Accordions probably conjure up images of a street player in Paris, his fingers wandering through a wistful waltz on some street corner, working the bellows of his accordion expertly while the music wafts out a romantic atmosphere. Sorry, but Roland digital accordions have changed all that. Accordions have finally come of age.
The new Roland digital accordions have Physical Behaviour Modeling at the heart of the system. It’s what makes a digital accordion sound so good. The idea is to accurately model the sound produced by a standard acoustic accordion. It does this through a series of complicated algorithms, instead of using sampled sound. The result? You probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
Roland digital accordions are lightweight. No musician enjoys having to lug around a deadweight instrument and this one is certainly not in that category. The weight of the accordion comes from different components than a traditional accordion, however. Digital accordions have a rechargeable battery pack as it is driven by electronics and not purely bellows power.
The bellows do of course play an important part, just as they do with a traditional accordion. The movements of air made by the bellows are detected by the digital accordion and used to reproduce sounds that are entirely in keeping with what would be expected if the bellows were pushing air through a set of reeds.
The Roland digital accordion is not just one accordion though. It’s a single instrument, but it can faithfully simulate some 30 different accordion sounds. With each one you get a wide range of treble registers, bass and chord registers and free bass registers.
It’s one instrument all right, but a whole orchestra of accordions in a single package. And talking of orchestras, Roland digital accordions have that covered too. An impressive range of orchestra sounds can be created at the touch of a button.
The traditional accordion is a fairly simple instrument. The bellows can be controlled at will and can pass air gently over the reeds, or it can be used robustly to increase volume and power, blowing the air strongly over the reeds. Roland digital accordions have managed to replicate this effect. Anyone who can play an accordion will be impressed by the realism of playing compared to a traditional acoustic accordion.
Roland digital accordions do not offer exactly the same playing experience as an acoustic accordion, however. An accordion player who has played for many years will notice how it feels somehow different. This is because the things that determine the sounds produced in a traditional acoustic accordion no longer apply to a digital accordion.
The bellows movement of Roland digital accordions offer more stability and consistency. To put it in simpler terms, you don’t have to work so hard to produce subtle sounds. This will probably feel strange at first to the accomplished player, but it doesn’t take long to get used to. It allows a much greater control of playing skill, a positive thing that traditional acoustic accordions simply don’t have.