New stuff from Roland!

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Re: New stuff from Roland!

Post by commodorejohn » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:09 am

silikon wrote:When it all comes down to it, you're making music. If you're that caught up in how the music is generated, I'd say you're likely concerned with the wrong things. It's a shame that people can't get past some supposed inferiority of a digital machine; I often struggle to see how being an analogue purist would enhance ones output.

I say instead we see what fleshes out with this new offering and judge it on reasonable metrics like "does it produce interesting sounds?" and "is the interface such that it inspires?", versus "aw, it's digital, therefore it must be shite".
I don't see why it's unreasonable to be concerned with technical aspects of a musical instrument when they do have tangible effects on the sound (however much you personally might not care.) Nobody thinks it's odd for guitarists to care what their strings are made of.

But eh. I don't think analog-versus-digital has to be an all-or-nothing argument. Both, in my view, constitute different parts of a balanced sonic breakfast. The issue I have with VA is that, in my experience, it tends toward the worst of both worlds - VAs rarely have the warmth and character of real analogue gear, and they don't tend to make anything like the most of the possibilities digital synthesis offers, and they don't have any kind of unique territory in which to judge them on their own merits like hybrids do, because they're trying so hard to "be" analog, against which they just don't hold up to scrutiny.

There's plenty of digital stuff I love (you'd have to pry my DX7 from my cold, dead fingers, and I just spent over an hour having to talk myself down from paying an unreasonable amount of money for a pawn-shop D-50,) but it's all stuff that's very open about being digital and isn't trying to be a poor imitation of an analog synth. Likewise, while I love my JX-10, Roland really sold it short by making so many of the presets attempt to copy typical DX7 timbres. Let east be east and west be west, Roland (and the rest of the industry,) and quit trying to meet in the middle and tell me that's The Future.
Kidney05 wrote:But if the costs are REALLY low-- under 300 or so?-- and they sound good, they could be really cool. Pretend you don't know the difference of analog and digital-- if this thing fit your budget and sounded good and had a great interface, it just doesn't matter what it's "supposed to be" or taking place of.

But I'm skeptical if they can deliver such value cheap enough. If they can't, it'll look bad next to the Volcas.
Thing is that there's not much left to go for "REALLY low." The MicroBrute is $300, and the Volcas are a jaw-dropping $150 apiece, and they're real analog (or, in the case of the Volca Beats, a mix-and-match structure comparable to the 909.) Are Roland's offerings really gonna undercut that?
Last edited by commodorejohn on Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New stuff from Roland!

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:38 am

Z wrote:I suppose rather than giving us a demonstration of the sounds (which have already been emulated fairly accurately elsewhere both digitally and by analog), Roland wants us to understand that the original analog circuits of these machines is what made them special and they don't want to half-a*s anything but instead give the most accurate digital recreation rather than "moving backwards" by re-releasing classic gear.
Well, the music they chose for the ad... wow. Yeah, that is not music that will sell these devices to people seeking analog sound. And, if it sells to people who are interested in EDM... well, hmm.
They plainly think that reproducing is "moving backwards" which is really stupid for a company whose interest lies NOT in creating great musical instruments, but creating marketable instruments to a demographic with money. I think Korg adequately demonstrated that "moving backwards" is a viable marketing technique. If they don't want to follow that paradigm, then fine... they should create new stuff. But this creating new stuff that is a half-assed reference to old stuff (even if it is viable, or even great musical equipment in itself) is a bad marketing technique... as amply demonstrated by everyone's response.
Z wrote:Other than us nerdy, synth guys, no one listening to EDM knows if they're listening to a sample, a VST or the real analog gear. Even on compressed audio from YouTube videos, it's hard to tell if it's real or Memorex (young 'uns will have to look that one up). So Roland IS LISTENING (sort of) to the wants and needs of today's musicians. So instead of saying, here's our new 808 & 303 emulators, here's what they do and what they sound like, they are letting us know WHY they will sound like the original machines.
I will never subscribe to the concept that the new stuff is indistinguishable from the old stuff. In certain contexts that's true, and in other contexts it isn't. I've listened to many Minimoogs which are recorded for LP, which is terrible in regard to fidelity, but the Minimoog's unique sound still stands out. I personally don't give a rats a*s about 808s or 909s... these things, to me, are very adequately reproduced with sampling technology because they do not vary in realtime. But I will never change the equipment I use or pursue new equipment under the viewpoint of "no one can tell the difference anyway." I can tell the difference, and so can the people I respect. That's enough for me.

