boutique

Roland’s “Boutique” Synths are now here officially, after most of the details of these mini synths leaked out in advance of their launch. And we get a real look at this line of inexpensive, mini synths – three models, with an optional keyboard dock.

First up, Mitch Gallagher has a hands-on for retailer Sweetwater, the first I’ve seen. It’s a 9-minute “Sweetwater Minute” which is to say… it’s made up of several minutes chained together?

The most important thing about the Boutique series is that Roland says they’re powered by Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) – that’s the same modeling employed in the AIRA series, and it’s been pretty well-received there. They also give you a lot of hands-on control, and they’re not expensive. That combination I suspect will make them a big hit.

At the same time, the main thing is whether you’ll want these particular models. There are a lot of ways you could spend your money here, from other synths to soft synths to loading software models onto Roland’s own AIRA SYSTEM-1. And, of course, this prompted speculation as to why Roland didn’t just keep releasing software models for the SYSTEM-1. That seems obvious. One, the SYSTEM-1’s control layout doesn’t really suit every software model – or, really, almost any software model other than the original. Two, it seems there’s more money to be made selling new hardware, not to mention to customers who find this appealing but not the SYSTEM-1.

We also know at last what the “boutique” moniker means. Roland says these are a limited edition, though from one of the largest instrument makers in the world, it’s hard to know precisely what that means. Anyway, we do get color-graded, hipster-friendly images of the line if that makes you feel any better.

Also, this video:

That song.

But no, let’s be honest: these will appeal if you wanted a model of one these synths in standalone, mobile form. If you hate mini keys, the good thing about that dock is, you can also use these modules with your favorite keyboard.

We could go copy-paste all the specs, but I suspect you’re capable of reading the Roland website. Instead, here are the most interesting details:

boutiquesynths

They’re cheap. Street US$299 for the Juno or JX or $399 for the JP-08, plus $99 for the dock. That might be all you need to know. There’s not much else in that price class: Arturia MicroBrute has a unique, analog character, there’s, um, MeeBlip (bring your own keyboard/sequencer), there’s the KORG volca series (KEYS is still a great choice, and it’s battery powered), some Waldorf pieces, and that’s about it. And now there’s also Novation Circuit. But nothing really doing this sort of emulation, so I think this is a good deal. (Commenters compared the Roland entries to Yamaha’s Reface, but that’s significantly more expensive and covers a completely different sound range. Parallel product philosophies, sure, but different results.)

Metal, dude. If you hate plastic, the front panel here is made of metal (though it appears to have a plastic chassic, and the dock is plastic). Curious how these feel.

They use USB or battery power. Bus power works, too, so you don’t need a wall wart. And that’s only 4 AA’s. The batteries can go in the dock, too.

Each has a step sequencer. And it looks a lot like the TR-8 drum machine step sequencer. Smart – and this means you can fiddle with these on the go even without the keyboard dock, though it’s more useful with the keyboard handy. (I think the clicking in the Sweetwater video is just a wonky envelope setting, not a bug.)

JP-08_rear_gal

USB works for MIDI and audio. That is a full-fledged audio interface there. And you can run MIDI over USB. And there are still dedicated MIDI DIN jacks. That combination means I do think one of these modules might make a smart purchase. You already own a keyboard with MIDI out, right?

Solo, unison, polyphonic. This makes loads of sense, too.

They’re chain-able. That adds polyphony. But it involves chaining together two of the same unit, and I can’t imagine anyone outside a Roland dealer doing that.

So, one unit gives you 4 voices, which a lot of commenters are complaining about, except… well, do you really want 8 voices of this sound? (ducks)

They’re small. Hey, they’re cute. They’re portable. They’re, according to Roland, “the size of a book.”

JP-08_K-25m_gal

You want the JP-08, right? I mean, seriously. The JX-03 cleverly puts the PG-200 controller on the JX-3P keyboard, but … the appeal for both the JU-06 and JX-03 seems to me primarily for people who owned those keyboards; I’m not sure these are the best-aging sounds in synth history. The JP-08 Jupiter is really the sound it seems that has the largest draw; the control layout looks great and the sound is indeed lust-worthy.

Heck, Roland even priced the JP-08 $100 more than the other two, almost as if knowing it’d be the one in demand. It’s like the “this is the one you really want” tax.

Then again, there’s your problem solved: get the JP-08 and the dock, connect them once, and you’re good to go. Or skip the dock and just get a JP-08 and have a good time without another keyboard collecting dust in your studio. (This story concludes as a mob of JX and Juno owners chases me around Berlin…)

And let’s talk about the JP-08. Apart from the dual ribbon controllers and portability, the JP-08 improves on the original Jupiter-8 with extra waveforms and an expanded VCO range.

I’m going to try to get a JP-08 for a proper review, so let me know if you have questions.

Reading comments, my take is obviously different. People either hate this and jump into expletives or immediately want all three. Right, then.

Anyway, have at the official site.

http://www.roland.ca/promos/roland_boutique/

http://www.roland.ca/products/jp-08/

http://www.roland.ca/products/jx-03/

http://www.roland.com/products/ju-06/

  • Fayek Helmi

    i didn’t really pay close attention to the controls on board of each module, but from the video i was mostly tempted by the JU… but i guess the JP would probably do most of what this one does? overall paint me extremenly interested! so glad people are making stuff without keyboards like that….. it’s all about the sequencing…

    Imagine getting a couple of these bad boys hooked up to the beatstep pro….

    • Joshua Schnable

      All of these synths are essentially different cuts of the same beast. The filters are the same (the Juno 106 had the IR3109 stuffed into a different chip, but it was the same design, and they may have modeled the JU after the 60, so, moot point), the oscillators are roughly in the same ballpark, and so you’re left with three different oscillator, modulation, and envelope options. None the same, but none dramatically different either.

      Two things jump out at me: the JX was no winner in the past, but with the rotary PG controls in place, it’s less of a write-off. The JU, as well, has longer slide potentiometers than the JP, which (arguably) may make it easier to control.

      I’ve attached a photoshop comparison of the height difference between the controls of the JP vs the JU. I didn’t include the scale, but the JU control height is 1.25″ (3.17cm), and the JP a paltry 0.82″(~2cm). Maybe I can get my 5 year old to program that JP for me?

