Roland Boutique

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909techno
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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by 909techno » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:23 pm

I picked up a JP-08 and made a few JP-08 videos, hopefully these may help someone who can't try one out in person:


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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by Ncapone » Wed May 04, 2016 1:24 am

I think it sounds really good and I don't understand the haters. I made a track that heavily features the JP-08 (the main pad sound):

https://soundcloud.com/terrapinyeah/the-quiet-ones

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by colmon » Wed May 04, 2016 8:36 am

calaverasgrande wrote:I guess I missed the part about ACB. I suppose I thought they had just used SMT to stuff an actual analog 4 voice in a tiny box. If it's just emulation does it really matter if it's from Roland or not? It still is not the real deal. Not as if you can't fit real analog into something that small. The A4 is not much bigger, and it is quite a bit more (and more expensive...). Oh well taken that Jx3 off of my Amazon wish list.
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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by Bitexion » Wed May 04, 2016 1:31 pm

Then don't buy it and stop whining

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by ApolloBoy » Sun May 22, 2016 6:12 am

I had been on the fence about the Boutiques until today when I bought a JX-03. I was almost considering the JU-06 as I miss my old Juno-106 and don't want to spend almost a grand to get one again, but the JX-03 seemed pretty neat and I've never owned or tried a JX-3P so I decided to go for something new.

And I have to say, despite the 4-voice limitation this is one of the best VAs I've ever tried and you really, really have to listen hard to tell that it isn't real analog. Right now I'm just playing around with it in Logic while having it connected through USB, but I'd really love to connect it to my JX-10 and do some cool layered sounds with both synths.
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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by elsongs » Wed May 25, 2016 6:25 am

I wonder if these things can be '"hacked" to increase polyphony. Because, let's not kid ourselves here, this is 2016 and VA synths can give you hundreds of notes of polyphony, so the 4-voice limitation when you're not using hard-wired analog circuits is pure B.S. just to get you to buy multiple units.

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by Bitexion » Wed May 25, 2016 8:21 am

You'd have to reprogram the entire OS to accomodate for 8 voices, so I doubt it can be hacked with a MIDI update.

Remember that the VA's with dozens of voices also cost 5-6 times more. More voices means more CPU power, and that costs more money. They've probably gone with the lowest possible CPU to save money.

What VA's with hundreds of voices can you name off your tongue? Even your own Mac/PC would start choking over 20 voices.

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by CS_TBL » Thu May 26, 2016 9:17 am

Perhaps it'd be better to describe what VA implicates. Some sixteen years ago, the Supernova II had 24 voices, I'm sure today's computers run circles around that. But whether you're using a BLIT or something way more heavier is the real question here. If the technology doesn't aim to give an Ultimate Liquid Phase-Perfect Sawtooth With Whatever Bullcrap The Marketing Budget Allows (tm) but just a sawtooth that doesn't cause aliasing at the top, then I bet hundreds of voices are possible.

FM8 again, yeah, it runs many hundreds o' voices when using multiple instances, and that's with effects, and naturally it has some math per oscillator running.

I'll stick to the theory that hardware is limited in order to sell more hardware too. Roland ain't charity, it's a commercial company. Also, a CPU is only a minor component in the whole machine, I bet a CPU that has twice the power is only a few bucks more expensive.
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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by Bitexion » Thu May 26, 2016 10:53 am

If this was the case, why doesn't all VAs come with "unlimited polyphony" then ? That would be a major sales point over analogs with their 4-8 voice limitations. Why did the Alesis Ion just have 8 voices? Clearly it was "the year 2003" computers can surely handle more than that.

Another thing is that noone ever wants a VA with just plain old perfect sawtooths and square waves. They want VA's with complex algorithms that emulate the "sound" of an oberheim or Moog oscillator, and lowpass filters too. That takes CPU power to do in realtime.

Why indeed did Roland do the JP08 in 4 voices not unlimited voices? My home computer can surely handle hundreds, right? :lol:

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by madtheory » Thu May 26, 2016 12:07 pm

I think CS_TBL has already answered your question- the hardware is limited in order to sell more hardware. In this case, you chain units for more polyphony. The thing is built to a price, and is aimed at the largest demographic- your average hipster doesn't even know what polyphony really is, and the implications of it being limited. Us synth geeks who know what aliasing is are a very small market!

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by Mark76 » Thu May 26, 2016 1:16 pm

madtheory wrote:I think CS_TBL has already answered your question- the hardware is limited in order to sell more hardware. In this case, you chain units for more polyphony. The thing is built to a price, and is aimed at the largest demographic- your average hipster doesn't even know what polyphony really is, and the implications of it being limited. Us synth geeks who know what aliasing is are a very small market!
They'll definitely appeal to the person who noodles in a coffee bar with the nasty attachable keyboard thing, but I can't see how anyone working with a boutique on its own is going to get that much out of owning one.

After all, the built in sequencer is as much use a chocolate teapot ok for a few blips here and there but I think I would become bored of that pretty quickly. So to use it more seriously in a setup at home means the polyphony thing is going to become an issue fairly quickly.

That said, the JX03 is really the star of the range, it's so much fun and wonderful sound (I think!) but 4 voices and limited drivers for older Mac OS is a bit of a downer.

