Keytars have been around since the 1970s, with their popularity in pop music culture peaking in the 1980s. Synth keyboards with a neck and strap, they’re designed to be worn and played like guitars by keyboard players.
Perhaps mocked, they remain interesting and popular instruments, which is likely why Roland continues to evolve and manufacture them.
Their latest offering is the AX-EDGE Keytar, offering professional synth sounds and customisable aesthetics.
The AX-EDGE sports 49 full-size keys (4 octaves) with velocity and channel aftertouch, battery operation, and a range of sounds tailored to the needs of keytar players, such as leads, basses and synth sounds.
A complementary app allows editing of sounds wirelessly over Bluetooth MIDI. The keytar keyboard can be split and layered, and a variety of effects add to the sound generated.
On the neck are controls such as a modulation bar, pressure sensitive pitch ribbon, portamento, hold, octave, and program change buttons, plus some user-assignable controls.
Other features include an arpeggiator, dual display system, on-board song player, and vocoder.
Battery operation, which allows for the greatest freedom of movement, offers up to four hours of playing time via rechargeable Ni-MH batteries. AC power can also be used.
The AX-EDGE is available now at a price of $999.99.
|Keyboard||49 keys (with velocity and channel aftertouch)|
|Parts||4 parts + Vocoder part|
|Tones||User Program: 320|
Preset Tone: Over 500
User Tone: 256
|Effects||Part Multi-effects: 79 types|
Program Multi-effects (IFX): 79 types
Chorus: 8 types
Reverb: 6 types
MIDI Master Keyboard
* You can use the smartphone AX-Edge Editor app (Android version/iOS version) to edit the AX-Edge’s sounds.
Assignable Control knob
Master Volume knob
Assignable buttons x 7
|Bluetooth||MIDI: Bluetooth Ver. 4.1 (Bluetooth LE)|
|Display||16 characters 2 line LCD|
(3 x 7) segment LED
|External Storage Device||USB flash drive|
|Connectors||PHONES jack: stereo 1/4-inch phone type|
OUTPUT jacks (L/MONO, R): 1/4-inch phone type
MIC INPUT jack: 1/4-inch phone type
MIDI connectors (IN, OUT)
USB MEMORY port
USB COMPUTER port (supports USB MIDI)
DC IN jack
|Power Supply||DC 9 V: AC adaptor or rechargeable Ni-MH battery (AA, HR6) (sold separately) x 8|
|Current Draw||1,000 mA|
* Battery life for continuous use (differs depending on the conditions of use)
Rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries: approximately 4 hours
* Carbon-zinc or alkaline batteries cannot be used
Leaflet “USING THE UNIT SAFELY”
Blade panel (including Hex key, screws)
Ferrite core (including Band for fastening the core)
|Options (sold separately)||AX-Edge stand (ST-AX2)|
Pedal switch: DP series
Expression pedal: EV-5
|SIZE AND WEIGHT||Width 1,252 mm (49-5/16 inches)|
Depth 291 mm (11-1/2 inches)
Height 85 mm (3-3/8 inches)
Weight (excluding AC adaptor, Batteries) 4.2 kg (9 lbs. 5 oz.)