Roland 909 Day

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
User avatar
Hybrid88
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:26 am
Gear: V-Synth, and other stuff...
Location: Australia

Re: Roland 909 Day

Post by Hybrid88 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:32 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
Hybrid88 wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:The reason behind the boutiques being labelled 'limited edition' and the Aira line being a separate sub-company from Roland even though they're really regular Roland products is that the Boss at Roland is strongly opposed to looking backward, doing reissues or retro things. They had to fight really hard to be able to do any of these machines, but the proviso was that they weren't to be part of the regular Roland lineup. All this info comes from the regional boss of Roland over here.
I don't see why that would matter so much to them over potential profits, if the heads of the company are stubbornly saying no and the sales people on the ground are "fighting" for it, that seems like a pretty badly managed company to me. Who's doing their market research?!?

Seem all this Aira and ACB stuff is an obvious attempt to revitalise the company, question is, will it work or is it too little too late? I'm seeing mixed reactions so far and now with Behringer jumping on the bandwagon things just got interesting.
Maybe they realise that no matter how accurately they reproduce something people are just going to complain about it, and not buy it? They could do an exact reissue of the 303 and people would complain that it didn't sound the same because the resistors were different or something.

If you think Roland are a badly managed company you should maybe think again. They're one of the most profitable MI companies in the world, they realise that the money comes from catering to low and mid range customers that buy stuff in guitar shops, not from pandering to a couple of hundred nerds that like complaining and won't buy anything from them anyway.
True I don't know the sales figures, but the System 500 modular sounded immense and seems like now it's out the interest has gone?

Yeah I don't know, they've certainly made big changes to their structure so you'd think the was a sign of wanting to make some pretty big improvements to their focus moving forward. But I'm just using your own words, why do the sales guys have to fight upper management, answer me that? Does that not seem like a stubborn company to you? Remember how long it has taken for them to even consider making an analog synth again whilst Korg and numerous other more effective companies took the opportunity as soon as they saw it, and in a much more sensible way by starting small with the Monotrons, then the Monotribe, Volca, Minilogue etc. Look at what Arturia are doing, again another company that sees the potential, started with software only a handful of years ago and now look at the Matrixbrute. Even Behringer the copycat company has seen the opportunity, that must be a market of more than just "a few hundred nerds" wouldn't you say?

Yet still all Roland has to offer is a small modular manufactured by someone else, a less than perfect hybrid in the JD-Xi and XA and a few boxes which although they sound good are still nothing more than more advanced digital modelling recreations which may as well be compared to the JP-8000 of the 90's. Even the term "ACB" is out of touch, the days where Roland could pull an acronym from their a*s and fool their market are long gone. People want real analog.

User avatar
ninja6485
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2763
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:13 pm
Gear: Virus Ti, Jx-8p, Juno 60, Radias, Maschine, 101,303,606,707,727,808,909, odyssey, mirage, akai s5K/s2K/s1k, drumtraks, E6400ult, M1R, rx5, fizmo,d50
Band: Lyra, The Sun Worshipers
Location: Exton/ westchester

Re: Roland 909 Day

Post by ninja6485 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:10 pm

Hybrid88 wrote:Remember how long it has taken for them to even consider making an analog synth again whilst Korg and numerous other more effective companies took the opportunity as soon as they saw it, and in a much more sensible way by starting small with the Monotrons, then the Monotribe, Volca, Minilogue etc. Look at what Arturia are doing, again another company that sees the potential, started with software only a handful of years ago and now look at the Matrixbrute. Even Behringer the copycat company has seen the opportunity, that must be a market of more than just "a few hundred nerds" wouldn't you say?
I think Roland are after bigger game than competing with the Korg reissues and arturia analogs.

The abc technology (is it abc?) Is something they can use to make all of their digital products better. Redoing some of their classic instruments with abc is almost more of a showcase for the technology. It's OK if the products of this particular run don't sell as much as an analog edition would. All of the guitar pedals and amp Sims, effects processors, and other stuff that will use some version of this technology are going to have abc as a huge marketing point, and that's backed up by how well it emulated the juno 106, 909, etc.

Also, they might not get as many sales with one product release using abc as they would using analog (among the people who know and care), but over time they will make that up with newer sets of products that use the same vintage connection allure. They're not going to damage the effect that allure is having.

