Roland C-30 digital harpsichord

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04/07/11

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10/26/2011

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Bill Lazar

425 N. Whisman Rd., Ste. 200

Mountain View, CA 94043

(650) 938-5367

(866) 511-2981

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LazarsEMS@gmail.com

 

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Roland C-30 Digital Harpsichord

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Roland C-30

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Meet the C-30 Digital Harpsichord

The Roland Approach to the Harpsichord

Product Information

FAQ

Call or email for more information.

 

YouTube Videos

Introduction

Harpsichord origins

French Harpsichord

Flemish Harpsichord

Nuances of the C-30

Fortepiano

Pipe Organ

Celesta

Other Features

Mini Concert

Scarlatti

Meantone Temperament

Bach--Organ

Clementi--Fortepiano

Bach--Harpsichord

Overview with examples

 

 

Buyer Feedback 

Hi Bill, I just gave a flute lesson, and while I was teaching a friend came over and completed the assembly process (of the Roland C-30) for us. I was able to turn it on and play right away…..SO easy. It really has a terrific sound, and even though it will take a while for me to get used to all the possibilities, (we haven't installed the pedal yet), I've already gotten so much pleasure out of hearing all the sounds that amazing instrument can make. And that organ sound….wow! R & I want to thank you for all your support during the shipping delay….it was certainly worth it all. Perhaps one day we'll meet in the Bay area….that would be fun. Happy Holidays! All the best, PS, 12/13

Hi, Bill. Just to let you know, the Roland arrived in great shape today. What a wonder! Our keyboard player is going to have so much fun with this! We're currently enjoying the demos.  Thanks again, Bill!! I think that this instrument will be wonderfully versatile for our Oratorio Society in the years ahead. KB, 10/13

Good morning, Bill. The Roland C-30 arrived on schedule and was easy to set up. I've had a great time exploring all the nooks and crannies of timbre, temperament & pitch, aspects of this instrument that go far beyond any harpsichord I've owned. I'm especially fond of the chamber organ voices as they provide variant textures for much early keyboard literature. Wrapped into this little electronic wonder, I have more resources than I could possibly afford had my goal been to purchase the non-electronic equivalents. I approached the Roland keyboard with some trepidation, as this was the only portion of the instrument that seemed to elicit any negative comments in review. Let me say I've been a purist most of my life and swore I'd never play an "appliance" in lieu of a "wood, wire & quill" harpsichord. I've been lucky to have owned five harpsichords over my lifetime, and there were significant variations in touch from one to another. I've played antique instruments as well, and I have to say the C-30 compares very favorably with any of the instruments I've owned or played. The keyboard, while not an exact copy of any historical prototype is nonetheless completely susceptible to all the nuances of touch and release to which I had been accustomed in the past.  Thanks for the quick and polite service, Bill. This little gem is a winner, and I'm ever so glad you had it in stock.  GV, 09/11

Bill, I forgot to write and tell you how things are going with the Roland (C-30 harpsichord).  It is obviously quite simple to put it together, so that was no problem.  I've been playing it each day and learning the various features, and I love it; it is everything I had hoped.  So, now I need to get back to some semblance of the technique I had a couple of decades ago.  It is gratifying to find I can still make it through pieces with a degree of rhythmic and metrical consistency, although every once in awhile I begin to play a lot of wrong notes and have to stop and regroup.  But, things have gone well enough to make me believe I can still play decently. JE, 05/11

Bill.  I got to play on Bill's new Roland electronic harpsichord on Saturday.  WOW!!!!  Although I am a purist and prefer the historically informed practices, how could one ever improve on the Roland?  I have a really old Roland electronic harpsichord, and a real Zuckerman, but Bill's blows them both away!!!  RB, 04/11

Bill.  My husband surprised me with the Roland C-30 digital harpsichord.  It arrived yesterday, and he spent a half hour setting it up.  The sound is great. I liked it so much that I stayed up the whole night playing it.  Thank you so much! LT, 03/11

Hi Bill.  The Roland Harpsichord (C-30) arrived yesterday, and it's up and running. The looks and sounds are great. Now to dust off the old piano books and see if I can do it justice!  Thanks for everything! GP, 02/11

Dear Mr. Lazar,  My new C-30 arrived last Tuesday, and I've been having a great time getting acquainted with it.  Both my husband and I are impressed with the quality of the cabinetry, and I'm impressed with the quality of sound.  I had my first rehearsal today (recorder, gamba, and harpsichord).  We played Telemann, Boismoitier, and Vivaldi to good effect and are looking forward to the improvement practice will bring.  And now I'll  have extra practice time available, since I won't have to tune and adjust jacks and plectra. Thanks for your prompt service.  MW, 02/11

Bill. The organ (Roland C-30) sounds great in (collegium) rehearsal; even the horrified purists are enthusiastic now. MP, 02/11

 

