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Jean-Michel Jarre playing an AX-Synth during his IN>DOORS tour

The Roland AX-Synth is a keytar that is manufactured by Roland Corporation, and was released in late August 2009. This modernized instrument builds on the features of its predecessor, the Roland AX-7. The most notable change is the addition of an internal synthesizer.



It extends the keyboard to 4 octaves and also adds dedicated controls to control audio and video onstage. It runs on 8 AA batteries or an external power source. It has a 49 velocity sensitive keys, and a 2-character LED display. The AX-Synth also has all of the AX-7's stage performance functions such as the pitch bend ribbon, touchpad-like expression bar, sustain switch, and volume control knob, all on the upper neck of the instrument. As with the AX-7, There is also a proprietary "D-Beam" interface, made up of infrared sensors that detect nearby motion.


MIDI Functionality

The AX-Synth has full MIDI functionality like the AX-7, but also adds an internal synthesizer with 128 voice polyphony and stereo output. It has both MIDI in and out ports and as is common with more recent synthesizers, it also has a USB port which can also be used to communicate MIDI messages, and edit the sounds via Roland's free patch editor/librarian software for PC and Mac.[1]

Notable users

French composer Jean-Michel Jarre used a prototype version of the AX-Synth during the first concerts of his 2009 IN>DOORS tour. The white model keytar was covered in black tape[2] to reduce reflections produced by the laser and lighting used during the concerts. Later during the tour, Roland Japan provided him with an official[3] black production model. This prompted a high demand of black AX-Synth keytars.[4]

Henrik Klingenberg of Power Metal Band Sonata Arctica also plays a custom black & white AX-Synth.[5]

Tim Minchin also used one during his tour; Ready For This?

See also


  1. ^ "Roland AX-Synth Shoulder Synthesizer :: Specifications". Roland. Retrieved 2009-04-23.  
  2. ^ "Magic Brussels". Jean-Michel Jarre. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  3. ^ "Magic Brussels". Jean-Michel Jarre. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  4. ^ "Magic Brussels". Jean-Michel Jarre. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  5. ^

External links


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