Roland A-500S-R

Compact MIDI Keyboard Controller 49 Keys

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Space-Saving Keyboard Controller

The A-500S is a 49 key MIDI keyboard controller designed by Cakewalk and Roland. It provides real keyboard feel and response in a portable, yet ergonomic design. Perfect for anyone making music in a project studio or even at home with a computer. With such a stylish design and real keyboard feel, this is the perfect solution to your musical production needs.

Make Music with Your Mac or PC
You have a computer, you have inspiration, now is the time to start playing and recording your music. The A-500S is the perfect musical keyboard for use with a wide variety of software on Mac or PC including SONAR, Music Creator, Garage Band, FL Studio, Ableton Live, Sequel, Cubase, Reason, ACID, and others. For Windows customers just getting started the A-500S includes the Cakewalk Production Plus Pack. Best of all, the A-500S is easy to set up — if you can plug-in a USB Cable, you will be making music in no time at all.

Real Keyboard Feel and Response
With a newly designed key mechanism — taken from Roland's 30 years of synthesizer development — players can control a wide dynamic range with incredible subtlety. The new key assemblies have a rounded shape for better reaction to the player's touch and more comfortable glissando, plus enhancements have been made to reduce the already low mechanical noise of the A-500S and eliminate vertical shake on the key strokes. The newly developed pitch bend and modulation design offers you easier and more expressive control. All these features add up to a keyboard that even the most discerning player can appreciate.

Match Your Playing Style with Selectable Velocity Curves
Pick from 12 velocity curves to precisely match your playing style. As the A-500S has 4 different velocity curves and 3 kinds of sensitivity (Light, Medium, and Heavy), you can find the combination that perfectly suits you, so you can produce the precise MIDI performance and programming of a true professional. In addition a Fixed Velocity Mode is provided where the A-500S always outputs a fixed velocity (from 1 to 127) providing practical input for drum and percussion programming in step recording.

Easy Connection to Computer (and more) with Side Panel Ports
The A-500S cleanly provides connections on the side panel so that you can easily have a computer monitor or laptop in the ideal position behind the keyboard — a must for educational use. All connections are located on the side — USB, MIDI OUT plus separate Hold and Expression pedal ports.

3 Digit 7-segment LED and Rotary Encoder
MIDI control on the A-500S is provided via a rotary encoder, which is both easier and faster than using the notes for numerical values. With this knob you can set up MIDI channel, Program Change, Control Change and more and instantly see the values on the LED. When working with virtual instruments, you can set this knob for quick control of your favorite LFO, Filter, or other controls.

FPT Low-latency MIDI Transmission
Don't trust your MIDI to anything else! The A-500S offers MIDI Transmission using Roland's proprietary FPT (Fast Processing Technology). You can rely on FPT for stable, high speed, low latency, and low jitter MIDI transmission. In layman's terms, that means that subtleties of your performance are going to be captured regardless of the music application you are using. And when working with virtual instruments, FPT provides lower latencies to give you the inspiring feel of playing a real instrument.

Production Plus Pack
The Production Plus Pack is a powerful suite of music creation software that ships with the A-500S. It includes SONAR 8.5 LE recording software (PC only) and three high-quality and versatile virtual instruments for Mac and PC: Rapture LE, Cakewalk Sound Center, and Studio Instruments Drums (see specifications list below for further details).

3 Power Sources—Play it Anywhere
No matter what environment you are in, you’ll be able to use the A-500S because it offers the flexibility of three separate power sources: USB bus power, batteries, or AC adapter. The A-500S is compatible with USB-Bus power. No power supply is required when connecting via USB cable. The A-500S can also be powered via batteries (AA type x 4) or by an AC adapter. 3 choices of power for any situation. Batteries and AC adapter (BOSS PSA Series) are optional accessories.

Roland Authorized Reseller

Product Features:

  • 49-note, velocity-sensitive, standard keyboard
  • Quality feel & response for serious players
  • Match your playing style with 12 velocity curves & fixed velocity mode
  • Sure grip, rubber-coated Pitch Bend/Modulation Lever
  • Rotary encoder and 3 digit 7-segment LED Display
  • Octave buttons
  • Expand playability by adding Sustain and Expression Pedals
  • Side panel connections for streamlined routing
  • MIDI Out port with low latency FPT transmission
  • Choose your power: USB Bus, AA Battery, and AC Adaptor
  • Includes Production Plus Pack: 3 instruments and SONAR 8.5 LE recording software
  • Authorized Internet Dealer
  • 1-year Manufacturer's warranty

What's In The Box?

  1. (1) A-500S CD-ROM
  2. (1) Cakewalk Production Plus Pack CD-ROM
  3. (1) USB Cable
  4. (1) Owner’s Manual (see Product Summary below for PDF)
  5. (1) Cakewalk Production Plus Pack installation guide
  6. (1) License agreement

Optional Accessories:

A-500S-R Specifications:

  • Keyboard: 49 keys with velocity
  • Controllers:
    • MIDI Channel Button
    • Program Change Button
    • OCTAVE Shift [+] [-] Buttons
    • Pitch Bend/Modulation Lever
    • VALUE knob
  • Display:
    • 7 segments
    • 3 characters (LED)
    • Power indicator
  • Side Panel:
    • Power Switch (USB BUS/OFF/DC IN)
  • Connectors:
    • Hold Pedal Jack
    • Expression Pedal Jack
    • MIDI OUT Connector
    • USB Connector
    • DC IN Jack
  • Power Supply:
    • AC Adapter DC 9V
    • USB Bus Power
    • Dry battery LR6 (AA) type (alkaline) x 4
  • Current Draw: 150 mA
  • Expected battery life under continuous use: 10 hours (Alkaline)
  • Size & Weight:
    • Weight: 6 lbs. (2.7 kg)
    • Width: 32-13/16" (833 mm)
    • Depth: 7-1/4" (184 mm)
    • Height: 3-5/16" (84 mm)

