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Synth Bass for Bass Players, Part 1

Increase Your Versatility and Get More Gigs

Bassist Robert "Bubby" Lewis with the Roland GAIA SH-01

Bassist Robert “Bubby” Lewis with the Roland GAIA SH-01 synth.

Authors: Dan Krisher, Jim Bybee

In today’s music world, the vast influence of EDM and other electronic styles has crept into the fabric of nearly every popular genre. The core of EDM is a driving rhythm groove, with the low end held down by synthesizer bass. To cover this essential sound, traditional bass players are now called upon more and more to double on keyboard both live and in the studio. If you’re a bassist who’s looking to increase your musical versatility and gigging opportunities, read on to find out the things you should know when getting into synth bass.


Bring the ’59 Bassman to Your Pedalboard

BOSS Legend Series: FBM-1


Despite the name, Fender’s famous Bassman amps have long been more popular with guitarists. First introduced in 1952 as a companion to the newly introduced Precision Bass, the Bassman line has seen many generational changes throughout the years that greatly affect its sound. But it’s the tweed-covered 1959 model that’s the most iconic, delivering a dark, woody bark and ballsy overdrive that’s served as one of the essential blueprints for rock and blues guitar tone. Thanks to BOSS’ official collaboration with Fender, the FBM-1 Fender ’59 Bassman pedal makes it easy and affordable to add this classic sound to your rig.


The Compact BOSS Loop Station Family

Powerful Creative Tools for Performing and Practice

BOSS compact Loop Station pedals: RC-1, RC-3, and RC-30

BOSS compact Loop Station pedals: RC-1, RC-3, and RC-30.

For every musician, looping is a great way to enhance your creativity and have more fun making music. The ability to record yourself on the spot and play along opens up a world of possibilities for not only solo performing, but also for developing ideas and improving your skills. BOSS’ compact Loop Station pedals—the RC-1, RC-3, and RC-30—are the most popular loopers in the world, offering great sound quality and convenient battery-powered operation for on-the-go performing. The feature sets of these Loop Stations vary, with each supporting the unique needs of different types of looping musicians, including guitarists, keyboardists, vocalists, and others. So which one is right for you? Read on to find out…


Percussionist Pete Korpela Looping on the OCTAPAD

Video Demo: How to Use the SPD-30’s Onboard Phrase Looper

Pete Korpela on stage with Roland's OCTAPAD SPD-30

Pete Korpela on stage with Roland’s OCTAPAD SPD-30.

Authors: Dan Krisher, Jim Bybee

Percussionist Pete Korpela seems to be everywhere these days, heavily in demand as a touring sideman and studio session player with artists like Josh Groban, Robbie Williams, and Melody Gardot, to name a few. At the center of his percussion setup is Roland’s OCTAPAD SPD-30, which plays an important role alongside his large selection of traditional acoustic instruments. Pete visited the Roland AR office a few months back for an in-depth discussion about how he uses the OCTAPAD on stage and in the studio. While he was here, we also captured a great video of the percussionist demoing the OCTAPAD’s built-in looping function—check it out below.


Big BOSS Giveaway 2014

Time is Running Out—Enter Now for Your Chance to Win!

Big BOSS Giveaway

Click the image to enter the Big BOSS Giveaway.

The Big BOSS Giveaway is well underway, and there’s just a short time left to participate. One lucky winner will be drawn at random each week and receive a BOSS pedal autographed by a famous musician. All submissions received are eligible for the Grand Prize of $1000.00 in BOSS gear.

The entry period runs from October 1, 2014 through November 25, 2014. Visit the BOSS Facebook page or the contest page at to enter for your chance to win.


FR-8x V-Accordion Version 2.0 Update

Player-Requested Feature Enhancements for the Flagship V-Accordion Series

Roland FR-8x V-Accordion Version 2.0

Roland has just announced the release of a major system update for the FR-8x, the flagship series of the V-Accordion lineup. FR-8x Version 2.0 software adds significant improvements and feature enhancements based on input from the world’s top players, making the premier V-Accordions more powerful and versatile than ever. Quick and easy to install via a USB memory stick, the update will be available as a free download for all FR-8x and FR-8xb owners starting on October 31, 2014.


Kanade Sato: Little Drummer Girl

The Story Behind Roland’s New V-Drums Video

Kanade Sato Playing the TD-1KV V-Drums

Kanade Sato playing the Roland TD-1K V-Drums.

Have you seen the new promo video for Roland’s recently released entry-level V-Drums? If you haven’t, you really need to have a look. In the video, 11-year-old Kanade Sato, a very talented young drummer from Japan, has been invited to play on the new V-Drums kit and spontaneously jam along with three pro musicians. The event was a total surprise to her, and she had no advance knowledge of what was going to take place before she arrived. Undeterred by the soundstage, lights, and large production crew, Kanade gave an inspiring, on-the-spot performance that shows what a bright future she has in store for her stated goal, which is to be a professional drummer when she grows up.


Getting the Auto-Tune Effect with the VE-5

A Little Fun with the Pitch Correct Function

VE-5 Auto-Tune

Get the auto-tune effect with the BOSS VE-5 Vocal Performer.

These days, there’s simply no excuse for bland vocals. We’re not saying that the VE-5 Vocal Performer will make you sing better or replace talent. But how about enhancing your sound with automatic harmonies or a little bit of echo? In this role, the VE-5 is perfect for adding some extra oomph to your singing. And along with polishing your sound with standard studio-style effects, the VE-5 is totally capable of delivering the famous auto-tune effect—á la T-Pain—should your music call for it.


Take Your Music Education Online

Students Enhance Careers with Music Education Online

Berklee Online

Music education online is more accessible than ever via Berklee College of Music’s online extension school.

When you think of music education, you may envision private teachers giving lessons in their homes or a rehearsal room full of students. These learning models are time tested and effective, but unfortunately are not available to all students. However, the dream of the virtual classroom is now a reality and online learning has come of age. According to SkilledUp’s E-learning blog, 46% of college students took at least one online class in the past year. It is predicted that by 2018, half of all classes will be taught online. Music education online is intriguing but also a bit of a mystery, especially for music students. Can you really get the same experience online as you can in a classroom?


V-Mixing Video with Gino Vannelli Live

Live Video Production and Recording

Author: Roland Systems Group Features Team

Have you wanted to produce and record a live show? Or, have you ever wondered what it would be like to producing and recording a live show for DVD? Watch this exclusive behind the scenes video from the production crew who put together the Gino Vannelli Live from LA DVD. The Roland V-Mixing System uses the REAC protocol a low latency Ethernet digital audio protocol that integrates Digital Mixing, Monitor Mixing, Multi-channel Recording, and personal mixing all on one network. This integrated digital audio transport system allows you to mix and record a live show!

Gino Vannelli Live from LA…