Roland develops in-car synth to create sounds for electric sports car

Who fancies a filter sweep when they floor it?
Who fancies a filter sweep when they floor it?

It's hard to second-guess what Roland is going to do next at the moment - given previous form, who would have thought that it would be working on a new range of modular analogue gear, for example? - but we certainly didn't expect the company to announce that it's developing an in-car synth system for an electric sports car.

That's what's happening, though; the new vehicle from GLM is set to be Japan's first mass-marketed electric sports car, and the 'driving sound system' will be designed using Roland's SuperNATURAL synth technology.

We're told that the system will provide "dynamic and dramatic sounds that seamlessly change depending on real-time driving situations like acceleration, deceleration, and motor load variances on sloping roads." The synth engine will also provide "ingenious neo-futuristic sounds that will give sports car enthusiasts the experience of driving a space ship on the road."

Driving sound

While environmental concerns mean that electric cars are becoming increasingly popular, the theory is that many drivers - particularly those of high-performance cars - will want inspiring sounds to replace those generated by a traditional engine. Roland says that its synth technology is a better option than sample-based methods, as it can be more responsive.

Sounds will be played through the car's stereo speakers, while the 'driving situation' will be detected in real-time by a car-mounted network that measures speed, pressure on the accelerator pedal and load to the power system. Drivers will be able to select from a range of sounds - we guess there'll also be a market for expansion packs.

The Roland driving sound system (pictured below) will be available in GLM's ZZ model from the Autumn.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

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.