Coming from the same place as the very warmly received Roland Boutique range of synths comes a quite extraordinary little controller keyboard. It looks a little sedate and a little small with those mini-sized keys but the knobs and display are nicely laid out. What makes this interesting is what you can connect it to. You can control MIDI gear from the MIDI port, you can record into your DAW via the USB, you can take over iPad synth apps via the built-in Bluetooth MIDI interface and then you can leap into your modular analogue collection over CV/Gate. So you’ve got everything covered – everything? Almost, but not quite. Inside is a pocket synthesizer with an 8-bit CPU sound engine developed by the engineer behind the JX-3P, and to finish it off there’s a 16-step sequencer to get you creating in the box. On the controller itself you’ve got dual ribbon controllers assignable to anything you like and an LCD display keeping you in the loop as to what you’re controlling. The K-25m keyboard is actually optional and is the same one you can use with the other Boutique synths. Rounding it all off is the in-built 0.5W speaker and it can all run on batteries. Like I say it’s quite an extraordinary little controller.
Here’s some key features from Roland’s website:
- Ultra-compact controller and sound generator
- Highly portable for mobile music making
- High-quality construction with metal front panel
- Dual assignable ribbon controls for pitch bend, modulation, sound preview, CC, and more
- MIDI over Bluetooth®
- CV/GATE outputs for legacy analog/modular synthesizers
- Battery-operated (4 x AA) or USB bus-powered
- 192×40 graphic LCD screen
- Built-in 0.5 W mini-speaker for real-time sounds
- Compatible with optional Roland K-25m mini-keyboard
- Bundled package with K-25m keyboard dock (A-01K) is also available
Pricing and availability to be announced.
More information: http://www.rolandus.com/products/a-01/