Roland’s new GAIA 2 synthesizer has been built on a newly developed hybrid sound engine, and features 37 full-size keys along with a user-friendly panel layout that aims to make learning synthesis easy and fun. Equipped with wavetable (one) and virtual analogue (two) oscillators, the instrument promises to help players create familiar sounds as well as new, unique-sounding voices.
The instrument’s wavetable oscillator is capable of morphing between multiple waveforms, creating everything from dramatic shifts to slow, evolving textures, with phase and shape modulation options making it possible to distort the output and generate complex overtones. The two virtual analogue oscillators are then equipped with sine, triangle, sawtooth, square and supersaw waveforms, along with noise, and are accompanied by Range, Pitch and Shape controls.
A wealth of hands-on control is provided, with dedicated front panel controls for all of the instrument’s key parameters making it possible to start programming instantly without the need for any ‘menu diving’. In terms of modulation, the GAIA 2 offers a pair of LFOs which can each be assigned to up to four parameters, and come loaded with classic and modern wave shapes, and offer step modulation capabilities.
Nearly all of the instrument’s controls can also be assigned to a Motional Pad, a touch-controlled X/Y control that makes it possible to morph between settings and record the movements in order to create complex modulations. There is also a built-in sequencer which boasts a Random Pattern feature.
The GAIA 2’s filter can operate in low-, band- and high pass modes, with -12, -18 and -24 dB slope options provided, and its Cutoff and Resonance knobs are joined by a Drive control. Onboard effects are provided, too: there are dedicated Reverb/Delay and Chorus sections, along with over 50 MFX that can be configured via the instrument’s menu.
USB-C provides class-compliant audio and MIDI interface functionality, and a USB-A port allows the connection of a flash drive for data backup, or a USB MIDI controller for extended control. Using an optional Roland Cloud Cloud wireless adapter, it is possible to browse and download additional content including sounds, Model Expansions and more from the company’s cloud subscription platform.
Pricing & Availability
The GAIA 2 is available now, priced at $899.99.