Roland Boutique

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by Broadwave » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:17 am

pflosi wrote:It's a pity that they left out one of the most fun things of each of these three machines: trigger inputs for the arpeggiators / sequencers...

If they are there, that is, don't see them...
16 step, 16 pattern step sequencer built in, probably mono (?) but maybe we'll be able to trigger/step it via MIDI. I guess we'll have to wait until the manual is available ;)

Hmmm, I've just noticed the words "Limited Edition" - Would Roland really shoot themselves in the foot once initial quantities have sold out? Somehow I don't think so.

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by pflosi » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:41 am

Ah, indeed. Without any front panel controls? :?

Certainly it'll respond to midi clocks, but half the fun is feeding them irregular, programmed trigger patterns... Sure you can do it with midi only (see MidiPal) but it's just not the same workflow #-o

Luckily my main midi sequencer can do it JX3P style (poly!) :mrgreen:

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by Kidney05 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:42 pm

Sheesh, I'm surprised by all the hate. Did you really think Roland would do something analog poly in a box so tiny? Do you really think they'll want to do custom IC's again, suddenly, for this? ICs are expensive to develop. Without custom ICs, the most you could fit in that box would be one voice, and everyone would lose their s**t if it was mono but styled like old polysynths. "They left out crucial features!" What? it has midi in and out, and USB, and they're at most $400, it's a budget box. The expectations here are silly. You can't compare apples to oranges. If you want knobs you've got to give up something. If you want vintage synth modeling you have to give up something-- and we all know how good the Roland emulations are, so this wont' just be 3 more boxes that sound the same as everything else.

If you want an analog Poly under $1000, go buy a Tetra. It's been around for years.

Obviously Roland isn't interested in taking chances. If you vote with your wallet on this, they'll be sure to invest more in this kind of thing.

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:47 pm

At those prices, it's pretty obvious that Roland finally has Korg in their sights. Good news for folks on a budget but certainly not a step towards a new analog Jupiter .

I wonder how much the DSP for ACB costs that they can't eke out more than 4 voices...this is the 21st century after all. Or maybe they are targeting people who only have one hand ;)

Interesting that power is by USB...are traditional wall warts dying out in favor of cell phone chargers?
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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by Rokk » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:17 pm

What does puzzle me is why they went with JX3P. I'd prefer JX8P any day. Imho 3P is not that much different from Junos. Sure it is 2 DCO's and all, but soundwise it still has that soft, darker Junoesque timbre. 8P is a very different sounding synth, but it's true that it excels in strings, pads and leads, but fails at anything requiring substantial low-end. It sounds as if there was a HPF engaged all the time. But those strings and pads are really something!
Maybe they'll do it in the future if the rumor that they will expand the line is true.

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by desmond » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:41 pm

meatballfulton wrote:I wonder how much the DSP for ACB costs that they can't eke out more than 4 voices...this is the 21st century after all.
I'm guessing that the additional DSP power would raise the selling price to a point where it's leaving the intended price point they were aiming for, and thus making the product out of the impulse buy range - and also, likely tied into overall product plans going forward (ie, introducing something more akin to an 8-voice poly JP8 in some shape or form, whether Aira, System-2, plugouts etc).

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by desmond » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:44 pm

Rokk wrote:What does puzzle me is why they went with JX3P. I'd prefer JX8P any day.
Well, in going back to the old stuff and bringing it the current line-up, they've been doing it piecemeal - first the early monosynths, then moving into the polys. They've got a bunch of stuff here - the Junos, the JX's, the Jupiters etc. The JX8P and JX10 were from a later period, so it makes sense that the earlier, more vintage stuff is tackled first. But hey, who knows what the marketing demands are, and the challenges in finishing products in varying stages of implementation.

Plus the 3P has it's own unique sound and so is worth it over the others.
Rokk wrote:Maybe they'll do it in the future if the rumor that they will expand the line is true.
Would seem sensible.

