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Roland has announced the AX-7 MIDI Controller Keyboard, a direct descendent of Roland's AX-1. Like the AX-1, the AX-7 brings keyboardists center-stage with a lightweight, strap-on design that offers freedom to move around. With a host of controllers--including the light-sensing D-Beam--the AX-7 is easy to play, sporting a new LED display, expanded patch memory and GM/GS compatibility. It can be battery- or AC-powered, and its eye-catching pearl white design looks great onstage.

The AX-7 is a 45-note keyboard controller with velocity-sensitive keys. It's perfect for bass lines, solos or chords since it can be quickly transposed into any key. The keyboard can be divided into independently controllable upper and lower parts. Expanded patch memory holds up to 128 different setups and can be backed up to an external MIDI storage device for safekeeping or to make room for more patches. The AX-7 is also great at controlling modern sound modules, since it's fully GM2/GS compatible.

For the ultimate in expression, the AX-7 provides a variety of realtime controllers, including a traditional Touch Control for manipulating pitch, an Expression Bar, a Hold button and a light-sensing D-Beam that lets the player control everything from arpeggios to resonance simply by passing a hand through the D-Beam's invisible infrared light field. The AX-7's new seven-segment LED display makes its operation intuitive and easy.

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