Roland A-01 Is A MIDI / Analog Controller & An 8-Bit Mono Synth

What do you get when you take some of the inspiration behind the Roland Boutique synths with a controller in mind? The A-01 hybrid MIDI / CV controller with an 8-bit synthesizer inside too.  

If you only get a glance at the A-01 you’ll immediately see similarities between it and the excellent Roland Boutique line of synthesizers. It’s designed to be at home controlling software over MIDI, MIDI over Bluetooth, and CV/Gate for analog or modular synthesizers. 

The new Roland A-01 controller / synth hybrid

The new Roland A-01 controller / synth hybrid.

While it’s compatible with the K-25m mini-keyboard (yes, the one you’ve seen with the Roland Boutique series) it goes a step further than being a portable controller. The A-01 features what Roland calls, “a pocket synthesizer with an 8-bit CPU sound engine “developed by the engineer responsible for Roland classics including the JX-3P.” So there we have it. The A-01 is even more part of the Boutique family than you might have first realised.

Main Features

  • Ultra-compact controller and sound generator
  • Highly portable for mobile music making
  • High-quality construction with metal front panel
  • Dual assignable ribbon controls for pitch bend, modulation, sound preview, CC, and more
  • MIDI over Bluetooth®
  • CV/GATE outputs for legacy analog/modular synthesizers
  • Battery-operated (4 x AA) or USB bus-powered
  • 192x40 graphic LCD screen
  • Built-in 0.5 W mini-speaker for real-time sounds
  • Compatible with optional Roland K-25m mini-keyboard
  • Bundled package with K-25m keyboard dock (A-01K) is also available

Being battery powered and equipped with a built-in speaker should make this a favourite with ultra-mobile musicians. And the 192x40 LCD screen provides essential info including the shape of the waveform this mini treat of a synth/controller is generating.

Roland A-01 with the K-25m keyboard. You can adjust the tilt to suit.

Roland A-01 with the K-25m keyboard. You can adjust the tilt to suit.


We don't yet know how much A-01 is expected to retail for, or when it will be available, but you'll be sure to find out more details from retailer websites.


Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional... Read More


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