April 18 – 40 years of Roland

  40 years of Roland 
Japanese engineer and instrument repairman Ikutaro Kakehashi founds musical instrument company Roland Corporation in Osaka, Japan.
Kakehashi’s first company, Ace Tone, also made instruments beginning in 1963;

FR1 Rhythm Ace

its R1 Rhythm Ace appeared in 1964, succeeded by the FR1 in 1967.
At first Roland continues by making more drum machines (DM‘s). Its first product is the Roland Rhythm 77. It first synth, the Roland SH-1000, arrives in 1973. A 1976 expansion in the development team creates an explosion in Roland’s product range. In 1977 it introduces the digital (computerized) sequencer, the US$5000 Roland MC-8 Microcomposer. (*) ▷Roland MC-8 blog▹ , in 1978 the Roland CR-78, the first user programmable DM.

In the next 25 years Roland produces many well-known electronic instruments. Many of them will play an important part in the development of early techno and house music. To name a few:

TR-808 analog DM (1980)
TB-303 bass synth (1982)
SH-101 analog monosynth (1982)
TR-909 (analog & sampling) DM (1983)
TR-707 sampling DM (1984)
TR-505 budget DM (1986)
D-50 digital synth (1987)
AX-1 MIDI keytar

▷Roland:product history▹
Sound-On-Sound’s History of Roland:
▷Part 1▹ ▷Part 2▹ ▷Part 3▹ ▷Part 4▹ ▷Part 5▹