Roland has introduced the SBX-1, a unit specifically designed to help "computers and electronic instruments communicate and synchronize with each other." Appearing as part of the company's AIRA line (which includes the TR-8 drum machine and the TB-3 bass synth), the SBX-1 can communicate with and sync devices using DIN SYNC, MIDI, or USB, and will allow users to choose which connected device should serve as the clock master, or—if one so chooses—the SBX-1 can serve as sync master using its "rock-steady internal clock." Furthermore, the device can also support CV/Gate signals, which many classic analog devices rely on for their timing and syncing. Roland's sync box will also offer "hands-on control over timing and groove," with its Shuffle mode said to add swing to otherwise static patterns.
No official release date has been set for the SBX-1 at this time, though the unit has appeared for pre-order on a few online retailers with a price tag of $499. In the meantime, the complete specs for Roland's forthcoming sync box can be found here.