  • Fayek Helmi

    i didn’t really pay close attention to the controls on board of each module, but from the video i was mostly tempted by the JU… but i guess the JP would probably do most of what this one does? overall paint me extremenly interested! so glad people are making stuff without keyboards like that….. it’s all about the sequencing…

    Imagine getting a couple of these bad boys hooked up to the beatstep pro….

    • Joshua Schnable

      All of these synths are essentially different cuts of the same beast. The filters are the same (the Juno 106 had the IR3109 stuffed into a different chip, but it was the same design, and they may have modeled the JU after the 60, so, moot point), the oscillators are roughly in the same ballpark, and so you’re left with three different oscillator, modulation, and envelope options. None the same, but none dramatically different either.

      Two things jump out at me: the JX was no winner in the past, but with the rotary PG controls in place, it’s less of a write-off. The JU, as well, has longer slide potentiometers than the JP, which (arguably) may make it easier to control.

      I’ve attached a photoshop comparison of the height difference between the controls of the JP vs the JU. I didn’t include the scale, but the JU control height is 1.25″ (3.17cm), and the JP a paltry 0.82″(~2cm). Maybe I can get my 5 year old to program that JP for me?

  • Fayek Helmi

    i didn’t really pay close attention to the controls on board of each module, but from the video i was mostly tempted by the JU… but i guess the JP would probably do most of what this one does? overall paint me extremenly interested! so glad people are making stuff without keyboards like that….. it’s all about the sequencing…

    Imagine getting a couple of these bad boys hooked up to the beatstep pro….

    • Joshua Schnable

      All of these synths are essentially different cuts of the same beast. The filters are the same (the Juno 106 had the IR3109 stuffed into a different chip, but it was the same design, and they may have modeled the JU after the 60, so, moot point), the oscillators are roughly in the same ballpark, and so you’re left with three different oscillator, modulation, and envelope options. None the same, but none dramatically different either.

      Two things jump out at me: the JX was no winner in the past, but with the rotary PG controls in place, it’s less of a write-off. The JU, as well, has longer slide potentiometers than the JP, which (arguably) may make it easier to control.

      I’ve attached a photoshop comparison of the height difference between the controls of the JP vs the JU. I didn’t include the scale, but the JU control height is 1.25″ (3.17cm), and the JP a paltry 0.82″(~2cm). Maybe I can get my 5 year old to program that JP for me?

  • Joshua Schnable

    First question, right off the bat – does the filter self-resonate on any of these? I ask, because I’m curious as to how closely the filters model the originals. You can get some lovely ambient sounds with the 106/60 (the TAL U-NO-LX does this as well) with this technique. The later Alpha Junos, not so much (but, different filter).

    Second, is the “throw” of the controls. I’m a little concerned that envelope control will be pretty tricky to dial in, particularly when driving a filter with one to get a nice punchy bass sound. It’s not like the 101 had the greatest slide pots on them, but still, they look tiny.

    • I second your, errr… second question. It was written before that these modules are going to be small, but when I see that photo above with the hand on one of the faders… Seriously, those boxes are _very_ small. In such case, it might be more useful to have pots/encoders (aka knobs) instead of faders, wouldn’t it? So, yes, how useful are those small controls, really?
      (…and I do have small hands, but I would not want anything much smaller than what I’ve got on my Elektron boxes…)

  • Joshua Schnable

    First question, right off the bat – does the filter self-resonate on any of these? I ask, because I’m curious as to how closely the filters model the originals. You can get some lovely ambient sounds with the 106/60 (the TAL U-NO-LX does this as well) with this technique. The later Alpha Junos, not so much (but, different filter).

    Second, is the “throw” of the controls. I’m a little concerned that envelope control will be pretty tricky to dial in, particularly when driving a filter with one to get a nice punchy bass sound. It’s not like the 101 had the greatest slide pots on them, but still, they look tiny.

    • I second your, errr… second question. It was written before that these modules are going to be small, but when I see that photo above with the hand on one of the faders… Seriously, those boxes are _very_ small. In such case, it might be more useful to have pots/encoders (aka knobs) instead of faders, wouldn’t it? So, yes, how useful are those small controls, really?
      (…and I do have small hands, but I would not want anything much smaller than what I’ve got on my Elektron boxes…)

  • Joshua Schnable

    First question, right off the bat – does the filter self-resonate on any of these? I ask, because I’m curious as to how closely the filters model the originals. You can get some lovely ambient sounds with the 106/60 (the TAL U-NO-LX does this as well) with this technique. The later Alpha Junos, not so much (but, different filter).

    Second, is the “throw” of the controls. I’m a little concerned that envelope control will be pretty tricky to dial in, particularly when driving a filter with one to get a nice punchy bass sound. It’s not like the 101 had the greatest slide pots on them, but still, they look tiny.

    • I second your, errr… second question. It was written before that these modules are going to be small, but when I see that photo above with the hand on one of the faders… Seriously, those boxes are _very_ small. In such case, it might be more useful to have pots/encoders (aka knobs) instead of faders, wouldn’t it? So, yes, how useful are those small controls, really?
      (…and I do have small hands, but I would not want anything much smaller than what I’ve got on my Elektron boxes…)

  • Definitely interested in the Juno. I actually like the sound of that thing but just use a software emulation currently (Juno 60 actually). The sequencer is a nice feature too. Looks great, Roland!

  • Definitely interested in the Juno. I actually like the sound of that thing but just use a software emulation currently (Juno 60 actually). The sequencer is a nice feature too. Looks great, Roland!

  • Definitely interested in the Juno. I actually like the sound of that thing but just use a software emulation currently (Juno 60 actually). The sequencer is a nice feature too. Looks great, Roland!

  • James

    Assuming the midi you can send would work for control assignments, this might be a useful interface for nativeKontrol DDC. I’ve been thinking about a series of your related articles, Peter, where the natural progression leads to virtual modules/soft synths being represented with dedicated controllers. Thing is, most over-the-counter controllers focus on universality with the mixer being the model, whereas hardware synths have their own logic by breaking out knobs/buttons depending on the depth to which they’ve exposed the synth engine.

    • Wayne billingham

      these boxes only receive 3 x cc (mod wheel and 2 others , not even filter …) based on the details in the manual.
      so no fun with external controllers / sliders / automation

      ive pre ordered the juno mostly becuase i used to have one and sold it.

      • Wow, really?

        That’s weird. I mean, hands-on control is great, maybe you don’t always want to automate things with MIDI. But you don’t necessarily want it left out, either.

