Roland Synth-tar Edison NJ

Regardless of where you stand, Roland’s AX-Synth is an instrument worth noting, and if you’re a dissenter, it may just convert you. A sleeked-out younger sibling of the AX-7 MIDI controller, the AX-Synth gives the shoulder-keys vibe impressive curves, plentiful controls, and — for the first time — a built-in sound engine. If you’re a long-time believer in the power of the synth-tar, or a skeptic wondering what the hubbub is about, read on.

Lou Rose Music Center
(732) 985-3333
1627 State Route 27
Edison, NJ
Types of Instruments Sold
Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music

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Lello Accordion Sch,Music Shop
(732) 442-6654
621 New Brunswick Ave
Perth Amboy, NJ
Types of Instruments Sold
Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Organs, Band & Orchestral, Print Music

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Loria Music
(732) 388-8873
398 406 W Grand Ave
Rahway, NJ
Types of Instruments Sold
Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Recording Equipment, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music

Data Provided by:
Richmond Music Center Ltd
(718) 967-4686
25 Page Ave
Staten Island, NY
Types of Instruments Sold
Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Recording Equipment, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music, DJ Equipment

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Cranford Guitar & Music Ctr
(908) 232-7122
56 North Ave
Garwood, NJ
Types of Instruments Sold
Electronic Keyboard, Drums & Percussion, Recording Equipment, Guitars & Fretted Instruments

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American Music
(732) 738-9297
536 New Brunswick Ave
Fords, NJ
Types of Instruments Sold
Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Band & Orchestral, Sound Reinforcement, Guitars & Fretted Instruments

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Main Force Music
(732) 750-0982
27 S Robert St
Sewaren, NJ
Types of Instruments Sold
Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Organs, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music

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Antiquity Piano Co
(732) 727-1040
441 Portia St
South Amboy, NJ
Types of Instruments Sold
Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Organs, Print Music

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Musical Discount Ctr
(908) 789-1939
345 North Ave
Garwood, NJ
Types of Instruments Sold
Electronic Keyboard, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music

Data Provided by:
City Music Center
(908) 245-7122
200 Market St
Kenilworth, NJ
Types of Instruments Sold
Electronic Keyboard, Band & Orchestral, Print Music

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Roland Synth-tar

0510 Roland AX-Synth Main HANDS-ON

  1. These buttons can jump octaves, scroll through tone variations, or transpose by hal-fsteps.
  2. Slide pitches around with the ribbon strip touch controller.
  3. The modulation bar is sensitive to how far down you push it, achieving a mod wheel-like range of intensity.
  4. Roland’s famous D-Beam lets you sweep pitch, filter, or assignable MIDI controllers with a wave of your hand.
  5. The keyboard doesn’t send aftertouch, but you can do so from the neck.
  6. Choose from 304 preset sounds, including four of Roland’s impressive SuperNatural tones, grouped into eight families here.
  7. Stereo 1/4" outs are here. To feed wireless audio transmitters that require low-level signals, flip the ATT switch to cut the output volume.
  8. Multiple strap points help you get a comfortable playing position, even for two-handed performance.

Some things will always inspire debate: health care, financial regulatory reform, and mobile shoulder-strap keyboards. Though that last one may not have as much social import as the others, it’s every bit as divisive among musicians. Are “synth-tars” legitimate instruments to be played with guts and pride? Or are they toys that make keyboardists look like lame guitarist wannabes? Regardless of where you stand, Roland’s AX-Synth is an instrument worth noting, and if you’re a dissenter, it may just convert you. A sleeked-out younger sibling of the AX-7 MIDI controller, the AX-Synth gives the shoulder-keys vibe impressive curves, plentiful controls, and — for the first time — a built-in sound engine. If you’re a long-time believer in the power of the synth-tar, or a skeptic wondering what the hubbub is about, read on.

LOOK AND CONTROLS

First things first: The AX-Synth looks good. Roland created a design that feels current and just edgy enough, without resembling a self-parody or something from a bad ’80s movie. At assorted gigs and jam sessions, I got nothing but positive feedback on its appearance.

For my taste, Roland also struck a nearly-ideal balance with the number and placement of controls. The AX is easy to navigate, with a mild learning curve, and while all sounds are easily accessible, neither the front panel nor the neck feels overly cluttered or tweaky. At the same time, the performance control available to your left hand alone is impressive.

Structurally, the AX-Synth is solid and durable. Though it’s impressively light, the keys, buttons, and molded plastic casings all feel reassuringly resilient, even under rapid-fire, two-handed percussive assaults. It took some trial and error to get the keyboard to sit right for my hand position and stature, but multiple points to hook on the shoulder strap were a big help in getting a comfortable feel, and also made playing the 49-key keyboard with two hands easy to achieve. Once I had the synth adjusted (surprisingly, at an angle similar to what low-slung punk guitarists do), I was ready to rock.

SOUNDS

The onboard sound engine features 128...

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