1500 or Nothin' Production Collective & Roland Team for Synth-Focused Music Education Collaboration

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Courtesy of Roland
1500 Sound Academy founders Larrance “Rance” Dopson (left) and James Fauntleroy (right) flank Sean “Diddy” Combs during an academy lecture.

The 1500 Sound Academy music production training program will now include detailed instruction on Roland products.

1500 or Nothin’ and its 1500 Sound Academy production training program are partnering with the Roland Corporation to launch a curriculum based around synthesizers, drum machines, MIDI controllers and other studio tools from the famed electronic equipment manufacturer and its associated brands.

Currently 32 students are enrolled in 1500 Sound Academy’s latest six-month certificate program, which kicked off June 10. Based in Inglewood, California, the academy was founded by 1500 or Nothin’s Grammy Award-winning principals James Fauntleroy and Larrance “Rance” Dopson. Fauntleroy and Dopson (Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande, Ella Mai) and Timbaland (Justin Timberlake, Aailyah, Missy Elliott) are among the guest lecturers slated for the next session. While enrolled, students will receive a free Roland Cloud subscription and have access to tours and internship opportunities at Roland’s L.A. facilities. In addition, a demo facility -- dubbed the “Roland Room” -- has been specifically created for Roland and BOSS products on-site at the academy.

Writing/production duo the Avila Brothers (Usher, Gwen Stefani, Janet Jackson) has also teamed up with Fauntleroy and Dopson, with IZ Avila doubling as the academy’s general manager. “This close partnership with Roland will allow a manufacturer component to be integrated into 1500 Sound Academy’s educational experience at its core,” said Avila in a statement announcing the new collaboration.

Noted Roland CEO/managing partner Jun-ichi Miki in the same announcement, “Our goal to develop even better musical instruments and create more opportunities and places for people to enjoy the experience of making music has led us to partner with 1500 Sound Academy, a trailblazing educational institution.”

Added Brian Alli, Roland vp of global influencer relations, “Our support of the academy will go beyond products. It will be a deep dive into education, innovation and a willingness to open our own doors to students who are curious about the music industry from the manufacturer’s perspective.”

Roland’s future plans include helping to outfit a state-of-the-art recording studio adjacent to 1500 Sound Academy’s main facility. Founded more than 40 years ago, the corporation has introduced various products since then, including the now-ubiquitous 808 drum machine. 

Noting the 808 has become “a household term” and "used in every genre from hip-hop to country,” 1500 Sound Academy’s Fauntleroy said, “To have Roland as a partner in our mission to teach people to grow beyond their expectations and become visionaries is seriously a tremendous honor and privilege.”

Added fellow academy principal Dopson, “Roland is a family of individuals who understand the importance of improvement -- their ability to adapt to the progression of sound and be introspective as a company is invaluable ... as we continue to push the narrative of intellectual development.”


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