The Analog Roland Orchestra

The Analog Roland Orchestra is a one man band (Michal Matlak) focusing on making music with “a bunch of old analog electronic instruments”.

Especially, as you might have guessed, classic Roland gear:

The reason for this is that I think they sound great and are easy to use..I am not a big fan of big software and deep menues..

As s an one man Band I am producing something between dubtechno, detroit techno, downtempo…easy listening and i like to record strange atmospheres which are sometimes used in documentaries and short films…

As the name tells you..I like and I own some nice little Roland maschines…they look cool and they are easy to use.

I also play live and its every time like a exhibition…I take some of my museum pieces on stage and programm them on the fly…together with some prepared loops and patterns comming from the mpc or octatrack..

The video features is part of Electronic Beats ‘Slices’ series. See the Orchestra site for more details about releases and tour dates.


21 thoughts on “The Analog Roland Orchestra

  1. Eating is fun and healthy. Eat too much and you become fat, obese, ugly.

    A drink with dinner is social and enjoyable. Drink too much and you become a drunk with mental and physical consequences.

    Sex is great, but too much sex and you become hyper-sexual, with the dehumanization and health consequences.

    Is it possible that this “collecting” of synthesizers is the same kind of mental issue of over-indulgence that affects so many other aspects of human behavior?

    I mean, sure, who cares, guy just collects a lot of boards. But isn’t it really kind of stupid, and doesn’t it make you wonder if the business of music might encourage this kind of brain damage in one way or another?

    I mean, aren’t keyboards supposed to be about music, not keyboards? Remember that famous Bruce Lee scene in “Enter the Dragon” where he says something like, “When someone points to the Moon, look at the Moon, not the finger, otherwise you miss all that heavenly glory.”

    1. Someone with only a laptop and a korg microcontroller is jealous.

      Personally i’m sick of seeing someone posting pictures of their rig and it being a netbook running a cracked copy of ableton with BEatz headphones and a broken oxygen 8 as a controller. Nut-up mow some lawns, save some nickles and buy a real synth ( or two, or 20 ) last I checked this site is called ‘Synthtopia’ not, “angry guy who hates on people who collect fine specimens of analogue goodness”

      1. How, exactly, is a software synth not a “real” synth? Analogue vs digital is not relevant. Neither is old vs new. It’s what you do with it that counts. Theres great music being made on netbooks and shit
        music being made on gigantic analogue rigs, and vice versa. If the music is any good, the gear being use is a mere distraction.

    2. markLouis

      Don’t let this guy’s awesome collection distract you from the fact that he IS making music.

      Suggesting that loving synths and making music is a ‘mental issue’ or ‘brain damage’ is pretty offensive – both to people that love synths and making music and people that have had to deal with mental issues and their consequences.

    3. What’s wrong with having an arsenal of killer gear at your disposal? If I was on multimillionaire baller status, I would own pretty much every synth ever made. Amazingly, despite this hazardous mindset, I am quite trim and healthy, I don’t have a drinking problem and my sexual appetite is strong without being debilitating.

    4. I believe markLouis raises a valid point. However, I’m curious if he means the music manufacturers perpetuate this kind of behavior, or if he is addressing the process of making music causes some sort of addiction. Where does the gear bug come from? It’s one thing to buy a new board, and then turn around and buy another one, because you like the rush of getting a new board. The result is you never properly learn either and you become a shopaholic. It’s another to build up a collection over the years.
      This guy mentioned getting rid of gear once you feel like you’ve explored it completely, and I think that’s absolutely healthy. I didn’t get the impression that he was just buying them to buy them. Coveting maybe, but whatever…
      I think I’ve more than hit my personal limit at 20, even though there are plenty of other boards that are wishlist items. Anymore, and it will just feel gross to me personally in a gluttony sort of way. However, someone else may be perfectly happy with even more gear. Some less. To each their own.

      Again, I think it’s an important and valid quesiton to ask. At least no one is trashing anyone else’s talent. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        1. ….imagine what you can do with two 101s…and the internal sequencers..or you have one sequence and one arpeggio…only the JX3p has this kind of on board sequencer and this makes the 101 a very special mono synthesizer without midi…some more words down the site… ๐Ÿ™‚ cheers

      1. >Iโ€™m curious if he means the music manufacturers perpetuate this kind of behavior, or if he is addressing the process of making music causes some sort of addiction

        I meant I wonder if the corporations find ways to perpetuate this kind of thing.

