Roland E-20

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Description:
The Roland E-20 is a keyboard instrument introduced by Roland in 1988.

Described by Roland as an "Intelligent Synthesizer", the instrument was the first product of Roland Europe SpA, which had been set up after a takeover of the SIEL company of Italy the previous year. The new venture was a strategic move by Roland to enter the lucrative high-end home keyboard market which had hitherto been dominated by Yamaha and Technics.

Featuring auto accompaniment, and built in speakers the E-20 used the advanced LA Synthesis system as used on the legendary Roland D-50 its core sound engine. The E-20 set a new standard for the amateur keyboardist, with high-quality sounds, innovative drum patterns and backings which were widely recognised as being significantly more advanced than both Yamaha's PSR and Technics's KN instruments.

As well as the E-20 itself, the cheaper E-5 and E-10 were subsequently launched as "cut down" versions, while the enhanced E-30 debuted in 1990. There was also a modular version (the RA-50 Realtime Arranger), and the Pro-E Intelligent Arranger, which was basically half an E-20 minus speakers with only the arranger and drum unit.

In 1989 the German company Quasimidi produced a popular retrofit upgrade kit that greatly expanded the capabilities of the keyboard. It doubled the number of sounds available from 64 to 128 by unlocking hidden patches previously only available via MIDI. It also doubled the number of user programs that could be stored...
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