DEMONSTRATION UNIT IN SHOP NOW!!!
If you’d told me yesterday that I¹d enjoy playing an electronic melodeon, I’d have pulled your ears off and fed them to a tone-deaf fruit bat. But now I’ve tried one, I’ll happily eat them myself. I’ll be quite honest – I really wanted to hate this. The idea of a synth in melodeon format is the kind of thing that makes me break out in hives, but the trouble is, this new Roland is strangely compelling. I¹ll go further it's FUN. By the bucket load.
First of all, being electronic it’s light, so the larger size isn’t a problem and Roland have fitted a LOT into this box. It’s a 3 row 18 bass so you can set it up to play anything from one row/organetto styles all the way through to big continental style layouts. And you can tell it what layout you want ADG, GCF, BCC#, D/G, C/F, G/C, accidentals, low notes, custom layouts you name it. The Instrument will store a dozen layouts in memory at any time so you can switch between systems at the touch of a button, even mid tune if you wish!
You can play it through headphones so you don’t have to disturb others while practicing, or you can plug it straight into a P.A. No more messing about with microphones, feedback etc. And, it doesn’t have to sound like a melodeon. Being a MIDI instrument, you can plug it into whatever sound module you like, but the onboard sounds give you a variety of accordion family sounds, piano, sax, clarinet, even banjo! A single press of a button switches some fairly respectable percussion sounds on which synchronise with the bass and chords.
Essentially, this is a hugely versatile instrument that I’ve only just begun to play with as a controller alone it’s got enormous possibilities. There is so much potential here for doing things that are simply impossible on a conventional melodeon, and above all, it’s fun! - I want one. Swap it for a fruitbat?
A World of Musical Genres in One Amazing Instrument
Introducing the world’s first diatonic digital melodeon!
With the same level of sound quality and natural, dynamic response as its award-winning V-Accordion predecessors, the new FR-18 diatonic is a dream for accordionists seeking a world-class diatonic instrument that can do it all. The FR-18 diatonic features a brand new sound set that lets you choose instantly from a line-up of 12 virtual diatonic accordions as well as a variety of orchestral instruments, Virtual Tone Wheel organs, percussion, and more!
• 12 on-board accordion models, including three user sets
• Virtual Tone Wheel organs on-board with slow and fast rotary
• Four user program registrations
• Programmable keyboard and bass button layout
• Drum function for manual percussion via bass & chord buttons
• Player is free to roam with battery (AA) power and wireless capability*
* Wireless unit and batteries are optional, sold separately
12 diatonic Accordions in One
Performing accordionists can cover all bases onstage with this one instrument. No matter the song, you can switch instantly between different tonalities and configurations of the keyboard/bass buttons. Diatonic musicians won’t have to carry a truckload of accordions onstage anymore! In addition to its amazing collection of virtual accordions, the FR-18 diatonic has other great instruments on-board, all instantly selectable. Choose from orchestral and brass instruments, exotic world instruments, percussion, organs, and more. The User Sets let you load your custom layouts of sounds and settings for instant recall.
The FR-18 diatonic comes with a dozen instantly selectable tablatures, making it possible to cover numerous genres without ever having to change accordions! In addition, you can create your own tablatures with a PC/Mac software app (available via free download). With this software, the FR-18 diatonic is truly an open instrument with customizable layouts for the keyboard and bass buttons. Thanks to USB compatibility, it’s easy to transmit and receive custom tablature sets between computer and accordion.
Performance Style & Comfort
The speaker-less, lightweight body makes the FR-18 diatonic a comfort to wear and play. The long-life battery compatibility lets you roam onstage, free of unnecessary cables and clutter. The classic black finish blends well into any environment; it looks cool and stylish onstage yet elegant in the classiest of settings. In addition, there are exchangeable inlay sheets that let you change the appearance of the instrument. You can also create your own custom-designed inlay sheets and install them easily.
Private or Public
High-quality Roland earphones are included with the FR-18 diatonic package so you can play the instrument right out of the box. Practice at any hour without disturbing neighbours or surrounding environments. When it’s time to blast, however, plug the FR-18 diatonic into one of Roland’s award-winning amplifiers, such as the SA-300 stage amplifier.
Right hand 37 buttons, velocity sensitive, selectable tablature and key
Left hand 18 bass buttons, velocity sensitive, selectable tablature and key (same as for right hand), selectable button chord behaviour (full chord or omitted third)
Real pneumatic detection of bellows pressure (high resolution pressure sensor), high-resolution bellows resistance regulator
Max polyphony 128 voices
Wave ROM 64 MB of waveforms (8+8 MB expansion sounds)
Tones 12 accordion Sets, each including: 8 treble registers, 8 orchestral sounds, 4 organ sounds (slow/fast Rotary settings for each), 3 bass & chord registers, 3 Orchestra Bass registers, 3 Orchestra Chord registers
Treble reed footages 5
Bass reed footages 3
Chord reed footages 2
PBM (Physical Behaviour Modelling)
Noises stopping-reed growl, closing valve noise, left button noise
Individual reed simulation hysteresis threshold, expression curve, pressure-variant filter, pressure-variant pitch deviation
Reed sound wave switching by bellows acceleration, by note repetition speed
Micro tuning presets 15 (Dry, Classic, F-Folk, American L/H, North Europe, German L/H, D-Folk L/H, Alpine, Italian L/H, French, Scottish)
reverb 8 types
chorus 8 types, rotary (Slow/Fast) for organ sounds
Panel switches 4 treble registers + ORCHESTRA/ORGAN button, SET/FUNCTION register, 3 bass registers, ORCH. BASS button, ORCH. CHORD button, LEFT REGISTER button, KEY/DEMO button, USER PROGRAM button, DRUMS button, TABLATURE button, POWER button
ORCHESTRA/ORGAN modes Solo, Dual
Key 12 possible keys (C, C#, D, Eb, E, F, F#, G, Ab, A, Bb, B)
Tablatures 12 types,
Bass & Chord with drum/percussion sounds On/Off
Octave Down, 0, Up (for Treble and Orchestra/Organ), 4 User
Power supply AC adaptor, Batteries (AA, HR6 Rechargeable Ni-MH x 8)
Current draw 500 mA
Expected battery life under continuous use (using Ni-MH 2000 mAh batteries) ±5.5 hours
*Actual battery life varies according to usage conditions, the quality of the batteries and the number of charging cycles. Be sure to use only rechargeable Ni-MH batteries.
Connectors OUTPUT jacks (L/Mono, R/Mono): 1/4" phone type
PHONES jack: stereo 1/4" phone type
USB MIDI connector (computer connection)
USB MEMORY connector (storage devices)
MIDI OUT/IN connector (function adjustable via parameter)
DC IN jack
Accessories AC adaptor, Owner’s Manual, Straps, 1/4"—1/4" phone (guitar) cable, Earphones (with 1/8"—1/4" adaptor plug), Strip for securing the adaptor, MIDI and/or audio cables, Hexagonal wrench, Replaceable “traforo” inlay sheets
Options (sold separately) Accordion soft bag
Size and Weight ( without straps or optional batteries )
Width 375 mm 14-13/16 inches
Depth 365 mm 14-3/8 inches
Height 195 mm 7-11/16 inches
Weight 5.3 kg 11 lbs. 11 oz.