There's no shortage of keyboard controllers on the market, but most have playability that's far below the quality found in high-end digital pianos and synthesizers. With the A-88 and A-49, Roland is pleased to offer keyboard controllers that play like pro-level instruments, giving musicians mobile convenience with no compromises. From the bedroom studio to the big stage, these controllers truly deliver inspiring playability and top-level performance.
The A-88 features 88 full-size weighted keys and Roland's acclaimed Ivory Feel-G Keyboard with Escapement. This is the same Progressive Hammer Action keyboard found in many Roland stage and home pianos, and allows users to play software-based pianos, soft-synths, and sound modules with an authentic grand piano touch. In addition, the white keys are built with a moisture-absorbing material that replicates the feel of real ivory. Even with its premium hammer-action keyboard, the A-88 is light, portable, and easy for gigging musicians to transport.
Born for mobile use, the A-49 features road-tough construction yet is extremely lightweight (under six pounds). The 49 full-size velocity-sensitive keys have a rounded shape for a comfortable touch, along with many enhancements to reduce noise and increase playability. All these features add up to a premium keyboard that even the most discerning pros will appreciate.
Both the A-88 and A-49 include many performance features, including a pitch bend/mod lever, D-BEAM controller, user-assignable knobs and switches, and OCTAVE and TRANSPOSE buttons. The A-88 also has DUAL/SPLIT, UPPER, and LOWER buttons for splitting and layering tones on its full-size keyboard.
The dedicated SuperNATURAL mode button on the controllers unlocks a host of unique sound-selection features when connected to a Roland SuperNATURAL instrument such as the new INTEGRA-7 sound module or the JUPITER-80 and -50 synths.
The A-88 and A-49 offer USB and MIDI OUT connectors, along with jacks for connecting optional expression and hold pedals. Both controllers can be powered via a computer's USB bus, while the A-88 can also be powered with an accessory AC adapter. Additionally, the A-49 and A-88 are three-OS compatible, with Mac and iOS music apps on the iPad via Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit, and a SONAR X1 LE DAW software bundle with both controllers, giving Windows users a ready-to-go music production environment.
The A-88 and A-49 come standard in a handsome black finish. The A-49 is also available in white, a perfect companion color for users of the white-finish iPad.
Pricing and Availability:
I'm really looking forward to the A-88. Roland and Akai are the only controllers that feel good playing. Everything else on the market is kind of a squishy sponge, with varying degrees. The only other 88 key controller with that thin footprint was the M-Audio (that I knew of) and this looks to be a better built and featured product. Price??
31-Aug-12 04:40 PM
What's the story on aftertouch on these keyboards? Any chance of polyphonic aftertouch on the A-88? (I know the answer will probably be 'no' but come on, can someone make a new controller that provides the expressiveness once offered on old controllers so we don't have to buy a 10+ year-old piece of gear and hope it doesn't break down.)
31-Aug-12 07:19 PM
Bring back the A-80. These suck. Give us poly aftertouch. Mod wheels AND pitch lever. Why not? Instead of another dumbed down cookie cutter generic controller. There are musicians out there waiting in line for something good! Not this
02-Sep-12 02:04 PM
Too bad they didn't think to include the polyphonic aftertouch of the A-80 and A-50 keyboards. If, say, you want to use the polyphonic receptivity of Spectrasonics' Omnisphere, you'll just have to go to eBay to get one of those old keyboards, or an old Ensoniq, because these new boards won't fit the bill, apparently. Shame.
02-Sep-12 03:47 PM
Poly aftertouch would be amazing, but hell, I'd be willing to settle for channel aftertouch...
06-Sep-12 12:27 AM