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Roland Corporation is a world leader in the design and manufacture of electronic musical instruments, electronic equipment and software. Roland was founded by Ikutaro Kakehashi in Osaka, Japan in 1972. Today Roland is one of the biggest, and best-known names in audio.
Kakehashi founded Ace Electronic Industries in 1960, a manufacturer of numerous combo organs, guitar amplifiers, and effects pedals. He was also contracted by Hammond to produce rhythm machines for the company's line of home organs. In 1973, Kakehashi cut ties with both companies to found Roland.
As with many Japanese start-ups of the period, the name Roland was selected for export purposes as Kakehashi was interested in a name that was easy to pronounce for his worldwide target markets. Rumour has long circulated that he named his company after the French epic poem La Chanson de Roland. In reality, the name was found in a telephone directory. Kakehashi opted for it as he was satisfied with the simple two-syllable word and its soft consonants. The letter "R" was chosen because it was not used by many other music equipment companies, therefore it would stand out in trade show directories and industry listings.
The electronic music community has a special relationship with Roland. In the early eighties Roland products several machines which have been the defining sounds of several electronic genres. These included drum machines: TR-808 (Afrika Bambaataa, Marvin Gaye, Talking Heads, Beastie Boys) and Roland TR-909 (Inner City, Daft Punk, Jeff Mills, Moby, Underworld) and the Roland TR-303 Bass Line synthesiser with is responsible for the ‘acid’ sound (Josh Wink, Hardfloor, Fatboy Slim, Ritchie Hawtin).
At Store DJ we understand Roland product and stock a large range. Our staff have been using Roland for years, and are always excited to talk about their latest innovation. Roland’s motto is "Inspire the Enjoyment of Creativity" and they sure do that.