As we’ve frequently been reminded over the past 12 months, Roland has just celebrated its 50th anniversary, and the company has made a lot of synths and drum machines in that time. Many of these are now available in software via the Roland Cloud platform, and now they’re all being brought together in a new “super instrument” called Galaxias.
Perhaps the best way to think of this is as a container for all the other Roland Cloud instruments (the likes of the Jupiter-8, TR-808, D-50, Zenology and System-8). Given that, initially, it’ll only be available standalone, it seems that it could be intended for live use, though a plugin version is also in the works.
Galaxias contains more than 20,000 sounds and enables you to layer up to four instruments into a Scene. Each of these layers has its own key range, transpose, and MIDI input settings, plus a dedicated arpeggiator.
Macro controls make it possible to tweak multiple parameters simultaneously, and Scenes can be put into Setlists. These offer gapless transitions, ensuring seamless switching from one Scene to another when you're performing live.
On to the effects; these are based on classic Roland and Boss processors and can be applied via two inserts per layer and two global sends. You can also route layers to external destinations for further processing.
Obviously, there’s a lot going on in Galaxias, but Roland says that the interface has been designed to facilitate “rapid creativity and instant satisfaction”. You can switch between editing single instrument layers or complete sets of parameters, and the classic synth hardware views from Roland’s plugins are here, too.
Roland Galaxias is available now and included in the Roland Cloud Ultimate membership. This costs $20 a month or $199 a year.
Find out more on the Roland website.