“A budget-friendly instrument with core RD features”: Roland launches the RD-08 stage piano, the most affordable RD model yet

Roland RD-08
(Image credit: Roland)

Roland has announced the latest addition to its RD stage piano range, the RD-08, and the good news is that it’s the most affordable model yet.

At first glance, this looks like an even more simplified version of the RD-88, which was released in 2020, and promises “no-compromise” sound in a portable package. There are built-in speakers for home and low-volume rehearsal/performance use, and Roland Cloud compatibility means that the RD-08 is expandable with more sounds.

This is an 88-note instrument that uses Roland’s PHA-4 Standard Keyboard tech, which offers a hammer action, Escapement and Ivory Feel. There are three sound generators - SuperNATURAL Piano, SuperNATURAL E Piano and Roland’s ZEN-Core synth engine - and three parts.

The RD-08 offers 100 scenes and more than 3,000 tones, along with a comprehensive roster of effects. Hands-on control comes courtesy of assignable pitchbend and modulation wheels and four control knobs, and there are inputs for a damper pedal and two further assignable pedals.

Other features include the option to favourite sounds, a song player and a metronome, while audio I/O compromises a 1/4-inch headphone jack, stereo 1/4-inch output jacks, a 1/4-inch mic input and a line input minijack, presumably so you can play music through the speakers. There’s no mention of Bluetooth, either for MIDI or audio, but you do get MIDI Out and USB ports.

The Roland Cloud compatibility enables you to install the Acoustic Piano 3, among other expansions (we’re guessing these will come at a cost), and for live performers, there’s Apple MainStage support, too.

Although it’s pretty compact and lightweight - 1,284 (W) x 258 (D) x 159 (H) mm, and 13.5kg - the RD-08 can’t be battery powered, so you it’s not truly portable in the sense that, if you want to use it, you’ll need to be near a power socket.

The RD-08 is available now priced at $1,000. 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.