How Roland Celebrates 50 Years of Electronic Music

In 2022, the pioneering electronic music company Roland celebrates its 50th anniversary. And to celebrate 50 years at the forefront of this field, Roland launched a dedicated website and teased many new products launched throughout the year.

Roland launches a dedicated website for its 50th anniversary


The first Roland products from 1972
Image credit: Roland.com

Roland At 50 is a comprehensive look back at the company’s history, its best-known products and the artists who use them today. From drum machines to samplers and synthesizers, the site takes us from the 70s and 80s to current Roland innovations.

Founded by Ikutaro Kakehashi in Osaka, Japan in 1972, Roland was designed for the people; hobbyists who couldn’t necessarily afford an Arp or Moog synthesizer.

His first official product was a rhythm machine, the Rhythm 77. Based on the R1 Rhythm Ace, Kakehashi’s previous invention at his later company Ace Electronic Industries, the Rhythm 77 paved the way for the iconic Roland TR series. Thus began the story of Roland.

What Roland has planned for 2022

As fun as nostalgia is, it’s more interesting (and useful) to look at the present and the future, so here’s what Roland has planned for 2022 to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The Roland Aerophone AE-20

Based on the Aerophone Pro, the Aerophone AE-20 is a compact wind instrument synthesizer. It has presets for woodwinds, strings, brass, and synthesizer that are all accessible with a single button.

The AE-20 uses the same synthesizer engine as the Roland FANTOM and JUPITER-X synthesizers, the ZEN-Core Synthesis System, which makes its sounds transferable to multiple Roland instruments.

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The Roland Aerophone AE-20
Image credit: Roland.com

Roland and live streaming

January 2022 was a prolific month for Roland as the company announced numerous contributions to live streaming technology.

The AeroCaster Wireless Multi-Camera System includes a hardware control surface and interface, the Roland AeroCaster Switch app for iPadOS, and the Roland AeroCaster Camera app for iOS and Android. With the Roland AeroCaster system, you can stream directly to YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Live.

Roland also introduced its UVC-02 Web Presentation Dock, a portable hub that can connect via HDMI to any pro-level camera and microphone, making web presentations neater and easier to put together. All you need is a USB cable to send your audio and video footage to any video meeting or streaming platform.

In conjunction with the UVC-02 Web Presentation Dock and AeroCaster system, Roland has unveiled a new microphone designed for live streaming. The CGM-30 gooseneck microphone plugs directly into the UVC-02 web presentation dock via an XLR cable, making it easier than ever to capture crisp, clear sound for your live broadcasts and your video meetings.


Roland Aerocaster System
Image credit: Roland.com

The Roland JD-08 and JX-08 sound modules

Roland took the JD-800 synthesizer and repackaged its sounds and styling in the JD-08 for the ultimate foray into ’90s electronic music. In addition to the original waveform sounds of the JD-800, the Roland JD-08 features a two-part polyphonic sequencer, built-in effects, and full USB-C MIDI compatibility.

The Roland JX-08 takes us back to the 80s with the sounds of the Roland JX-8P synthesizer and the programming features of its companion programming unit, the PG-800. It features built-in effects, including the iconic Roland Juno 106 Chorus, additional polyphony with 20 voices more than the original, and full USB-C MIDI compatibility.

Related: The best USB MIDI controllers for musicians


Roland JD-08 and JX-08
Image credits: Roland JX-08 from Roland.com and Roland JD-08 from Roland.com

Roland Cloud Connect

Roland Cloud Connect gives you full access to a one-year subscription to Roland Cloud and its included sounds. The WC-1 adapter connects wirelessly to your mobile devices, allowing you to have thousands of classic Roland sounds available directly from your tablet or smartphone.

Roland Cloud Connect also includes unlimited expansion packs, which is great if you’re already a Roland Cloud member.

It is available on Android and iOS.


Connecting to the Roland cloud
Image credit: Roland.com

Roland looks to the past and the future

For 50 years, Roland has influenced not only electronic music technology, but its creation as well. As the world of electronic music continues to open its arms to independent artists and beginners with affordable software and instruments, Roland remains a cornerstone of this exciting new era.


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