As for analog emulation... WHY? Do something new, or do something old. This half-assed reproduction of the old mixed with something new serves neither the people who want something new NOR the people who want something reproduced.

Do you know why I know that whatever new analog emulation technology anyone comes up with won't work? Because buyers today don't WANT ACTUAL ANALOG. The things that define analog are things that everyone seeks to avoid. Noise, variability of waveform and frequency, variations in amplitude and modulation waveshape, unreliable tuning, distortion, etc. These are the things that give analog the sound that it has... these are the things that made analog desirable in reference to digital. Unfortunately, people today want analog sound with all of the various stable aspects and controllability of digital... and that stuff may sound good, but it doesn't sound like the analog that made people want analog back back when people started wanting analog again. So, the technology companies create today to emulate analog are not going to include the things that consumers today don't want. People today want an "analog" label with digital stability.
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Re: New stuff from Roland!

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:39 am

commodorejohn wrote:
Z wrote:Other than us nerdy, synth guys, no one listening to EDM knows if they're listening to a sample, a VST or the real analog gear. Even on compressed audio from YouTube videos, it's hard to tell if it's real or Memorex (young 'uns will have to look that one up). So Roland IS LISTENING (sort of) to the wants and needs of today's musicians.
It still doesn't make sense, because "nerdy synth guys" (i.e. anyone who knows and cares about the difference) are the only people who would care about a "remake" in the first place. People who don't care about the difference are just going to use samples or one of the eleven million emulations out there.
This is how I feel.
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Re: New stuff from Roland!

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:46 am

silikon wrote:Honestly, there should be little reason for concern whether it's an emulation or analogue.

When it all comes down to it, you're making music. If you're that caught up in how the music is generated, I'd say you're likely concerned with the wrong things. It's a shame that people can't get past some supposed inferiority of a digital machine; I often struggle to see how being an analogue purist would enhance ones output. That whole argument is a complete non sequitur in my opinion.

I say instead we see what fleshes out with this new offering and judge it on reasonable metrics like "does it produce interesting sounds?" and "is the interface such that it inspires?", versus "aw, it's digital, therefore it must be shite".

I'm certainly no Roland cheerleader, but I personally prefer to audition a machine first hand irregardless of underlying architecture and judge based on metrics that actually relate to producing music.
Roland CREATES the concern by referencing analog and making digital.

I'm sorry, but I disagree with you. A songwriter or composer implements the instruments that suit their taste and intent. To disregard a particular division of instrumentation as valid makes no sense at all. To suggest that people who subscribe to the aspects that define analog sound are "concerned with the wrong things" is pretty outrageous.

Does anyone think digital is inferior anymore? That would be an equally outrageous claim. I'm the most ridiculous of analog enthusiasts and even I recognize that digital synthesizers and digital synthesis are incredibly powerful, great-sounding, and demanding of respect. The ONLY thing digital synthesis sucks at is sounding like analog synthesis... and what is the point of sounding like analog synthesis except for MAKING CASH?

No one is condemning the sounds of the device which no one has heard yet. It may well make absolutely fantastic sounds and be a great tool for people who would use it. But this constant blathering about the importance of the analog history by Roland while they're making a non-analog device is the source of this discontent. It has nothing to do with antiquated favoritism, it has to do with the fact that the marketing of this device inspires analog enthusiasts and vintage equipment enthusiasts to think they're getting something they're not.
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Re: New stuff from Roland!

Post by commodorejohn » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:51 am

What he said.
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Re: New stuff from Roland!

Post by synthroom » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:06 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:People today want an "analog" label with digital stability.
You kids just don't remember what it was like in 1982. People THEN wanted analog with digital stability.
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Re: New stuff from Roland!

Post by Blue Monster 65 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:17 am

Marc, I think at this point in time you would only think you're getting something you're not if you aren't paying attention. I understand the campaign to be saying, "this is what we did then; now we're attempting to use those lessons to help us progress like so." They're making an attempt in these short films to show how (in the company mindset) these pieces are related to what they've done in the past, even though they are not re-issues or even strictly modeled versions of past machines. Unfortunately, they've taken an awfully long time to do so (say these pieces are not analog) and managed to piss off the purists in the meantime. For my advertising dollar I'm not sure it's the plan I would have followed, but someone at Roland liked it enough to OK it and it's got the net buzzing, so there you go.

