Roland Corporation - Timeline of Noteworthy Products

Timeline of Noteworthy Products

  • 1972 – Roland TR-77/TR-55/TR-33: Roland's first products. TR-77 is known as an updated version of Ace Tone Rhythm Ace FR-7L.
  • 1973 – Roland SH-1000: Japan's first commercial keyboard synthesizer.
  • 1974 – Roland EP-30: The world's first touch-sensitive electronic piano.
  • 1974 – Roland RE-201: The renowned space echo machine, one of the most popular tape delay-based echo machines ever produced.
  • 1974 – Roland SH-3A: Monophonic synthesizer.
  • 1975 – Roland System-100: Roland's first attempt at a modular synthesizer.
  • 1975 – Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus Guitar Amplifier: A two channel, 120 watt amplifier equipped with two 12-inch (30 cm) speakers, built-in chorus and vibrato effects and a 3-band EQ per channel, renowned for its super-clean sound and durability, it has remained in production for over 35 years.
  • 1976 – Roland System-700: Roland's first professional-quality modular synthesizer.
  • 1976 – Roland DC-50 Digital Chorus: An analog chorus ensemble similar to Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble|Boss CE-1. Some collectors assume that it was also supplied as OEM product, Multivox CB-50.
  • 1977 – Roland MC-8 Microcomposer: A groundbreaking digital sequencer. Roland's first product to utilize a microprocessor.
  • 1977 – Roland GR-500: Roland's first commercial guitar synthesizer.
  • 1978 – Roland CR-78: A user-programmable drum machine.
  • 1978 – Roland Jupiter-4: Roland's first self-contained polyphonic synthesizer.
  • 1980 – Roland CR-8000
  • 1980 – Roland VK-1: Roland's first attempt to clone the Hammond B3.
  • 1980 – Roland TR-808: One of the most popular programmable analog drum machines; its distinctive analog sounds, such as its cowbell sound and its kick drum, have become pop-music clichés, heard on countless recordings.
  • 1981 – Roland MC-4 Microcomposer: A popular digital sequencer and the successor to the MC-8.
  • 1981 – Roland TB-303 The Bass Line is a synthesizer with built-in sequencer manufactured from late 1981 to 1984. It had a defining role in the development of contemporary electronic music, particularly in acid house.
  • 1981 – Roland System-100M: Semiprofessional modular synthesizer, successor of System-100.
  • 1981 – Roland Jupiter-8: Roland claims this synthesizer put them in the forefront of professional synthesizers. A successful 8-voice programmable analog synthesizer after the hugely successful Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 and Oberheim's products.
  • 1982 – Roland Juno-6: Roland's first synthesizer with digitally controlled oscillators. (Released later in the same year was the Juno-60, a similar model but with the addition of patch memory for storing sounds.)
  • 1982 – Roland G505 – G202: The 3rd generation of Roland electric guitar synthesizer controllers. These Strat-style guitars came with the matching GR-700 and PG-200 pedal boards, which also work as a regular guitar effector as well as a MIDI synthesizer bank.
  • 1982 – Roland SH-101: Monophonic synthesizer designed to be worn hung around the neck with a strap, with an optional modulation attachment that protruded like the neck of a guitar.
  • 1983 – Roland JX-3P: First Roland synthesizer to support MIDI.
  • 1983 – Roland Jupiter-6: Second Roland synthesizer to support MIDI.
  • 1983 – Roland MC-202: (MicroComposer) is a monophonic analog synthesizer/sequencer. It is similar to the TB-303 and SH-101 synthesizers, featuring 1 voltage-controlled oscillator with simultaneous saw and square/pulse-width waveforms.
  • 1983 – Roland MSQ-700: The world's first MIDI-compatible sequencer.
  • 1983 – Roland TR-909: An extremely popular drum machine during the early 1990s, the sounds of which (particularly the kick drum and open hi-hat) are still essential components of modern electronic dance music. The world's first MIDI-equipped drum machine and Roland's first to use digital sample playback combined with analog sound synthesis.
  • 1983 – Roland CMU-800: Compu Music controlled by Apple II or C64.
  • 1984 – Roland MKB-1000 and MKB-300: The world's first dedicated MIDI controller keyboards.
  • 1984 – Roland MPU-401: Interface for connecting MIDI-equipped devices to a computer.
  • 1984 – Roland MKS-80: Rack-mounted 8-voice analog synthesizer, commonly used with the MPG-80 programmer unit.
  • 1984 – Roland Juno-106: Very popular programmable (128 patch memory locations), digitally controlled 6-voice analog synthesizer, with MIDI and the ability to transmit button and slider information through SysEx.
  • 1984 – Roland TR-707 and Roland TR-727: A pair of popular drum machines, the TR-727 was essentially the same as the TR-707, except it had Latin-style sounds. The TR-707 was used extensively in the early days of house music and is still used in non-Western pop music around the world. The TR-727 is still used extensively in polyrhythmic non-Western pop music.
