Iconic synths, pianos and organs. Top notch recording stuff, e-drums and guitar goodies. Roland certainly has a rich pedigree as a music gear manufacturer, and many of its product highlights have been rounded up to form the Roland Museum at the company's R&D center in Hamamatsu, Japan. But the museum isn't open to the public, so wandering through the banks of music creation marvels is not an easy thing to do. Until now. You can now take a guided 360° tour in your browser or walk through in Google Street View.
Founded in 1972 by engineer (and future MIDI pioneer) Ikutaro Kakehashi, Roland is now synonymous with market-leading music tech. Highlights include the love it or hate it TR-808 analog drum machine (used on numerous hit records by such artists as Marvin Gaye, the Beastie Boys, Whitney Houston and Kanye West), the mighty Jupiter 8 polysynth and the Space Echo tape delays.
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Roland brands now include go-to guitar effects maker Boss and ear candy specialist V-Moda, but much of the treasured creations on display in the Museum are from the 1980s and 90s. Actually getting to see all this nerdalicious fodder for yourself, though, can be something of an impossible dream.
But if you have a browser that supports 360-degree video or a pair of VR goggles, you can now take a virtual guided tour – as you can see in the video below. If you'd rather explore at your own pace, Google Street View can be used to experience the exhibits from different directions or zoom in for a close up of what's on display.