Details from Roland on SH-01 Synth, AX-09 Shoulder Keyboard

Among the highlights of the product releases last week, Roland has a new virtual analog synth (the SH-01) and shoulder keyboard (AX-09) that look friendly and relatively affordable (especially once you account for street price, not list). They have that convergence of certain selling points that I think will make them popular – maybe not with everyone, but with enough people that you may soon be seeing them around. And that makes them worth a little further research. I got to have a long conversation with Vince LaDuca of Roland US about the new gear, so we could answer some …

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Roland Gets the Fun Back? Cheaper, Smaller Shoulder “Keytar” Keyboard, AX-09

Roland’s Messe show announcements include two releases that caught my eye. I’ll be honest: some of Roland’s recent gear, while it sells really well, just doesn’t reach me emotionally. But these new announcements strike me as having two key ingredients: afford ability and that elusive fun factor. There’s a (mercifully) cheaper, more compact shoulder-mounted keyboard, plus a synth that looks to distill some of the best spirit of Roland’s recent (and previous designs.) This is just a preview, but let’s at least say they’re on my “worth reviewing” list. First up: exhibit A, the AX-09. Laugh as you may at …

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