CES 2009: Music roundup - Roland, Gibson, Peavey

CES attracts some of music tech's biggest names keen to flog their wares to the aspiring rock star in us.Roland have taken the next logical step in re

Roland have taken the next logical step in response to Rock Band and developed Drum Tutor software to accompany their popular HD-1 electronic drums. Playing along with onboard tracks, it'll guide you through the perfect beats, fills and paradiddles.

Roland demonstrated their new RK-300 recreational keyboard with plug ins for mics and instruments as well as onboard CD burner just in case your karaoke session is pure X Factor gold.

Next I saw their mini palm recorder, the R-09HR with its capacious memory and the sequel to the ever-popular MicroCube amplifier, the smaller, thinner MobileCube. Not just for guitars, it'll hook up to your music, mic as well as instruments for volume that belies its small size.

We've already seen Gibson's Dark Fire guitar but I had to have a hands on. The classic Les Paul shaped has been souped up with a sexy red finish and the tone and tuning knobs feel a lot sturdier. But the biggest improvement is in the tuning speed. Pick a preset or custom tuning and the machineheads are notably faster at locking it down.

Lastly I swung by Peavey. Their modified guitar controllers for Guitar Hero have been extended to ten button models, which will work with either GH or Rock Band on PS2, PS3 and Wii. Xbox 360 hasn't been forgotten either with a PA system designed for your console that housing the unit and mimics a Peavey stack.