    • Your comment strikes a chord with me. Didn’t the Korg MS-20 also receive a VST version with a near full sized controller for dedicated control of all knobs and plugs? Late 90s/early 2000s if i remember correctly.

      This kind of setup with specialist controller seems to me a bit over the top – either go all virtual or get the original, especially if the controller takes up the same amount of space. For me i think i would be all too quickly reaching for a proper hardware version instead and I assume the reason why this kind of setup has not been seen afterwards is because of high cost / limited market.

      • James

        I hear ya. And one of the articles I was thinking of was this for mimoog:
        http://createdigitalmusic.com/2015/08/custom-minimoog-controller-reminder-hardware-software-go-hand-hand/
        One trend I’d identify in the next couple years are controllers with the ubiquity of channel strips yet with a paradigm in design for device control as one would find on early synths. Just not sure if we’re there yet. And one issue to consider with tablets and virtual configurations, if anyone wanted to throw that in, is the absence of physical topography. I’ve mentioned this to Pete at the live events I’ve caught up with him, but like the rest of us, I haven’t done much about it.

        • Great article you linked to, thanks James. Really interesting to see the demand for bespoke hardware controllers for VSTs. I expect the cost element is coming down for little indie companies (not just the big boys who don’t see enough profit in it) to make their own products like this in small batches when the demand arises.

          Speaking of iPads not having physical knobs, have you seen the Tuna Knobs?

          https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/samuelverburg/tuna-knobs-stick-em-to-your-tablet-and-its-a-contr

          It’s a step in the right direction to add better control over iPad software, but between the price of the iPad, the VSTs and the Tuna Knobs, part of me wonders whether a dedicated bit of hardware at the right price might be more convenient.

  • James

    Assuming the midi you can send would work for control assignments, this might be a useful interface for nativeKontrol DDC. I’ve been thinking about a series of your related articles, Peter, where the natural progression leads to virtual modules/soft synths being represented with dedicated controllers. Thing is, most over-the-counter controllers focus on universality with the mixer being the model, whereas hardware synths have their own logic by breaking out knobs/buttons depending on the depth to which they’ve exposed the synth engine.

    • Wayne billingham

      these boxes only receive 3 x cc (mod wheel and 2 others , not even filter …) based on the details in the manual.
      so no fun with external controllers / sliders / automation

      ive pre ordered the juno mostly becuase i used to have one and sold it.

      • Wow, really?

        That’s weird. I mean, hands-on control is great, maybe you don’t always want to automate things with MIDI. But you don’t necessarily want it left out, either.

    • Your comment strikes a chord with me. Didn’t the Korg MS-20 also receive a VST version with a near full sized controller for dedicated control of all knobs and plugs? Late 90s/early 2000s if i remember correctly.

      This kind of setup with specialist controller seems to me a bit over the top – either go all virtual or get the original, especially if the controller takes up the same amount of space. For me i think i would be all too quickly reaching for a proper hardware version instead and I assume the reason why this kind of setup has not been seen afterwards is because of high cost / limited market.

      • James

        I hear ya. And one of the articles I was thinking of was this for mimoog:
        http://createdigitalmusic.com/2015/08/custom-minimoog-controller-reminder-hardware-software-go-hand-hand/
        One trend I’d identify in the next couple years are controllers with the ubiquity of channel strips yet with a paradigm in design for device control as one would find on early synths. Just not sure if we’re there yet. And one issue to consider with tablets and virtual configurations, if anyone wanted to throw that in, is the absence of physical topography. I’ve mentioned this to Pete at the live events I’ve caught up with him, but like the rest of us, I haven’t done much about it.

        • Great article you linked to, thanks James. Really interesting to see the demand for bespoke hardware controllers for VSTs. I expect the cost element is coming down for little indie companies (not just the big boys who don’t see enough profit in it) to make their own products like this in small batches when the demand arises.

          Speaking of iPads not having physical knobs, have you seen the Tuna Knobs?

          https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/samuelverburg/tuna-knobs-stick-em-to-your-tablet-and-its-a-contr

          It’s a step in the right direction to add better control over iPad software, but between the price of the iPad, the VSTs and the Tuna Knobs, part of me wonders whether a dedicated bit of hardware at the right price might be more convenient.

  • James

    Assuming the midi you can send would work for control assignments, this might be a useful interface for nativeKontrol DDC. I’ve been thinking about a series of your related articles, Peter, where the natural progression leads to virtual modules/soft synths being represented with dedicated controllers. Thing is, most over-the-counter controllers focus on universality with the mixer being the model, whereas hardware synths have their own logic by breaking out knobs/buttons depending on the depth to which they’ve exposed the synth engine.

    • Wayne billingham

      these boxes only receive 3 x cc (mod wheel and 2 others , not even filter …) based on the details in the manual.
      so no fun with external controllers / sliders / automation

      ive pre ordered the juno mostly becuase i used to have one and sold it.

      • Wow, really?

        That’s weird. I mean, hands-on control is great, maybe you don’t always want to automate things with MIDI. But you don’t necessarily want it left out, either.

    • Your comment strikes a chord with me. Didn’t the Korg MS-20 also receive a VST version with a near full sized controller for dedicated control of all knobs and plugs? Late 90s/early 2000s if i remember correctly.

      This kind of setup with specialist controller seems to me a bit over the top – either go all virtual or get the original, especially if the controller takes up the same amount of space. For me i think i would be all too quickly reaching for a proper hardware version instead and I assume the reason why this kind of setup has not been seen afterwards is because of high cost / limited market.

      • James

        I hear ya. And one of the articles I was thinking of was this for mimoog:
        http://createdigitalmusic.com/2015/08/custom-minimoog-controller-reminder-hardware-software-go-hand-hand/
        One trend I’d identify in the next couple years are controllers with the ubiquity of channel strips yet with a paradigm in design for device control as one would find on early synths. Just not sure if we’re there yet. And one issue to consider with tablets and virtual configurations, if anyone wanted to throw that in, is the absence of physical topography. I’ve mentioned this to Pete at the live events I’ve caught up with him, but like the rest of us, I haven’t done much about it.

        • Great article you linked to, thanks James. Really interesting to see the demand for bespoke hardware controllers for VSTs. I expect the cost element is coming down for little indie companies (not just the big boys who don’t see enough profit in it) to make their own products like this in small batches when the demand arises.

