Roland vs Roland ? Eh ?

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.
Mateusz
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Roland vs Roland ? Eh ?

Post by Mateusz » Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:15 pm

Hi !

I'm new to this forum. I'm looking for a new synthesiser. My budget is about 330 GBP max for synth really. I'm compete newb to keys. I play guitar for over a year. I'm interested in sounds of other instruments, like strings, pads, pianos and typical synth sounds which can be modulated as well. I would like also to connect the synth with a laptop and use software (I assume synth comes with some bundled software) I read many reviews and watched videos and it still does not make my mind clear...

I consider:

- Roland SH-201, really knobby,simple, good for beginners ?
- Roland Juno D, more keys than SH-201, more patches and sounds, less possibilities for modulation

I considered also Yamaha MM6 but it looks c**p to be honest and I read many opinions about plastic sound of it...

Alesis ION was my favourite at the beginning but I couldn't find any second hand ones

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Re: Roland vs Roland ? Eh ?

Post by Johnny Lenin » Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:28 pm

Mateusz wrote:I'm interested in sounds of other instruments, like strings, pads, pianos and typical synth sounds which can be modulated as well.
That's the Juno-D. The SH201 is a virtual-analog (VA) synth that gives you direct, hands-on control over shaping sounds, but cannot produce realistic-sounding pianos, organs, etc. The Juno-D does not give you as much control as a VA, but it has an excellent palette of sounds, with some really good pads and leads. It has some front-panel knobs that give you control over filter cut-off, resonance and LFO. The Juno-D doesn't have USB, but it does connect to your computer by MIDI -- you'll need to get a USB-MIDI interface.

At the end of the day, I think the Juno-D is a good choice. It's a solid ROMpler at a great price.

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Re: Roland vs Roland ? Eh ?

Post by Mateusz » Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:57 pm

And that's a hard choice though... more sounds or less modulation capabilities, I would want to have 2 in 1 but it's not this price range... I heard many good things about Korg X50, it costs more, over my budget, unless I would delay purchase of speakers for this synth, I don't know wether is worth or not

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Re: Roland vs Roland ? Eh ?

Post by Johnny Lenin » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:58 pm

How do you plan to use the synth? What style of music?

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Re: Roland vs Roland ? Eh ?

Post by Mateusz » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:13 pm

I will use the synth at home

Music ? As I wrote before, typical synth sounds

something like that http://pl.youtube.com/watch?v=bXV4RsEy8b8

and some sounds of instruments like pianos, pads, strings, maybe basses ?
Where I want to use th sounds ? Some heavy stuff (Rammstein) and some metal where you can use strings or pads for example, piano just to play sometimes some classic melodies and practicing too :D

Typical synth sounds I will use in some dance-likeishstuff, trance, pop-rock

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Re: Roland vs Roland ? Eh ?

Post by Johnny Lenin » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:40 pm

Well... like I said, you won't get pianos and organs and realistic strings from a VA.

***What Follows is All Opinion!!!***

I've owned both the SH-201 and the Juno-D. They're quite different synths. the 201 is a knobby VA and the JD is an entry-level ROMpler. Of the two, I would own a JD again, but not a 201. It's not that the 201 is such a bad synth, but there are better-sounding and better-built VAs out there, though I think the 201 has a very well-designed and intuitive interface. On the other hand, there is not, in my opinion, a better budget ROMpler, for the price than the JD. Basically, in my opinion, the JD is a better apple than the 201 is an orange.

I only played the X50 when shopping for my first ROMpler a few years ago. I didn't buy it because it didn't impress me as much as the JD, either in build quality, interface or in the kind of acoustic sounds I wanted the ROMpler for. Keep in mind that that's hardly a well-educated opinion, but it was my shopping rationale at the time. The X50's USB is a nice feature, but I wonder if it adds any more functionality than connecting the JD to your computer via MIDI using a USB/MIDI interface.

Consider that a used Juno-G sells for about the same as a new X50 and about $150 more than a used X50. In my opinion, the Juno-G is the best budget ROMpler that I have played, and includes a whole suite of workstation features, like audio recording and sampling and a 16-track sequencer. I have never tried the Alesis Fusion, which is in the same price range as the JG, and has a lot of fans. I have some, but limited experience with the MM6. I had one in my home studio for a few weeks.

