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Buffy Sainte-Marie visits Roland Inspiration Centre

We recently had the pleasure of welcoming the legendary singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie to our Roland Inspiration Centre in Toronto. Buffy Sainte-Marie’s bold new album, Power in the Blood, begins where it all started more than 50 years ago, with a contemporary version of “It’s My Way,” the title track of her 1964 debut. Its message, about the road to self-identity and the conviction to be oneself, still resonates with the Cree singer-songwriter, activist, educator, visual artist, and winner of countless awards (Oscar, Juno, and Golden Globe, among them). Check out our interview with Buffy below where we asked about her creative…

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The first person in Canada to purchase the Aerophone!

Peter Cieslikowski, Toronto-based saxophonist, was the first person in Canada to purchase the Aerophone AE-10 – the all new digital wind instrument from Roland.  We sat down with Peter to get his first impressions of the Aerophone. Hi Peter – tell us a little bit about yourself and your background as a saxophonist. I am a professional…

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BOSS Tuners: A Lesson in Fine-Tuning

If you’re a musician, and have been around for a while, chances are you’ve seen or owned a BOSS Tuner. Maybe you’ve come across one of their pocket tuners or perhaps you’re that guitarist who starts its effects chain with one of their classic white stompboxes (which might even be the most important piece of…

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INSIDE A GUITAR AMPLIFIER – PART. 2

In our previous article (see Inside a Guitar Amplifier Part 1), we learnt that guitar amplifiers, no matter how complex, consist of three parts. These are the preamp, a power amp and a speaker.   While this basic design holds true for all guitar amplifiers since their origin, a number of key design innovations have…

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INSIDE A GUITAR AMPLIFIER – PART. 1

Guitar amplifiers are unique in the world of music. Generally, an electronic audio amplifier will be a device that makes a source signal louder. Electric guitar amplifiers however, are capable of so much more. Guitar amplifiers imprint their own sonic signatures onto a player’s sound and significantly alter the way that the guitar actually feels…

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ROLAND DRUM MACHINE HISTORY: 1964 – 2016

In 1960, Ikutaro Kakehashi founded the company Ace Electronic Industries, Inc. At the time, Kakehashi was a young inventor with a passion for electronics, experimentation and music. Over the years, he tried his hand at creating various electronic instruments – from organs and guitar amplifiers, to the Theremin and the Ondes Martenot. However, it wasn’t…

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Ultimate Guide: AIRA TR-8 Rhythm Performer

The AIRA TR-8 is the next step in the evolution of Roland TR- drum machines. This ultimate guide has everything you need to know about the TR-8! Unleashed upon an unsuspecting world in the 1980s, the TR-808 and TR-909 produce arguably the most influential drum sounds in modern music. Not only have they appeared on…

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GUITAR FX-101: GUIDE TO GUITAR EFFECTS PEDALS

Do you know your Flangers from your Phasers? How about the difference between a Vibrato and a Tremolo? This FX-101 is a resource that categorises and explains common guitar effects to find the tone you need. Contributed by David Jiang for the Roland Australia Blog A – ACOUSTIC SIMULATOR C – CHORUS, COMPRESSION/SUSTAIN D –…

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Hybrid Drumming: Everything You Need to Know

New Wave, synthpop, hip-hop, house, electro, pop… The late ’70s and early ’80s produced swathes of classic music. Music technology, recording processes, the microchip and the synth all gave rise to new music – and new ways of approaching it. However, it was also an unnerving time for drummers, as while the acoustic drum kit…

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7 Essential Synth Tutorials

The real power of a synthesizer is its ability to craft and control the sound, allowing musicians to create their own custom tones. Synthesizers can seem overwhelming at first, but most have similar controls and follow the same signal flow. This allows synthesis knowledge to be transferred between instruments. Below are seven tutorials that will…

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How to Create Drums on the JD-XA

The Roland JD-XA is a crossover synth with four analog and four digital voices. It looks similar to the Roland JD-Xi Interactive Analog/Digital Crossover Synthesizer, but they are two very different instruments. The JD-Xi is an all-in-one groove machine with two digital voices, one analog voice and drums. The JD-XA; however, is a synthesis powerhouse…