Roland has introduced the SBX-1 Sync Box, a universal synchronization hub for electronic musical instruments and computers.
Equipped with USB-MIDI, standard MIDI, and DIN sync ports, the compact SBX‑1 provides a convenient way to use modern production tools and legacy analog devices together at one time.
Going beyond simple synchronization, the SBX-1 also provides hands-on control of timing and groove, and includes CV/Gate outputs for triggering old-school instruments such as the SH-101, TB-303, and TR-808.
With support for a wide array of past and present devices, the SBX-1 lets computers and electronic instruments from different eras seamlessly communicate and synchronize with each other.
Users can add analog and modular synthesizers to a computer-based production environment, or design totally live-performance setups combining Roland AIRA gear like the TR-8, TB-3, and SYSTEM-1 with vintage rhythm boxes and synths.
The SBX-1 provides USB, DIN Sync, and MIDI I/O, and any connected device can be the master clock source. The SBX-1 itself can also be the timing master, allowing control of external devices with a modern clock. Tempo and fine knobs plus a tap button offer deeper control, letting users freely adjust timing to sync up with DJs or other performers in a band.
Also included in the SBX-1 is a Shuffle function for adding variable swing to patterns generated by external sequencers and rhythm machines, useful for working with instruments like the vintage TR-808 and TB-303, which are not equipped with onboard shuffle capability. Users can choose between 16th-note and 8th-note swing, and are able to correct timing errors on the fly with the quick-access Sync button.
With its four CV/Gate output jacks, the SBX-1 also provides the ability to control analog and modular synths with MIDI data from an external device or computer. Incoming MIDI notes and CC messages are converted and output as CV/Gate information, opening up a world of creative possibilities for fans of classic electronic instruments. In addition to external data conversion, the SBX-1 can internally generate gate trigger signals from quarter notes to 32nd notes, including triplets and dotted 8th notes.
The SBX-1 is capable of generating LFO signals that are synced to either the internal clock or an external source. Users are able to register up to five types of LFO settings and output them as CV signals simultaneously from three channels.
The CV/Gate section on the SBX-1 also has an aux jack that has been specially optimized for the TR-8 Rhythm Performer. This speeds up performance workflow, allowing users to check values on the SBX-1’s display as they set up a TR-8 tone for gate triggering.