In addition, these products are meant to appeal to people who both know, and do not know what analog even is. Some people are going to walk into a music store, and want a small, powerful and affordable synthesizer to start with to use with their DAW. They might not know enough or care enough to start doing research. They might not even know they're about to walk out of the store with a synth! They're also probably in their 20's with college style budgets, and a synth like the jp08, or a drum machine like the TR09 are going to be very appealing. The price of the boutiques is also a good Christmas present price range for parents. This group of people is pretty large, and to them, practicality trumps authenticity in spades.

One more note is that the abc technology will be copied by other companies, which means $$$ from holding patents and from lawsuits. They will make money on the tech long after the products stop selling.

The absolute last point I'll make is that sometimes Japanese companies have agreements with each other. Korg and Roland both compete, and work together, and appreciate each other's role in the marketplace. They may have agreed to each focus on different domains for the time being, or perhaps it's a mutually understood strategy?
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

volumetrik
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 278
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:00 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Roland 909 Day

Post by volumetrik » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:35 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:
Hybrid88 wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:The reason behind the boutiques being labelled 'limited edition' and the Aira line being a separate sub-company from Roland even though they're really regular Roland products is that the Boss at Roland is strongly opposed to looking backward, doing reissues or retro things. They had to fight really hard to be able to do any of these machines, but the proviso was that they weren't to be part of the regular Roland lineup. All this info comes from the regional boss of Roland over here.
I don't see why that would matter so much to them over potential profits, if the heads of the company are stubbornly saying no and the sales people on the ground are "fighting" for it, that seems like a pretty badly managed company to me. Who's doing their market research?!?

Seem all this Aira and ACB stuff is an obvious attempt to revitalise the company, question is, will it work or is it too little too late? I'm seeing mixed reactions so far and now with Behringer jumping on the bandwagon things just got interesting.
Maybe they realise that no matter how accurately they reproduce something people are just going to complain about it, and not buy it? They could do an exact reissue of the 303 and people would complain that it didn't sound the same because the resistors were different or something.

If you think Roland are a badly managed company you should maybe think again. They're one of the most profitable MI companies in the world, they realise that the money comes from catering to low and mid range customers that buy stuff in guitar shops, not from pandering to a couple of hundred nerds that like complaining and won't buy anything from them anyway.
Nah, even if it was slightly not like the original it would still be ahead than what they've achieved with 'ACB' just listen to the openlabs x0x-heart $79 SMT clone and compare it with TB-03, its like saying TB-3 wasn't a success even though it doesn't sound like the original totally

I guess they like working on ACB, or they're just not allowed to go analog. It seems like modelling, coding, testing is more troublesome to try and get there but not really getting there fully, than to just make an analog circuit and getting there instantly

It seems like their response to analog resurgence was to make ACB when all around companies acknowledged the benefits of analog, and then later they made the Euro/JD-X stuff is them giving up that ACB was going to be the next big thing.

btw the guy who did the RE-303 replica tried get Roland into it

As for Roland, I recently had more communication with them. I couldn't talk about this before for obvious reasons as I had been trying to get them involved with the project after meeting them at Superbooth. I know thats a tall order, but in the end I managed to pitch to the senior product manager for Europe. They aren't interested in the project/concept unfortunately but hinted at something along the lines for the future from themselves. I don't expect thats a 303 but perhaps they take some inspiration from this. Also I was told by the german product manager that they see this project as a tribute.
Last edited by volumetrik on Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
pflosi
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:14 pm
Gear: more than 150 characters...
Location: zürich
Contact:

Re: Roland 909 Day

Post by pflosi » Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:00 pm

ninja6485 wrote:The absolute last point I'll make is that sometimes Japanese companies have agreements with each other. Korg and Roland both compete, and work together, and appreciate each other's role in the marketplace. They may have agreed to each focus on different domains for the time being, or perhaps it's a mutually understood strategy?
Forming a cartel is illegal in Japan, too...

User avatar
griffin avid
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1568
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 11:08 am
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: Roland 909 Day

Post by griffin avid » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:00 pm

"...why do the sales guys have to fight upper management, answer me that? Does that not seem like a stubborn company to you? Remember how long it has taken for them to even consider making an analog synth again whilst Korg and numerous other more effective companies took the opportunity as soon as they saw it, and in a much more sensible way by starting small ...."

