Roland continues the evolution of their popular GAIA series of digital synths, having just released GAIA 2. The GAIA 2 has definitely grown up in many ways. Now with more hands-on control, 3 oscillators per voice combining wavetable and virtual analog synthesis, including a motion pad for modulating and controlling parameters, all offering deep sound design options and control. It’s been over 10 years since the previous version of GAIA and Roland’s latest version looks and sounds like a synth with heap of dynamic sonic exploration.
Here’s what Roland are saying:
GAIA 2 opens the door to an infinite universe of inspired sound creation. Armed with a powerful hybrid engine that combines wavetable and virtual analog synthesis, you can quickly learn the basics before rocketing into uncharted sonic territory. The friendly panel layout logically outlines the synthesis workflow for speedy sound design, while full-size keys provide exceptional playability when you’re ready to perform. And with the sequencer and Motional Pad, it’s easy to generate complex sounds and phrases full of dynamic movement and alter them on the fly. Discover the shape of sound with GAIA 2 and bring all your musical visions to life.
The core of GAIA 2’s newly developed sound engine features a wavetable oscillator, with Phase and Shape Modulations, offering you limitless sound possibilities. Quickly access a wide spectrum of sounds including evolving pads and metallic plucks to FM and Sync sounds to build the foundation for your unique sound.
From there, you can add more harmonics via Filter Drive or add effects through the dedicated Chorus section and the new Shimmer Reverb. If you are after iconic synth sounds, you have two analog-style oscillators for crafting classic bass, lead, pads and more! The GAIA 2 also offers compatibility with Roland Cloud Model Expansions. It comes pre-loaded with the SH-101 Model, with more Models awaiting you in Roland Cloud.
Building a tone begins with waveforms, but it’s modulation that breathes life and depth into your sounds. With the GAIA 2’s Motional Pad, a mere finger touch can evolve your tone. Set synthesizer parameters to its X/Y points for on-the-spot adjustments or recorded expression. Complex modulation routings are made easy with the one-control-per-function panel.
Or, if you prefer, have some fun with the step-sequencer, recording in real-time, adding steps, or making quick edits on the fly. GAIA 2 empowers you to constantly stretch your creative limits and dive into fresh sonic adventures every time you play.
Keyboard: 37 Keys
GAIA-2 sound generator
Pre-installed Model Expansion SH-101
Other Model Expansions (optional- via Roland Cloud)
22 voices (3 x oscillators per voice)
* The maximum polyphony varies depending on sound settings or the selected Model Expansion.
Preset tone: 256
User tone: 512
OSC 1 (Wavetable): 63 waveforms
Modulation types: Wave position, Phase modulation (P-MOD), Shaping modulation (S-MOD)
OSC 2/3 (Classic waveforms): Sine, Triangle, Saw, Square, Super Saw, and 5 noise waves
Modulation types: Shape, Ring modulation, Oscillator sync, Cross modulation 1, Cross modulation 2
Envelope: Attack, Decay
Envelope destination: Pitch, Oscillator 1 position, Oscillator 2 shape, Oscillator 3 shape, P-MOD X, P-MOD Y, S-MOD Depth, S-MOD Drive
Filter type: LPF, BPF, HPF
Filter slope: -12dB/Oct, -18dB/Oct, -24dB/Oct
Envelope: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
Envelope: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
2 LFOs, 5 waveforms and 1 programmable step LFO wave
LFO assignment: Up to 4 parameters from panel knobs and sliders (except for click dials) in each LFO
Multi-Effects: 53 types
Reverb/Delay: 7 types
Chorus: 3 types (9 modes in total)
* The sound path order of the above effects can be changed.
64 steps : Each step can record 8 notes and 4 controls
Recording modes: Real-time/Step/TR-REC
Random pattern generator
Mode: Up, Down, Up&Down, Random, Note Order
Scale: 16 variations
Two dimensional edit to P-Mod X/Y or S-Mod Depth/Drive
Two dimensional assignable control to parameters of panel knobs and sliders (except for click dials)
Motion recording and playback function
Menu interface with a drag pointer
Pitch Bend wheel
OLED 128 x 64 dots
HEADPHONES jacks: Stereo miniature phone type (front), Stereo 1/4-inch phone type (rear)
OUTPUT jacks (L/MONO, R): 1/4-inch phone type
PEDAL jack: Stereo 1/4-inch phone type (available for a hold pedal or a control pedal)
MIDI connectors (IN, OUT)
USB COMPUTER port: USB Type-C(R) (Class Compliant for Audio and MIDI/ Roland driver for Audio and MIDI)
USB MEMORY/EXT DEVICE port: Type-A (Storage, MIDI)
More info here: https://www.roland.com/us/products/gaia_2/features/