One might suppose that the name of the Roland Corporation, synthesizer manufacturer of the first rank, was chosen to cloak its Japanese provenance. The name was actually chosen at random from a telephone book, and one of the main criteria for the name was musical, the fact of its soft consonants.
The company was founded in 1972, and for generations has been one of a select group of manufacturers of musical equipment whose name is familiar to many popular music fans—others include Zildjian, Marshall, Fender, and KORG.
The company’s R&D center is located in Hamamatsu, Japan, and right next door is a museum that lovingly showcases Roland’s impressive product line stretching all the way back to the early 1970s. Earlier this year, Roland released a groovy 360-degree video that takes you through every section of the museum so that you can see all the mouth-watering goodies for yourself—the building is not open to the public, so this is probably the closest you’ll ever get to scrutinizing these babies. (Note that most browsers support YouTube’s 360-degree implementation, but Safari does not.)
More after the jump…,