Hello Bill.  I just want to let you know that I LOVE the (C-30) harpsichord! The Roland is just wonderful.  I’ve been playing on it and relearning my Bach pieces since I got the Roland. And thank you for a very smooth transaction, it’s a pleasure to do business with you. SM 10/10

 

My C-30 arrived today in perfect condition, and after following the directions most carefully, we have it up and running.  I find it even more delightful than I had imagined.  Thanks for working with me to bring this instrument into my home. AL, 07/10

Yes, I have had some time to play (the Roland C-30 digital harpsichord) this week (finally) and I really like it--I find it very satisfying. D.. and I.. used theirs at the concert on Sunday and the audience seemed to be very impressed. No problem with volume. ST 06/10

 

Bring the splendid sound of Baroque music into your own home.

Recreated as a modern instrument, the most advanced harpsichord yet is here.

During the resplendent days of the Baroque Period, the harpsichord was the keyboard instrument that colored music with its rich, distinctive tone.
Through the generations, it has continued to charm music lovers all over the world. Now, you can easily enjoy its sophisticated sound and elegant form in your own home.
While producing authentically exquisite centuries-old harpsichord sounds and drawing inspiration from 21st century ingenuity, the Roland Classic Series C-30 Digital Harpsichord uses digital technology to enhance playability and expressiveness. Whether you are a virtuoso or a novice, the C-30 makes it possible for you to spend as much quality time as you want with the harpsichord.

 

Roland C-30 large

            

         C-30 Classic includes

  • Decoration panel

  • Picture board

  • Damper/controller pedal (DP-10)

  • Matching stand

  • Matching bench

 

Sound Samples

French Harpsichord

The warm, sustained sound of the French harpsichord

Flemish Harpsichord

The crisp sound of the Flemish harpsichord

Fortepiano

The sound of the fortepiano, a period instrument that was the forerunner fo the piano of today.

Dynamic Harpsichord

This new harpsichord enables damper pedal effects and lets you vary the dynamics of each sound by key pressure.

Organ I

The sound of a lower flute 8-foot positive organ with wooden pipes.

Organ II

The sound of a positive organ with layered principal 8-foot and 4-foot metal pipes.

Celesta

The sound of hammers hitting the metal plates in the celesta.

     
 

The Roland Classic Series provides you with the opportunity to step back in time and become wrapped in the music of the ages

The simple and elegant styling suits modern interiors

Taking up little space, the styling of the C-30 is modeled on the virginal, an ancient rectangular type of harpsichord. With an authentic wooden cabinet and a high quality mahogany finish, the traditional and simple styling will be right at home in a classic or modern interior. The period styling is enhanced by stained glass on the stand, and the decorative panel on the keyboard lid. From a range of optional alternatives, you can create the look you desire by customizing the stained glass and keyboard lid decoration.

Roland C-30 sidelights

Sensitive keyboard response ensures an authentic harpsichord playing experience

When played, the newly developed harpsichord keyboard of the C-30 actually feels as if plectra connected to the keys are plucking strings. Just as with an acoustic harpsichord, if you press with a delicately light touch, you get the same key movement that occurs before the plectrum plucks the string. By designing the keyboard with a long distance to the key pivots, better playability is assured because the touch on the key feels more or less uniform whether you press the key near the tip or further in. Just as on traditional harpsichords, the black keys have a distinctive tip shape with flat tops, and a matte finish to provide a comfortable feel. The amount of dip when you press a key, the sensation you get when the string is plucked, and the springy feel when you release the key are all as they should be on a harpsichord. Because such attention to detail has been given to the keyboard's touch, you can enjoy and experience harpsichord playing as it was centuries ago. 

In the development of the C-30 keyboard and sound source, Roland's engineers gave the highest priority to improving the way that touch affects sound and musical expression. In particular, by implementing the points described below, you can both subtly change the sound depending on touch and let your playing sparkle with articulation and nuance.

How hard you press the keys subtly affects the resulting sound. A heavy touch produces a thick, strong sound, while a lighter touch brings out brightness and beauty in the tone. Forceful pressure on a key also changes the wooden-box sound of the jack rail being struck by the jack, which holds the plectrum. The mechanics of pressing a piano key and pressing a harpsichord are different, and the difference in touch is reflected in the way the sound is produced. When playing multiple choirs of strings with the harpsichord, the timing of the plucking of each string is slightly offset (staggered) to prevent the need for extremely heavy pressure.

This staggering is reproduced, so that pressing the keys in subtly different ways allows delicately nuanced changes in the way sounds are produced. The slight lag that occurs after the jack is raised is also reproduced. This enables a more cohesive sound during trill and legato playing. When the key is released, a distinctive noise is made when the plectrum scrapes the string on its return. You can immediately release the key or, before release, you can pause and wait for the string to stop vibrating. This decision affects the character of the noise that is produced. Paying attention to even key release timing raises expression to whole new level.

