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The Roland AX-1 was produced between 1992 and 1994. It does not produce sounds, but controls other devices (such as keyboards, sound modules and samplers) via MIDI. The industrial design of the Roland AX-1 was done in a basement studio in London, U.K. by two designers, David Sherriff and Andrew Leggo, who ran a small design studio called Space Logic. The electronic design and engineering was done by Roland Europe, Italy.
The Roland AX-7 was manufactured from 2001 to 2007. This modern instrument contains many more advanced features than early keytars such as its predecessor, the Roland AX-1, and the Yamaha SHS-10. It runs on 6 AA batteries or an external power source. It has a 45 velocity sensitive keys (without aftertouch), and a 3-character LED display. Several features aimed towards stage performance are present, such as a pitch bend ribbon, touchpad-like expression bar, sustain switch, and volume control knob, all on the upper neck of the instrument. There is also a proprietary "D-Beam" interface, made up of infrared sensors that detect nearby motion.
The Roland AX-Synth was released in late August 2009. This modernized instrument builds on the features of its predecessor, the Roland AX-7. The most notable change is the addition of an internal synthesizer. A UV Black-colored "premium" model called "Black Sparkle" was released in September 2010. The AX-Synth has now been discontinued.
- "The History of Roland: Part 4". Sound-on-Sound. February 2005. Retrieved 19 April 2012.