Roland GAIA 2 – dynamic sounds and solid hardware

The GAIA 2 hit us unprepared. Recent Roland synthesizers were boringly stuck to their never-ending Jupiter and Juno heritage, the New Sound Engine hymns of praise made us rather smile than deal with the respective instruments. GAIA 2 is surprising in that the digital youngster GAIA SH-01 gets an early – and unexpectedly well equipped – successor.

Hybrid synthesis (virtual analog combined with wavetables), solid hardware (mostly metal instead of plastic), a robust keybed with full-sized keys, numerous performance possibilities and USB expansion options … Roland seems to be back in the realm of serious instrument makers! And: GAIA 2’s price – just under 900 USD / Euros – is a real bargain …

GAIA 2’s magic word is dynamics (as a summary of all those marketing terms used for it). Dynamics is what the new (here we go again) sound engine is geared towards. Let’s let the marketing department express their praising words and soberly state that expressiveness and liveliness are likely to be at the center of the GAIA 2 sound experience. Which is welcome, of couse.

Part of the package is the easy connection of GAIA 2 to many other Roland products, be it MX-1 and TR-8S …

… or the constantly growing Roland Cloud, whereby the USB Connector WC-1 is only available as an option.

However, this is perfectly fine, especially since USB can be used for many other tasks. Thus, the memory storage on stick …

… or the direct connection to a laptop / computer.

iPad, iPhone … everything can be connected … and of course there is still that old digital interface, MIDI, whereby MIDI IN and MIDI OUT is all you get (possibly due to the size of GAIA 2).

GAIA 2’s hybrid sound engine promises lots of creative output, the performance functions are comprehensive (motional pad, step sequencer and co.) … one can’t help but approach the GAIA 2 with interest and classify this new Roland synthesizer as worth exploring

A few Roland demos:

Further info:

Filed under 2023, General, Stories

“Es genügt, einen Ton schön zu spielen” sagte der Komponist Arvo Pärt im Jahre 2005. Diese Aussage ist ebenso einfach wie ich auch exzellent: Es braucht kein Meer an Tönen, denn entscheidend ist der Klang. Dass so mancher Vintage-Synthesizer der 70er und 80er Jahre teils unerreicht hochwertige Klänge liefert, steht außer Frage. Doch tatsächlich leben wir “heute” in einer nahezu perfekten Zeit. Einerseits hat man – mehr oder weniger – noch Zugriff auf die Vintage Analogen, andererseits wird auch bei Neugeräten die wichtige Komponente des hochwertigen Klanges wieder zunehmend berücksichtigt. Doepfer, Cwejman,, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Studio Electronics, COTK, John Bowen und andere Hersteller bauen hervorragende Synthesizer, die den “Klassikern” in nichts nachstehen. All diesen (alten wie neuen) “großartigen” Instrumenten ist Great Synthesizers gewidmet. _________________________________________________________ In 2005 composer Arvo Pärt said: “Playing one tone really well is enough”. In other words, it is sufficient to play one tone 'beautifully'. I agree with that. All musical efforts are focused on the sound itself. Although I studied classical music (piano and drums), it’s the electronic sound that inspires me. Synthesizers are the epitome of new sounds and exciting tonal spheres. Today, many companies produce high-quality - excellent! - synthesizers: Doepfer, Cwejman, MacBeth, Moog, GRP,, COTK, Studio Electronics, John Bowen and others. It's their products I'm really interested in ... apart from Vintage Synthesizers, which I have been collecting for 20 years. Subsequent to our former websites Bluesynths and Blogasys, Peter Mahr and I have now created GreatSynthesizers. We hope you like it.

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