Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds
Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds

Roland intros RP301 and RP301R digital pianos [NAMM12]

Roland has introduced the RP301 and RP301R digital pianos, both featuring its SuperNATURAL sound technology, Ivory Feel-G keyboard and a number of features designed to make piano playing more fun and rewarding.

We don’t have the detailed specifications for each model, but it seems that the RP301R additionally features 60 built-in accompaniments and an intelligent chord recognition system, making it more suited to those who want that bit extra than most digital pianos offer.

Key features of the RP301 are:

  • SuperNATURAL Piano recreating authentic piano expressiveness
  • Ivory Feel-G keyboard for true piano feel and touch
  • Easy access to features for practice and performance with dedicated front-panel buttons
  • Metronome, recorder, and Twin Piano features convenient for skill building
  • Environment friendly; low power consumption and Auto Off function
  • Two beautiful cabinet finishes: Satin Black and Simulated Rosewood

And of the RP301R:

  • 60 built-in rhythm accompaniments enrich your piano performance
  • Newly developed full-keyboard chord recognition engine
  • Three versatile playing modes: Pianist, Split Chord, and Split Tone
  • Perfect sound through SuperNATURAL piano technology
  • Authentic piano touch and feel with Ivory Feel-G keyboard
  • Rhythm accompaniment can be expanded through USB memory
  • Built-in LCD enhances the user-friendly operation
  • Environment-concious design with Auto Off function and low power consumption (12 W* under the condition of average use without compromising its powerful sound)

Of particular interest to those who like auto-accompaniment features is the intelligent full-keyboard chord recognition system. Roland claims this means the pianist doesn’t need to change their playing style in order for the accompaniment system to recognise and adapt to the chords being played.

This is in contrast to the systems traditionally found on other keyboards whereby the player is forced to play chords in the lower octave or two of the keyboard with the left hand, or even to play various note combinations which denote major, minor and other chords.

Those systems work well if you get used to them, but not so well for trained pianists who are used to playing chords with the right hand, or split between left and right hand, often in differing inversions. It will be interesting to hear how well Roland’s technology copes with the many variations in chord style (including broken chords/arpeggios perhaps?)

Here’s more information about the different features found on the RP301 or RP301R.

60 Built-In Rhythm Accompaniments for Piano Performance

The RP301R incorporates 60 built-in rhythm accompaniments spanning 11 music genres, which are designed to enrich your musical repertoire and enjoyment. Each rhythm accompaniment contains an Intro, Ending, Variation, and Fill patterns that includes a basic rhythm part (drums/percussion) and melodic accompaniments, such as bass, guitar, and strings. Rhythm accompaniment can be expanded through USB memory.

Intelligent Full-Keyboard Chord Recognition (Pianist Mode)

Make incredible music with the RP301R’s newly developed full-keyboard chord- recognition engine, which reacts to the pressing level of the damper pedal. Any chord you play can be recognized in real time, allowing the auto-accompaniment to follow what you play. You can play along with sophisticated rhythm accompaniments without changing your piano playing style.

SuperNATURAL Piano

The RP301/RP301R incorporates Roland’s SuperNATURAL Piano engine — a cutting-edge technology derived from the flagship V-Piano as well as 88-key stereo multisampling. SuperNATURAL Piano brings a new level of authentic sound and natural performance to the digital domain. Roland’s engineers relentlessly analyzed the complex, ever-changing characteristics of concert grand pianos, faithfully capturing and reproducing the tonal variations based on the velocity of each keystroke. With SuperNATURAL, three key elements are dramatically enhanced: velocity response, note decay and key-range behavior. The end result is an incredibly expressive and authentic sound that blurs the line between digital and acoustic.

Ivory Feel-G Keyboard

Featuring Roland’s acclaimed Progressive Hammer Action design with Escapement, the RP301/RP301R’s Ivory Feel-G keyboard inherits the functions, appearance, and texture of keyboards found on our flagship pianos. Thanks to a combination of advanced sensor technologies and our SuperNATURAL Piano sound engine, the RP301/RP301R offers expression and performance that rivals high-end pianos.

Practice and Performance

The RP301/RP301R is equipped with friendly features to enhance your skills. The Twin-Piano feature, for example, is designed for side-by-side lessons or performances with a teacher or duet partner. It enables the keyboard to be split into two parts, each of which covers the same octaves. This makes it easy to see and hear when practicing beside a teacher. In the same way, the left and right pedals can be reassigned to act as damper pedals for either side of the split keyboard. The RP301/RP301R also has built-in metronomes and recorders, so you can practice with a perfect time reference, and record and listen back to your performances. The built-in song library includes a selection of classical piano etudes — great for practice sessions.

Digital Advantage

With the RP301/RP301R, you can play day or night, year after year, and enjoy perfect sound and performance. Since the instrument is fully digital, there are no strings to tune, and no need to worry about temperature changes or aging strings. Furthermore, the RP301 gives you the choice of playing through its built-in speakers, its external output, and/or through headphones so you can practice privately day or night without disturbing your neighbors. The built-in external input lets you connect an audio player for play-along fun.