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Roland BK-9 backing keyboard debuts at Musikmesse Frankfurt 2013

Roland announced the BK-9 Backing Keyboard, the new flagship in its BK-series lineup of portable instruments with auto-accompaniment features, at Musikmesse Frankfurt 2013. With a broad range of sounds and rhythms, intuitive user interface and dual LCD system, USB recording and song/rhythm playback, the BK-9 is designed to be a powerhouse music machine for professional solo performers and casual hobbyists alike.
Equipped with a pro-quality 76-note keyboard, the BK-9 is light and easy to transport, weighing under 21 pounds (9.4 kg). It provides over 1,700 sounds and 70 drum kits, including 22 SuperNATURAL sounds and 500 new sounds from the acclaimed Roland library. There’s also a Virtual Tone Wheel organ with harmonic bars for, plus a User Tone area dedicated for future sound expansion collections from Roland.
For accompaniment, there are 540 built-in rhythms. All the rhythms have been fully remastered for enhanced sound. Via optional USB memory, users can add unlimited additional rhythms and play MP3, WAV, and SMF files as well. A powerful enhancement for live playing is the Mixer function, which allows for instant adjustment of rhythm and real-time part levels, MFX parameters, and more using the harmonic bars on the front panel.
Five independent multi-effects engines (MFX) offer a wide range of sound processing possibilities, with three MFX dedicated to rhythms and two MFX dedicated to real-time parts. Two Mastering Processors allow stage performers to optimize the sound of the rhythm and real-time sections separately to suit particular venues and add final polish for recordings.
The BK-9’s interface has been designed for efficiency and ease of use while performing, with a dual LCD system and simple, intuitive controls. Players can store up to 10 favorite tones for each real-time part. There are 1000 onboard Music Assistants, and users can save unlimited Performance Lists to USB memory.
A built-in 16-track sequencer provides a professional platform for composing and editing SMF data, while the Rhythm Composer allows users to create and customize their own rhythms. The Chord Loop feature allows you to record and save chord sequences to drive the rhythms.
With the Audio Key function, audio files stored on USB memory can be assigned to the top seven keyboard keys, allowing for quick-access playback while performing. Additionally, BK-9 performances can be easily recorded directly to USB memory as CD-ready WAV audio.
Vocalists will appreciate the convenient XLR microphone input, which features phantom power, a dedicated reverb effect, and easily accessible front-panel controls. A Video Out jack is provided for displaying embedded MP3/SMF lyrics and chord symbols on an external display.
Roland BK-9 Backing Keyboard
The BK-9 is compatible with Roland Wireless Connect, which provides cable-free communication with Apple’s iOS devices via Roland’s optional WNA1100-RL Wireless USB Adapter. Alternately, an iPad can be connected to the BK-9 with a USB cable when using Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit. Many free apps are available to enhance the BK-9 experience, including Air Recorder for jamming and capturing performances (iPhone/iPad), BK Partner for selecting tones and rhythms (iPad), Lyrics Viewer for displaying SMF lyrics (iPad), and a number of others.
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