OK, when the Frankfurt Music Show (where the year’s hardware and software releases are announced) really kicks off next week we won’t have time to upload some of the more unusual releases, but how could we not publish this one on Roland’s new Virtual Accordion? It’s red, he’s good looking. It really is ‘The Ultimate Fusion of Technology and Tradition‘. Here’s the press release in full…
- Flagship button-type V-Accordion, filled with many enhancements requested by pro accordionists
- Newly developed Dynamic Bellows Behavior technology emulates the true bellows response of an acoustic accordion in every register
- Simple and convenient onboard battery charging with an AC adapter
- Redesigned button-type keyboard with improved response, authentic look, and lower noise
- A large selection of accordion sounds from around the world, plus 180 orchestra and percussion sounds and world-class Virtual Tone Wheel organs
- Four powerful multi-effects engines (MFX), with dedicated MFX for Accordion, Orchestra 1, Orchestra 2, and Orchestra Chord sections
- All-new user interface, featuring a large, easy-to-read color display, intuitive panel layout, and three programmable chin switches for hands-free control of a variety of functions
- 1,400 user program memories allow players to save custom setups for every performing situation
- Onboard looper for creating instant backing accompaniment while performing
- Recording and audio playback via convenient USB memory; USB host port for connecting to computers
- Available in red and black finishes
True Acoustic Response with Dynamic Bellows Behavior
Newly developed for the FR-8x Button Type, Dynamics Bellows Behavior technology represents a real breakthrough for digital accordionists. In an acoustic accordion, sounds are produced by reeds that vibrate with airflow generated by the movement of the bellows; the resistance of the bellows constantly varies, depending on how many reeds are selected and how many notes are played at once. In the FR-8x Button Type, Dynamic Bellows Behavior automatically adjusts the air transfer in the bellows in real time based on the selected register and the number of notes played, accurately replicating the familiar and comfortable bellows feel of an acoustic accordion. Dynamic Bellows Behavior can be easily disabled for players that prefer the bellows feel of previous V-Accordions.
Redesigned Interface with Color Display and Intuitive Panel Layout
The FR-8x Button Type features a completely redesigned user interface that’s more powerful and easier to use than ever before. A large, recessed color display makes it simple to edit various parameters, while the revamped panel layout provides fast, intuitive operation via many dedicated buttons and knobs. Three all-new programmable chin switches let you control a variety of functions such as changing registers, selecting user programs, and more, all without lifting your hands off the keyboards. Additionally, 1400 user program memories provide ample storage for custom settings, with quick fingertip recall in every performing situation.
All-in-One Operation and Onboard Battery Charging
The FR-8x Button Type is a totally self-contained instrument, complete with a rechargeable onboard battery and built-in stereo amplification system. Battery charging is accomplished simply by connecting the included AC adapter directly to the FR-8x Button Type, and you can play without interruption during the charging process. In addition, all device connections are now located right on the instrument, including MIDI, USB, and audio jacks for connecting to an external amplification or recording system.
New Button-Type Keyboard
The FR-8x Button Type is equipped with a completely redesigned button-type keyboard, which incorporates a piston-style mechanism for a playing touch just like an acoustic button-type accordion. Additionally, the buttons are made with a synthetic pearl material for a professional look and feel.
Expanded Collection of World-Class Sounds
In addition to a full selection of authentic accordion sounds from around the world, the FR-8x Button Type is equipped with over 180 orchestra and percussion sounds, giving you the power to expand your music into unexplored territory. Included are traditional instruments such as strings and brass, plus electric and acoustic guitars, choir, church organ, harp, ethnic sounds, synthesizers, and a wide range of drum kits. With the Virtual Tone Wheel sound engine, you can play amazing organ sounds using Treble (upper), Chord (lower) and Bass (pedal) sections, with harmonic bar controls to personalize your organ sounds for any musical style. Four internal memory areas (8 MB each) are provided for loading new sounds from the Roland sound library.
Zones, Layers, and Drums
With the FR-8x Button Type, more layering and zone setup options are possible in the right-hand keyboard modes than ever before. Whole, Zone, High, and Low modes are provided, giving you the ability to play up to four different tones at once. Left-hand keyboard modes now include layering options as well. The programmable Drum function takes accordion performance to a fun new dimension, letting you play percussion sounds manually with the Bass & Chord buttons.
Powerful Multi-Effects and Onboard Looper
Explore all-new sonic textures with the FR-8x Button Type’s four independent multi-effects engines (MFX), which provide dedicated processing for the Accordion, Orchestra 1, Orchestra 2, and Orchestra Chord sections. Each engine has 84 different effects types, offering a wide range of enhancement from subtle to dramatic. With the onboard looper, you can instantly record and overdub accordion performances using the FR-8x Button Type’s enormous selection of sounds, creating impressive, on-the-spot backing accompaniment for improvisation.
USB Song Playback, Recording, and More
The handy MP3/WAV song player lets you play along with pre-recorded musical tracks for practice and live backing via optional USB memory. Just plug your USB stick into the convenient front-panel plug, then select and play songs with dedicated, easy-to-reach controls. And with the touch of a button, your accordion performances can be recorded directly to USB memory as well, perfect for archiving, evaluation, and education. Via the USB host port on the side panel, you can connect the FR-8x Button Type to your computer for data storage, customization of V-Accordion sound sets, and easy-to-install software updates.
Price and Availability TBA