If you're looking for a great-sounding and stylish digital piano for your home, then Roland is a safe bet. After all, the brand has played a key role on the evolution of digital pianos.
Designing great digital pianos is not easy - it's something that took decades until manufacturers finally reached the stage they are now, when digital home pianos look, feel and sound ultra realistic.
Digital Pianos are a completely different beast to other keyboards or synthesizers, which don't necessarily need to have that same level of realism. But when you buy a digital home piano, you expect something different, because they are meant to be the best alternative to owning an actual acoustic, upright piano.
Today, a home piano such as the Roland FP-30 offers sound-quality and value for money that was unimaginable 40 years ago:
In those past 40 years, Roland has played an essential role in helping digital pianos to supplant the traditional acoustic ones, in terms of popularity. This is the story of how they've done it...
The Never-Ending Evolution of Roland Digital Pianos
Roland’s quest to build the ultimate electronic piano started soon after the company was founded in 1972. Back then, much of the technology didn’t exist so they had to invent it. Early highlights included developing Japan’s first all-electronic combo piano, the world’s first touch-sensitive keyboard, and even co-developing the MIDI language that allows all electronic musical instruments to talk to each other.
All the while, Roland have refined the sound and touch to satisfy the stage and practice needs of world-class pianists, besides striving to design pianos that look as good as they sound; from classically-styled grand and upright pianos, to contemporary pianos with a stylish flat-top cabinet or a cutting-edge metallic body. Today, Roland Digital Pianos are some of the best available. This is how they got here:
1973 - Introduction of the EP-10, Roland’s first all-electronic, oscillation-based combo piano. In this era, oscillation of the tone/bar and lead with electricity was the mainstream in electronic piano technology, and the introduction of the all-electronic, oscillation-based piano engine was a big leap forward.
1974 - The debut of the EP-30, the world’s first electronic piano with a touch-sensitive keyboard. The touch-sensitive keyboard — one that senses playing velocities from soft to hard — is standard technology in today’s digital pianos. However, in the early days of electronic piano technology, it was a groundbreaking advancement.
1983 - The HP-300 and HP-400, the first digital pianos with MIDI. In 1983 Roland co-developed the MIDI specification, which enabled electronic musical instruments from different manufacturers to communicate with each other. The HP-300 and HP-400 were the very first digital pianos to feature this revolutionary technology, letting their owners explore a myriad of creative possibilities. The two-piece cabinet design, comprising main body and stand, was another innovation that quickly became a mainstream trend.
1986 - Introduction of the RD-1000 Stage Piano. The RD-1000 was the most advanced digital piano of the time, built around Roland’s advanced SA (Structured Adaptive) technology for a more authentic piano sound. Just a year later, this pro-focused technology was also available in Roland’s home pianos, so you could enjoy the same piano sound used by the world-famous artists who made the music you grew up with. It’s a tradition that continues to this day with our current RD stage pianos.
1987 - The debut of home pianos equipped with the SA sound engine (HP-5600S/HP-5500S/HP-4500S/HP-3000S). Roland brings its advanced SA technology to the home market.
1991 - Introduction of the FP-8, a portable piano with 88 keys. The fashionable red/white/gray color scheme was an instant success, as was the hammer-action keyboard. Incorporating a key mechanism with only a weight hammer and no springs, this keyboard’s feel rivaled the natural touch of an acoustic piano.
1992 - The debut of the HP-7700, a digital grand piano. This instrument combined the compact size of digital piano electronics with the majestic and elegant look of an acoustic grand.
2001 - The introduction of the HPi-5 with DigiScore, an LCD built into the music rack. The groundbreaking DigiScore feature introduced a new way of practicing the piano, with a notation display (with automatic page turning) for the built-in piano songs, commercial music data, and song lyrics. It also displayed the user’s playing as notation in real time.
2003 - The introduction of the stylish DP-900 Designer Piano. With a depth of just 30 cm and a flat top with the lid closed, this simple and elegant piano instantly became a big hit.
2005 - The RG-7 captures the form and sound of an acoustic grand piano. Equipped with the new 88-Key Multi-Sampled Piano Engine, the RG-7 captured the unique, expressive sound of every note on an acoustic grand piano. The instrument was also equipped with a “moving keys” feature that automatically moved the keys as the built-in demo songs played.
2009 - The revolutionary V-Piano is born. Roland reinvents piano technology with the V-Piano, a modeling-based digital instrument that uses no sampling whatsoever. With its groundbreaking “living” piano engine, the V-Piano is able to create the sounds of nearly any piano, both real and imagined.
2011 - Roland introduces the V-Piano Grand. This exquisite instrument blurs the line between digital and acoustic worlds. Stepping up from the previous generation, the V-Piano Grand’s sound generator has been further refined to create the world’s first “stringless acoustic piano.”
2015 - Roland unveils the next generation digital piano, the LX-17. From the sound to the keyboard to the tall upright cabinet housing a remarkable eight-speaker, multi-channel sound system, the LX-17 is a piano crafted for the connoisseur. With a brilliant mirror-like sheen and graceful design, this gorgeous instrument brings the majestic look of a high-end acoustic piano to your home.
Digital Pianos at PMT Stores
Professional Music Technology stores across the UK always stock the latest digital pianos and keyboards, so you can try out products before you make your purchase. Visit your nearest PMT Piano Shop today and find the keys of your dreams.