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by radiospace » Thu May 26, 2016 10:51 pm

Mark76 wrote: They'll definitely appeal to the person who noodles in a coffee bar with the nasty attachable keyboard thing, but I can't see how anyone working with a boutique on its own is going to get that much out of owning one.

After all, the built in sequencer is as much use a chocolate teapot ok for a few blips here and there but I think I would become bored of that pretty quickly. So to use it more seriously in a setup at home means the polyphony thing is going to become an issue fairly quickly.
The polyphony has nothing to do with whether you are using it "seriously" or not. It is a four-voice instrument. Plenty of people have made great records using equally limited vintage analog synthesizers... they adjust their creativity to the tools at hand, or find workarounds (recording multiple individual tracks, etc.).

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by ninja6485 » Fri May 27, 2016 12:45 am

Mark76 wrote:
madtheory wrote:I think CS_TBL has already answered your question- the hardware is limited in order to sell more hardware. In this case, you chain units for more polyphony. The thing is built to a price, and is aimed at the largest demographic- your average hipster doesn't even know what polyphony really is, and the implications of it being limited. Us synth geeks who know what aliasing is are a very small market!
They'll definitely appeal to the person who noodles in a coffee bar with the nasty attachable keyboard thing, but I can't see how anyone working with a boutique on its own is going to get that much out of owning one.

After all, the built in sequencer is as much use a chocolate teapot ok for a few blips here and there but I think I would become bored of that pretty quickly. So to use it more seriously in a setup at home means the polyphony thing is going to become an issue fairly quickly.

That said, the JX03 is really the star of the range, it's so much fun and wonderful sound (I think!) but 4 voices and limited drivers for older Mac OS is a bit of a downer.
Ok, so I picked up a JP-08, and these gripes are complete bullshit. It's a 16 step monophonic sequencer. Just hold the button, hit the note you want, and choose the length on the tr style button row. It's a lot like the sq1, except it can actually sync to an external clock. Polyphony isn't that big a deal either as it turns out. Soprano Alto, Tenor Bass. For more complex harmony, stack 2 recordings... As far as what you get out of one of these, it's a Jupiter 8, with all of its sound design features, the size of a small laptop that runs on batteries, has a sequencer, a delay effect, and a little speaker for under $400 new(Couch jam anyone?). It's not rocket science, it's a little synth you can afford that runs on batteries and makes Jupiter 8 noises. That's what you get. If you can't use that effectively in a serious setup, it's not the synth that's deficient. ;)
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by knolan » Fri May 27, 2016 3:29 am

It's no surprise to me to see increasing numbers of 2nd hand Roland Boutique instruments currently appearing ebay and other classified ads sources.

They are a novelty, but they just don't cut the mustard. I don't agree that they are for the masses. No synthesizer is. I know nobody at all, other than musicians interested in electronic music of one form or another, who buy synthesizers. Of the hundreds of people I know in 'real life' - not one has ever contemplated the notion of buying a synth. Only earnest musicians into electronic music buy synthesizers. It's been that way since the '60s and it hasn't changed an iota. Home keyboards yes - synthesizers - no!

The notion perpetuated by Roland and Yamaha that there are people outside of our niche circles who buy synths is a myth. That's not to say there isn't a bigger market today than say 20 years ago - but - I don't believe anyone buys a synth to noodle. You're already quite 'into music' if you're contemplating spending any money at all on a synthesizer.

That's why I wish roland would do the job properly and service the only market that exists and counts - people interested in real, substantial, useful synthesizers.

Boutique has the imprint of marketing managers (or graduates) who have no notion about electronic music or musicians. But it wouldn't take a huge amount to repackage these devices as proper, full sized modules with full sized controls, sufficient polyphony and a full control specification that echoes the originals and caters for modern computer based music production systems. To me, these days, it feel like Roland ask - what do real musicians want - and then say to themselves - "lets tease them with what we can do, but purposely frustrate them in every conceivable way".

Whether it be crappy drivers, horrendous computer connectivity, junk-status hardware implementations, outrageously low polyphony, half-implemented OS's and features; there are SO many annoyances from Roland that I just can't stomach them any more.

I deplored 'Roland bashing' over the years - I own over a dozen Roland synths and love them all; but Boutique to me represent everything that's wrong with Roland today, and it's SO disappointing. And I don't want to be saying that - but it's the way I feel about them.

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by desmond » Fri May 27, 2016 10:14 am

For me, I like the form factor as a fun plaything (not a "serious" instrument as such).

The four voices is a bit of a slap in the face, but I expect that's either because the current custom Roland chip they use can't do more than that (there aren't very many recent Roland products using this modelling tech that can do more than a handful of voices), and putting in an extra chip wasn't viable for that product (no, neither is "just making a new, more powerful chip").

Possibly they are also holding back the "full" voice count for a later, better product, based on the JP-8 emulation stuff, at a higher price point, or at least, think that the Boutique with 8-voices might cannabalise another product.

But, even with the four voice limit, I might have looked past it *if* the sliders could put out MIDI, so I could use it as a generic synth controller. They really missed a trick with that one, for me.

However, everyone in Japan *loves* small and cute, and seeing as the trendy area of EDM production seems to have moved back to using loads of small boxes rather than a DAW (basically, back to what we did in the 80s for sheer cost/accessibility reasons, there was no other option if you didn't have multi-thousands of pounds) I think these have been popular - Roland at least recognise the desirability of their older stuff, and it seems to be steering part of the company at least to move in that direction.

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