March 2009 Archives


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Announced at NAMM Show and then in Tokyo, Roland's "V-Piano" is an outcome of a revolutionary technology in the history of the digital piano makings and it achieves an unprecedented importance at the core of Roland's business activities. The "V-Piano" has two different functions of "Vintage" and "Vanguard," developed with a completely new "living core" concept.

"Vintage" makes it capable of producing sounds of legendary vintage grand models, and "Vanguard" produces hybrid sounds never heard of before. V-Piano does not work on the sampled piano voices, but produces piano sounds by a completely new, virtual tone generation system which simulates and selects parameters of the hammer felt, configuration of the strings, and various touches of tunings.

Its "Vintage" function's fundamental parameter control consists of "Tuning,"  "Hammer," and "Cross Resonance," and simple operation of the buttons and dials and the use of graphic PC Editor, the instrument produces clear and delicate sounds of the vintage piano which amaze the listeners.  By changing the tuning of one string of the piano's set of three strings , it produces a honky-tonk sounds.

Its "Vanguard" function provides futuristic unheard-of sounds free from the physical limitations of the acoustic piano. With "Vanguard," the instrument helps simulate the sounds of three silver-bound strings with (simulated) heavier hammer strikes and a larger sized piano construction.





At Tokyo Announcement, Motokazu Shinoda, keyboard demonstrator, showed very smooth changes of tone colors by means of the touch strength on keys by "Vintage 1." Norio Maeda, jazz pianist/arranger, played in trio "One Note Samba" on the V-Piano. After the performance, he said, "A pianist always has to explain what sort of tonality he seeks to a tuning engineer. He really gets tired. With the V-Piano, adjustments can be made by himself. A pianist usually finds different physical conditions of himself. So, he can help make adjustments with this instrument himself."

When the reporter visited Mr.Ikutaro Kakehashi in Hamamatsu after the NAMM Show and Tokyo announcement, he stated, "We are getting very positive responses to the V-Piano. To us the movement of the instrument under derogatory current economic conditions is very encouraging."

He continued, "Just like the violin, the 300 or more years of history of the piano show the instrument's crystalization. The history tells the transactions of the piano making from Europe to America, to Japan, to Korea, and then China who is now the largest piano maker of the world. About ten years ago, we thought if we could not develop a piano which reaches the piano artist by itself instead of the artist trying to reach the instrument. Half of the idea of the V-Piano began that way."

At Tokyo Announcement, Mr. Kakehashi introduced the research-developers of the V-Piano one by one, and said, "In the past, we had our eyes on the field of the electronic instruments. But thinking that the musical instruments come half and half,  acoustic and electronic. We had not produced the instrument which could have been friendlier to those acoustic-minded users. We realized we should break through the wall between the acoustic and the electronic."

Roland has decided on the schedule of announcing the V-Piano in England, Germany, Belgium, Holland and France in March before Frankfurt Messe.


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In Japan, promotional campaigns for sales or otherwise called "Stamp Rally" are planned and done very often by various trade groups or local leagues of retailers. For instance, whole stores of various trades of a local city are united and issue a "Stamp" sheet to the customers who buy various things at these shops, getting each "Special Sign" stamped on their sheets. When a certain number of stamp marks is accumulated, the customer could receive a special discount rate or award at any of these stores when the planned campaign period is finished.

Now, the music store members of Hokkaido, the northest region of Japan, are planning a "Stamp Rally" to help increase music-making tracks of customers around or to any of the Hokkaido group of music stores.

They announced the "Rally" plan as follows:

Theme: The members of Hokkaido Musical Instrument Retailers Union unite in offering joy of music making under the title of "Travel with Music," to visit the music-making event programs various members of the Union will hold at each their local site during the campaign period.
Period: April 10, Friday - December 31, Thursday, 2009
Rules: The stamp and stamp pads are prepared at each store front of the member retailers. When a customer buys a good (over ¥100, tax included), the store stamps on the customer's stamp sheet. And then, the customers will receive, according to the number of the stamped marks, either one of A to D Award: A - the stamp marks of all member stores; B - more than 18 marks; C - more than 9 marks; D - more than 4 marks.
A (travel through all the member stores):  merchandise tickets worth more than ¥200,000 --  2 (persons)
B  (more than 18 places):  tickets worth more than ¥20,000  -- 10
C  (more than 9 places):  tickets worth more than ¥5,000 -- 40
D (more than 4 places): tickets worth more than ¥500 -- 400

The above Plan is carried in the March issue of Japan Music Trade magazine to help announce it to the music trades. The member retailers of Hokkaido Union will announce the program of each local event consecutively during the campaign period to the regional and local mass media to seek their help to widely advertise their programs.

