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Bonzer Co. Roll Up Keyboard 2009
I got this roll
up piano at a Rite Aid store in
Costa Mesa for 29 bucks, a futuristic keyboard instrument which
trekkies might remember from a Star Trek TNG episode called "Lessons"
(rating high among the most boring TNG episodes ever). Ofcourse that
was the main reason to get it...it is after all one of those things
that people in the 90s thought would be invented 300 years from
now....but no, human ingenuity sometimes goes faster then the fictious
star trek timeline and here it is in a Rite Aid in 2009 for less then
Now there are
many brands making these roll up pianos these days from
quite professional ones with MIDI and pretty good sound engine roms
like the Yamaha ones and really crap ones like the one I just bought.
It doesn't have any serial type number so we just call it"Roll Up
Piano" which it sais on the control unit in the most stupidest fonts
you can imagine. The backside reveals it is manufactured by Bonzer
electronics co. from the futuristic city of Guangdong
got to express to the fullest that this thing is pretty crap. Not as
crap as the Dubreq Stylophone though, which I even didn't find worthy
for a review here but still pretty much crap. Three keys stopped
working in the first five minutes I played it...a day later the rest of
the keys seemed to be working pretty good still. In favor of this
thing: it is polyphonic (4 notes or less I can't figure that out), it
has 99 preset sounds, a sustain function, a vibrato effect and a
whopping 52 "musical notes" sequencer....uhm realtime recorder. Ow
thats not even all, there is also a drummachine part with one of the
most fucked up drumsounds I've ever heard. 99 preset patterns ranging
from Disco to Slow Waltz...we are all set in the drum department.
Well...except that you can't change the tempo of the drumpatterns but
that is just a small 'incomfort'.
So we have a rubber keyboard that can be rolled up, whats so
fascinating about that? Take
it anywhere and just rollllll it out and impress your friends and after
they are bored with it roll it up and put it in your pocket (A large
pocket that must be). Now that sounds
pretty wack on paper and
in reality it is still pretty wack but somewhere it is strangely
fascinating. The big rubber keys have some 1982 zx spectrum keyboard
character and it also has some vague notions of some EDP Wasp
synthesizer keyboard or some obscure giant modular control thing. It is
FUN to play those giant almost dimwitted plump "safety" keys...no
finesse, no precision...and really no high-tech suaveness. This doesn't
feel like something from the 23rd century, its a device that someone
forgot to invent in 1983.
Lets go back to the 99 preset
sounds...we can cut that number to probably less then 10 because most
sounds are used a couple of times as they are layered or shortened to
make another sound. You might find a sustained trumpet sound to be
doubling as the choir and a lower pitched banjo as monophonic moog
synth. Lets check out some of these imaginetively called presets:
Music Synth" This actually has a
kind of pulse width modulation going on, fuzzy and electronic.
07 "Harp" A grainy hollowness
gives this sound a some character
29 "Melody 07" a simple shady
tone...but hey its polyphonic
57 "Percussive Organ"
A 'folky' sound for melancholical mesmerations
01 "Vibraphone" hmmmm mweh....
assorted drum patterns.
I will spare you
the piano, trumpet etc. presets...overall the
instruments sound like a 1992 soundcard but then even worse...maybe
like those greeting cards with built in melodies. I am not sure I am
gonna use this thing ever, maybe hook it up through some Korg MS20 and
lots of effects...I just dig those big rubber keys.
Get the Roll Up Keyboard Drum sound samples for your sampler here
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