          Speaking of iPads not having physical knobs, have you seen the Tuna Knobs?

          https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/samuelverburg/tuna-knobs-stick-em-to-your-tablet-and-its-a-contr

          It’s a step in the right direction to add better control over iPad software, but between the price of the iPad, the VSTs and the Tuna Knobs, part of me wonders whether a dedicated bit of hardware at the right price might be more convenient.

  • Tony Scharf

    I had a real 106 for one of my first synths and I am so torn on this one. If they had gone true to the originals as far as polyphony I’d have been willing to pay a good deal more (Roland, I hope you are listening). Give me a 12 voice duophonic 106 and I’d drop a grand on it if it sounded close. I’m tempted to be that one guy that buys 2 of them.

    • Gunboat_Diplo

      the 106 only was 6-voice, wasn’t it?
      i had a near-mint model i sold several years back. i miss it enough to buy this.

      • Tony Scharf

        Yes…6 voices. This is 4. If it had 6, I’d have paid more for it as a true reproduction. I’d ask for a 12 voice version simply because….that would rock!

    • I also had a brand new Juno 106 as one of two keyboards in my first personal studio, and when consolidating I recreated my favorite sounds as best I could on the JV-880 module (that I still have). But something is missing … and even listening to the quick bit from Sweetwater I can hear some of the ‘life’ that I miss as I have been left with a single ‘Juno patch’ that I have in some older songs I wrote. So yeah, I unapologetically caved to nostalgia and bought the JU-06 🙂

  • Tony Scharf

    I had a real 106 for one of my first synths and I am so torn on this one. If they had gone true to the originals as far as polyphony I’d have been willing to pay a good deal more (Roland, I hope you are listening). Give me a 12 voice duophonic 106 and I’d drop a grand on it if it sounded close. I’m tempted to be that one guy that buys 2 of them.

    • Gunboat_Diplo

      the 106 only was 6-voice, wasn’t it?
      i had a near-mint model i sold several years back. i miss it enough to buy this.

      • Tony Scharf

        Yes…6 voices. This is 4. If it had 6, I’d have paid more for it as a true reproduction. I’d ask for a 12 voice version simply because….that would rock!

    • I also had a brand new Juno 106 as one of two keyboards in my first personal studio, and when consolidating I recreated my favorite sounds as best I could on the JV-880 module (that I still have). But something is missing … and even listening to the quick bit from Sweetwater I can hear some of the ‘life’ that I miss as I have been left with a single ‘Juno patch’ that I have in some older songs I wrote. So yeah, I unapologetically caved to nostalgia and bought the JU-06 🙂

  • Tony Scharf

    I had a real 106 for one of my first synths and I am so torn on this one. If they had gone true to the originals as far as polyphony I’d have been willing to pay a good deal more (Roland, I hope you are listening). Give me a 12 voice duophonic 106 and I’d drop a grand on it if it sounded close. I’m tempted to be that one guy that buys 2 of them.

    • Gunboat_Diplo

      the 106 only was 6-voice, wasn’t it?
      i had a near-mint model i sold several years back. i miss it enough to buy this.

      • Tony Scharf

        Yes…6 voices. This is 4. If it had 6, I’d have paid more for it as a true reproduction. I’d ask for a 12 voice version simply because….that would rock!

    • I also had a brand new Juno 106 as one of two keyboards in my first personal studio, and when consolidating I recreated my favorite sounds as best I could on the JV-880 module (that I still have). But something is missing … and even listening to the quick bit from Sweetwater I can hear some of the ‘life’ that I miss as I have been left with a single ‘Juno patch’ that I have in some older songs I wrote. So yeah, I unapologetically caved to nostalgia and bought the JU-06 🙂

  • wanderer

    I’m still sad I gave up my Juno 106 to a friend who then sold it without telling me! Luckily I’ve held onto my Jupiter-6, though. So I’m curious to get my hands on the JP-08 and see how they compare 🙂

    • Good god, that’s horrible to hear! Hope that friend made it up to you.

    • Robyn

      Bad friend!

  • wanderer

    I’m still sad I gave up my Juno 106 to a friend who then sold it without telling me! Luckily I’ve held onto my Jupiter-6, though. So I’m curious to get my hands on the JP-08 and see how they compare 🙂

    • Good god, that’s horrible to hear! Hope that friend made it up to you.

    • Robyn

      Bad friend!

  • wanderer

    I’m still sad I gave up my Juno 106 to a friend who then sold it without telling me! Luckily I’ve held onto my Jupiter-6, though. So I’m curious to get my hands on the JP-08 and see how they compare 🙂

    • Good god, that’s horrible to hear! Hope that friend made it up to you.

    • Robyn

      Bad friend!

  • Will

    Why not make these (up to) 4 part multi-timbral?

    • Joshua Schnable

      I think the idea is to buy four of them :-/

  • Will

    Why not make these (up to) 4 part multi-timbral?

    • Joshua Schnable

      I think the idea is to buy four of them :-/

  • Will

    Why not make these (up to) 4 part multi-timbral?

    • Joshua Schnable

      I think the idea is to buy four of them :-/

  • experimentaldog

    I’m not really sold just yet on the boutique thing. I have a 106. It has it’s quirks with sticky buttons but luckily has working voice chips. I assume that over time something won’t work exactly right within it. These little guys seem to come close without the hardware age and footprint hassles. I can dial up sounds on my 106 quite easily, but I still find it a timbrally limited machine. I also use Arturia’s $99 Jupiter 8 V that I’m sure will come up in conversation here. The whole Arturia suite is almost the price of the JP-08. I understand that software synths can be awkward for programming and some seem to think they lack the authentic analogue warmth, but I think they still can offer a lot more sonically than an expensive analogue modelling synth. I can use 32 voices at 48k and modulate the crap out of Jupiter 8 V. Even layer 5 instances of them together. I understand the trend with the big guys is to reissue classic synths in a boutique form, but I see it as a bit of a cash grab with cheap parts. Don’t get me wrong, these look like fun. But I feel need to discipline myself from buying more gear and make more music rather than let things collect dust in the pile that’s already in the closet. I sometimes I wonder if this mass-produced cheapness might be a bit of a road to ewaste. For some buying these will be a no brainer and makes sense if you want a cheap poly synth. But I also think many might already be equipped with similar tools to do the same work.

    • Will

      If you work mostly in the studio and don’t mind using a computer, I 100% agree on questioning the value proposition here. The Arturia Bundle and an evening mapping your MIDI controller/slider bank(s) will get you as-good-as-if-not-better sounds and more polyphony/parts, presumably with longer sliders for programming. 😉 Plus, all of the other VA synths that come in the bundle.

