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NAMM 2013: Roland releases mini amps

Ronnie Dungan
NAMM 2013: Roland releases mini amps

The Cube Lite (for guitarists) and Cube Lite Monitor (for keyboard and synth players) are compact, 2.1 channel amplifiers with built-in audio interfaces for Apple’s iOS devices.

Both amps allow musicians to enjoy playing and recording music at home with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch thanks to the new i-Cube-Link audio interface. This connects the amp to an iOS device via a single cable, so you can listen to music from your phone or tablet through the amp. It can also record direct into any iOS audio app, including Roland’s free Cube Jam app for guitarists

For guitarists, the Cube Lite has three distinctive COSM tones – JC Clean, Crunch, and Extreme, offering a wide range of sounds that fit into any style of music. COSM is short for Composite Object Sound Modelling, Roland’s ‘modelling’ technology that emulates the physical and acoustic characteristics of an amp. This means that a single amp can mimic other amps, in this case the classic JC-120 Jazz Chorus, a vintage crunchy rock amp and a metal sound too. Reverb and chorus effects are onboard as well, and the 2.1 channel audio delivers a wide, expansive stereo sound more akin to that of a high-end iPod dock.

Cube Jam also includes tools for music practice, including the ability to slow down audio to help you practice a particular part; although the audio slows down, the original pitch is maintained. You can also remove or minimise the presence of pre-recorded vocals by using the centre-cancel option, which clears the way for you to lay down your own vocals.

For pianists and keyboard players the Cube Lite Monitor has mic and instrument inputs, so is ideal for singers and musicians who play other electronic instruments. Reverb and echo effects are also a feature.

The Cubejam iOS app is free from the App Store and when paired up with a Cube Lite amp lets you practice, record and share your latest ideas. You can play along with commercially-available songs and create minus-one tracks through the Cube Lite, and then play the recorded audio back into Cube Jam through the i-Cube Link connection. After recording you can adjust the volume of your performance and backing music from directly within the app, then export a mix to a 16-bit, 44.1 kHz WAV file for sharing.

The amps can also be used as a speaker system when connected to an iOS device. They are available in black, white and red.

For more information on Roland's new mini amps and all of their new products visit the launch site here.

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Tags: Roland , NAMM 2013 , Cube Lite

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