Roland GALAXIAS is a new instrument plugin that lets you turn your Cloud plugins into a four-part multi-layer super instrument.
With the Roland Cloud, Roland has its own online plugin platform. With an active subscription, you get access to all instruments and effects plugins as well as sound packs. Since its release in 2018, Roland has constantly expanded its platform with new instruments and sound content.
It currently has over 50 virtual instruments and over 20.000 sounds that you have full access to. With GALAXIAS, Roland is now bringing together its versatile cloud architecture in one multi-layer virtual instrument.
GALAXIAS is a new virtual instrument and host software that runs as a standalone app and as a plugin. Host because it’s an instrument in which you can host Roland plugins.
Roland’s newest software family member is a kind of instrument workstation. A bit like Apple Mainstage for Roland plugins. In this, you can work with any instrument from the Cloud and get instant access to Roland Cloud’s vast library with over 20.000 ready-to-play sounds.
GALAXIAS consists of four sections: sounds, instruments, mix, and sequence. The sounds tab features an online sound browser in which you can easily browse through all the Roland Cloud content.
From here, you can load individual instruments and effect plugins, including classics like the Jupiter-8, TR-808/909, and D-50 but also new ones such as the ZENLOGY Pro or SYSTEM-8 synthesizers. You have access to all internal sounds of the plugin but also sound packs that are available in the Cloud, categorized in types.
Everything is logically organized, making it simple to go deep and quickly translate ideas into great-sounding tracks. Users can delve into a single instrument layer, tweak the complete set of parameters, and get the experience of using the original hardware with Roland’s classic instrument plug-ins.
With the full-screen Immersive View, the focus can be toggled between the entire Scene and an individual instrument or effect using a single click or key command.
In addition to individual hosting, you can also create a “Super Instrument”. This consists of a maximum of four instrument layers with custom settings for every layer. You set the key range, transpose with oct/semi-tones, and MIDI input channel.
Convenient learn and drag functionality makes it fast and easy to build intricate, versatile instruments.
In a dedicated channel-strip-style mixer section, you can mix your layers perfectly. Then, two effects (ZEN-Core FX or Roland Cloud plugins) per channel allow you to refine your sounds more in detail.
Eight effects in total per “super instrument” gives you a lot of fine-tuning options. Plus, you get two global effects with algorithms from the Cloud library. It’s also possible to route layers to various external destinations for further processing. On the control side, each channel offers two send FXs with sliders, a filter, and a panner.
In the sequence tab, you can find an advanced arpeggiator per layer. It features various controls, including pattern selection, arp rate, octaves, duration, swing, feel, and probability. There are also eight slots where you can store your arpeggios.
Each instrument can be tweaked in detail using the full UI, just like in the standalone plugin. On top, you get eight macro controls that can simultaneously control up to 128 parameters via MIDI. Plus, you can animate them with internal LFOs.
Once put together, the “super instruments” can be organized in setlists for quick and seamless recallability.
GALAXIAS is very reminiscent of Mainstage. Here exclusively for Roland Cloud plugins. I find the idea interesting and fits well into the Roland Cloud system. It’s a shame that GALAXIAS is exclusively available to RC Ultimate subscribers. People with Pro subs or perceptual licenses are excluded here.
I wouldn’t describe the whole thing as a “super instrument” because I’m still missing too much. A Roland super instrument for me would be if I could create my own synth, using various Roland oscillators, filters, envelopes, etc.
Roland GALAXIAS is available now exclusively with the Roland Cloud Ultimate membership, which is $199 annually or $19,99 monthly. It runs on macOS (Intel + native Apple Silicon) and Windows as a VST3, AU, and AAX plugin.
More information here: Roland