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50th Anniversary Digital Piano Photo: ROLAND UNVEILS
50th Anniversary Digital Piano Photo: ROLAND UNVEILS

True, while the 50th Anniversary Digital Piano is just a prototype.

Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments Roland, celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, has unveiled a concept piano prototype. A softly shaped instrument, more like a modern sculpture, inspired by the shape of a jewelry box.

The digital piano prototype’s most futuristic feature is its flying speaker drones, which allow it to create realistic surround sound similar to that of an acoustic piano. The Japanese company wanted not just to add reverberation to the sound (the effect of the gradual decrease in the intensity of sound when it is reflected multiple times), but to actually make the sound come from the space around the player.

The biggest problem was audio latency. In addition, it was necessary to think over the design of the drone, since the propellers of modern models make quite a loud noise. It is assumed that the devices will operate using a dedicated communication channel with low latency. When the sound is quiet, the drones approach the pianist, and when it is loud, they move away.

This is a self-sufficient piece of furniture that can become the main accent in the interior. Roland collaborated with Japanese wood furniture brand Karimoku to create a prototype using natural oak wood from Hokkaido. Instead of making large parts, the entire model was assembled by machine cutting layers of wood and folding them into a single whole: 3D printing concepts were combined with ancient methods for making Buddhist statues.

 

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