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Roland: Roots in Electronic Instruments

From synthesizers and electronic drum kits to audio interfaces, mixing consoles, and instrument amplifiers, Roland has been providing musicians and recording engineers with musical tools since the mid-'70s. The heritage actually goes back even further: Ikutaro Kakehashi founded Ace Electronic Industries in 1960, producing a range of combo organs, guitar amps, and effects pedals. He was also contracted by Hammond Organ Co. to produce rhythm machines for their home organs. Kakehashi severed ties with both companies and founded Roland in 1972.

Modern Sounds for Modern Music

Even though Roland released their first synthesizer (the SH-1000) in 1973, it was the 1980s that would firmly position them in the world of electronic music technology. Now-iconic instruments like the TR-808 and TR-909 rhythm machines, the TB-303 bassline synthesizer, the JUPITER-8 and JX-3P analog synthesizers, and the D-50 digital synthesizer would all play a big part in shaping the sound of the '80s. In the '90s, Detroit techno and rave culture inspired a whole new generation of electronic musicians in the USA to re-discover the potential of these instruments. Fast forward to today, with a wide range of new instruments plus re-creations of the classics, and it's clear that Roland has influenced virtually every genre of electronic music.

Innovations for Musicians of All Types

Roland's mastery of electronic music equipment extends well beyond synths and drum machines. Their first electronic piano, the EP-30 from 1974, was the world's first such instrument with a touch-sensitive keyboard. Advancements like adding escapement to their premium piano keybeds gives their modern instruments expressiveness and playability that please discerning players. And Roland's SuperNATURAL sound engine offers realistic and lifelike instrument sounds across a wide range of their products, from their home digital pianos and synthesizers all the way to electronic drums and even accordions. All along the way, Roland also created iconic guitar and bass equipment ranging from instruments to effects pedals to amplifiers.

Tools That Transcend Genres

Some of Roland's early creations like the CE-1 Chorus Ensemble pedal, the RE-201 Space Echo, and the JV-80 synthesizer are highly sought after by vintage enthusiasts. Other player favorites like the JC-120 Jazz Chorus combo amplifier have remained in production for decades. This not only reflects the consistent quality of Roland instruments, it also speaks to their ability to rise above trends and create instruments that remain musically relevant for years.

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Questions about Roland products?

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Questions about Roland products?

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