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Rumor of a new arranger module from Roland!

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Rumor of a new arranger module from Roland! #6717
Saw this on SynthZone this morning:
www.synthzone.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/t...nd_zen_core_arranger

If they have developed a new module, I hope it's rooted in Roland's long history of excellent work. In other words, a continuation of the feature set we know and love from the BK-9, E-A7, etc. I also hope it features Roland's "Chord Intelligence" for simplified chord recognition, and not the Yamaha crap that has appeared in the new EX-series. These impostors are NOT real Rolands!

Maybe Roland hasn't abandoned the arranger market after all. We'll see...!
2 weeks 5 days ago Last edit: 2 weeks 5 days ago by TedS.

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Rumor of a new arranger module from Roland! #6719
I guess only time will tell, but I'm suspicious of 'rumors'. For starters, even the initial specs sound wrong. 16 part arranger module? That would be a step backwards from the BK series, which had 16 parts PLUS the Keyboard Parts.

I'm also doubtful that, if Roland wanted to re-enter the arranger market, they would do so with the most niche segment, the module version. These sell in tiny numbers compared to keyboard versions. It would e a very strange decision, financially.

But, who knows? Roland have seldom made any sense with their decisions for their arranger segment in the last ten years...
2 weeks 3 days ago
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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Rumor of a new arranger module from Roland! #6721
My understanding is that it would be based on the MC-101 module. Probably the same chassis and small form factor, which is a big selling point. The iPhone / iPad interface makes sense, and also reduces size and cost. Supposedly it uses the same 'Zen Core' sound engine as the Fantom, and is intended as an add-on to the current Fantom synth workstations. The Fantom has plenty of lead parts, so this would be like a plug-in or add-in to confer traditional arranger functionality. I re-posted because these attributes make the rumor credible.

Bigger questions surround the feature set, chord fingering, etc. Is it truly a Roland product, preserving the Roland arranger DNA? Or like the lower line EX-series, another maker's product rebranded with the Roland badge? We'll see!
2 weeks 3 days ago

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Rumor of a new arranger module from Roland! #6723
I don't think any current Roland WS offers the same kind of all round soundset that is needed for conventional arranger operation. If you look at the current Fantom or Jupiter keyboards, they seem FAR more into synth technology than acoustic sampling WS's. The MC-101 module demos seem to concentrate on contemporary synth type sounds and beats and kits...

I guess the thing about 'arrangers' is that we tend to think of them in terms of emulating a live acoustic band, horns, strings, percussion and the like, and that just isn't what's driving modern synth design any more. I will be shocked if Roland produce anything that is useful for us older player types! Admittedly, if it turns out what you say, perhaps it might end up being useful to add a more contemporary twist to an existing old school arranger, but I rather doubt any of us here will be likely to end up using it as a primary arranger.

And don't be too congratulatory about the idea of needing a phone or iPad front end. Roland have a long history of abandoning apps long before the need for them has gone away and not updating older apps to work with newer OS's. The hardware may be useful a few years from now, but if Roland drop the apps from the Apple Store (like they did with Lyrics Viewer for the BK series) you may not be able to run the needed apps, or a second hand sale to someone else won't be able to transfer the control apps limiting the likelihood of a sale.

Apple's closed Store model and DRM make modern gear that relies on apps a very bad investment long term...
2 weeks 2 days ago
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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Rumor of a new arranger module from Roland! #6725
Oh I agree that there are risks. Best strategy is to buy/download the app while it is available, and then consider NOT upgrading an older iPad so that you can continue to use all features of the hardware. I have a Windows 7 laptop that I took off the Internet and never upgraded, to retain compatibility with certain apps.
2 weeks 2 days ago Last edit: 2 weeks 2 days ago by TedS.

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Rumor of a new arranger module from Roland! #6726
The problem being, I suppose, is that as you add newer hardware that needs newer OS's for its control software, you end up with duplicate tablets (if you can even afford that) just to be able to run it all. The idea of having to dedicate a $500+ tablet just to be able to run a piece of hardware is a concealed cost, and the nature of evolving OS's that may not be supported in the future definitely add a high degree of risk of continuing functionality.

If I buy an arranger, I do so in the knowledge that in ten years time I can sell it and it will have the exact same functionality it did when I bought it. Hardware that needs software to work properly can rarely make that claim.

It is yet one more example of our increasingly short term planning world we live in.
2 weeks 1 day ago Last edit: 2 weeks 1 day ago by Diki.
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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Rumor of a new arranger module from Roland! #6727
Yes, it is a concealed cost. Caveat emptor. To get the highest resale value, you might have to sell your tablet along with the synth. I've never been one to trade in computers or phones. Planned obsolescence isn't a new concept. When the old one becomes hopelessly obsolete, I suck it up and buy the new generation. So duplicate laptops, tablets, etc., have been a fact of my life for a few years now. I would also prefer to have fully realized and self-contained hardware. I also agree that the world we live in IS shortsighted, so this approach is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. :-(
2 weeks 1 day ago

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Rumor of a new arranger module from Roland! #6728
I guess you are assuming that you have nothing else you DON'T sell that needs that tablet, LOL

It's hard enough to sell an aging keyboard without insisting that the buyer also buys your old iPad too!
2 weeks 21 hours ago
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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