      It’s easy, for me anyway, to mentally get a little mixed up with these: they’re made by Roland, have all of the original physical controls and use the same name as the originals. But at the end of the day, the sounds themselves are still generated by a computer and at that point, if closeness-to-the-original is what you’re after, it’s a sonic contest between two different companies interpretations on how to make that happen. I imagine we’ll see preset shootouts between Arturia’s and the new JP08 up on youtube soon. It will be interesting.

      Not to say I think these are coming up short on value. At all. These definitely offer portability. They are dedicated do-one-thing-well boxes—turn it on and make music vs booting a computer, loading a host, loading the plugin, mapping a keyboard to the plugin…. They also offer fixed labeled 1:1 controls for sound programming which, to me, is very valuable when it comes to muscle memory and actively playing the synthesizer part of a synthesizer (i.e. vs playing the keyboard). Getting out of your musical head in order to recall what “Slider 6” and “Button C” do on your generic external MIDI controller blows.

      But yeah, if you’re sitting in your personal studio, use a computer anyway, don’t mind a bit mental overhead with setup and want JP-8 sounds… I reckon the Arturia bundle remains a better bet. Especially considering it occasionally goes on sale for as low as $200 and they’ve fixed the dongle/registration nonsense.

      • heinrich zwahlen

        Having worked with the Arturia bundle, i anticipate that these synths will actually sound better…for what that’s worth. That’s not to say that the Arturia bundle is not a great value and plenty suitable to make great music.

      • experimentaldog

        On the other hand, computers are a bit more snappy now compared to the machines when Jupiter 8 V first came out. I’ve been to shows where MainStage or Live are used as the main rig with VSTs. It could be apples and oranges for some people’s live setups. I think the DSP in these new Boutique synths is where the meat is. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Universal Audio started to model synths for their UAD line. It’s kind of what Roland is doing with ACB. These will plug-in to your DAW also. I think many people like dedicated tactile control, there’s no question there, but these are also a bit like plugins played via DSP. Roland have already ported their System-1 to VST, which I wouldn’t be surprised if they also released VSTs of these guys someday. All this aside, They key-word I think these bring up is fun. These look like they’d be a lot of fun to use and play with and one area also seldom mentioned is education. If you want to teach kids synthesis, these would be cool to teach a class with, albeit a bit pricey, but fun.

    • mercury

      You make some good points, in fact, rather than selling these, the VST makers would do better if they sold MIDI hardware specifically tuned to the VSTs at discount prices. If Roland can sell these for $400, what’s stopping Arturia for making a $100 mini MIDI controller dedicated to the Jupiter VST?

      • iamdave

        No way you can make a midi controller with that many knobs and sliders for $100. I agree it would be a good idea though.

  • experimentaldog

    I’m not really sold just yet on the boutique thing. I have a 106. It has it’s quirks with sticky buttons but luckily has working voice chips. I assume that over time something won’t work exactly right within it. These little guys seem to come close without the hardware age and footprint hassles. I can dial up sounds on my 106 quite easily, but I still find it a timbrally limited machine. I also use Arturia’s $99 Jupiter 8 V that I’m sure will come up in conversation here. The whole Arturia suite is almost the price of the JP-08. I understand that software synths can be awkward for programming and some seem to think they lack the authentic analogue warmth, but I think they still can offer a lot more sonically than an expensive analogue modelling synth. I can use 32 voices at 48k and modulate the crap out of Jupiter 8 V. Even layer 5 instances of them together. I understand the trend with the big guys is to reissue classic synths in a boutique form, but I see it as a bit of a cash grab with cheap parts. Don’t get me wrong, these look like fun. But I feel need to discipline myself from buying more gear and make more music rather than let things collect dust in the pile that’s already in the closet. I sometimes I wonder if this mass-produced cheapness might be a bit of a road to ewaste. For some buying these will be a no brainer and makes sense if you want a cheap poly synth. But I also think many might already be equipped with similar tools to do the same work.

    • Will

      If you work mostly in the studio and don’t mind using a computer, I 100% agree on questioning the value proposition here. The Arturia Bundle and an evening mapping your MIDI controller/slider bank(s) will get you as-good-as-if-not-better sounds and more polyphony/parts, presumably with longer sliders for programming. 😉 Plus, all of the other VA synths that come in the bundle.

      It’s easy, for me anyway, to mentally get a little mixed up with these: they’re made by Roland, have all of the original physical controls and use the same name as the originals. But at the end of the day, the sounds themselves are still generated by a computer and at that point, if closeness-to-the-original is what you’re after, it’s a sonic contest between two different companies interpretations on how to make that happen. I imagine we’ll see preset shootouts between Arturia’s and the new JP08 up on youtube soon. It will be interesting.

      Not to say I think these are coming up short on value. At all. These definitely offer portability. They are dedicated do-one-thing-well boxes—turn it on and make music vs booting a computer, loading a host, loading the plugin, mapping a keyboard to the plugin…. They also offer fixed labeled 1:1 controls for sound programming which, to me, is very valuable when it comes to muscle memory and actively playing the synthesizer part of a synthesizer (i.e. vs playing the keyboard). Getting out of your musical head in order to recall what “Slider 6” and “Button C” do on your generic external MIDI controller blows.

      But yeah, if you’re sitting in your personal studio, use a computer anyway, don’t mind a bit mental overhead with setup and want JP-8 sounds… I reckon the Arturia bundle remains a better bet. Especially considering it occasionally goes on sale for as low as $200 and they’ve fixed the dongle/registration nonsense.

      • heinrich zwahlen

        Having worked with the Arturia bundle, i anticipate that these synths will actually sound better…for what that’s worth. That’s not to say that the Arturia bundle is not a great value and plenty suitable to make great music.

      • experimentaldog

        On the other hand, computers are a bit more snappy now compared to the machines when Jupiter 8 V first came out. I’ve been to shows where MainStage or Live are used as the main rig with VSTs. It could be apples and oranges for some people’s live setups. I think the DSP in these new Boutique synths is where the meat is. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Universal Audio started to model synths for their UAD line. It’s kind of what Roland is doing with ACB. These will plug-in to your DAW also. I think many people like dedicated tactile control, there’s no question there, but these are also a bit like plugins played via DSP. Roland have already ported their System-1 to VST, which I wouldn’t be surprised if they also released VSTs of these guys someday. All this aside, They key-word I think these bring up is fun. These look like they’d be a lot of fun to use and play with and one area also seldom mentioned is education. If you want to teach kids synthesis, these would be cool to teach a class with, albeit a bit pricey, but fun.

