The solo performer has been stepping up his/her game of late – it’s no longer unusual to find a plethora of crafty technology filling in for the would-be band of an artist on home-produced records. However, while recording without the help of others isn’t too tricky, translating that to the stage is another challenge entirely.
Enter Roland’s new BK-7m, which is being shown off this year at Namm 2011. It’s described as a “dream machine…with hundreds of great tones, music styles and rhythms on board,” and essentially what you have here is a fantastic soundbank through which you can run your MIDI creations through.
So we’ll be treated to pianos, keys, organs, drum kits and so on – over 1,000 tones – all rendered in high resolution at 128-note polyphony, and if we’re not MIDI-savvy, then there are also preset ‘musical styles’, which are essentially keyboard rhythm recordings, to make use of. Compatibility stretches to the likes of Roland V-Accordions, organs and other MIDI instruments (guitar pickups spring to mind), so there’s a huge potential for hosting a colossal amount of sounds and tones within one very slim rig.
Via USB, you can upload audio and video (lyrics etc which can connect to a projector and the like via a video out) to the BK-7m, and edit these tracks (WAV or MP3 for instance) on board – key signature and tempo changes aren’t a problem, and you can even cancel vocals out for karaoke-style performances too.
The USB is also there to allow you to record your performances at high-quality resolution too, which means you can easily grab your tone-augmented MIDI performances without fuss.
This isn’t going to be for everyone, obviously, but it’ll be perfect for those of you who are after creating more impressive live shows without needing an absolutely giant rig, especially if you know you’re MIDI programming! We’ll keep an eye out for one of these to review, don’t you worry.