Ribbons are back! Arturia already announced it was making hardware instead of just software, and only two months later it’s added a ribbon and keyboard in this bad-ass form factor. No room for hardware? Their Jupiter-8V continues their soft synth tradition.

After conquering the world of software emulations, Arturia is finally thinking inside the box with the announcement of its first keyboard, the Origin Keyboard. Like the previously announced but yet-to-ship Origin, the synthesizer is completely modular, allowing you to build patches by combining modules from Arturia’s versions of the Minimoog, CS-80, ARP 2600, Moog Modular and Prophet VS.

While, personally I’d rather have the tabletop version, the 61-key keyboard appears to be no slouch, combining aftertouch and velocity sensitivity with a ribbon controller, joystick, the requisite mod and pitch wheels and plenty of knobs for tweaking. Ed.: Glad you’d rather have the tabletop, Lee. I’ll take one keyboard, then, Arturia — thanks! -PK

While only a rendering exists, it appears that the front-panel can be tilted to accommodate your playing style (like the Minimoog or the Korg Radius). A 5.2″ color screen means you won’t miss your laptop when playing live. In the studio, software integration comes in the form of an AU or VST plug-in that allows editing on a computer, with all processing taking place in the Origin hardware. The Origin has a complete selection of on-board effects including a phaser, chorus, delay, reverb, and distortion and a 16/32 step sequencer.

The Origin Keyboard looks like it will offer some serious competition to the Nord’s and Virus’s out there when it drops down the chimney in December 2007 for US$3499.

Not forgetting its roots, Arturia has announced it is shipping the Jupiter-8V in Universal Mac and Windows versions for US$249, its software emulation of Roland’s classic Jupiter 8. Arturia has improved on the original with new modulation capabilities including the “Galaxy” which allows the user to choose from different LFO types and meld them into a single mod source and the use of the included step sequencer as a modulation source. Effects, which include chorus/flanger, distortion, parameter equalization, phaser, and a ring modulator, can be inserted into the signal path on a per voice basis. Chorus/flanger, delay, and dual phaser effects can also be applied to the output. The Jupiter-8V is the first of Arturia’s soft synths to come with an improved version of the TAE (true analog emulation) engine which Arturia says is less demanding of your computer’s CPU, thus allowing for more complex patches.

Purists, shield your eyes: this Jupiter does some stuff the original didn’t.

Does this souped-up screenshot overlaid on a 3D model mean Arturia is building a hardware Jupiter? Probably not.