  • 1985 – Roland Alpha Juno: Two analog polyphonic synthesizers, the Alpha Juno 1 (JU-1) and the Alpha Juno 2 (JU-2), notable for their 'Alpha Dial' that simplified the user interface.
  • 1985 – Roland Octapad: A set of visually distinctive electronic drum triggers.
  • 1986 – Roland JX-10: One of Roland's last true analog synths.
  • 1986 – Roland RD-1000: Roland's first digital piano to feature their SA Synthesis technology. One notable user of this is Elton John from 1988 to 1994.
  • 1986 – Roland HS-80: Same as the Roland Alpha Juno 2 (JU-2), but with built-in speakers. Branded as "Synth Plus 80."
  • 1986 – Roland S-10: Basic 12-bit sampler and keyboard combo. Sounds were stored on QuickDisks and it was capable of sampling up to 6 seconds of sound. It also had rudimentary analog filtering and ADSR.
  • 1986 – Roland MKS-100: Rack Mounted version of the Roland-S10 sampler.
  • 1986 – Roland MC-500: stand-alone sequencer and midi recorders. There's 4-track recording in real or step time and 16 midi channel multitimbrality, a dedicated rhythm track, a built-in 3½-inch DS/DD Floppy disk drive with 100,000 note capacity and a large LCD screen.
  • 1987 – Roland D-50: One of the popular digital synthesizers in late 1980s; Roland's first all-digital synthesizer implementing its Linear Arithmetic synthesis (a form of sample-based synthesis combined with subtractive synthesis). The D-50's descendants include the D-5, D-10, D-110 (rack unit), and D-20 synthesizers.
  • 1987 – Roland MT-32: Also using Linear Arithmetic synthesis, it was supported by many PC games in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a high-quality music option until support shifted to General MIDI sound cards.
  • 1988 – Roland U-110: Roland's first "rompler", the U-110 was a rack module based on Roland's large sample library and contained good representations of acoustic instruments. Designed to compete with E-mu's Proteus line, the U-110's successor U-220 found its way into many professional studio racks of the day.
  • 1988 – Roland E-20: Roland's first entry into the auto-accompaniment keyboard market, going head to head with Yamaha and Casio. The E-20's descendants include the E-70, E-86, G-800, G-1000, G-70 and the current E-80.
  • 1988 – Roland MC-500mkII: Successor to the Roland MC-500, with Turbo software. Now with 8 tracks of recording, 100,000 note capacity, real-time track muting and more. Storages on 3½-inch DS/DD Floppy disk drive.
  • 1989 – Roland R-8: A drum machine with velocity-sensitive pads.
  • 1989 – Roland W-30: A sampling workstation keyboard (DAW).
  • 1989 – Roland D-70: 76-key synth. Successor to the U-20. This synth combines the U-20 ROM with advanced D-50-like filters.
  • 1990 – Roland HP-3700: Roland digital piano.
  • 1990 – Roland MC-50: is dedicated sequencer similar to the popular Roland MC-500 series. It featured 40,000 note capacity, up to 8 songs, 8 phrase tracks, a 3½-inch DS/DD Floppy disk drive, separate rhythm track and temp tracks, 32 channel MIDI and FSK sync.
  • 1991 – Roland SC-55 Sound Canvas: The world's first General MIDI synthesizer.
  • 1991 – Roland JD-800: Digital synthesizer with analog style interface.
  • 1992 – Roland JV-80: A sort of simplified and more user-friendly D-70; spawned a whole family of synthesizers based on its architecture and sample set.
  • 1992 – Roland DJ-70: A DJ sampling music workstation and synthesizer keyboard that featured the first scratch wheel pad. Storages on 3½-inch DS/DD Floppy disk drive.
  • 1993 – Roland MC-50mkII: Successor to the Roland MC-50. Equipped with slightly advanced features for editing and general use. 40,000-note internal capacity, with the built-in disk drive, you can store approximately 150,000 events on a 3½-inch DS/DD Floppy disk drive.
  • 1993 – Roland JV-90: A JV-80 with 76-note keyboard, expandable to 56 voices.
  • 1993 – Roland JV-1000: A JV-90 with a built in MC-50mkII so as to be a fully-fledged workstation.
  • 1994 – Roland RD-500: The RD-500 is a professional digital piano with 88 weighted keys, 121 high quality sounds and built-in digital effects.
  • 1994 – Roland MS-1: 16 bit AD/DA conversion, First portable digital stereo phrase sampler, with R-DAC (Roland Digital Audio Coding).
  • 1994 – Roland S-760: 16 bits Digital sampler with resonant filters.
  • 1994 – Roland JV-1080: Roland's 64-voice Super JV synthesizer module, it used the JV sample set with the JD series filters and a fast RISC processor for very smooth envelopes. Used on more recordings than any other module in history, the JV-1080 boasts a full range of acclaimed Roland sounds, as well as four expansion slots.
  • 1994 – Roland AT-70: The first Roland's home organ, "Music Atelier" and its little brother AT-50.
  • 1995 – Roland XP-50: Based on the JV-1080, it was Roland's first music workstation that featured their MRC-Pro sequencer.