Yamaha Disklavier E3- 22 models

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Uprights: Priced between ¥1,240,000 and ¥1,750,000 YSU1DKV/YUS1Wn-DKV/YUS1MhC-DKV/YUS3DKV/YUS3Wn-DKV/YUS3MhC-DKV/YUS5DKV/YUS5Wn-DKV/YUS5MhC-DKV

Grands: Priced between ¥2,180,000 and ¥15,480,000

Since introduction of  the first PianoPlayer incorporating automatic playing system in 1982, Yamaha explored its acoustic pianos adding silent system and combination of the two systems. To this day, a total of 210,000 units of the series have been distributed.

In the overseas markets, they are sold as Disklavier. While demands for home entertainments using automatic playing system are greater in foreign markets, these pianos with additional functions have found market largely in education in Japan. However, the situation is gradually changing today.
The entertainment oriented Disklavier E3 series come with new automatic playing system, and are distributed in the unified name of Disklavier in the world markets. The E3 stands for three Es of Easy, Enjoy and Elegant.

To enhance features of listening to piano music, they have high precision digital servo system which plays back music in much controlled tonal volume at home, the control unit providing high quality piano voices and backing tracks. The automatic playing function has greatly advanced with richer music contents including a CD containing a selection of 440 titles, direct Internet connection capability to enjoy BGM with use of streaming data, and USB ports to play MIDI music data.

Other features include Silent Sound System and simultaneous play back of automatic performance and video. When connected with the optional speaker system with built-in amplifier, they provide automatic performance with backings of full orchestra, symphonic band and music ensembles.
Yamaha also provides lease and rental programs for the E3 for installment at hotels and restaurants.
Further details are available from:

Kawai RX-3NEO, RX-2NEO Grand Pianos

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RX-3NEO 186cm, ¥2,000,000
RX-2NEO 178cm, ¥1,700,000

These key models of the Kawai grand piano meet the demands for advanced quality at reasonable price with additional value in every detail. They feature Italian soundboard made by E. Ciresa, and high quality Royal George hammer felt for greater resonance and broader tonal dynamics. The cabinet comes with a newly designed music rack, and a pedal guard plate.
Further details are available from:

Kawai L32 Digital Piano

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Kawai has remodeled the stylish L31 and La3 digital pianos into L32. Accommodated in a slim cabinet, it has 88-key stereo sampled piano voices and Advanced Hammer Action IV-F keyboard which promises natural playing feeling.

Much improved 4-speaker system, 3D effect and damper effect provide fully resonant and well dispersed piano sound.
The sophisticated cabinet features rounded details to give it a soothing look.

Rich educational functions include a total of 205 etudes, improved recording capability for up to 15,000 notes which is doubled from the conventional models, tempo change, single hand and 4 hand play capabilities.
Further information is available from:

Roland V-Piano

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Roland introduced another V product, V-Piano, which revolutionizes the history of digital piano. It's built with a completely new concept, which provides users any piano sound from legendary acoustic grand piano to futuristic types and even allows them customize their instrument by selecting various parameters of piano including hardness of the virtual hammer felts, string configurations and tunings.

The sound system of the V-Piano is based on similar voicing of traditional acoustic piano that starts from striking keys, hammers strike steel wires pinned on the frame, sound vibrations transferred from bridge to soundboard and generate fully resonant sound which also reflects various components of the piano and acoustic conditions of venues. Unlike sampled sound of conventional digital pianos, Roland's digital signal processing technology realizes rich piano sound with feedback of strings, hammers, soundboard, damper, etc. all relevant to acoustic piano.

While the Vintage piano model precisely simulates sound of legendary acoustic pianos, the Vanguard piano model delivers innovative sound employing 3 copper wound strings on entire tone range. The V-Piano also has a piano model featuring heavy elastic silver wound strings for well dispersed and brilliant dream sound.

Ultimate sound of the V-Piano is enhanced by exclusively designed PHA-III Ivory Feel Keyboard with Escapement. The simple control panel with minimum exposure of knobs and switches allow pianists to concentrate just in playing.

To meet versatile situations, the V-Piano has XLR and 1/4" analog and coaxial digital outputs, USB and MIDI ports.
Further details are available from:








Roland VP-770 Vocal & Ensemble Keyboard

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The advanced model of the VP-550 further expands musical capabilities of single vocal keyboardists with Vocal Designer function providing versatile backing tracks including gospel choir, chorus and vocoder sound.

The Auto Harmony function selects best suitable harmony matched to melody and chords played on the keyboard automatically. The new Auto Note function self-analyzes vocal pitches entered through microphone. Vocalists can take advantages of VP-770 with the function besides enjoying vocal and keyboard ensemble.

Designed to serve as the second keyboard for keyboard player, it provides broad selection of brass and string voices supported by SuperNATURAL technology.

