Roland has announced the release of SonicCell, a hardware synthesizer for your desktop complete with a VST / AU plug-in editor.
Equipped with a "state-of-the-art" sound engine, SonicCell delivers the "pristine" sound quality of a dedicated Roland hardware synth. A new waveform set has been created for SonicCell, including a collection of acoustic instruments, drums and percussion that are programmed to provide expression and realism. SonicCell's internal sound bank can even be expanded and customized via its two internal SRX expansion bays. Choose from a dozen of Roland's famous SRX Expansion boards (sold separately) that cover a vast world of musical instruments and styles.
SonicCell is ideal for musicians who use a PC as the core of their writing, recording, and performing universe. More than a mere sound module, SonicCell is equipped with a built-in USB audio interface. Simply connect SonicCell directly to your computer's USB port, and you can record and create music with no additional hardware required. You can even plug a microphone, guitar, or other instruments into SonicCell and record your live audio tracks directly into your computer.
A free copy of Cakewalk's Sonar LE recording software is included, as well as a full patch editor application that can be used as a VST / AU plug-in.
SonicCell can also be used as a virtual backing band. Simply create a playlist of your songs or backing tracks with the software Playback Editor (included), and transfer the playlist to a commercially available USB memory stick. Insert the stick into SonicCell's USB port, and it will become a stand-alone song player that you can play and control onstage or anywhere you perform. SonicCell can play back WAV, AIFF, and MP3 files. It evens plays Standard MIDI Files.
SonicCell has an MSRP of $899.