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Roland has announced the RD-170 Digital Piano at the Frankfurt Musikmesse show. This piano features an improved 88-note weighted hammer-action keyboard, 64 piano and instrument sounds and new Master Keyboard functions with 16 setup memories--making the RD-170 a great MIDI controller as well.

Thanks to stereo sampling, every nuance of an acoustic piano is reproduced. And with new half-pedal recognition, the RD-170 can sense pedal positions between "On" and "Off" using the supplied Damper Pedal. There are a total of 64 sounds to choose from--including electric pianos, strings, mallets and new organ sounds unavailable on its predecessor.

The RD-170 can also serve as a master keyboard. In addition to Split and Layer functions, there are also controller functions built-in that allow users to play and control external MIDI modules simultaneously. Sixteen programmable setup memories make it easy to save and recall custom settings--great for performance. Other convenient features include a 2-track recorder and metronome, plus 16 onboard demo songs.

Connections to the RD-170 include stereo 1/4-inch outputs, two stereo Headphone jacks, MIDI In and Out, and two pedal jacks (damper, soft/sostenuto/expression).

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