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Recognizing the importance of personal computers in modern music-making, Roland has launched a new product design initiative to build products that combine the benefits of software and dedicated music hardware. From .WAV/AIFF compatibility to software control for hardware products, USB ports and more, Roland has incorporated a new personal computer-friendly focus into its product design.

The most poignant example of this philosophy is the new MMP-2 Mic Modeling Preamp. This 2-channel microphone preamp combines a high-quality mic pre with DSP effects--such as compressors, de-essers, modeled tape saturation and more--which can be loaded via the MMP-2's USB port. And using the bundled software, MMP-2 owners can tweak all of these effects and more using an intuitive graphic interface.

Likewise, the new XV-5050 64-Voice Synthesizer Module is equipped with a front-panel USB port. This enables users to connect the --5050 to a Mac or PC via USB--bypassing MIDI cables altogether. This powerful 4-Tone synthesizer also comes with free software which lets users program sounds and modify the --5050's powerful effects section more easily. (Owners of Roland's VP-9000 VariPhrase Processor have already been able to take advantage of such software control using V-Producer software.)

Even Roland's recording workstations are becoming more computer-friendly. Recorders like the VS-2480 24-track Digital Studio Workstation, CDX-1 DiscLab and BR-1180 Digital Recording Studio from BOSS all read .WAV files, making it super-convenient to load loops into projects. They also export audio files in .WAV format for computer-based editing, mastering or CD duplication. The VS-1824CD 24-bit Digital Studio Workstation comes bundled with Logic VS software for integrating V-Studio tracks into Emagic's award-winning sequencing/music production software, while the VS-2480's VGA Monitor output lets users control their --2480 projects using a sleek graphic interface with mouse operation.

From making products easier to use via software control to tighter integration with PCs and Macs, Roland is committed to integrating the advantages of computer software with the reliability and power only achievable via proprietary hardware--a marriage all musicians can benefit from.

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