  • 1995 – Roland VG-8: The world's first guitar modeling system.
  • 1996 – Roland VS-880: Roland's first digital studio workstation providing recording, mixing and CD-mastering.
  • 1996 – Roland MC-303 Roland's first non-keyboard drum machine, sample-based synthesizer, and sequencer combination bearing the now-generic term Groovebox. Featuring a full 8-track sequencer.
  • 1996 – Roland XP-80: 64-voice music workstation.
  • 1996 – Roland AT-90: The highest model of Roland's home organ "Music Atelier" and smallest brother AT-30.
  • 1997 – Roland VK-7: Groundbreaking Hammond organ clone, which introduced the "Virtual ToneWheel" physical modeling technology.
  • 1997 – Roland JP-8000: Roland's first virtual analog synthesizer. It's technology was more similar to conventional PCM synthesis, such as in a JD-800, rather than the virtual analog synths of today that digitally model the behavior of analog oscillators.
  • 1997 – Roland V-Drums: Digital drums incorporating silent mesh drum heads that realistically reproduce both the natural feel and sound of acoustic drums.
  • 1997 – Roland JV-2080: Updated Super JV module. 64-voice, 3-effects-processor, 8-expansion-slot synthesizer module.
  • 1997 – Roland AT-80: Top-class home organ in Roland's home organ.
  • 1998 – SP-808: Table-top sampler, multi-track recorder, and effects processor.
  • 1998 – Roland MC-505: Successor to the MC-303 with a more powerful synthesizer and sequencer.
  • 1998 – Roland JX-305: Similar to the MC-505, but with 61 keys.
  • 1999 – Roland AT-90R: Successor models. AT-60R, AT-80R, and AT-30R.
  • 2000 - Roland XV-3080: Essentially a Super JV module updated to 128-voices, and taking SRX expansion boards.
  • 2000 - Roland XV-5080: True next generation synthesizer module and basis for the Fantom series of workstations. New high bit-depth samples, 128-voices, takes SRX expansion boards, and capable of loading sampler data.
  • 2000 – Handsonic HPD-15: First electronic percussion pressure sensitive multi-pad. Playable with hands and/or fingers (without sticks). Divided in 15 zones, with 2 ribbons controllers, 1 internal sequencer and 1 infra-red sensor named D-Beam.
  • 2001 – Roland AX-7: Successor to the AX-1. A keytar noted for its aesthetics and design.
  • 2001 – Roland AT-90S: Successor models. AT-80S, AT-60S, AT-20S and AT-10S.
  • 2002 – Roland MC-909: Successor to the MC Groovebox series and also the flagship to all MC Groovebox series machines, featuring a full 16-track sequencer, SRX board upgrading, Built-in larger LCD Display Screen and built-in sampling. Supports 1 SRX Expansion card.
  • 2002 – Roland AT-15: Baby of the "Music Atelier" home organ product range. And AT-5.
  • 2003 – Roland V-Synth: 24-voice analog modeling synthesizer.
  • 2004 – Roland Fantom-X: Music workstation and professional synthesizer expandable to 1 gigabyte of sounds.
  • 2004 – Roland AT-90SL Atelier: Successor models. AT-80SL, and AT-60SL.
  • 2005 – Roland Micro Cube: Roland's first portable amplifier. Allowed for AC adapter or battery use. Seven input effects, delay, and reverb options.
  • 2005 – Roland Fantom-Xa: Entry-level Fantom-X. The A stands for access.
  • 2006 – Roland MC-808: The latest MC-series, featuring a full 16-track sequencer and 512 MB more memory, and double the polyphony of the MC-909. First MC Groovebox series with motorized faders and built-in sampling, no Velocity sensitive pads, no SRX board as an add-on as seen on MC-909.
  • 2006 – Roland SH-201: Roland's first affordable analog modeling synthesizer.
  • 2006 – Roland Juno-G: Entry-level workstation based on the Fantom-X.
  • 2007 – Roland MV-8800: Successor to the MV-8000. Production station with 24-bit sampling capabilities. Has new built-in color LCD display.
  • 2008 – Roland Fantom-G: Music workstation with onboard graphical MIDI sequencer.
  • 2009 – Roland AX-Synth: A keytar, successor for the AX-7. The most notable change is the addition of an internal synthesizer.
  • 2009 – Roland AT-900: Roland introduces the AT-900 and AT-900C, the next generation of Atelier organ consoles, successors to the AT-90S and AT-90SL.
  • 2009 – Roland V-Piano: the first digital piano to rely solely on physical modeling technology.
  • 2011 – Roland Jupiter-80: Flagship performance synthesizer, combining Roland's SuperNatural acoustic modeling technology with a virtual analog engine.
  • 2011 – Roland AT-350c: A Combo version of the "Music Atelier" home organ product range. Can be coupled with any of Roland's MIDI pedal keyboards to make it a complete organ.
  • 2012 - Roland Jupiter-50: A reduced JP-80 with three parts instead of four and a smaller non-touch screen.

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