I hope these sound good, but I'll wait and see and do my best to leave my pre-conceived notions behind when I finally get hold of them. Yeah. I'll try, at least - I don't know that I will be able to.
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Re: New stuff from Roland!

Post by commodorejohn » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:24 am

synthroom wrote:You kids just don't remember what it was like in 1982. People THEN wanted analog with digital stability.
People in them days thought Zubaz were cool, too.
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Re: New stuff from Roland!

Post by wiss » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:41 am

commodorejohn wrote:
synthroom wrote:You kids just don't remember what it was like in 1982. People THEN wanted analog with digital stability.
People in them days thought Zubaz were cool, too.
No, no they didn't !!! Only people I recall wearing those god awful things were weightlifters.
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Re: New stuff from Roland!

Post by commodorejohn » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:47 am

Fine, substitute "colored tuxedos," then.
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Re: New stuff from Roland!

Post by dustinh » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:51 am

Is it a good time to drop this video?

Don't think it's been posted here yet. It's from our good friend Alex Juno aka elmosexwhistle.


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Re: New stuff from Roland!

Post by madmarkmagee » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:29 am

dustinh wrote:Is it a good time to drop this video?

Don't think it's been posted here yet. It's from our good friend Alex Juno aka elmosexwhistle.


That is tongue in cheek? Can't work out if he is outraged or mocking those that are outraged :lol: ?

commodorejohn wrote:
Kidney05 wrote:But if the costs are REALLY low-- under 300 or so?-- and they sound good, they could be really cool. Pretend you don't know the difference of analog and digital-- if this thing fit your budget and sounded good and had a great interface, it just doesn't matter what it's "supposed to be" or taking place of.

But I'm skeptical if they can deliver such value cheap enough. If they can't, it'll look bad next to the Volcas.
Thing is that there's not much left to go for "REALLY low." The MicroBrute is $300, and the Volcas are a jaw-dropping $150 apiece, and they're real analog (or, in the case of the Volca Beats, a mix-and-match structure comparable to the 909.) Are Roland's offerings really gonna undercut that?
But I think that is the business plan. To provide a similar product to the analog renaissance products at a fraction of their price. I can imagine that a digital mono synth would be very cheap to produce and could sound great as you could use a cheaper processor ( as you have only one voice) and have that processor solely concentrate on one voice.

Again this system 1 might be a bit more expensive than the volcas. But then again, while digital they probably are a lot more fully featured. Like comparing apples with oranges.

Anyway, at least, ironically they're not being sheep this time and releasing something different.

I don't think its fair to judge until we hear them, see their features and find out how much they cost ;)
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Re: New stuff from Roland!

Post by dustinh » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:40 am

I'm fairly certain the video is tongue in cheek. Especially coming from Alex. He's made some great synth jams on digital gear so I don't think he cares that much personally.

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Re: New stuff from Roland!

Post by synthroom » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:01 am

commodorejohn wrote:
synthroom wrote:You kids just don't remember what it was like in 1982. People THEN wanted analog with digital stability.
People in them days thought Zubaz were cool, too.
I think you're proving my point, those were popular in1992, not 1982.
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Re: New stuff from Roland!

Post by Kidney05 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:03 am

Kidney05 wrote:But if the costs are REALLY low-- under 300 or so?-- and they sound good, they could be really cool. Pretend you don't know the difference of analog and digital-- if this thing fit your budget and sounded good and had a great interface, it just doesn't matter what it's "supposed to be" or taking place of.

But I'm skeptical if they can deliver such value cheap enough. If they can't, it'll look bad next to the Volcas.
Thing is that there's not much left to go for "REALLY low." The MicroBrute is $300, and the Volcas are a jaw-dropping $150 apiece, and they're real analog (or, in the case of the Volca Beats, a mix-and-match structure comparable to the 909.) Are Roland's offerings really gonna undercut that?[/quote]

I have the Volcas and they're awesome, but the interface of the AIRA drum machine looks like a lot of fun. If it had editable drum machine sounds, and several banks of them, and it was a couple hundred bucks, it would be a great competition to the volcas-- you sacrifice a quality of the sound but beat it every other way... I'd be in for that...

But that's only if it's really close in price. If the drum machine is over 300 it could be a huge mistake for them. I might also be into the vocal transformer if it sounded cool too. And that crazy touch screen is intriguing.

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