Roland’s Thought Piano Keys in on Drones For Encompass Sound


Designed in collaboration with Jap furnishings maker Karimoku, the Roland fiftieth Anniversary Thought Piano is a learn about of “what if?” – an audaciously conceived and meticulously assembled composition of Jap Nara oak layered right into a unmarried shape containing a 360-degree, 14-speaker device and with a fair wilder proposition: drones for encompass sound.

Rear view of the elliptical oak wood concept piano by Roland in a room setting set against orange rug.

Roland connects the fiftieth Anniversary Thought Piano to an incredibly dissimilar descendent, the logo’s sharply crystalline obsidian 2020 GPX-F1 Aspect Grand Piano. Whilst that design stocks an explorative spirit, it additionally exhibited rectilinear traces of a nearly jewel-like look. The fiftieth Anniversary Thought Piano then again takes on a warmly natural rounded shape, one accentuated by way of its Jap Nara oak wooden sourced from Hokkaido.

Detail shot of 360-degree 14 speakers inside the Roland Concept.

Detail shot of 360-degree 14 speakers inside the Roland Concept.

The musical software logo tapped the skills of Jap furnishings maker Karimoku to create the elliptical design with machine-cutting layers of wood items which can be joined in combination to shape the frame – a methodical try to use historical strategies as soon as used to construct wood Buddhist statues with recent Three-D-printing tactics. The challenge itself was once impressed by way of the forefather of classical ambient track Erik Satie’s idea of “Furnishings Track,” or track that turns into like furnishings in an area. One would possibly realize how the software’s relation to damaging area conjures up Satie’s personal track’s use of silence to emphasise sparse sound.

Detail shot of piano's center tablet display and overhead of keys.

A slightly-panel pill sits embedded into the middle lid. Most effective published when open, the show permits the keyboardist get admission to to Bluetooth connectivity, web get admission to, video conferencing, piano classes apps, and streaming tutorials.

A equivalent becoming a member of of previous and long run function inside of. A 360-degree “speaker ball” is living throughout the fiftieth Anniversary Thought Piano, comprising an array of 14 audio system able to firing sound in any route, “seven at the proper and 7 at the left,” leading to an immersive third-dimensional sound.

Front view of the Roland 50th Anniversary Concept Piano with lid open and seat in front.

The group sought after the sound to in truth fall from the air across the participant. The answer? A couple of drone audio system that hover over the piano.

Overhead of Roland Concept set against orange rug with four drones flying overhead.

And if the design itself wasn’t intrepid sufficient, Roland has imagined the inclusion of drone audio system to hover over the piano to create the flying similar of the Dolby Atmos revel in (purely a conceptual proposal at the moment, noting drones are an excessively audible presence in operation). Roland is trying to take on a few problems confronted when including flying drones to an process the place ambient sound can’t bitter the revel in: latency and the noisy sound of drone lovers. They’re investigating the incorporation of a generation that adjusts drone positioning to optimize perceived sound, shifting the drone nearer “when the sound is comfortable, after which transfer away when the sound is loud.”

Craftsman sanding the body of the 50th Anniversary Concept Model Piano.

The Roland fiftieth Anniversary Thought Piano is highest won because the similar of an automobile idea automobile: an exploratory undertaking used to push the bounds of what’s imaginable to be later integrated into extra slightly life like (and manufacturable) merchandise. However as an object itself, the 88-key piano keyboard represents a surprising instance of the place artisan craft and musically-minded generation hit all of the proper notes in unison.

Gregory Han is Tech Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles local with a profound love and interest for design, mountain climbing, tide swimming pools, and street journeys, a collection of his adventures and musings will also be discovered at



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