I don't know about some of this. Synth heads have been asking for the return of analog gear for over a decade. Since before I even joined this forum. I've seen years of endless debate of why every company should either make what they used to make or remake what they used to make. We've seen endless threads saying it's possible or impossible with all sorts of logical arguments for yay or nay. [especially KORG who released the MS20 in every human format (hard and soft) BEFORE making a full-sized analog version]

Every other system has had its time to emulate/imitate/replace/supersede that (analog) system.
VSTs were part of that direction. Maybe they thought EVERYTHING would be like storage/video. -- Where analog was replaced by digital and eventually most accepted that. I like my DAW and the modern convenience of file sharing, but it would be awesome to have a (widely accepted) vinyl and tape release.


I just think we are all missing a critical point that WE (anyone who counts themselves as an enthusiast, expert, knowledgeable, collector, specialist, gearhead and/or veteran-owner of many synths) are anyone's (besides a true boutique angle) target customer. Someone who just dove in still spends the most money on current offerings. The kids who fit that demo arent trying to recreate music from the 80s or 90s- mostly, they want to make the c**p that's playing RIGHT NOW on the radio. Some of those current guys have been around and have old pieces in their set ups, but so many of the current crop are making due with modern hards, softs, samples and all sorts of VA technology. I think analog will become hip (or did it already?) as a driving force before it's ever respected as the 'best way to approach production'. No one is thinking that. They are all thinking "okay, if the kids REALLY want this - enough to make some strong sales we'll roll some goodies out"


I can't think of a 17 year-old who owned a TB303 and is critical of the new releases sonic difference. A 40+ year old, yeah. And can he influence that 17 year old? maybe. That's probably why some companies aren't that concerned with
that identical recreation. AND all the chatter about it "failing" is exactly why upper management would say enough with trying to please through throwbacks. Let's make something new that needs no comparison. To me, it's like being in a band and "fans" keep saying remake one of my old albums or make a new one that sounds like it was made back then.

When I think of Roland creating gear that 'fills a role' everything they do makes sense.....
1) Little cheap boxes that 'creative musicians' flip into something new.
2) Workstations that provide the backbone for full songs...
3) performance boards that you' gig with
4) gizmos that are simply fun to add on to a studio
5) cutting-edge instrument with an experimental direction


I'd love to see some new analog beasts, I really would, but me, I'm demanding as h**l.
I got a bunch of stuff in all those categories so I'm NOT buying a behringer 8. Nope, but I'm the same guy sitting here saying EVERY company should make an analog synth monster (with lots of knobs)- even though I'm NOT in the market for anything besides new toys. I'm silly. Add my voice to the ever-growing throng that's asking for something they wouldn't buy. I only want something to want.
Last edited by griffin avid on Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Music Product: Better Sounds for Beats http://www.StudioAVX.com
Music Production: Resources and Research http://www.ProducersEdgeMagazine.com
Music Produced: Abstract Hip Hop Sci-Fi: http://www.TheDynamicUniverse.com

User avatar
Hybrid88
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:26 am
Gear: V-Synth, and other stuff...
Location: Australia

Re: Roland 909 Day

Post by Hybrid88 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:50 pm

Yeah fair point it did take manufacturers in general a while to cotton on, mostly I think due to the massive changes they'd have to make in production and design of analog gear Vs having a current setup designed for digital equipment manufacturing. But the point being at least some got the message and reacted to it accordingly.

But anyway, if as you say Roland were so keen on making something new and not recreate the past why do they continue to make the same machines from yesteryear with modern technology? Surely that's focusing on the past anyway? It's not exactly something completely new and different, it's just doing the same thing a different way. It's almost insane how much R&D and sheer effort Roland must have put into their ACB technology when they could have just made it analog to begin with. If Korg can do it there's no reason Roland can't.

And sorry but I still have a big issue with the fact they are calling what are effectively mass produced toys "Boutiques". There is nothing "boutique" about them... actually even the word "boutique" gives me the shits. :lol:

I dunno maybe I'm being harsh. Maybe we are on the edge of a crossover when digital can sound and behave exactly like something analog, and Roland can give us a whole vintage studio from 1's & 0's. That would be an exciting time to be around, but up until now I definitely haven't been convinced that the technology is quite there yet.