The Sound Looper function allows player to layer multiplex performances and vocal sounds. For example, it can create vocal ensemble layering a series of one-man a cappella music.

It has the Audio Key which is a much favored capability of the RD-700GX and other keyboards, to assign external audio files (WAV/AIFF/MP3) saved in USB memory to designated keys for instant play back of music.

It comes complete with the DR-HS5 dynamic headset microphone (¥14,000) which effectively prevents feedback on live stage, and serves as a high quality vocal microphone.
Further information is available from:






Roland AX-Synth Shoulder Synthesizer

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The new generation of the Roland remote keyboards has an onboard sound generator incorporating SuperNATURAL and other voices of Roland's latest synthesizers.

Because it's battery-powered, players can walk around on stage without worrying about cables.

Rich control parameters are provided, yet it's designed easy to maneuver. A USB-MIDI port is provided for easy connection to PC.
Further information is available from:

Roland V-Synth GT Ver.2.0 Synthesizer

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The upgraded V-Synth GT Ver. 2.0 incorporates new family of factory programmed patches and tones including intensified collection of sounds with European tastes, 22 types of tone and 5 types of reverb effects. It supports import of WAV files.

Reflecting customer voices for improved user interface, major functions have greatly advanced and enhanced with the Ver.2.0. Multi-step Modulator has additional template selections to allow users to select desired parameters from 16 kinds of templates for instant withdrawal. The new Copy Graph function makes graph data entry into modulator easy. Arpeggiator has also additional templates and a MIDI OUT switch.

The USB storage function is enhanced with access to USB memory and faster connection to computer is realized.

All V-Synth GT owners can download the Ver.2.0 update program free of charge.
Further information is available from:

Roland ARX-03 SuperNATURAL Expansion Board "BRASS"

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SuperNATURAL-powered real brass sounds and ensembles are now available for Fantom G series synthesizers. It upgrades expression capabilities specific to wind instrument including trill, legato and bend.

Eight voices include trumpet, muted trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone, soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, and individual voices come with variation sounds.

The auto-voicing capability elaborately expresses natural and realistic sound of brass section. The ARX-03 allows keyboardists to form a favorite brass section with up to 6 prominent virtual wind players.

Having independent effects for the brass sounds and equalizer for individual players, the users can enjoy complex sound making matched to each voice. A total of 15 multi- effects and 8 types of high quality reverb (output) are incorporated.
Further information is available from:








Roland TD-4S V-Drums V-Compact Series Drum System

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The TD-4S is consisted of TD-4 Percussion Sound Module, 1 PDX-8 V-Pad, 3 PD-8 Dual-Trigger Pads, 2 CY-8 and 1 CY-5 Dual-Trigger Cymbal Pads, 1 KD-8 Kick Trigger Pad, 1 FD-8 Hi-Hat Control Pedal and an MDS-4 Drum Stand.

The TD-4 with quadruple wave memory of its predecessor provides sound module with125 instruments and 25 kits. Tuning and Muffling buttons are provided on the front panel for instant sound making in similar feeling of acoustic drums.

Nine types of ambience effects are built-in to give sound with extra presence. Other features include Quick Rec function for instant sound recording, and Rhythm Coach function which has such new features as Warm Up and Tempo Check helpful for training.

The TD-4K-S, successor of the TD-3KW-S, incorporating new Rhythm Coach function has the same configuration with the TD-4S but with 1 PD-8 Dual-Triger Pad (for Tom), 1 CY-5 Dual-Trigger Cymbal Pad (for Hi-Hat), 2 CY-8 Dual-Trigger Cymbal Pads (for Crash and Ride). It supports 3-way Trigger and VH-11, and more than 3 cymbal pads can be mounted when needed.
Further information is available from:
HD-1 Drum Tutor
Exclusively designed for the HD-1V-Drums Lite, It provides notation and game screens. With use of 34 preset patterns, drummers can practice in game style while enjoying rich tutorial patterns. It supports SMFs.

Bouncing b
all guides drummers on the notation screen, timing check with right and left hand instruction, repeated playback and playback of individual pads separately.

The game screen provides fun rhythm game training 
with falling blocks and score points.

It comes complete with a UM-1G MIDI interface to plug into a personal computer through USB port.

The SS-PC1 is a 
matched stand set up next to the HD-1 (¥8,000) to place notebook type computer on top. The top surface has B4 size space.Further information is available from:


Aria Dreadnaught AD-SH/CST, AF-SH/CST guitar

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AD-SH/CST dreadnaught style ¥68,000
AF-SH/CST folk guitar ¥68,000

Aria introduces a special dreadnaught guitar and a folk guitar featuring Shadow SH Sonic Doubleplay soundhole-fitted active preamplifier with NanoMAG and NanoFLEX pickups. Mounting two types of pickup, the Shadow SH Sonic Doubleplay provides versatile guitar sounds.

