Worst Roland Synth EVER!

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Yoozer
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Post by Yoozer » Thu May 15, 2008 5:02 pm

radam wrote:what is it that's stopping roland, or korg for that matter, from putting out some new analog gear?
The fact that, ultimately, there's not much profit to be had from selling something to when it's all said and done, 20 people here on the forum (who will actually buy it, ignore the other 400 who just stand at the sideline and shout wise-a*s comments about this or that sucks and won't buy it even though they say so) after 4 years of development on something they haven't done in nearly 3 decades.
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Post by Joey » Thu May 15, 2008 6:57 pm

Why would roland ever make real analog gear again when they can make VA's that most people can't tell the difference between?

VA's are synths just like any others, I don't get why it would be bad for them to just keep improving on VA technology instead.

Its about how you use the synth anyway.

I've seen people do more creative s**t with one microkorg than I have a lot of people who own rooms full of synths.
No one cares, no one sympathizes,
so you just stay home and play synthesizers.

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Post by Solderman » Thu May 15, 2008 7:08 pm

I would add to the answer of why Roland doesn't produce analogs anymore that due to their corporate size, since their market strategy is to mass produce whatever sells and is cheap to manufacture, they no longer are in a position to either have a need to make a name for themselves or run a boutique side-business. ie. they no longer care about synthesis specifically, rather, devices in demand for music production.
The old argument against that is that they made a name for themselves by offering pro quality analog gear at lower prices than their competitors in the 80's, and now just exploit that old reputation by selling thirty dollar DSP's running 20k of software in plastic boxes with the old logo names on them. Fine. If they really wanted to live up to their old reputation, they would put more R&D into new and intuitive ways to interact with the software, in keeping with their innovations with interfaces over the years. That as opposed to the same old beat boxes and workstations just trying to stuff more functions into the same size(or smaller) box and maybe add an extra slider or two. Korg seems to have replaced them in that sense.
Last edited by Solderman on Thu May 15, 2008 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by mute » Thu May 15, 2008 7:46 pm

You know.. everyone is rippin on the sh-201 .. but are overlooking one that is much worse -- the SH-32 'groovebox'.

The attempt and design are actually pretty decent.. until you actually sit down at it. In order to keep the dimensions down they split the OSC/Filter sections. You select 1 or 2 to flip between which one you are editing. This presents a very annoy problem.. the slider positions for 1 will most likely be totally different from 2... this is excusable when switching timbres, but between OSCs! Basically renders what could have been a pretty decent lil box into near uselessness.

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Post by ronP » Thu May 15, 2008 8:14 pm

Joey wrote:Why would roland ever make real analog gear again when they can make VA's that most people can't tell the difference between?

VA's are synths just like any others, I don't get why it would be bad for them to just keep improving on VA technology instead.

Its about how you use the synth anyway.

I've seen people do more creative s**t with one microkorg than I have a lot of people who own rooms full of synths.
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Post by synth3tik » Thu May 15, 2008 8:36 pm

tyrannosaurus mark wrote:sh-201

I had a play on one of these in a shop the other week and it sounded just awful
God that 201 is a sure fire piece o' c**p, strangely though talking with Matt at Nova Musik they sell a ton of them.

Must be a lot of buyer's remorse. I think the only synth they have out now that is not c**p is the V-synth.

Any synth they made in the late '80s through mid late '90s with a few exceptions are all c**p.

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Post by justin_havu » Thu May 15, 2008 10:47 pm

For me, the RS-5. The samples are terrible and I found it very difficult to navigate through the sounds.
Waveforms, and filters, and knobs. Oh my!

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Post by radam » Thu May 15, 2008 11:46 pm

Joey wrote: I've seen people do more creative s**t with one microkorg than I have a lot of people who own rooms full of synths.
I can definitely relate....

What I was mostly asking I guess was why can't roland just do something truly sick for a change. They're going to sell keyboards in mass quantities no matter what, just why do they have to be so mediocre these days? I really can't see how an awesome roland keyboard, even if a bit more expensive than the SH-201, would sell any less, keeping the exact same profit margin, if not greater.
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Post by Joey » Fri May 16, 2008 12:03 am

radam wrote:
Joey wrote: I've seen people do more creative s**t with one microkorg than I have a lot of people who own rooms full of synths.
I can definitely relate....

What I was mostly asking I guess was why can't roland just do something truly sick for a change. They're going to sell keyboards in mass quantities no matter what, just why do they have to be so mediocre these days? I really can't see how an awesome roland keyboard, even if a bit more expensive than the SH-201, would sell any less, keeping the exact same profit margin, if not greater.
I dont find the SH201 too bad though.

If I were new to synthesis and was in the market for a new VA I'd get that one.

49 keys, plenty of knob control, two oscs, it has the feedback osc and supersaw from the jp8080, dedicated pitch envelope (not found even on the virus!), distortion, delay, reverb, a bunch of filter types, it can process external audio, its reasonably priced, works as an audio/midi interface through USB, I really don't see why everyone hates on it so much.

