Roland’s beginnings extend all the way back to the early ‘70s. Since their inception, the Japanese corporation has released some of the most distinguished synthesizers in existence. In addition to a line of universally acclaimed synthesizers, Roland built the first touch-sensitive electronic piano and first dedicated MIDI controller/keyboard.
Roland’s output throughout the last five decades attests to their commitment to ingenuity. throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, they released some of the most renowned synthesizers in history, including the SH-3A additive synthesizer, SH-5 (the first of their synthesizers to feature dual oscillators), System-100 (a dual VCO modular synthesizer), SH-1 (their first synthesizer with an integrated sub-oscillator), System-100M (a scaled down version of their System-700, rendered more affordable for the typical consumer), SH-2 (a classic dual VCO synth with a dedicated sub-oscillator), Jupiter-4Jupiter-8 (an upgraded, 8-voice version of the Jupiter-4), SH-101 (a battery-powered monosynth with optional shoulder strap), and Juno-106 (a 6-voice polysynth with MIDI integration)—but of course, none of this does justice to the entirety of their output! In the late ‘90s, they released their V-Drums line, which was a solemn nod to the vintage drum machines of decades past. Since then, they have released some of the most cutting-edge products around, including the Fantom X series and the System-8 Plug Out synthesizer.
One of the company’s most significant technological contributions as of late is that of their Analog Circuit Behavior Technology, which resides in the architecture of many of their latest releases and affords users a convenient and economic means of replicating the distinct characteristics of the individual analog components of vintage synthesizers from the comfort of a modern device. Beyond mere replication, this technology pushes the envelope beyond the technological limitations that may have been encountered when the circuitry was originally designed. Not content to stay inside the box, Roland has also released several AIRA Eurorack modules and have collaborated with Malekko Heavy Industry on the release of their System-500 Eurorack modules.