Ikutaro Kakehashi was born in Osaka, Japan on February 7, 1930. The name might not ring a bell to most of you reading this blog post. But this man is the founder of the Roland Corporation, that brought us the first touch-sensitive electronic piano (Roland EP-30) in the world and the space echo machine (Roland RE-201). His company was one of the first to utilize a microprocessor in a digital sequencer (Roland MC-8), as well as the first to introduce MIDI in a drum machine (TR-909) which used digital sample playback along with analogue sound synthesis. Not to forget that the drum kits in the Roland TR-909 are still being used in studio productions around the world. Most musicians have interacted with some kind of Roland gear over the years.
There is a wide range of musical equipment that Roland has developed and shipped to musicians around the globe. Some of these instruments have been seen in my personal collection over the years, going back to the E-20 Synthesizer in the late 1980’s followed by the RC-7 MIDI module, MC303 Groovebox, (BOSS) SP303 Dr. Sampler, Roland SH-32 Synthesizer, Roland D2 Groovebox and a few other that I cannot recall at the moment. Thank you very much for your hard work, Roland!
Congratulations Roland! 40 years!