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:12 pm

desmond wrote:Well, in going back to the old stuff and bringing it the current line-up, they've been doing it piecemeal - first the early monosynths, then moving into the polys.
D-50 mkII in 2016 for the win! :roll:
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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by desmond » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:58 pm

meatballfulton wrote:D-50 mkII in 2016 for the win! :roll:
Not sure that fits in with the current "ACB" modelling. Maybe they'll invent "Digital Circuit Behaviour" for the next round of DCB (heh!) synths - D50, JV1080, JD800/990... ;)

Or maybe "ARR" technology - "Advanced Rompler Rehash"...

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by pflosi » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:40 pm

Well I certainly love the V-Synth D-50 :mrgreen:

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:24 pm

desmond wrote:
meatballfulton wrote:I wonder how much the DSP for ACB costs that they can't eke out more than 4 voices...this is the 21st century after all.
I'm guessing that the additional DSP power would raise the selling price to a point where it's leaving the intended price point they were aiming for, and thus making the product out of the impulse buy range - and also, likely tied into overall product plans going forward (ie, introducing something more akin to an 8-voice poly JP8 in some shape or form, whether Aira, System-2, plugouts etc).
I would guess that they're using whatever their current DSP is, and the JP uses two of them, hence the difference in price. Here's a picture of the DSP board from the Demora delay courtesy of Paul S of Synth Tech. Note they're using a custom Roland DSP.

Image

A bit of googling shows up that boss and Roland use the ESC2 in a huge range of things. The System 1 apparently has two of them on board.

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by desmond » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:04 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:A bit of googling shows up that boss and Roland use the ESC2 in a huge range of things. The System 1 apparently has two of them on board.
Yeah, and I think I remember some Aira teardowns that show that they all use them. it's obviously Roland's standard DSP engine they are using in many products to spread the costs of developing the custom chips...

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:33 am

desmond wrote:it's obviously Roland's standard DSP engine they are using in many products to spread the costs of developing the custom chips...
It's not so much a cost of developing the DSPs thing (Roland/Boss are a huge company that move millions of units and have big engineering departments, developing custom silicon isn't an extra cost for them, it's their standard model of doing business) but having a proprietary DSP which is optimised for their code libraries and is a standard platform for them to develop on. These days the silicon is cheap but the code is expensive, so reusing code as much as possible is the way to maximise your return. :thumbleft:

Developing custom DSPs is a cost saving to be utilised rather than an expense to be shared.

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by Chewy » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:53 am

Good point, and thanks for the info, Blue Monster

And thinking of the Tetra (as Cerebral Infect mentioned) puts it more into perspective. My hope of them being analog was before I knew the price, though.

Also, I'd kinda like to clarify. I'm certainly no analog elitist (don't know if it seemed like it or not), I'm just thinking there's a good chance this range isn't for me. The units look awesome (in terms of appearance), are at a good price point, and will probably sound nice, but there's one big thing that keeps me from really being interested.

I personally am not a huge fan of digital synths that offer no features (synthesis/architecture-wise) over analog. If a digital synth has only the standard analog waveforms in a typical subtractive signal flow, I would rather just use an analog synth. I know what I just described is basically the concept of a VA, but many VAs feature more waveforms (sometimes many more) and other additional features.

So, I do like digital synths (I like having analog, digital, and hybrid synths for a wide variety of sounds and features), but nowadays, I'd probably only buy a digital synth if it's a (dynamic) wavetable synth, or at least has a good amount of waves, or is unique in some way. I have a couple of VAs right now, which have some additional features, and like them, but am not 100% sure if I'll keep them.

I don't think the synths in this line are bad at all, they actually seem like they could be kinda cool, just not my style (at the moment, at least).

(Damn. Long, maybe not entirely relevant post - sorry. Heh)

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:05 pm

I tend to agree with you Chewy, but these machines aren't really intended for the veteran synthesist who already owns some real analog. How good does the JU06 have to be to compete with your Juno 2, eh?

It's not even the price point, really. The Jupiter at $399 is only $100 less than a Blofeld which beats it for features all the way around. The thing is, Blofeld doesn't tick off the nostalgia checkbox and isn't a very convincing analog emulation.

People often hear with their eyes and have built-in biases. That's why some people think certain softsynths sound just like the analog synths they emulate and others say they are nowhere near the same.

Unless Roland totally screwed up the sound (aliasing, stepping) these things will sell like crazy to users who want portable desktop gear, can't afford paying over $500 for a synth and have bought into Roland's legend.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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