        I’ve seen it all over. I’ve known amateur astronomers who had half a dozen telescopes. Amateur photographers with half a dozen cameras. And, of course, guitar players with a wall full of guitars.

        On the other hand, many professionals I’ve known have had one or two carefully selected tools, and used those wisely and creatively. And, in fact, using one or two tools has–to my eyes–forged a creative bond between the user and the tool. When I’ve seen people obsessing with owning dozens of this-or-thats, I haven’t really sensed bond between them and their tools.

        This is all subjective, of course. I may be just projecting my own thinking onto what I see.

    5. Hello folks,

      thanks for the comments, eighter the good and the bad one.
      I allready mentioned it somewhere below – this is a collection of 6 different musicians – its not all mine, even if i wished to have some more ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Just to make it clear, I am not a big traditional collector. I love the brand roland and it accompanies my life since i started to discover the “artificial” sound.
      Some of your comments are hard to read and understand for me. I am not a fancy or famouse guy, I v got a website like everyone else including a personal email where evey listener can reach be.
      Thats why I dont understand why people kind of shoot out their opinios not even to think one second about asking the artist you will bitch about.
      If you are into music, or into synthesizers, especially here..on a nerdy gear propably are a musician or at least a interested person…so why not discover and not investigate for some seconds..

      I can manage within 10 seconds to find out that this collection does not belong to only one I can find pictures from the analog roland studio..whre you will see a few less synths ๐Ÿ™‚

      Only one kind of idea.
      But as I mentioned..I love old roland synthesizers and drummachines and for me they are friends ๐Ÿ™‚

      if you have any questions about them…or need help..feel free to drop me a email:
      [email protected]

  2. Keyboards are not just a mean to an end (music). They’re fun to use, even if you’re not trying to make music.
    I say “look at the keyboards” ๐Ÿ˜€ Roland Heaven ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Vintage synths are like vintage guitars, a cheap ยฃ50 guitar from Argos is a guitar, as is a vintage Gibson, but in terms sound, playability etc, they’re worlds apart…just like a lovely old Jupiter 8 vs any VA or soft synth.

    I say this as someone who’s spent a fortune on VA’s over the last few years, my salvation was buying a Doepfer Dark Energy….WOW

    But that’s just my opinion ;o)

  4. The thing is that the biggest percentage of people living out of music,
    usually are not able to finance a collection like this (whether one would like to or not)

    personally whenever i see a collection like this, and it might be sometimes unfair , i think
    that this guy is either working in adverstisment, or has a lot of money from other means besides music.
    Because if he was sucesfull as a composer i would have known him !

  5. People collect stuff. I collect cheap guitars. My wife collects books. My dad collected stamps. A friend collects woodworking tools.

    I have a Yamaha SGV700 guitar that belonged to a collector for ten years. He never played it. He sold it when one day he found a tiny dent in the finish and realized it wasn’t perfect. I bought it, stripped off the protective film and gigged with it a week later. It collected another small dent, but it got played in front of an audience.

    This guy collects Roland synths, and performs music with them. As he points out, they were not very expensive. They get heard, he gets joy, landfill has to wait.

  6. Hello guys,
    thanks for all the comments! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Its funny to see what people think and imagine.
    As a “artist” or lets say as a “maestro” of a analog ROLAND orchestra you have to show up with a whole ensemble and all musicians..otherwise it would be unfair towards those machines due to i respect each of them.
    The interview was about one hour and there is some stuff that is not mentioned in the article…
    just a little bunch of those machines belongs to me… ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks to some very good friends here in munich i could get a lot of Rolands in one the context was to do this interview as kind of a “Orchestra”.

    ..i dont even have a SH 101 anymore..and never had more than one.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    cheers and if you got any questions, tips tricks or you just want to have a good cry feel free to contact me…

  7. Why can’t the music speak for itself? He has got to display himself hanging out with his synths and talking so much about them to get attention to his music. I guess that’s one way of doing it. I have nearly as many synths and I would never do this.

    1. hello nick…you have not got the message dude (maybe you should read my posting above yours ๐Ÿ™‚
      Sure music can speak for itself but why do people read books, magazines and articles, surf on the web for instance on this site….because they like to see what others do and also peole do a interviews to share their passion and know how with others…its not a show off..again..just a few synths belong to me from this interview…
      so you will certainly have more synthesizers than i ll ever have in my life ๐Ÿ™‚

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