Roland’s new Zenbeats app features TR drum sounds and “makes music creation easy”

Having strengthened its hardware hand with the launches of the MC-707 and MC-101 grooveboxes, new Fantom workstation keyboards, Jupiter-X synth and JU-06A synth, Roland is now stepping back into the software realm with the launch of Zenbeats, a cross-platform production app that promises to “make music creation easy”

Based on Open Labs’ Stagelight software, which Roland has just acquired, this enables you to “create, share and collaborate” on Android, ChromeOS, iOS, Windows, and macOS. There are built-in lessons, too.

Zenbeats features drum sounds from Roland’s TR range of drum machines, and offers sampling, instruments and effects. You can record using drum pads, keys and the note grid, and sounds can be tweaked using touchscreen gestures.

Roland CEO and Representative Director Jun-ichi Miki says: “Roland’s mission has remained the same since it was founded in 1972 - to inspire the enjoyment of creativity for everyone. With Zenbeats, anyone can enjoy casual music-making using the devices they already own, and we are certain that our existing loyal fans will inspire us by how they bring the app into their musical lives.”

A free version of Zenbeats is available for all platforms. On Android, ChromeOS and iOS, you can unlock all features for $15, while on Windows and MacOS you can unlock for $50. There’s also the Ultimate option, which allows you to unlock all versions and download more presets, loop packs and sounds via the Zenbeats StorePass. This is currently on offer at $99 (regular price will be $150).

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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