Roland Boutique

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by ninja6485 » Sat May 28, 2016 4:33 pm

Is there any way to partition the usb stick on a computer and then format those partitions individually on the synth?
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by knolan » Sat May 28, 2016 4:43 pm

@ninja6485: A few points:

- You've compared 30 + year old equipment with current equipment in some of your examples. The SH101 is pre-MIDI, while the Juno106 was one of the first MIDI devices ever released (and in fact is VERY well equipped MIDI wise). Meanwhile the JD800 transmits systems-exclusive on every fader of the control surface and so can be controlled to an extraordinary degree from DAW. To boot, a the time of the Juno60 and Jupiter 8 Roland were trail-blazing digital connectivity thought their digital sequencers and digital busses.

So no - you're completely wrong - the issue being flagged here are not part of Roland's legacy. They were good at this stuff at one stage.

You may love you JP08, but the point is - it could have been done better but they chose not to do so. The Roland that released the Jupiter 8 would balk at the JP08. So it might suit you; but I'm afraid Roland set far higher standards in the past, and that's what's so disappointing.

Furthermore, there is a very strong argument that something like the Jupiter 8 is far from being just about the sound. You can have a perfect virtual emulation of the basic innards of a Jupiter 8, but that is a far far cry from experiencing what it is like to sit at a Jupiter 8 and use it in creative ways. The JP08 offers the minutest fraction of the possibilities that a Jupiter 8 enables, and is why so many of us are, rightfully, turning our noses up at the JP08.

Similar to the JU06 - you are correct - it has essentially no midi implementation - and as mentioned in a previous post - so much of the playability of the Juno106 come from it's performance controls to the left of the keyboard and they are non existent on the JU06 so again it is only capable of a small fraction of the possibilities of the Juno106 and is simply incapable of a large range of the 106's sound and performance possibilities. Plus, it's only 4-voice.

Overall you are not correct - Roland are in new hands these days - and what they are releasing feels pretty vanilla and almost entirely based on maximising revenues by plundering their glorious past with cheap and tacky boxes.

On this path, I don't give them another 5 years. There's no future vision and no commitment to depth and quality.

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by ApolloBoy » Sun May 29, 2016 2:49 am

knolan wrote: On this path, I don't give them another 5 years. There's no future vision and no commitment to depth and quality.
Considering how diversified they are I highly doubt it.
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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by ninja6485 » Sun May 29, 2016 8:55 pm

[quote="knolan"]@{quote]Yes, you make great points, and I can definitely see how Roland could have been on the cutting edge with their sync technology so many years ago, and that it is time and change contributing to the inconvenience of using those boxes. You are completely right about that. So lets assume that Roland as a company is guilty of all of the things they are accused of being. I'm not sure that's a good enough reason to poo-poo the boutiques as much as we're doing. While all of the criticism we're giving to Roland is very relevant to the company, not all of it is entirely relevant to the boutiques themselves. I'm more interested in how they sound, what's it like to use them, and how much they cost. They sound fantastic, they're extremely reasonable, and they offer a number of advantages over their originals (I actually like that the originals offer a number of advantages over the boutiques as well, but that's a different issue). There are many annoying things about them, some that we haven't mentioned yet, like how the sequencer doesn't transmit midi, the keyboard's midi note mapping is way too low, and they don't work with XP machines. They're still easier to use than my other classic Roland gear, yet they sound just as good. I'm left wondering why in one case, I should judge that my 303 is a great instrument because of it's sound in spite of some integration problems, yet in the other, I should judge that my JP-08 is a poor instrument, despite it's sound yet because of some integration problems - especially since those particular problems do not even affect me, and aren't all that major. I understand and appreciate why you're disappointed, and I wish that you could have directed some of those projects and influenced the way these were made, because it would certainly have made them better. I just think we need to keep the benefits and detriments in perspective with the whole picture, and make sure that not too much disappointment in the company clouds our judgement of what these particular products are like to own and operate.

I'm more interested in how you're getting on with the JX anyway to be honest... It sounded amazing in the store. If I didn't already have an 8p, and wasn't looking get a cheap slice of free-standing Jupiter programing, I would totally have picked it up. Hopefully they get really cheap second hand so I can, and get another JP for more poluphony lol :mrgreen:

Also, I agree with ApolloBoy that they aren't going anywhere anytime soon. That conclusion is a little too extreme considering what we can see of how the company is doing at the moment. They're totally cashing in on their past in a lazy way, but they have assets, new development, and are also a very diverse company. They would probably change their strategies before they went under, and more likely then them going under would be them being bought or merging first, like what happened to ensoniq and EMU-systems.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by tim gueguen » Sun May 29, 2016 11:29 pm

Roland probably could survive on just the Boss line.
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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by knolan » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:30 pm

ApolloBoy wrote:
knolan wrote: On this path, I don't give them another 5 years. There's no future vision and no commitment to depth and quality.
Considering how diversified they are I highly doubt it.
I hope you're right. Here's where I'm coming from. In the past ten years there has been a lot of "Roland bashing" regarding everything from repeated use of sound chips across the JV modules and Fantom workstations to their lack of engagement with the retro revolution when they were releasing DSP laiden instruments.

