Roland BK7M - band in a box! (1 Viewer)

lparsons21

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Some of you may be familiar with the software called Band-in-a-Box which is used to set a rhythmic style with chording that you can use to mix in your solo instrument either via it or other software.

Well Roland has this slick little box that carries that idea in a different direction. Think one man band and you have a pretty good idea. There are some links to demo and playing with it on YouTube if you're so inclined.

As you can see from my Avatar, I am an organ player. I won't call myself an organist as I use all the automatics they'll give me. And I'm a fan of the Lowrey line of organs. My Avatar picture is of the Lowrey Palladium which was the very top of Lowrey's line around 2007 or so. Lowrey's idea is that if you need more voices/styles and anything else is to sell you more Lowrey. But when you are at the top of their line a new top of line can set you back a cool $50K or more depending on your dickering ability and how hungry the dealer is.

What this little box from Roland is, is almost their organ in a box with no keyboard. For use with a keyboard or organ, you connect its MIDI to the MIDI out on your instrument and connect the stereo (or mono if your organ isn't stereo) out on the BK7M to the stereo audio in. You set up the BK7M with whatever style you' like and any other changes to it you want. And away you go.

Here's a link to Roland's webpage about this unit : Roland U.S. - BK-7m: Backing Module

This is not cheap, but it is cheaper than many upscale Arranger type keyboards which is what this is most compared to for this use.
 

lparsons21

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Here's some more links to YouTube of the BK7M

This one is using a Yamaha HX1, older organ as a midi controller only. No sounds or styles from it are being used :

Roland BK-7m - Only Girl - YouTube

Here's another, same poster, different song but also using the organ as a midi controller only, not providing any sounds/rhythms:

Roland BK-7m - Radio Pop - YouTube

And for the jazz fans, a different poster, different unit to control :

Démo SWING Roland BK7m - YouTube

And for those wondering about the famous Roland vocals:

ROLAND BK7M ` THE BEACH BOYS. GOD ONLY KNOWS - YouTube

A little Latin:

Démo BESAME MUCHO Roland BK7M - YouTube

and how about a little piano?

BK-7m-Naturalpiano - YouTube

Enjoy!!
 

Dirtydan

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I'm about like you, auto all the way. I like the module, but no way to hokk it to my Lowrey Contempo Eighty. The Hammond sound it puts out is what I can't duplicate on my Lowrey, and I love the Hammond sound.
Question, I use the "Golden Music, One Note music books, do you know of a seller of these books?
Dan
 

lparsons21

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I'm not familiar with the Contempo 80, but if it has a midi out port and a way to connect external audio, then it could make use of the BK7M. That's basically all that is needed on the organ side.

As to the music you are looking for, I don't know of a seller and I'm not personally familiar with that series of books. Sorry.

I use EZPlay music which has note names in the noteheads and bigger print than normal lead sheet music. Have you looked at those?
 

Dirtydan

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No way for me to hook up the module, only thing on the organ is a headset jack. I have some EZ play books, do you have knowledge of where I could buy more of these, they are same as Golden Music?
 

lparsons21

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Ah, OK that must be older than my oldest! The EZPlay books are available on Amazon and sometimes there are postings of them here and there. If you'll PM me, I can send you a PDF of one of them that I got somewhere. I've never seen the Golden Books so I'm not sure if they are the same or nearly so. They are still produced and I've bought them at my local music store and direct at Hal Leonard. Here's a link to one place I see them very available : EZ Play Music - Where Music Matters Most

Here's a thought for contemplation. Used home organs much newer than yours sell cheap as the market has literally dried up for them. Mine was Lowrey's top of the line in 2007 and was sold new for about $50K or more and I bought mine last year for a very small percentage of that cost. In Lowrey's lineup, the LX500 Celebration and LX510 Majesty can be bought for $1k or less. Technics EA5's which are very good also, sell for less than $500. Of course, that is not dealer prices that is all private sale and all require patience and a willingness to dicker. Craigslist is a good place to look, Ebay can be, but very often the asking prices are way out of line.

The reason for the high asking prices versus what they actually sell for is that most are sold by someone that inherited them and they know that grandma/grandpa paid a fortune for them new and they just are sure they are still worth a lot. But they aren't. For home organs, there really is only 2 manufacturers still around these days. Lowrey and Roland. Lowrey is still making and bringing out new models but rather slowly, Roland hasn't refreshed their lineup in a few years.

So basically if you like playing the organ and would like something newer and better, this is a great time to be a buyer...
 

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