RIP Ikutaro Kakehashi

In this post we say good-bye and thank you to Ikutaro Kakehashi, the founder of Roland corporation.

Roland is known primarily as a company which makes synthesizers.  They are also known for making drum machines, particularly the TR-808 Rhythm Composer, which has been immensely popular in hip-hop and dance music.  Roland also created the JC-120 Jazz Chorus  amplifier, which is an iconic amp used by Andy Summers of the Police, The Edge of U2, and many others.

Roland also has a division Boss Corporation, which manufactures guitar gear.  If you go to the Guitar Geek Database, you will be hard pressed to find a guitarist without a Boss pedal in their rig.

All of these are pretty huge accomplishments.  However, his contribution which most changed the world was the MIDI Specification, for which he and Dave Smith won a Technical Grammy in 2013.

For those not familiar, MIDI allows musical instruments, effects, and computers to communicate with each other.  It also has been used to control lighting for stage shows.  Most importantly, MIDI allows musicians to use computers as a tool to compose music.

For all these reasons we would like to thank Mr. K. for his contributions and console his loved ones on their loss.



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