    • mercury

      You make some good points, in fact, rather than selling these, the VST makers would do better if they sold MIDI hardware specifically tuned to the VSTs at discount prices. If Roland can sell these for $400, what’s stopping Arturia for making a $100 mini MIDI controller dedicated to the Jupiter VST?

      • iamdave

        No way you can make a midi controller with that many knobs and sliders for $100. I agree it would be a good idea though.

  • experimentaldog

    I’m not really sold just yet on the boutique thing. I have a 106. It has it’s quirks with sticky buttons but luckily has working voice chips. I assume that over time something won’t work exactly right within it. These little guys seem to come close without the hardware age and footprint hassles. I can dial up sounds on my 106 quite easily, but I still find it a timbrally limited machine. I also use Arturia’s $99 Jupiter 8 V that I’m sure will come up in conversation here. The whole Arturia suite is almost the price of the JP-08. I understand that software synths can be awkward for programming and some seem to think they lack the authentic analogue warmth, but I think they still can offer a lot more sonically than an expensive analogue modelling synth. I can use 32 voices at 48k and modulate the crap out of Jupiter 8 V. Even layer 5 instances of them together. I understand the trend with the big guys is to reissue classic synths in a boutique form, but I see it as a bit of a cash grab with cheap parts. Don’t get me wrong, these look like fun. But I feel need to discipline myself from buying more gear and make more music rather than let things collect dust in the pile that’s already in the closet. I sometimes I wonder if this mass-produced cheapness might be a bit of a road to ewaste. For some buying these will be a no brainer and makes sense if you want a cheap poly synth. But I also think many might already be equipped with similar tools to do the same work.

    • Will

      If you work mostly in the studio and don’t mind using a computer, I 100% agree on questioning the value proposition here. The Arturia Bundle and an evening mapping your MIDI controller/slider bank(s) will get you as-good-as-if-not-better sounds and more polyphony/parts, presumably with longer sliders for programming. 😉 Plus, all of the other VA synths that come in the bundle.

      It’s easy, for me anyway, to mentally get a little mixed up with these: they’re made by Roland, have all of the original physical controls and use the same name as the originals. But at the end of the day, the sounds themselves are still generated by a computer and at that point, if closeness-to-the-original is what you’re after, it’s a sonic contest between two different companies interpretations on how to make that happen. I imagine we’ll see preset shootouts between Arturia’s and the new JP08 up on youtube soon. It will be interesting.

      Not to say I think these are coming up short on value. At all. These definitely offer portability. They are dedicated do-one-thing-well boxes—turn it on and make music vs booting a computer, loading a host, loading the plugin, mapping a keyboard to the plugin…. They also offer fixed labeled 1:1 controls for sound programming which, to me, is very valuable when it comes to muscle memory and actively playing the synthesizer part of a synthesizer (i.e. vs playing the keyboard). Getting out of your musical head in order to recall what “Slider 6” and “Button C” do on your generic external MIDI controller blows.

      But yeah, if you’re sitting in your personal studio, use a computer anyway, don’t mind a bit mental overhead with setup and want JP-8 sounds… I reckon the Arturia bundle remains a better bet. Especially considering it occasionally goes on sale for as low as $200 and they’ve fixed the dongle/registration nonsense.

      • heinrich zwahlen

        Having worked with the Arturia bundle, i anticipate that these synths will actually sound better…for what that’s worth. That’s not to say that the Arturia bundle is not a great value and plenty suitable to make great music.

      • experimentaldog

        On the other hand, computers are a bit more snappy now compared to the machines when Jupiter 8 V first came out. I’ve been to shows where MainStage or Live are used as the main rig with VSTs. It could be apples and oranges for some people’s live setups. I think the DSP in these new Boutique synths is where the meat is. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Universal Audio started to model synths for their UAD line. It’s kind of what Roland is doing with ACB. These will plug-in to your DAW also. I think many people like dedicated tactile control, there’s no question there, but these are also a bit like plugins played via DSP. Roland have already ported their System-1 to VST, which I wouldn’t be surprised if they also released VSTs of these guys someday. All this aside, They key-word I think these bring up is fun. These look like they’d be a lot of fun to use and play with and one area also seldom mentioned is education. If you want to teach kids synthesis, these would be cool to teach a class with, albeit a bit pricey, but fun.

    • mercury

      You make some good points, in fact, rather than selling these, the VST makers would do better if they sold MIDI hardware specifically tuned to the VSTs at discount prices. If Roland can sell these for $400, what’s stopping Arturia for making a $100 mini MIDI controller dedicated to the Jupiter VST?

      • iamdave

        No way you can make a midi controller with that many knobs and sliders for $100. I agree it would be a good idea though.

  • Mactley

    Three major dealbreakers here for me:
    1. 4 voice poly
    2. parameters aren’t midi controllable
    3. tiny tiny sliders

    • Gunboat_Diplo

      but the knobs and sliders are all right in front of you! that’s how we did it back in the day.

    • MadeInMachines

      Not midi controllable? That has to be a joke! 4 voice is a piss take too since it’s not analog why should you have to chain 2? I don’t see why they just couldn’t integrate these into the plug-out environment.

    • Maurizio Ruggiero

      NO CONTROL CHANGES FOR THE SLIDERS !! ONLY MOD WHEEL AND PITCH BEND ARE SENT TO MIDI Out.. BUSTED !!!!! I got it anyway it sounds great and the limited polyphony is not a bad thing. its actually cool if you play 4 notes chords and you change them rapidly.

      • Maurizio Ruggiero

        btw I also have a J106 and the sub osc of the ju 06 sounds bigger and with less noise floor. boom !

  • Mactley

    Three major dealbreakers here for me:
    1. 4 voice poly
    2. parameters aren’t midi controllable
    3. tiny tiny sliders

    • Gunboat_Diplo

      but the knobs and sliders are all right in front of you! that’s how we did it back in the day.

    • MadeInMachines

      Not midi controllable? That has to be a joke! 4 voice is a piss take too since it’s not analog why should you have to chain 2? I don’t see why they just couldn’t integrate these into the plug-out environment.

