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Roland

Pop and electronic music of the present, past, and future is characterized by the computerized sound of the synthesizer. Since 1972, the Japanese company, Roland, has produced a line of various sound modules for the synth industry.

What makes Roland synthesizers special?

The signature aspect of the original Roland synthesizer is its wide variety of musical textures. The dynamic nature of the keyboards, analog synthesizers, and drum machines allowed artists like Duran Duran, David Bowie, and New Order utilized Roland synthesizers to feature the synthesizer in a number of their songs. From the analog synth era to the cutting edge MIDI keyboard age, Roland continues to produce keyboard synthesizers designed to complement music from a variety of genres.

How was the synthesizer invented?

The roots of the synth are in its precursors, dating all the way back to 1876. Sound modules like the musical telegraph and the theremin are its ancestors, with analog technology pushing the synthesizer closer to its current form throughout the 1920s. In 1937, German engineer Harald Bode went a step beyond analog to create the first polyphonic synthesizer, the Warbo Formant Organ. Synths developed as electronic organs until Bode once again made an innovation with the first modular synthesizer in 1960.

Why is the Roland SH-3 analog synthesizer important?

The SH-3 is a 1974 analog synthesizer that uses a hybrid additive and subtractive synthesis. The synth operates with two LFOs that can be mixed from within the instrument itself. When this synthesizer was first released, that feature was something never before seen. One of the most notable uses of the Roland SH-3 is the pulsating bass sequencer from "Heart Of Glass" by Blondie.

What is the Roland Boutique TB-03?

The Boutique TB-03 is a portable remake of the original bass synth from 1981. The original name is the Roland TB-303. It is a monophonic synthesizer with a built-in sequencer. The oscillators use square wave and sawtooth textures. This Roland sound module keyboard defined the sound of the early Chicago House music around the time of the early 1980s.

What makes the Roland TR-606 an essential drum machine?

The TR-606 is one of the most prominent drum machines in music history. Examples of the drum synthesizer's cultural presence are evident in the music of electronic producer Aphex Twin, new romantics Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, and industrial rockers Nine Inch Nails. The sound bank holds six built-in synthesized drums: bass, snare, high-tom, low-tom, cymbal and open/closed hi-hat. Many 21st-century producers have converted these signature tones into MIDI for use in digital audio workstations.

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