Gadgets

This electronic piano comes with speakers. In drones. That fly.

Roland is one of the most respected manufacturers of electronic keyboards, drum machines, and other things that can be programmed. The company was at CES again this year and one of the things on display was a 50th-anniversary electric piano that came with speakers in flying drones.

It’s a lovely looking thing with tons of tech crammed into a body made of Japanese maple. But the real party pieces are the flying speakers.

The drones float around the piano (mostly silent, not sadly not entirely) transmitting what’s played in an evolving 360-degree way. Add in a “speaker ball” that’s within the piano and you have 14 speakers in total. Their position can be controlled by the performer. The overall effect is similar to the immersive audio you feel from various types of acoustic pianos, from simple standups to grands.

No word on a release date, but we can look at the thing here.

Photo: Roland

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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