    • Maurizio Ruggiero

      NO CONTROL CHANGES FOR THE SLIDERS !! ONLY MOD WHEEL AND PITCH BEND ARE SENT TO MIDI Out.. BUSTED !!!!! I got it anyway it sounds great and the limited polyphony is not a bad thing. its actually cool if you play 4 notes chords and you change them rapidly.

      • Maurizio Ruggiero

        btw I also have a J106 and the sub osc of the ju 06 sounds bigger and with less noise floor. boom !

  • Mactley

    Three major dealbreakers here for me:
    1. 4 voice poly
    2. parameters aren’t midi controllable
    3. tiny tiny sliders

    • Gunboat_Diplo

      but the knobs and sliders are all right in front of you! that’s how we did it back in the day.

    • Maurizio Ruggiero

      NO CONTROL CHANGES FOR THE SLIDERS !! ONLY MOD WHEEL AND PITCH BEND ARE SENT TO MIDI Out.. BUSTED !!!!! I got it anyway it sounds great and the limited polyphony is not a bad thing. its actually cool if you play 4 notes chords and you change them rapidly.

      • Maurizio Ruggiero

        btw I also have a J106 and the sub osc of the ju 06 sounds bigger and with less noise floor. boom !

  • treecathedral

    It didn’t really hit me until I saw the Sweetwater video – holy crap, these are TINY.

    Having played a Jupiter-8 just recently, I can’t say I’m too impressed with the sounds I’m hearing. Maybe I need to keep my expectations in check, though. Is “better than software emulation” the bar we’re aiming for here…

    • jblk

      The size was a big (haha) surprise to me too. Way too fucking small to take seriously.

  • treecathedral

    It didn’t really hit me until I saw the Sweetwater video – holy crap, these are TINY.

    Having played a Jupiter-8 just recently, I can’t say I’m too impressed with the sounds I’m hearing. Maybe I need to keep my expectations in check, though. Is “better than software emulation” the bar we’re aiming for here…

    • jblk

      The size was a big (haha) surprise to me too. Way too fucking small to take seriously.

  • treecathedral

    It didn’t really hit me until I saw the Sweetwater video – holy crap, these are TINY.

    Having played a Jupiter-8 just recently, I can’t say I’m too impressed with the sounds I’m hearing. Maybe I need to keep my expectations in check, though. Is “better than software emulation” the bar we’re aiming for here…

    • jblk

      The size was a big (haha) surprise to me too. Way too fucking small to take seriously.

  • foljs

    “””Heck, Roland even priced the JP-08 $100 more than the other two, almost as if knowing it’d be the one in demand. It’s like the “this is the one you really want” tax.”””

    AKA “willingness to pay” in economics…

    • James Husted

      I think it really has todo with that model having twice as many LED slide pots as any of the others. Those are not cheap.

  • foljs

    “””Heck, Roland even priced the JP-08 $100 more than the other two, almost as if knowing it’d be the one in demand. It’s like the “this is the one you really want” tax.”””

    AKA “willingness to pay” in economics…

    • James Husted

      I think it really has todo with that model having twice as many LED slide pots as any of the others. Those are not cheap.

  • foljs

    “””Heck, Roland even priced the JP-08 $100 more than the other two, almost as if knowing it’d be the one in demand. It’s like the “this is the one you really want” tax.”””

    AKA “willingness to pay” in economics…

    • James Husted

      I think it really has todo with that model having twice as many LED slide pots as any of the others. Those are not cheap.

  • DPrty

    4 voice poly …. Roland has a nasty habit of never delivering enough. Always a little under-powered for the money. Except for the V-synth …. it was overpowered but not enough poly.

  • DPrty

    4 voice poly …. Roland has a nasty habit of never delivering enough. Always a little under-powered for the money. Except for the V-synth …. it was overpowered but not enough poly.

    • zezette

      the price is only 300 so stop complaining BITCH

  • DPrty

    4 voice poly …. Roland has a nasty habit of never delivering enough. Always a little under-powered for the money. Except for the V-synth …. it was overpowered but not enough poly.

    • zezette

      the price is only 300 so stop complaining BITCH

  • Gunboat_Diplo

    one of the uses i have in mind for this is connecting it to my MPC1000. i can pack decent synth sounds without the weight. i’m not going to get Vangelis out of this, but I will definitely get something that will make people sit up and listen.

  • Gunboat_Diplo

    one of the uses i have in mind for this is connecting it to my MPC1000. i can pack decent synth sounds without the weight. i’m not going to get Vangelis out of this, but I will definitely get something that will make people sit up and listen.

  • Gunboat_Diplo

    one of the uses i have in mind for this is connecting it to my MPC1000. i can pack decent synth sounds without the weight. i’m not going to get Vangelis out of this, but I will definitely get something that will make people sit up and listen.

  • Apoclypse

    I’m a sucker for the Juno 106 so that’s what i’m getting. i love that sound no matter how dated or old it sounds to people. Nothing else give me that “feeling”.

  • Apoclypse

    I’m a sucker for the Juno 106 so that’s what i’m getting. i love that sound no matter how dated or old it sounds to people. Nothing else give me that “feeling”.

  • Apoclypse

    I’m a sucker for the Juno 106 so that’s what i’m getting. i love that sound no matter how dated or old it sounds to people. Nothing else give me that “feeling”.

  • supersaw

    A fantastic demonstration of the Roland AIRA and the brand new Boutique line performed by David Åhlund at Budapest Music Expo 2015! World’s first demo video of Roland JP-08, JX-03, JU-06 and K-25m! Enjoy! https://youtu.be/MnoPCuZrECk

  • supersaw

    A fantastic demonstration of the Roland AIRA and the brand new Boutique line performed by David Åhlund at Budapest Music Expo 2015! World’s first demo video of Roland JP-08, JX-03, JU-06 and K-25m! Enjoy! https://youtu.be/MnoPCuZrECk

  • supersaw

    A fantastic demonstration of the Roland AIRA and the brand new Boutique line performed by David Åhlund at Budapest Music Expo 2015! World’s first demo video of Roland JP-08, JX-03, JU-06 and K-25m! Enjoy! https://youtu.be/MnoPCuZrECk

  • Kevin Kennedy

    I keep hearing much grousing about the lack of polyphony. 4 voices is enough-to me. For the simple fact that most use cases of this machine will typically be as a single synth used in conjunction with other equipment, probably playing triads. I’ve rarely played more than 5 notes in a chord, and really…if you need/desire/expect all of that, this box isn’t for you. In a live environment, the abilities these machines seem to offer will be plenty.
    I opted to pre-order the JX-03, considering it is the most different from its original box, and possibly the most versatile of all three. Similar to the AIRA series, I believe these will be useful more to the live musician that desires portable weapons rather than a ‘flagship-class’ experience in a tiny box. My live rig (sans mixer) fits into a backpack…and I’ve got _just_ enough room for this piece.

