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Celebrate Roland's 5th anniversary through a flurry of historical notes since 1970

Their 50th model is set to be released on April 18, the same day that Roland was founded

  • Miki Kitasako
  • 17 February 2022
Celebrate Roland's 5th anniversary through a flurry of historical notes since 1970

A huge milestone has reached Roland and they’re here to celebrate their 50th anniversary with a virtual museum on a dedicated website that works well within the pandemic sphere of things.

The site includes decades of milestones that have helped shape what electronic music is today and it all starts in 1972 in Osaka, Japan by a man named Ikutaro Kakehashi. The Roland brand was built on the notion that was quite different from its competitor brands, its goal was to appeal to the people who didn’t sit on the professional musically educated — so it needed to be simple and inexpensive for the masses. The main highlight of the site focuses on the timeline and breaks down the journey of how their products have transcended over the years and the artists that have used them which in turn, created some of our favourite classics along the way. Definitely a trip down memory lane or a new history lesson to some.

The 70s and the first scroll of the page present us with Roland’s newborn babies, their first versions of their drum machines, the TR-33, TR-55 and TR-77. Then we see their first combo piano, the EP-10, their first preset synth, the SH-1000, their quintessential Space Echo RE-201 and “Japan’s first large scale modular synth system”, the System-700 modular, which still rakes up hefty dollar bills today.

As we scroll down, we’re also greeted with (no big surprise) a musical portion of playlists that artists have created over the years with Roland products. From David Bowie, Blondie, Duran Duran, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Aphex Twin, Daft Punk… truly the list goes on and we could be sitting here name dropping all day. The site also includes many in-depth interviews with artists of different genres and how they create their sound such as acid house, how a drum machine is a staple in house and techno, the emergence of lo-fi hip hop and more.

“Since its foundation in 1972, the musical instrument manufacturer Roland has continued to develop epoch-making products, touching nearly every music genre and meeting the demands of creators all over the world. In 2022, we are thrilled to celebrate our 50th anniversary with you. We greatly appreciate your loyalty to Roland and passion for our products and services over such a long time,” said Roland CEO and Representative Director Jun-ichi Miki.

To top off their anniversary, according to MusicRadar, Roland plans to release products throughout the year with the first surprise release of their 50th model that is set to launch on April 18 — the same day Roland was founded in 1972.

If the visual timeline isn’t enough, there is a virtual Roland Museum which is filmed in the R&D Center in Hamamatsu, Japan featuring full 3D capabilities that allow the user to guide their own tour as the video plays. Meaning you can drag the video to the left and right with your keyboard or mouse, just in case you watch the full nine-minute video with zero interaction.

Dive into the rich history of Roland and how the brand has influenced some of the most popular artists over five decades through their 50th-anniversary site here