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Roland powers up with new Metropolis HQ

New UK base for audio-visual specialist locates them in the heart of west London creative hub, writes Dave Robinson.

By Dave Robinson, PSNE

Roland UK officially launched its new showroom and offices based in Metropolis Studios, the Power House, Chiswick, on Friday 21 June. Pianist and singer/songwriter Tom Hickox was guest performer for the debut of the new HQ, which will serve as a suite for demonstrating Roland’s musical products as well as its pro audio and video equipment. “The decision to move to Metropolis Studios is part of our long-term strategy to increase our visibility as a total solutions provider to audio and video professionals. The obvious synergy between both RSG and Music products are demonstrated clearly in an environment such as Metropolis – and being [here] allows us to gain a better understanding of what our users want and how we can better address our target markets,” said Peter Heath, business development director at Roland UK. The Roland set-up in Metropolis’ atrium includes a Silent Stage, plus facilities for webstreaming rich content, and the hosting of private demos of Roland keyboards and instruments to artists and bands (artist liaison specialist Jamie Franklin will be on-hand to do just that). “We are the only company that can combine professional audio products with professional music products and professional video products. I can’t emphasise that enough. Working in an environment that allows us to do that is fantastic,” added Heath. “Metropolis and Roland who are very like-minded – they are pioneering in their space, as are we in ours,” said Metropolis MD Ian Brenchley at the launch. “Everything we do at Metropolis is about audio-visual excellence, and Roland are the very best in their game, so it’s a great match.” Now in its 21st year, Metropolis Group is the most successful independent recording and production facility in Europe and offers a range of mastering, creative and production services for the music film and TV industries. Plans are afoot to expand into Qatar and Los Angeles. Roland UK MD Tim Walter also commented: “We’ve been looking for a new base in London for the RSG team, as well as somewhere for artists relations. Our artists need somewhere where they feel safe and secure, to be able to try out equipment.” Walter says the lease had come to an end at the former Power Road facility in Gunnersbury, and the availability of Metropolis “absolutely fitted the bill”. “Particularly in these challenging economic times, these kind of partnerships become increasingly important,” he noted. From Power Road to the Power House: but Walter denied the suggestion that Roland might be on a ‘power trip’: “Well, I think it’s just about moving forwards basically…” he laughed. “Development, new partnerships and progress as opposed to power!”

Photo by Dave Robinson
(L-R) Jamie Franklin, artist relations; Tim Walter, Roland UK managing director; Phil Palmer, product support manager; Peter Heath, business development manager; and Simon Kenning, sales manager, UK, for RSG