I for one was not in that camp - I view Roland's last ten years or so as quite amazing w.r.t to R&D - COSM, Vocaldesign, Variphrase, Articulation Phrase Synthesis, V-Drum and V-Piano, D-Beam, Supernatural Acoustic and Supernatural Synth; and on and on. Pretty amazing recent-history legacy of developments. Hence I love the V-Synth GT, XV5080 and hugely admire my JP80 for all the good features it has (it has flaws too).

But - these technologies seemingly haven't sold very well.

So I perceive it that Roland have recoiled from that sort of R&D, and instead are putting their eggs into the basket of cheap-and-chearful boxes of every kind, in the hope of connecting with EDM artists, Media Composers and so on.

But - they are getting so many things wrong in almost the entire range, either through poor implementation or though such low spec - that it's not clear to me that they are gaining any respect for what they are releasing. I suspect they are selling very well - but - you never see people laud any current roland equipment. It's all "Yellowpack". Everybody's buying it, but nobody has any inherent value in it. They are buying it because it's cheap.

If that is anywhere near a correct analysis of Roland's current business model, then I believe they are in trouble because you can rest assured that in taking that approach, they have to kill off the serious and visionary R&D they once engaged; and that means jettisoning a lot of the soul and ethos of the company.

I accept this is all conjecture - but it does look like Roland have by now done the route of Kurzweil, GEM and other companies who either never knew their way, or lost their way.

Almost everything that tending for Roland (synths) right now is a 'pale' nod to the their past; but as said, as pretty cheap boxes with no inherent value.

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by ninja6485 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:00 pm

Meh, they've been doing this for years. The boutiques and arias are like the latest attempt to do the mc303 thing in a different way... And that was just a little box ripoff of a ground breaking synth that didn't sell very well, which was a cheap little box ripoff of the Bass guitar.

On the plus side, Roland's new VA technology behind these devices has gained a tremendous amount of respect. Even the people that trash the new stuff agree the VA engine is pretty good, and that technology is a huge asset to the company. And as a company, they have little to prove, and are probably making money on patents that we're not even thinking about. They aren't reissuing the classic money maker icons probably because the extreme demand for those instruments can generate more profit for the company in the long term via doing new variations (303 ripoffs, boutiques, etc), which is another smart move. They're keeping the tension and demand for those sounds alive, whereas by contrast; Korg pretty much satisfied the market's appetite for the ms20, which means that psychological demand won't drive interest in their new products anymore, at least for now.

Additionally, many of the reasons you cite for expecting that the company will fail are your own judgements about how their more recent offerings compare to the best synths they've produced in the past. Many of them are good observations for people trying to decide which synth to buy, but infering that they entail roland as a company will come crashing down is missing the point. We can infer that Roland's new products fall short in certain areas compared to their earlier offerings, and that some people might want to look elsewhere to get better feature; but we can by no means infer, however, that for the stated reasons the company itself is in trouble.

Not only do the reasons not entail that Roland themselves are doomed, but they also overlook key facts that strongly support the opposite. They overlook Rolands sales figures, overlook roland successful new va engine technology, they overlook the fact that Roland is continually launching research and development, they overlook the fact that Roland holds and makes money on patents, and the overlook the fact that Roland makes money with a variety of products; and that synths are really just one of those ways - with not nearly enough influence to make or break the company, eve with a little but of lazy design.
As a diverse and long standing company with regular new products in every major music store, and continual evidence of R&D, Roland doesn't show any real signs of a company in trouble. It also seems to be managed effectively at the top, and it markets it's products effectively, which is important for a company. Roland is a brand leader even... So the question to ask about whether the company is going down here is not "do they make legendary super instruments for their die hard fans anymore," but "are they a profitable business." The former is no indication of either success or failure. The latter, however is.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by tim gueguen » Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:07 pm

Heads up for Canadian members, Long and McQuade have the Boutiques on sale during Monster Days this month. The JU and JX are $339, the JP $439, and the K-25M is $99.
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Re: Roland Boutique

Post by Bitexion » Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:29 pm

I also think that they make more money from not "just remaking a Jupiter-8 bit by bit" and sell that for $3000, instead making "almost-replicas" that make people want more.

Afterall I'm sure both Roland and Yamaha could rerelease the CS80 and JP8 all over again. But they don't. There's probably some wise business decision behind it that we can't even fathom.

Metallica could remake their 80s albums and rerelease them until the end of time instead of making new albums nobody likes. Yet they don't.

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