They have solid Sitka spruce top, solid rosewood back, rosewood sides and fingerboard, mahogany neck, and come either in Natural or Brown Sunburst finish.
Further information is available from:

Roland CUBE-80X Guitar Amplifier

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The advanced model of the CUBE-60 features 80 watt output into a 12" speaker. 10 COSM amp models including new DLX Combo model, Clean and Lead channels with new SOLO memory function which can save and withdraw settings of knobs and switches on the control panel, Spring Reverb modeling for vintage reverb sounds, Looper function for looped playback of preset phrases, discrete delay and reverb effects, 4 effects of chorus, flanger, phaser and tremolo, and tuner function which supports flat tuning and 7-string guitar.

It has an Aux input for connecting MP-3 players and other audio sources. Optional foot switch is available.
Further information is available from:




Roland KC-880 Stereo Keyboard Amplifier

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It has 160 watt plus 160 watt output, two individual 12" woofers and horn tweeters capable of processing various audio sources including stage piano and synthesizer into clear cut stereo sound. It's compatible with maximum of 5 stereo audio sources (4-channel stereo and AUX). Channel 1 accepts mic input.

Monitor function and stereo effects are helpful on live stage. A larger system will be set up by connecting two KC-880s.
Further information is available from:

Boss ME-70 Guitar Multiple Effects

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It can be easily controlled in the same feeling as maneuvering a stompbox as all effect parameters are laid out on the front panel. Sound making is done by controlling 4 basic effects (Comp/FX, OD/DS, Modulation and Delay) as well as reverb, wow and other pedal effects.

It incorporates 6 types of COSM pre-amp modeling, EZ TONE function which automatically selects practical effect parameters simply by designating certain effect type and supports instant and speedy sound making.

Phrase Loop in Delay section is greatly enhanced by 38 seconds of recording time.
Further information is available from:

Boss TU-88BK/TU-88WH Micro Monitor for Guitar & Bass

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It's a micro monitor incorporating a headphone amp. Plugging with guitar or bass directly, players can monitor their sound through headphone.

It can connect with CD and MP3 players through the discrete MIX IN port for monitoring mixed sound of instrument and other audio sources.

The tuner function provides chromatic, guitar and bass modes for accurate tuning of 7-string 
guitar and 6-string bass. It can handle flat tuning of up to 5 half steps. A metronome, Accu-Pitch, and Auto Power Off are other helpful features for practice.

Black or White chassis are available.Further information is available from:


Boss TU-1000 Stage Tuner for Guitar & Bass

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The floor-set type tuner provides excellent visibility of indicators both on dark stage and for sunny outdoor applications.

Succeeding renowned user interface of Boss tuners, it provides needle and LED indicators for accurate and fast tuning.

Besides chromatic, guitar and bass modes, it can handle Open Tuning, Drop D, DADGAD and flat tuning of up to 6 half steps.

The TU-1000 serves as a power supply for external effects by plugging with a 7-pin parallel DC cable.
Further information is available from:

Boss TU-12EX Tuner for Guitar & Bass

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The second generation of the TU-12 inherits needle & LED indicators of the predecessor. It has automatic chromatic and guitar/bass modes.

Tuning range has greatly expanded from E0 to C8, and the built-in high quality microphone can respond to acoustic instruments as well.

The 20mm thin body is easily sneaked into guitar case, effect box, etc.

Other features include Accu-Pitch function which tells correct tuning by beep sound and Auto Power Off function.
Further information is available from:

Boss TU-12BW Chromatic Tuner for Brass & Wind

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Specially designed for wind instruments, it packs Boss' accumulated know-how on chromatic tuner, and provides 
automatic chromatic and manual modes. A clip-on contact microphone is standard to be compatible with broad range of wind instruments in wide tuning range from E0 to C8.

The Quick Response mode and Accu-Pitch which audibly verifies correct tuning help support accurate tuning and training.

It comes with an exclusive case to attach to a music stand.
Further information is available from:


Boss BA-CS10 Stereo Microphone

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BA-CS10  ¥6,600

It's a one-point stereo back-electret condenser microphone driven by plug-in power specially designed for the Boss MICRO BR 4-track recorder.
Further information is available from:


Yamaha MS-RKDX Music Rack

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MS-RKDX ¥900

Yamaha has added an upper class music rack with a base case to the line. It's mountable to the panel of foldable music stand to placing tuner, digital metronome and writing utensils.

Turning pages is easy when the Yamaha TDM-70 digital metronome is accommodated in the base case as the rack is fastened 80mm lower than the panel bottom. The base case has a U-shaped slit so that it can comfortably hold earphone of the digital metronome and tuner mic plug.
Further information is available from: