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Roland's WM-1 turns your instruments into (MIDI) cord cutters

Igor Bonifacic
·Contributing Writer
·1-min read

Let’s face it, when you start building out a fleet of synths, cable management can quickly become an issue, with all those wires connecting everything creating an inescapable rat’s nest. Enter Roland with its new WM-1 Wireless MIDI adapter. It’s a combination 2.4GHz and Bluetooth dongle you plug into your MIDI-compatible instrument that allows it to wirelessly communicate with other MIDI hardware (provided that instrument has a wireless connection as well) and your computer or iOS device. No wires needed. Besides note data, the WM-1 can transfer MIDI sync for tempo, effects, LFOs and loops.

If you have access to a macOS computer or an iOS device, you can connect to the WM-1 over Bluetooth. With Windows computers, you’ll need to buy the $80 WM-1D USB dongle. You can also use the WM-1D to ensure you get the lowest possible latency when playing your instruments. Using the included Fast mode, Roland claims there is a 3ms delay transferring data between devices. That’s better than the internal speed of many hardware devices, according to the company.

Wireless MIDI adapters aren’t a new concept, but it’s not often you see a large, well-known company like Roland dabble in the category. Before today’s announcement, one of the biggest companies making a wireless adapter was CME with its WIDI Master dongle. At $59, the WIDI Master is more affordable than the $70 Roland WM-1. Of course, both will set you back more than a simple cable, but for some musicians, the extra cost will be worth it.