Roland System-1m Hands-On Demo, With Dr. Richard Boulanger


Roland has released a series of videos, embedded below, that feature Dr Richard Boulanger, Professor of Electronic Production and Design at the Berklee College of Music, giving an in-depth demo of the new System-1m Eurorack synth module:

In the video series, Boulanger covers the System-1m’s architecture, using the synth’s CV/Gate connectivity, integration with Eurorack systems and getting started creating sounds.


  • Semi-modular synthesizer with PLUG-OUT capability
  • 19 color-coded CV/Gate and audio connections with LED lighting
  • 84 HP Eurorack, tabletop and 19” rack compatible using AC adaptor or Eurorack power
  • Versatile oscillators with six waveforms, Crossmod, Ring Mod, Sync and Color control
  • All parameters controlled with high-resolution knobs and sliders with LED indicators
  • External input for processing external signals through filter, amp and FX section
  • -12 dB and -24 dB filter types with independent high-pass filters
  • Integrated tone, crusher, reverb and delay effects
  • Tempo syncing for LFO and delay
  • 24-bit/96kHz audio and MIDI interface
  • AIRA Link for easy connection to MX-1 Mix Performer
  • Includes rackmount adapter and braided patch cables

The Roland SYSTEM-1m has a street price of about $599. More information is available at the Roland AIRA website.

22 thoughts on “Roland System-1m Hands-On Demo, With Dr. Richard Boulanger

  1. “The Roland System 1 Bass-O-Matic! It slices, it dices, it modulates and it plugs-out. And it makes a healthy morning shake that will be great for the entire family! Operators are standing by now!”

  2. man i used to be fan of Boulanger for his work on CSound. I remember generating music with that in the mid-90s before the advent of VSTs and all that… but it’s sort of awkward to see him in a Roland commercial 🙁

  3. Cool to see the old school synth guys actually teaching at, er, old schools.. sorry lol.

    Sounds good I suppose. The new kids will dig them and you can’t deny it’s good functionality. Historically though, nothing really new here (I own a System-100M) but Roland is getting one thing right – they are finally in to the Eurorack game. That said, my old JP-8000 from 1998 sounds about the same and looks faaar better than any recent Roland anything in decades, imho Roland’s green UI looks TERRIBLE and I STILL can’t figure out the bloody TR-8 (I also own an original 808, 202, 101 JX-3P, Juno-6)

  4. Oh man, this is so weird. I was expecting something much more out-there, adventurous in terms of exploring this synth. In the context of Boulanger’s world of academic computer music, there’s nothing particularly fantastic about yet another subtractive synthesizer. In all other ways, sure, I think it’s a cool synth, and I honestly wouldn’t spit on one,. But leave the ads to the pros, please.

  5. The System-1m ended up a major letdown for me. I was so disappointed to find unpleasant digital artifacts in the higher pitch range of almost every osc when modulation the color via LFO that I had to send it back. I really enjoy my TB-3 and TR-8, and wanted to love this, but this was unbearable to me.

    1. @Reyescult forgive me for being skeptical but can you provide a little detail so we know you understand the difference between digital artifacts and self-oscillation?

      1. Sure, no problem. First off, I’ve been using synthesizers, samplers and drum machines since the late 80’s and I currently own a little over 30 hardware synthesizers and drum machines. Though I am a bit of a gear addict, I do not claim to be any sort of expert.

        By, digital artifacts, I mean: clicking, aliasing, etc. I do not mean self oscillation as in what is produced by a self oscillating resonate lowpass filter.

        What I mean is this: When you initialize the System-1m (set all parameters to default), assign the LFO (Sine wave at moderate rate) to modulate the Color (at mid depth) of either OSC, there is unpleasant artifacts produced by the modulation in the higher pitch range (C5 to C6 and above). These artifacts are not present in any other synth I own, or have ever owned. In my experience, when you modulate a parameter such as OSC shape using a Sine or Triangle waveform at non-audio rates and with moderate modulation level, you can expect a smooth transition over the cycle of the waveform (LFO). I don’t expect to hear Click, Click, Click, Click like a poorly looped sample.

        This behavior was present in many of the OSC shapes, including those added in 1.2. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you which as I sent mine back a couple weeks ago. Because it’s a VA, it may be something they can address in a software update. I was just really surprised it would get to market like this. While it has been many years since I’ve owned a JP8000 or 8080, I don’t remember either of these exhibiting this kind of flaw.

  6. I ask myself if its really ethic to use the name of the institution where he teaches to do a commercial. And the rings to prove that he’s a doctor prefessor and all… pretty lame. Sorry. Plus everything looks and sound so fake.

    1. I think you’re getting annoyed by the poor man’s wedding ring. People with academic qualifications don’t wear rings to signify their degrees, unless perhaps it’s a simple Engineer’s iron ring.

    1. From Wikipedia:

      Richard Boulanger (born 1956) is a composer and professor of “Electronic Production and Design” at Berklee College of Music. He holds a Ph.D. in computer music from the University of California, San Diego.

      So, yes, professor and doctor apparently.

  7. Can we just let the brother make a buck in his chosen profession? He has driven csound into computers and eurorack modules in really interesting ways. You can’t take that away from him for doing an informative set of tutorials masquerading as commercials. What have you done to move the technology forward? I mean, not counting your judgmental web persona.

  8. This is a good demo–super informative–who else would you want to use to do this? A guitar player? Give the guy a break—he knows more than you ever will on the subject of synths.

  9. Someone who actually knows what they are talking about doing a super informative and useful series of videos about a neat bit of new kit.

    Not sure why there are silly and pointless comments here. For me this is great, a very useful intro into modular patching with system 1 and I wish more videos on the internet were like this, rather than some novice monkeying around and making a pointless noise, with no decent explanation or purpose.

    Thumbs up, please do more 🙂

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