    • I think a lot of us – well, at least me – wouldn’t have a second thought if they had simply matched the original polyphony. The Jupiter 8 had 8, the Juno 106 and JX-3P had 6. If they had done the same for these modules, that would have been great.

      That said – it didn’t stop me from ordering 🙂 I had pre-ordered the JU-06 because I owned a Juno 106, but on reflection I changed it up to the JP-08 because that is more what I wanted 🙂

  • Kevin Kennedy

    I keep hearing much grousing about the lack of polyphony. 4 voices is enough-to me. For the simple fact that most use cases of this machine will typically be as a single synth used in conjunction with other equipment, probably playing triads. I’ve rarely played more than 5 notes in a chord, and really…if you need/desire/expect all of that, this box isn’t for you. In a live environment, the abilities these machines seem to offer will be plenty.
    I opted to pre-order the JX-03, considering it is the most different from its original box, and possibly the most versatile of all three. Similar to the AIRA series, I believe these will be useful more to the live musician that desires portable weapons rather than a ‘flagship-class’ experience in a tiny box. My live rig (sans mixer) fits into a backpack…and I’ve got _just_ enough room for this piece.

    • I think a lot of us – well, at least me – wouldn’t have a second thought if they had simply matched the original polyphony. The Jupiter 8 had 8, the Juno 106 and JX-3P had 6. If they had done the same for these modules, that would have been great.

      That said – it didn’t stop me from ordering 🙂 I had pre-ordered the JU-06 because I owned a Juno 106, but on reflection I changed it up to the JP-08 because that is more what I wanted 🙂

  • Kevin Kennedy

    I keep hearing much grousing about the lack of polyphony. 4 voices is enough-to me. For the simple fact that most use cases of this machine will typically be as a single synth used in conjunction with other equipment, probably playing triads. I’ve rarely played more than 5 notes in a chord, and really…if you need/desire/expect all of that, this box isn’t for you. In a live environment, the abilities these machines seem to offer will be plenty.
    I opted to pre-order the JX-03, considering it is the most different from its original box, and possibly the most versatile of all three. Similar to the AIRA series, I believe these will be useful more to the live musician that desires portable weapons rather than a ‘flagship-class’ experience in a tiny box. My live rig (sans mixer) fits into a backpack…and I’ve got _just_ enough room for this piece.

    • I think a lot of us – well, at least me – wouldn’t have a second thought if they had simply matched the original polyphony. The Jupiter 8 had 8, the Juno 106 and JX-3P had 6. If they had done the same for these modules, that would have been great.

      That said – it didn’t stop me from ordering 🙂 I had pre-ordered the JU-06 because I owned a Juno 106, but on reflection I changed it up to the JP-08 because that is more what I wanted 🙂

  • synapticflow

    I played with one yesterday. Absolutely loved the sound. Hated the #$@% mini keys.

    And no, connecting another keyboard by MIDI doesn’t appeal to me when this should already have normal sized keys.

  • synapticflow

    I played with one yesterday. Absolutely loved the sound. Hated the #$@% mini keys.

    And no, connecting another keyboard by MIDI doesn’t appeal to me when this should already have normal sized keys.

  • synapticflow

    I played with one yesterday. Absolutely loved the sound. Hated the #$@% mini keys.

    And no, connecting another keyboard by MIDI doesn’t appeal to me when this should already have normal sized keys.

  • Josh Bray

    I’m both. I hate it and want them.

  • Josh Bray

    I’m both. I hate it and want them.

  • Josh Bray

    I’m both. I hate it and want them.

  • squareeyes

    i’m a Roland vintage and boutique user, I really like the sound of both but have to say I prefer the portability of the Boutique stuff. I feel very lucky to have a chance to get these classic reissues not to mention the reliability they bring and extra features they have. The boutique stuff is very well built. For those people telling us “you can do more with VST’s” and “concentrate on making music” not new toys well I say ‘back at you’ because I have ditched my VST’s and can now concentrate on using ‘real’ synths with knobs on even in my very cramped conditions.

  • squareeyes

    i’m a Roland vintage and boutique user, I really like the sound of both but have to say I prefer the portability of the Boutique stuff. I feel very lucky to have a chance to get these classic reissues not to mention the reliability they bring and extra features they have. The boutique stuff is very well built. For those people telling us “you can do more with VST’s” and “concentrate on making music” not new toys well I say ‘back at you’ because I have ditched my VST’s and can now concentrate on using ‘real’ synths with knobs on even in my very cramped conditions.

  • squareeyes

    i’m a Roland vintage and boutique user, I really like the sound of both but have to say I prefer the portability of the Boutique stuff. I feel very lucky to have a chance to get these classic reissues not to mention the reliability they bring and extra features they have. The boutique stuff is very well built. For those people telling us “you can do more with VST’s” and “concentrate on making music” not new toys well I say ‘back at you’ because I have ditched my VST’s and can now concentrate on using ‘real’ synths with knobs on even in my very cramped conditions.

  • can you sequence external gear via the jp-08s on-board Sequencer?

  • PastExperimentingDog

    Had a JP8 years ago, (Sold back then for under £2k. – bad move) I now have an Arturia JP8v. The difference in sound creation is staggering. The 8V sounds like a poor MS wavetable reproduction, even soft/midi access to the memory presets, dual mode switch for controller of each sound layer and alike not there, bad form from Arturia Dev’s who clearly didn’t operationally understand the JP8. Just saw Review at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IW45FSMaR4 which compares the Boutique alongside an actual JP8. A far better sound match than my JP8v can dream to muster (even with the added 8V effects and the loss of 4 voices on the JP-08). I think it’s time to hit the boutique. 🙂 (Just a shame that Roland didn’t consider the same MIDI access to functionality in reverse.) – Roland – If you wanted to do a firmware update that offered better external integration, I’m sure that your customers would sing your praises….Or you may even consider releasing a go large version, so that us oldies don’t have to squint to see what we are doing 🙂