New Digital Hand Percussion Instrument

US Roland introduces the HandSonic HPD-20      05/09/13

New Digital Hand Percussion Instrument

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Roland has introduced the HandSonic HPD-20, which they describe as a dynamic digital hand percussion instrument that excels for both live performance and creating music in the studio. They tell us that it features the renowned SuperNATURAL sound engine and a highly sensitive multi-pad interface for maximum expression, plus a huge selection of ready-to-play sounds, WAV import via USB, deep editing capability, onboard effects, and much more. A spokesperson said, "Versatile, intuitive, and inspiring to play, the compact HPD-20 is ideal for a wide range of music creators, from percussionists and drummers to electronic dance music performers, composers, and producers."

Here's the full details directly from Roland...

Representing the latest generation of Roland's acclaimed HandSonic series, the HPD-20 is a sophisticated hand percussion instrument with an amazing level of expressive power. Equipped with the latest sensing technology, its 13 pads provide ultra-sensitive velocity response for playing sounds, and are arranged in a circular configuration for maximum ergonomic efficiency. They also respond to touch and pressure for dampening or muting another pad's tone, adjusting its pitch, and more. This allows players to execute traditional acoustic hand percussion techniques with authentic results, and offers a unique tool for creating performance effects with the many built-in electronic sounds.

The HandSonic HPD-20 features 850 sounds and 200 user-configurable kits, with 100 kits filled with ready-to-play setups covering styles from traditional percussion to modern electronica. Instruments include ethnic percussion from around the world, orchestra and melodic percussion, drums, and a wide array of electronic percussion and synth tones. All the sounds deliver an enormous range of dynamic expression, thanks to the powerful combination of Roland's SuperNATURAL technology and the highly responsive HandSonic pad interface.

Via USB flash memory, users can import up to 500 of their own WAV sounds into the HandSonic HPD-20 and assign them to pads. Up to 12 minutes of time is available for importing percussion hits, audio phrases, sound effects, and backing music. Imported sounds can be used just like the built-in sounds, with full editing and effects processing available, including the ability to continuously loop beats and other rhythmic sounds and start/stop playback with the pads.

When creating user kits, players can edit each instrument by modifying its volume, pitch, decay, and more. Two sounds can be layered together on a single pad, with the ability to blend or switch them dynamically based on playing strength. Three independent multi-effects engines--each with 25 different effects--provide rich sound-shaping options, from standard chorus and echo to intense effects such as distortion, filter, and bit crush. Ambience effects and EQ can be applied to an entire kit as well.

Additional performance controls include a Roll button, plus a Realtime Modify knob to adjust pitch and effects on the fly. Also onboard is the famous D-BEAM for playing sounds and manipulating effects with hand movements in the air.

With the Quick Rec function, it's easy to capture performances and ideas and export them as WAV audio to USB flash memory. A USB Computer port allows users to connect to a computer and use the expressive HandSonic pad interface to play virtual instruments and record beats in audio/MIDI music production software.

Trigger inputs offer the ability to connect a Roland pad and hi-hat controller to expand the HPD-20 and create a super-compact percussion set. MIDI I/O is included for communicating with V-Drums sound modules, SPD-series percussion pads, keyboards, and more.

The CB-HPD gig bag (sold separately) provides a convenient way to carry and protect the HPD-20. The CB-HPD also includes a secondary bag for carrying an optional PDS-10 stand.

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