A wind instrument of change is blowing as Roland introduces the Aerophone Pro

Roland is clearly wedded to its Aerophone range of digital wind instruments, having already added two models to the range  - the Aerophone mini and Aerophone Go - since the launch of the original Aerophone AE-10 in 2016. Now it’s time for a Pro version which, as you might expect, is the most advanced Aerophone yet.

This promises premium components, a refined design, enhanced playability and more sounds. The improvements are said to have been made based on feedback from top players; the Aerophone Pro is more streamlined and nicer to hold, with controls within easy reach. There are aluminium accent buttons and a discrete OLED screen that can be viewed at any angle and in any light.

Out of the box, the Aerophone Pro has the same fingering as an acoustic saxophone and includes a high F# key. However, you can customise the fingering and controls if you wish, and there’s a MIDI footswitch input, too. Both the breath and bite sensors are said to be more expressive, and personalised settings can be saved.

As you’d expect, the Aerophone Pro contains a slew of traditional wind instrument tones, including enhanced soprano, alto and tenor saxes, new trumpets and more esoteric instruments such as the dukduk. However, thanks to the inclusion of Roland’s Zen-Core synthesis system, you also get high-quality electronic sounds - the likes of vintage and contemporary synths.

Sounds can be edited on the device, though if you want to go deeper, you can download an editor app for iOS and Android. Scene memories and favourites mean that it’s easy to access the tones you need when you’re performing.

Aerophone Pro includes both MIDI and audio connectivity, plus a built-in speaker. Battery operation, meanwhile, means that you can play it anywhere.

Aerophone Pro will be available in January 2021 priced at $1,500. Find out more on the Roland website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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