Black Corporation, makers of Deckard’s Dream and Kijimi, continue their run of ultra-luxe polysynths. Now the sought-after Jupiter-8 is in their sights, with some 2021 twists.
Meet ISE-NIN, with eight all-analog voices, teased today and with preorders starting this week. (No pricing information yet, but I expect this will be at the high end of their price sheet.)
And yeah – it is basically a Roland Jupiter-8. The Japanese maker has so far shied away from doing a full eight-voice Jupiter, even a digital recreation. You get either the 4-voice digital JP08 – although it is a cute reduction of the original – or the Jupiter-X which is really more like a current Roland digital workstation with a Jupiter-ish layout, sorta.
Have a look:
So it means the closest you’ll get to a 2021 Jupiter-8 is actually looking like the Black Corporation offering – and it’s a beautiful combination of post-Soviet engineering (chips from Latvia, for one) and Tokyo-to-LA style.
They don’t copy the mammoth size of the Jupiter (which weirdly is the one thing the Jupiter-X did get right, and sort of the thing you don’t want). Instead, you get a faithful layout in a compact size, and two great extras:
One, full MPE (multiphonic expression) support, which means being able to take full advantage of the 8-voice architecture in a way you can’t even with the original. That’s perfect for pairing with MPE-capable sequencers, controllers, eight fingers, or … an octopus.
Two, they promise complete microtuning support in the form of the new ODDSound MTS-ESP format, which makes it easy to get hardware and software in tune with one another. So grab this, and brush up on your maqams, folks. (I said I wouldn’t use the word microtuning, but I keep stumbling over “alternative tunings” and other wordings.)
And you can see some hints at that added functionality in the MASTER section, which includes some of the master controls from the original Roland but also a window into whatever digital brain they’ve added.
Like I said, let’s wait on pricing. But at least now one bit of Black’s stuff is available on a budget. The very capable Deckard’s Voice is a complete semi-modular voice for Eurorack, ideal for a small skiff, at US$699. You can also get the mighty Kijimi for US$999 in kit form, but as readers note, that’ll require some extra parts + labor.
Black have clearly staked out some solid choices in polysynth territory. We’ll have to watch for this one.