Roland's Atelier AT-350C: bringing together organ and portable
(ShackMan | Posted 2011-01-24)
I know what you're thinking right away. Organ and portable aren't exactly words you normally put in the same sentence, but then again, organs are usually 300-pound (or more) beasts that are all but bolted to the floor. That's where the new Roland Atelier 350C comes in. It's Roland's way of giving organists something portable. Each piece, from the dual-manual keyboard, the folding stand (sold separately), to the pedalboard with expression controller (also sold separately), fits inside your average car. So Roland stuffed it with a "greatest hits" lineup of sounds and their SuperNATURAL voicing technology. Here's what else they got to fit.
First and foremost were the sounds, brought to life through the 49-key upper and 64-key lower manuals. Roland crammed as many authentic vintage organ sounds as could fit into the AT-350C, and they're all controlled in real time by Roland's Virtual Tone Wheel technology. Physical harmonic bars provide hands-on control of Upper, Lower, Solo, and Bass, so it still feels as much as it can like a real organ. Create robust or jazzy basslines with two different optional pedalboard styles (both include an attached expression pedal). There's also a cool extra for spaced out effects: Roland's D-Beam laser controller.
In addition to the vintage organs, Roland packed in a slew of sounds including trumpets, violins, flamenco guitar, as well as grand piano and acoustic guitar. Each voice can be programmed for use as a solo instrument or as components of the interactive music styles. The music styles come from a library or edited play-along rhythms, tracks, and backing instruments that are all editable and geared toward popular genres. You can even use the USB ports to play along with MIDI and audio files during performance. As with just about all of Roland's newest products, you can also use the USB port to save your performance straight to a hard drive, ready to transfer to a CD. A nice combo, for being portable.
James Rushin is a bassist, keyboardist, writer, and composer living and working in the Greater Pittsburgh area. He has performed with Selmer artist Tim Price, Curtis Johnson, guitarists Ken Karsh and Joe Negri. His compositions have been featured at West Virginia University and Valley Forge Christian College. He will be spending the Fall and Winter months working on playwright Frank Gagliano's Voodoo Trilogy and Bodoni County Songbook.
Got questions? Comments? James can be reached as ShackMan in the Music Gear Review forums, or you may e-mail him at James.Rushin@MusicGearReview.com.