User avatar
ninja6485
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2763
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:13 pm
Gear: Virus Ti, Jx-8p, Juno 60, Radias, Maschine, 101,303,606,707,727,808,909, odyssey, mirage, akai s5K/s2K/s1k, drumtraks, E6400ult, M1R, rx5, fizmo,d50
Band: Lyra, The Sun Worshipers
Location: Exton/ westchester

Re: Roland 909 Day

Post by ninja6485 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:13 pm

Hybrid88 wrote:Yeah fair point it did take manufacturers in general a while to cotton on, mostly I think due to the massive changes they'd have to make in production and design of analog gear Vs having a current setup designed for digital equipment manufacturing. But the point being at least some got the message and reacted to it accordingly.

But anyway, if as you say Roland were so keen on making something new and not recreate the past why do they continue to make the same machines from yesteryear with modern technology? Surely that's focusing on the past anyway? It's not exactly something completely new and different, it's just doing the same thing a different way. It's almost insane how much R&D and sheer effort Roland must have put into their ACB technology when they could have just made it analog to begin with. If Korg can do it there's no reason Roland can't.

And sorry but I still have a big issue with the fact they are calling what are effectively mass produced toys "Boutiques". There is nothing "boutique" about them... actually even the word "boutique" gives me the shits. :lol:

I dunno maybe I'm being harsh. Maybe we are on the edge of a crossover when digital can sound and behave exactly like something analog, and Roland can give us a whole vintage studio from 1's & 0's. That would be an exciting time to be around, but up until now I definitely haven't been convinced that the technology is quite there yet.
see my previous post...
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5136
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Flangebeast Mk1, Plonkotron, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Cabaret Voltaire, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, thermostat, Buck Owens Moog.
Band: Minim
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: Roland 909 Day

Post by madtheory » Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:54 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:If you think Roland are a badly managed company you should maybe think again. They're one of the most profitable MI companies in the world, they realise that the money comes from catering to low and mid range customers that buy stuff in guitar shops, not from pandering to a couple of hundred nerds that like complaining and won't buy anything from them anyway.
Yup. And here's another example- trying to do everything that the sales people claimed "everybody" wanted was the undoing of Sequential Circuits, according to the story in "The Prophet from Silicon Valley". Now that DS does what he wants, it's a successful company. That requires vision, which the average consumer does not have. It's a bit like the iPod. No-one knew that they wanted it, but Steve Jobs did. No-one knew they wanted the Evolver either. Or the Wavestation.

User avatar
Hybrid88
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:26 am
Gear: V-Synth, and other stuff...
Location: Australia

Re: Roland 909 Day

Post by Hybrid88 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:15 pm

ninja6485 wrote:see my previous post...
I did yes, thanks for asking :lol:

User avatar
Hybrid88
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:26 am
Gear: V-Synth, and other stuff...
Location: Australia

Re: Roland 909 Day

Post by Hybrid88 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:21 pm

madtheory wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:If you think Roland are a badly managed company you should maybe think again. They're one of the most profitable MI companies in the world, they realise that the money comes from catering to low and mid range customers that buy stuff in guitar shops, not from pandering to a couple of hundred nerds that like complaining and won't buy anything from them anyway.
Yup. And here's another example- trying to do everything that the sales people claimed "everybody" wanted was the undoing of Sequential Circuits, according to the story in "The Prophet from Silicon Valley". Now that DS does what he wants, it's a successful company. That requires vision, which the average consumer does not have. It's a bit like the iPod. No-one knew that they wanted it, but Steve Jobs did. No-one knew they wanted the Evolver either. Or the Wavestation.
The iPod and Evolver/Wavestation broke the mold, that's what made them visionary products, a 303 clone is not exactly that.

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: Roland 909 Day

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:58 pm

Hybrid88 wrote:
madtheory wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:If you think Roland are a badly managed company you should maybe think again. They're one of the most profitable MI companies in the world, they realise that the money comes from catering to low and mid range customers that buy stuff in guitar shops, not from pandering to a couple of hundred nerds that like complaining and won't buy anything from them anyway.
Yup. And here's another example- trying to do everything that the sales people claimed "everybody" wanted was the undoing of Sequential Circuits, according to the story in "The Prophet from Silicon Valley". Now that DS does what he wants, it's a successful company. That requires vision, which the average consumer does not have. It's a bit like the iPod. No-one knew that they wanted it, but Steve Jobs did. No-one knew they wanted the Evolver either. Or the Wavestation.
The iPod and Evolver/Wavestation broke the mold, that's what made them visionary products, a 303 clone is not exactly that.
That's exactly the point he's making.