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Re: Roland vs Roland ? Eh ?

Post by Mateusz » Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:48 pm

Thanks for a detailed explanation :D

I will not be able to afford Juno G, second hand one, over here in England... :|

But at least my mind now is a bit clearer and I'm more likely to choose Juno D :D
Well it has features which I'm looking for, these simulations of other instruments

Lack of USB is not a problem at all really, MIDI/USB interface will sort it out.

I found Juno D for £307.99 (approx. $458), I am guessing it is a good price for new one :D

But can also patches be programmed in Juno D like in SH-201 on computer ?

It will be my first synth anyway, so I shouldn't worry too much, after gaining some expirience I will be able to decide wether I want to qo in direction of classic analog synths or stick with modern workstations

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Re: Roland vs Roland ? Eh ?

Post by Bitexion » Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:09 pm

I definately suggest the Juno-D aswell. A synth like the 201 would most likely confuse you more than you'd like, since you're brand new to synths. The easiest way is to get a synth with all those sounds you want already in there.
You'll get a filter and effects also. And IF you wanna delve deeper, you can get a different synth later with more "synth" possibilities. But starting at the "deep end" is just off-putting to most newbies.

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Re: Roland vs Roland ? Eh ?

Post by Mateusz » Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:52 pm

And Roland GW-7 is not a synth, right ? :o It has not appregiator I think

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Re: Roland vs Roland ? Eh ?

Post by Johnny Lenin » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:16 pm

Mateusz wrote:And Roland GW-7 is not a synth, right ? :o It has not appregiator I think
I have never used, or even seen, a GW-7 in the wild. However, it is a synth. It belongs to a family of synths called "arrangers." These range from glorified home keyboards to sophisticated all-in-one keyboard studios. Typically, they focus on acoustic sounds and tend to have pretty shallow sound-shaping controls. The arrangers I've seen [a friend's EXR-46 and a Casio WK-3300] didn't impress me very much in terms of playability, though the Casio offers great bang for buck [I wouldn't call it a pro synth, though].

The JD does come with patch editing software. I never used it, so I can't comment on how much you actually can edit the patches. If it's anything like the Fantom or JG, there could actually be a fair bit that you can do in software.

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Re: Roland vs Roland ? Eh ?

Post by Mateusz » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:20 pm

To be honest I have downloaded Juno D editor to look how it looks like, it seems ok, many options but it looks kinda plain at the same time, and should be full screen too :twisted:

GW-7 has price around Juno D range... I have a feeling that GW-7 focus more likely on music production and stuff like that rather than synthesis and focusing on narrower sector.

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Post by crystalmsc » Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:33 am

Mateusz wrote:I will use the synth at home
if there's a midi keyboard, for around the money, something like the sonic cell would be a good way to start recording at home.
Mateusz wrote:I play guitar for over a year. I would like also to connect the synth with a laptop and use software (I assume synth comes with some bundled software)
you can plug the guitar to it and start recording, even using the COSM based fx (MFX3) plus other (input, chorus, reverb, mastering) as a live input fx. It also came with the company's Sonar LE software with a plug-in style editor which looks way better than the older editor.
Mateusz wrote:piano just to play sometimes some classic melodies and practicing too

It has more voices (128 polyphony) for a dense piano part. later you might opt for an 88 keys controller for this task. or add a specific expansion board for piano or dance materials. also in addition to the USB audio/midi interface, there's a separate midi I/O which can be used to control another device.
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Re: Roland vs Roland ? Eh ?

Post by Mateusz » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:26 pm

How is it supposed to work ?

A keyboard controller and special software with some simulations for the computer ?

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Re: Roland vs Roland ? Eh ?

Post by crystalmsc » Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:41 am

Mateusz wrote:How is it supposed to work ?

A keyboard controller and special software with some simulations for the computer ?
Sonic Cell is a hardware sound module, which can be connected to the pc by a USB cable (functioning as a midi/audio interface) and controlled by a plug-in style editor it comes with. In can be controlled by a keyboard controller from the midi in.
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Re: Roland vs Roland ? Eh ?

Post by Mateusz » Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:19 pm

It is over my budget :?

Same as Korg X50 [-o<

It seems like my choice will be down to Juno D or SH-201 eventually...

What about Arturia Analog Factory, seems to be a interesting thing :o

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