aspect of a great vintage B3 tone, storable into user presets, and recallable from the front panel, or via MIDI. For great results, use the V5 with Voce's new Spin II rotary speaker simulator ($399). Spin II is a stomp box-style processor which faithfully recreates the sound of a rotating speaker cabinet. Full control over all parameters, easy footswitching, small footprint enclosure - tough to beat, and it won't break your back lugging it around! Spin II is also compatible with guitars and other instruments.
- Waves had a variety of very cool new software to show, including PAZ Psychoacoustic Analyzer ($550), and the new vintage sounding Renaissance Compressor ($550) plug-ins. TrackPac Pro ($150) is a new audio compression utility, and DLA is a FREE stereo delay bundled with several of Waves plug-ins. Waves also announced support for native processing from within Cakewalk 6.0, and for Microsoft ActiveMovie API.
There you have it, just a FEW of the new items on display in Los Angeles. Most of these products are scheduled to begin shipping in the second quarter of '97. Some are available now, and a few may be a ways off yet. Give us a call to find out more accurate arrival dates for these and other newly introduced products.
Finally, there's obviously not room for much detail here; if you have questions, or need further information, contact your Sweetwater Sales Engineer. They're all up to date on these products, and are ready to fill you in on all the juicy facts and figures.
Hey, maybe next year we can just take you with us, and save me having to type all this again!