Production Plus Pack + SONAR 8.5 LE Specifications:

  • 32 audio tracks
  • 64 MIDI tracks
  • 8 simultaneous inputs and outputs
  • 24-bit/96 kHz audio quality
  • 24 simultaneous effects
  • 8 simultaneous virtual instruments
  • Includes over ten audio effects
  • Includes two virtual instruments
  • Integrated VST/VSTi support
  • Support for ACID™ format loops
  • Support for ReWire clients such as Live or Reason
  • Active Controller Technology™ automatically maps MIDI keyboards and control surfaces to the parameters you need most on effects, instruments, volume, pan, and other mix elements
  • Edit MIDI directly from the Track View with the Inline Piano Roll View
  • Support for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, Windows Vista, and 32-bit Windows XP operating systems
  • Production Plus Pack Includes:
    • Rapture LE:
      • LE version based on the award-winning Rapture wavetable synthesizer
      • Searing synthesized sounds, leads, basses, pads, sequences, and more
      • Nearly 200 patch presets, expandable
    • Cakewalk Sound Center:
      • Based on the critically-acclaimed Dimension Pro sound engine
      • Comes with over 125 professional sounds from Dimension
      • Expandable with Expansion Packs
      • Categorized patches make it easy to find the sound you are looking for
      • Rate your favorite patches to easily find your favorites when you need them
    • Studio Instruments Drums:
      • Load multiple Drum sound programs and play pre-recorded drum grooves in a variety of styles
      • Includes patterns in a variety of styles: Rock, Pop, Hip Hop, Jazz, Blues, Funk, and more
      • Drag patterns into your recording software to make variations
      • Use your MIDI controller, computer keyboard, or mouse to play Drums
      • Drums pulse and cymbals crash in time with the music
      • Use built-in compression and reverb to get edgy and realistic sounds
      • Control tuning, panning, and volume for tons of variety
      • Load and trigger multiple grooves for different sections of your song

Minimum System Requirements for SONAR 8.5 LE:

  • Operating System: * Windows XP (32-bit)
  • Processor Speed: Intel Pentium 4 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1500+
  • Memory: 512 MB
  • Screen Resolution: 1024 x 768, 16-bit color
  • Hard Disk Space: 500 MB
  • Hard Disk Type: Any
  • MIDI Interface: ** Windows-compatible
  • Audio Interface: *** Windows-compatible
  • Media Drive: **** DVD-ROM drive
  • Webserver Access: ***** None

Recommended System Requirements for SONAR 8.5 LE:

  • Operating System: * Windows 7/Vista/XP (32 and 64-bit)
  • Processor Speed: Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz [EM64T] or AMD Athlon XP 2800+ or better
  • Memory: 1 GB or more
  • Screen Resolution: 1280 x 960, 24-bit color or higher
  • Hard Disk Space: 1 GB
  • Hard Disk Type: EIDE/Ultra DMA (7200 RPM) or SATA
  • MIDI Interface: ** Windows-compatible
  • Audio Interface: *** Windows-compatible
  • Media Drive: **** DVD-ROM drive
  • Webserver Access: ***** Available web server space with FTP access privileges
* SONAR LE does not support Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, or 2000.

** Required to connect external MIDI devices.

*** Required for audio playback. See for a complete list of recommended audio devices.

**** SONAR LE is presented on DVD media. DVD-ROM Drive required for installation.

***** Cakewalk Publisher requires you to have available web server space with FTP access privileges. An internet connection is required for music uploading. A broadband connection is recommended.

Click here for free, comprehensive 178-page PDF guide to SONAR 8.5 LE recording software!

Keyboard Features

Number of Keys
The number of keys on the keyboard of the MIDI controller.
Key Weighting
The type of weighting of the keys on the MIDI controller
Mod Wheel
The mod wheel is used to manipulate or modify the sound of the sample triggered by the midi controller often an effect like the rotary cab effect of an organ.
Pitch Wheel
The Pitch wheel is used to bend the pitch of the sample the MIDI controller is triggering.
Aftertouch is a signal representing sustained pressure that is interpreted by the MIDI device differently than initial velocity.
Octave Shift
A set of buttons that shift the keys up or down one octave for use on MIDI controllers that do not have a full 88-key keyboard.

Controller Specifications

Footswitch/Expression Pedal Input(s)
The ability for the device to be used with a footswitch, expression, or sustain pedal.
MIDI Connections
The configuration of input and output connections on a MIDI controller.
USB (Type A)
Power Supply
The power source for the controller.
AC Adapter
USB Bus Powered
The width of the item from left to right (side-to-side) measured in inches.
The height of the item, measured from top to bottom, in inches.
The front-to-rear depth of the item, in inches. If the item is angled or slanted, this value is the bottom measurement.
Weight (Pounds)
This is the weight of the item in pounds (lbs).
6 lbs

Warranty and Return Policy

Parts Warranty Duration
1 year
Labor Warranty Duration
90 days
Warranty Provider

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Sonic Electronix Wiring Guide

Wiring Diagram Legend

Warning: The image depicted shows the resistance change when wiring multiple subwoofer terminals. Please refer to your subwoofer's owner's manual for the proper wiring of its terminals. Sonic Electronix, Inc. is not responsible for damage caused to your audio system or vehicle due to improper installation. Please call tech support at 1-877-289-7664 if you require additional assistance.

Product Name: Roland A-500S-R

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Roland A-500S-R

Compact MIDI Keyboard Controller 49 Keys


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