On September 9, Roland held a 24-hour worldwide event to announce more than 30 new products, ranging from digital pianos and synths to DJ gear, amps, and effects. The date was chosen for its relationship to the vintage TR-909 drum machine, so it was no surprise to see new products branded with that classic number—the Boutique series TR-09 drum machine, the TT-99 3-speed, direct-drive turntable, and the DJ-99 mixer.
VP-03 In addition to the TR-09, other Boutique Series products announced that day include the TB-03, which is based on the look and features on the legendary TB-303, and the VP-03 vocoder, inspired by the VP-330 Vocoder Plus. In addition to having an XLR input (with included gooseneck mic), The VP-03 has a Voice Step Sequencer and 16 Chord Memory setups.
System-8 Synth players were excited to see and hear the System-8, Roland’s latest AIRA-branded product and a formidable virtual-analog keyboard instrument. Of course, a major feature of the System-8 is its ability to load emulations of the Jupiter-8 (included), Juno-106 and JX-3P by utilizing the company’s Plug Out technology. The synth also includes a TRstyle step sequencer and integrated effects.
GP-607FR-4X A quartet of new digital pianos were unveiled—the GP607, DP603, FP-90, and RP501R—all of which include Roland’s SuperNATURAL piano-modeling technology and offer programmable splits and layers, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and the ability to play audio tracks from a USB flash drive. The GP607 mini-grand has an integrated 4.1-channel speaker system.
Accordion players were excited to see two new V-Accordion models—the FR-4x (with a standard keyboard) and FR-4xB (with a button layout). These are lighter weight and more compact than the company’s flagship V-Accordion, the FR-8x, and they have a sound engine derived from the larger model. The sound bank not only includes traditional accordion sounds but provides organs, orchestral instrument voices, and drums. Built-in speakers, battery powered operation, and USB song playback fill out the feature set.