And it really doesn't sound THAT horrid. Everyone is just nitpicking.
No one cares, no one sympathizes,
so you just stay home and play synthesizers.

http://wearereplicants.com

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Post by Johnny Lenin » Fri May 16, 2008 12:51 am

The funny thing is that the primary complaint against Roland is that the company repurposes the names of its classics like the Junos or the SH-101 to use their mystique to sell inferior products like the SH-201 and Juno-D.

There are some serious problems with this criticism, however...

1. When Roland introduced the SH-101, it wasn't trying to create a classic, but an affordable product that would sell. It was a simple monosynth with a goofy strap-on so guys with Flock of Seagulls Hair and eyeliner could pretend to be guitarists. The SH-101 and Junos were products to Roland; ones that caught on in a big way [well... 20 years later for the Junos].

2. The target market for the Juno-D and the SH-201 wouldn't know a Juno from a peacock. These are low-end synths explicitly marketed to the educational and consumer markets. The mystique doesn't work on them except to the extent that the consistency of product names probably reinforces confidence in a company that's been around for several decades.

3. Roland is a company, and a publicly traded one, at that, whose primary responsibility is to its shareholders. We're not talking DSI here; Roland's marketing department probably isn't given to bouts of sentimentality about the "classics of the past" when they can sell as many SH-201s in a month in Rhode Island as they sold SH-101s worldwide in the whole length of the synth's run [I know, I'm exaggerating for effect]. Juno is just a name. It very likely means something quite different to a Roland marketing exec than it means to a synth enthusiast, collector or professional musician.

4. "Worst" is not an objective category. It can't be. When we talk about "worst," we should qualify it with "worst for..." With that in mind, it could be argued that the SH-201 is the best Roland for a novice musician who doesn't have a lot of money, and isn't inclined to fuss with the quirks and caprices of a vintage analog synth, but wants simple, knob-filled access to subtractive synth control. The Juno-D is the best synth for a musician who wants an affordable ROMpler full of good acoustic patches. ANd both come with warranties.

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Post by rockmanrock » Fri May 16, 2008 7:58 am

Another vote for the MC303 here. I found it the most unintuitive bit of gear I've ever encountered and the times I did use it, it was definitely laggy. Something funny going on with it that doesn't inspire confidence. Sequencers should be rock solid.

The "303" sounds on it were woeful as expected but I liked the ROMpler pad sounds, quite lo-fi versions of that sort of thing. The drums seemed alright but the 909 rim had a random pitch applied to it that I couldn't get rid of. A bug I think, another confidence knocker. I got it for cheap on Ebay and it's going back on there soon. Those people who were persuaded to pay over 500 quid for it by Future Music's hyped-up review must have been rather pissed off.

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Post by iProg » Fri May 16, 2008 8:30 am

IMO, Roland's done nothing interesting in the synthesizer department since the JP-8000 in 1996.

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Post by philbar » Fri May 16, 2008 10:14 am

Joey wrote:
radam wrote:
Joey wrote: I've seen people do more creative s**t with one microkorg than I have a lot of people who own rooms full of synths.
I can definitely relate....

What I was mostly asking I guess was why can't roland just do something truly sick for a change. They're going to sell keyboards in mass quantities no matter what, just why do they have to be so mediocre these days? I really can't see how an awesome roland keyboard, even if a bit more expensive than the SH-201, would sell any less, keeping the exact same profit margin, if not greater.
I dont find the SH201 too bad though.

If I were new to synthesis and was in the market for a new VA I'd get that one.

49 keys, plenty of knob control, two oscs, it has the feedback osc and supersaw from the jp8080, dedicated pitch envelope (not found even on the virus!), distortion, delay, reverb, a bunch of filter types, it can process external audio, its reasonably priced, works as an audio/midi interface through USB, I really don't see why everyone hates on it so much.

And it really doesn't sound THAT horrid. Everyone is just nitpicking.
me too, though having said that i sold mine for a virus TI, the sound quality is leagues apart to my ears. as a low cost do-it all synth its very attactive however. and it actually has more mod routings than the outgoing Jp-80x0 it replaced!

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Post by Phollop Willing PA » Fri May 16, 2008 12:16 pm

I owned the MC 303 and asides from the obvious (lack of user memory and no display other than the LED numbers), it was very useful for a couple of years for me and allowed me the freedom to do more live shows. I upgraded to a MC 505 and never looked back and I thought the sounds were okay. I also used the MC303 as a stand alone tone module.

However in discussing the MC 505, it is both an important piece of gear for me but for a time it was getting increasingly agravating to program. Why? The pixels on my screen started dissappearing. I paid $300 to get a new one installed. It had to be adapted from another Roland part and now my screen is green (used to be orange). This is a common problem with the MC 505.

Since it's the only Roland piece that I've had an issue with, I would have to nominate it as the worse Roland product (only for the screen burning up on me). Also in the same breath, I'd have to nominate it as a future 'vintage' classic and if you have a fully working one, hang on to it.
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Post by nvbrkr » Fri May 16, 2008 1:21 pm

Since I'm a newbie, I'll just be foolish enough to say out loud that the whole VSynth Fantom -line sounds like utter garbage - judged by the countless youtube videos made with those things. :D

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