All these fine details of the harpsichord's action are important features that have been realized to enable you to play with authentic technique and expressive articulation. The C-30 is a particularly effective means of developing a subtle and accurate feel for the way the harpsichord is played.
 

Rich sound that lets you experience ancient tones.

When playing the C-30 you can easily switch between the built-in French and Flemish types of harpsichord. Both of these have four dispositions--- 8' I (back eight), 8' II (front eight), 4' (upper octave), and lute (buff mute) --- and each disposition has its own dedicated selection button. You can play with a single disposition or layer more than one. The harpsichord in the C-30 was sampled from a French Blanchet instrument. The charm of its gentle, fluent sound is particularly apparent in solo playing.  The other instrument, a fine Ruckers Flemish harpsichord, is already familiar from the C-80. However, the onboard memory has been expanded so you get a set of new high-quality sounds that are responsive to playing technique. The new sounds provide more vivid reality with richness in the mid-range and a high-end that is crisp and penetrating, with enough distinctiveness even for ensemble playing.  Also, as well as sound sets for two types of small positive organs, a fortepiano is also built in. You can play the Baroque music of Handel and Bach on harpsichord and organ, and then change to fortepiano for the early Romantic music of Mozart and Beethoven. On it's five-octave FF-f''' range, you can play anything written for the harpsichord, except for the Scarlatti sonatas and one Haydn piece that go up to g'''.  In your own home, you can experience playing this historic music with the authentic sound of different period instruments. On top of all this, the C-30 makes one more groundbreaking type of beautiful harpsichord sound available...

Dynamic harpsichord opens a new dimension of musical expression

 

While the time-honored sound of the harpsichord is enchanting just as it is, the sound dynamics of traditional instruments cannot be varied by strength of key pressure. Neither do they have a damper pedal to control resonance. Legato and other techniques have not been possible until now. Inside the C-30, digital technology has enabled the harpsichord to be played with different sound dynamics. Answering the calls of a vast number of harpsichord lovers, digital technology has ushered in the possibility of a brand new kind of harpsichord music that just can't be played on acoustic instruments.

 

No need for tuning.  Ready to play anytime, anywhere.

 

Acoustic harpsichords are delicate instruments. They are even susceptible to going out of tune with a change of temperature or humidity. The digital C-30 doesn't need tuning. And you can simply switch the pitch between Baroque (415 Hz) and Versailles (392 Hz), or select 440 Hz. If, for ensemble playing, you need to match the C-30 to other instruments, fine pitch adjustments can be made between 415 Hz and 466 Hz. You can easily take the C-30 with you to group rehearsals and live performances. Even if the temperature and humidity vary, you can be sure that the pitch will remain accurate because it's digital. Adjustment or voicing of plectra or other time-consuming maintenance is a thing of the past. Now, you can just turn on and play. This special feature of the C-30 is bound to make you, and your audience, very happy.

 

Tranposing the keyboard

 
You can transpose your playing without changing the position at which you play the keys.  For instance, if you are playing a song in a difficult key that contains numerous sharps or flats, you can transpose the pitch of the keyboard and play the piece in an easier key.  This is also useful if a piece has a range that goes too high or too low for an accompanying instrument or voice.  You can transpose up by as many as 5 half steps, or down by as many as 6 half steps.

 

Use a single button to cycle between five different tuning methods/temperament.

 
As well as equal temperament, you can select Werckmeister, Kirnberger, Vallotti, and meantone tuning schemes. Using one button, it's easy to change the tuning scheme according to the piece you are playing.

 

Adjustable volume lets the harpsichord hold its own in ensemble playing with modern instruments.

 

The ability to freely adjust the volume is one of the compelling advantages of the C-30. When playing ensemble music, you can even achieve a sound weighty enough to balance the power of the modern flute and recorder, or the violin and other loud instruments. When the volume is increased, the authentic harpsichord sound is still as captivating. Without extra help, the onboard speakers are capable projecting this magnificent sound to every corner of even a mid-sized concert hall. On the other hand, at home you can plug in headphones and play or practice as much as you like at any time.

 

Portability

 

The compact C-30 can be made even more portable by removing the legs and stand. You can easily transport the unit (55 lbs.) and stand (29 lbs.) in a standard-size car. Getting the instrument to ensemble rehearsals or concerts is easy. If sight lines to your consort members or audience is blocked by the upright open lid, it can be easily and quickly taken off by removing 3 screws from the middle hinge.

 

Uniquely digital capabilities

 

--Use the reverb knob to add authentic resonance as if you were playing in a hall, church, or salon.
--Use the tone knob if you want to adjust the brightness of the sound.
--You can use the standard damper pedal to switch between two sound sets. When playing you can switch between the sounds of two different instruments or, as with a dual-manual harpsichord, you can change the string combination phrase by phrase.