Roland Users Group
With its modern sounds and affordability, Roland’s Lucina AX-09 Synthesizer has become a big hit with young musicians everywhere. The Lucina is simply fun to play—it’s compact, runs on batteries, and can be used either as a stand-up shoulder synth or traditionally on a tabletop or stand. Plus, it’s easy for anyone to use, with a ton of ready-to-play tones at quick fingertip access.
Recently, a lot of pro keyboard players have taken notice of the Lucina and made it a part of their own rigs, both on tour and in the studio. While these top-level musicians also play a wide range of much more complex keyboards, they love the mobility and simplicity that the Lucina offers them. In addition, the Lucina gives them trusted Roland quality, from its wide range of contemporary sounds to its pro 37-note keyboard with full-size keys.
“The Lucina AX-09 is a very useful, yet fun, instrument to play on stage,” says Kern Brantley, who holds down bass and keys for Lady Gaga. In addition to using standard Roland synths such as the GAIA SH-01 and V-Synth® GT, Kern likes to go mobile with a shoulder synth. When he does, he often employs the Lucina as a compact alternative to his larger AX-Synth®, and appreciates its fat, ready-to-go synth bass sounds. “It gives me the freedom I like while performing onstage, as well as some very useful show-worthy patches,” he says.
Kern’s brother Valdez currently plays keys for another mega-star: R&B artist Usher. Valdez tours with an impressive rig that includes two VT-Synth GTs, a GAIA, and many other keyboards. But when he gets the opportunity to escape his wall of hardware to entertain at the front of the stage, he calls on his AX-09. “The Lucina is a very important part of my keyboard rig on the Usher OMG tour,” says Valdez. “Its simple onboard editing capabilities allow me to create the sounds I need to rock the crowd. The Lucina is my main transportation—it gets me from one end of the stage to the other. When I play the Lucina, it sets me free.” Valdez also uses the Lucina as a conventional keyboard, mounted on a regular stand.
Keyboardist Jennifer Stone recently discovered the Lucina while in the middle of a world tour with singer/songwriter Ke$ha. “The Lucina filled such a void in my rig,” Jennifer says. “For Ke$ha's live show, I needed mobility, MIDI, and great synth sounds, which it is filled with. I was up and running with the Lucina the first day I got it.” Typically, Jennifer loves programming her own sounds from scratch on analog-style synths, so her comments say volumes about the high quality of the Lucina’s onboard sounds. They also got the thumbs-up from Ke$ha herself, who’s very particular about the sounds used for performing her music.
Longtime Roland player Jeremy Dawson of Shiny Toy Guns is also singing the praises of the Lucina. His band is currently preparing to tour in support of their new album, III, which features the return of original vocalist/keyboardist Carah Faye Charnow. “The Lucinas are the perfect mobile controllers for our 2K11 live set up,” says Jeremy. “They are light for cheap, no-hassle travel, and they look fashionable and super-hot on stage—a huge step up from your everyday controller.” On tour, Jeremy and the band will be using their Lucinas as both mobile shoulder synths and as MIDI controllers for playing soft synths and triggering audio from a laptop.
Multi-instrumentalist Eugene “Man-Man” Roberts, previously with Kanye West and now playing keys with John Legend, has been a Roland gear fanatic for a long time. His huge collection includes current products such as the Fantom-G6, V-Synth GT, V-Drums®, and SPD-S, as well as legacy gear like the VP-550 and XP-80. The Lucina is his newest toy, and he simply loves the mobile synth. “When I'm not stuck behind a full rig, I'm strapped with my black Lucina,” says Eugene.
Another multi-instrumentalist who’s taken by the Lucina is Adam Young, the artist behind the one-man synth-pop sensation known as Owl City. To create the inventive sounds on his hit recordings, Adam calls on his huge array of Roland synths, including the GAIA SH-01, VP-770, V-Synth GT, and JUNO-G. And for his guitar, voice, and more, he employs a large selection of effects by BOSS (Roland’s guitar product division), such as the GT-PRO, VE-20, RE-20, and SL-20, just to name a few. Even with all this great gear to choose from, Adam’s new Lucina quickly found a home in his massive arsenal. “I love the Lucina AX-09,” says Adam. “It's equal parts style and substance, and it's a blast to play.”
Of course, pros can play any synth they want. But when it comes to compact mobility and great sound, they choose the Lucina AX-09. Discover the Lucina for yourself and see where it can take your music—check out the video.