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.

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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.