Roland has released the PROMARS Plug-Out Software Synthesizer – a reproduction of the rare PROMARS synthesizer (introduced in 1979).
Designed for Roland System-1, as well as Mac and Windows, the new PROMARS uses Analog Circuit Behavior to recreate the ‘incredibly warm, dense sound’ of the original.
Here’s a video overview, with audio demos, from the 2015 NAMM Show:
- Recreates the sound of the rare PROMARS COMPUPHONIC synthesizer
- ACB provides the rich, warm vintage tone of the original
- Two VCOs plus two sub-oscillators per voice
- Fast envelopes and filters with classic Roland character
- VST, AU and PLUG-OUT compatible
About the PROMARS
The original PROMARS was a sibling of the JUPITER-4, and is often thought of as simply a monophonic version. But the PROMARS was more than that.
While the JUPITER-4 had one VCO and one sub-OSC per voice, the PROMARS had two of each. The pitch of the two VCOs could be slightly detuned to produce a unison chorus effect, and a sub-OSC was provided on each VCO. Able to produce sounds similar to a four-VCO synthesizer, the PROMARS sounded huge.. While not as well known as the JUPITER-4, the thick sound and “compu-memory” function that allowed sounds to be stored and recalled made it a highly regarded instrument, with a unique place among the classic Roland monosynths.
With the new PROMARS PLUG-OUT Synthesizer, the sound of this rare, vintage instrument is reproduced with Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology. ACB recreates the sound of classic synths by using original design specs, and a detailed, part-by-part analysis of each analog circuit.
While the PLUG-OUT version tries to faithfully recreate the sound of the original, Roland has added some new options.
The VCOs have increased range settings, the LFO has a “Random” waveform setting, and the Noise and and Pulse Width sections have full range control of those parameters. And like their other PLUG-OUT synths, the PROMARS has effects and an advanced arpeggiator section.
Connect a SYSTEM-1 and it becomes a dedicated controller, only lighting the appropriate knobs and sliders pertinent to the PROMARS. You can transfer sounds back and forth between the PROMARS and SYSTEM-1 and even use the SYSTEM-1 as a high-quality audio and MIDI interface.
You can also load the PLUG-OUT directly onto the SYSTEM-1, creating a stand-alone, hardware PROMARS synthesizer with real physical controls that doesn’t require a computer.
The PROMARS Plug-Out Synthesizer is available now for US $145. Roland notes that a special price is available to System-1 users. See the Roland site for more info.