User avatar
ninja6485
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2763
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:13 pm
Gear: Virus Ti, Jx-8p, Juno 60, Radias, Maschine, 101,303,606,707,727,808,909, odyssey, mirage, akai s5K/s2K/s1k, drumtraks, E6400ult, M1R, rx5, fizmo,d50
Band: Lyra, The Sun Worshipers
Location: Exton/ westchester

Re: Roland 909 Day

Post by ninja6485 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:28 am

Hybrid88 wrote:But anyway, if as you say Roland were so keen on making something new and not recreate the past why do they continue to make the same machines from yesteryear with modern technology?
The tr09 is not their new product. ACB is their new product. The Tr09 is just one form of it that's showing off how good it can sound. If you think about all of the other things they can, will, and are doing with ACB, you should understand how they're generating their profit. These reissues are giving it credibility and notoriety, plus there's demand for their vintage products that's being met, but not exhausted.
Hybrid88 wrote: It's almost insane how much R&D and sheer effort Roland must have put into their ACB technology when they could have just made it analog to begin with.
again, the Tr-09 is selling ACB, which will reappear in dozens of new products like guitar pedals and so forth. You don't really think roland would reinvent the wheel to release a 303 when they could just reissue it without a good reason, do you? It's because an analog product doesn't help them in all of their other arenas. ACB tech does, and that's a massive return on investment.
Hybrid88 wrote:If Korg can do it there's no reason Roland can't.
I'm glad Roland is not another Korg. After the fact that they've released modern analog synths, what's left? The Minilogue? What the h**l is that? The volca fm is cool, but the rest are ho-hum. Do you really want the Volca keys instead of a JP-08?
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

User avatar
Hybrid88
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:26 am
Gear: V-Synth, and other stuff...
Location: Australia

Re: Roland 909 Day

Post by Hybrid88 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:38 am

Yes I do realise it's really ACB they're promoting here and I expected that counter argument, but again is it really better if all they do with it is emulate old gear...

Actually yes, I have a Volca keys and I won't be getting a JP-08, it has character which is something sorely missing in current Roland products. As for the Minilogue, it may not be perfect but at least it isn't something we've already heard. Seems we obviously value different things so no point saying one is better than the other, it's all relative to individual tastes.
Stab Frenzy wrote:
Hybrid88 wrote:The iPod and Evolver/Wavestation broke the mold, that's what made them visionary products, a 303 clone is not exactly that.
That's exactly the point he's making.
Ok so then by that logic we shouldn't expect to see anything creative or visionary from Roland as long as it remains a massive corporation selling cheap gear to the masses.

Perhaps that's the real issue here, presumably every idea at Roland must be run past a board of management for approval. When their motto has always been future focussed they can't afford to lose face making a replica of a past product. Cutting off their nose to spite their face seems an apt phrase here.
Last edited by Hybrid88 on Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
griffin avid
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1568
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 11:08 am
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: Roland 909 Day

Post by griffin avid » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:52 am

I think you're right Hybrid and it doesn't have to be either/or. Make some throwbacks and make some new, forward pointing things. I mean, if that's all anyone did, there never would be anything besides arrangers playing bossa nova.

I say and still say- a lot of us want our favorite company to rise to the top with a dozen or so products that we like as if, every piece we ever liked was being sold at once- during some great era or reign. They all had clunkers and weak follow-ups in-between the magic/legendary classics. Expect not to like Everything.

We gotta sometimes look past a 'giants' and buy some crazy stuff(s) from a real boutique manufacturer- like someone on Analogue Haven. That's probably where that next crazy thing will come from.
Music Product: Better Sounds for Beats http://www.StudioAVX.com
Music Production: Resources and Research http://www.ProducersEdgeMagazine.com
Music Produced: Abstract Hip Hop Sci-Fi: http://www.TheDynamicUniverse.com

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5136
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Flangebeast Mk1, Plonkotron, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Cabaret Voltaire, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, thermostat, Buck Owens Moog.
Band: Minim
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: Roland 909 Day

Post by madtheory » Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:10 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:That's exactly the point he's making.
Yup. Guy needs to be careful of the straw man :)

Post Reply