MATRIXSYNTH: Roland Piano Plus HP-450 PB-300 PR-800 MIDI Creation System

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Roland Piano Plus HP-450 PB-300 PR-800 MIDI Creation System

Published on Feb 20, 2019 Barry Warne KJX


1. Roland Piano Plus HP-450 PB-300 PR-800 MIDI Creation System
"A walk through of the Piano Plus system which for 1983-1984 was an introduction into what would develop into the 'Workstation' keyboard where you could record a composition and then add additional parts.

This is a much simpler technology but still very fun to create on.

I've hooked it up to a Nord Rack 2 to garnish more synth sounds."

2. Roland PR-800 MIDI recorder quick one-hand demo with PB-300 Piano Plus HP-450

"I hit record and play on the Roland Piano which goes into the PR-800 and gets recorded. Then I hit stop, go back to the start of the measures/bars and hit play.

The PR-800 then outputs the recorded digital sequence to the Nord Rack 2. I can change the tempo on the PR-800 or change the sound on the Nord of course. Can also play along with the Roland HP-450 piano to add a melody. All sound can go through the HP-450 amp and speakers.

A very simple but effective early MIDI recorder/sequencer, the 1983-1984 Piano Plus system by Roland consisted of the HP-450 Analog piano (great keyboard feel), the PB-300 analog drum machine and the PR-800 "Piano Recorder."

Together they gave your MIDI keyboard setup the ability to record a song in MIDI event capture, then play it back either via the HP-450 or to any external MIDI tone generator. The drum machine supplied preset "home organ" type of beats but also created arpeggiator out back to the piano or to an external MIDI device.

Consider this a home organ broken out into separate components you could mix and match with other gear in your MIDI setup. Or consider this perhaps the first Keyboard Arranger ever, certainly the first from Roland - later taking the form of the RA-90, RA-95 and so on.

The arpeggiator provided either note-runs or comping chords and there was a separate analog oscillator that created bass lines within the PB-300 as you held down a chord in your left hand.

Lastly, you could run outputs of the PB-300 or other MIDI gear through the HP-450 system to create a cohesive instrument via the HP-450 amplifier and speakers.

A rare and unique piece of MIDI history during the early days of MIDI and home Personal Computing as well.

I had not previously come across a basic demo of what the Roland PR-800 does, so here is one finally. There is also provision on the back to save your digital MIDI recordings via cassette tape!"

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