Roland Teases Three New ‘Boutique’ Synthesizers

Roland today released a teaser video for a new line of ‘Boutique‘ synthesizers, inspired by the classic Jupiter-8, JX-3P & Juno-106.

The Roland Boutique teaser doesn’t reveal much. But, as CDM and others have noted, adjusting the brighness of the video a bit reveals that the Boutique line is three new keyboards:

Roland-boutique

We’ll have to wait until an official announcement is made to know what the Roland Boutique synthesizers are. In the meantime, though, let us know what you think in the comments!

157 thoughts on “Roland Teases Three New ‘Boutique’ Synthesizers

  1. Looking at the picture above, I guess they can’t be full size all knobs and slider replica’s etc. given the two octave keyboard dimensions. Perhaps mini versions but with full size keys. I’m most interested in the Jupiter 8 one personally so long as its innards sound as per its daddy. I hope Boutique doesn’t mean pricey! 🙂

  2. Roland was effortlessly cool when those vintage synths came out. I trusted them.
    Now they’re cornballs and I don’t.

    These videos are pretty much wholly to blame – the products usually aren’t that great IMO and hyping the F out of them just brings out in stark relief how much they’ve fallen as a company. Shame, since their older products were the stuff of dreams.

    1. Much of the Roland gear that people obsess over bombed when it came out, so it was cheap and available to young musicians in the 80s, and is rare and expensive now.

  3. Roland is officially out of the dog house. Their upcoming eurorack offering is looking irresistable and their overall shift to the current course is very exciting. I am putting some budget aside to grab a few items from the new lineup. Its nice to live in the golden age of synthesizers.

    1. I’m not sure that they are out of the dog house yet unless you like the AIRA’s and their digital modular things.

      The analog modules which are coming for Eurorack are a passion project of a small but highly respected eurorack manufacturer (Malekko) and Roland is to be applauded for letting them into the vaults and licensing out their IP… But it doesn’t let Roland out of the doghouse as none of it is their initiative it seems to be almost entirely separate from their giant corporate machine.

      I think it’s more likely we will keep getting Airas and things like the JD-Xi and JD-Xa (which are absolute garbage IMHO) from Roland.

      1. The only reason to think the AIRA & JD-X synths are ‘garbage’ is if you’re an analog fetishist.

        They all sound good and offer tremendous bang for the buck. Who else has a $500 multi-timbral 128 voice synth for $500? And who else makes a great drum machine for the same price?

        Their digital Euro modules sound great and meet a real need, too. The closest thing to these in the Euro space is probably the Z-DSP module, which is $100 more and requires expensive cards to change its functions, instead of a free visual editor.

      1. From people that haven’t tried them yet. Everybody that I know that has tried them says they sound great, are well-built and would be no-brainers if they were a little cheaper.

        1. Admin:

          Synthstuff – you’re using a bunch of different user names (I’ve tried them, O RLY?, Wrong., Because., etc) to post on the site, which is exactly what spammers do.

          As a result, the comment spam-filtering system is going to either put your comments into a queue to be manually moderated or it will treat them as spam.

          Pick a user name and stick with it, and you will avoid this.

      1. The 303 and 202 don’t have mini-keys, just plastic on/off buttons in a piano layout – they are rubbish to play., really just push buttons to program on.

        The different is, the mini-keys on these new things are put on to be played by someone skilled in polyphonic harmonics and melody, which is very cumbersome to someone that is skilled or not – the 303 and 202 are not capable of this, they weren’t designed for this.

        If you have a professional instrument, at some point you need a standard gauge for that, and we had that. If you move from that standard, without adding to it, then is refuses to be a professional instrument – by default it is therefore a toy. And I expect most people are aware of this, as we don’t have children playing toy instruments in recitals.

        And the word toy has two definitions, a child’s toy that is often in miniature form, or a diminutive breed – so it fills one, if not both, of those definitions. A Yamaha Reface isn’t the real thing but a diminutive replica of the real thing, we have a word for that – “toy”.

        1. Maybe the new “standard” for professional gear IS Minikeys added onto expander modules as a bonus so that the expander is usable without a controller keyboard.

          Maybe you missed the boat on what he new standard is.

          They all seem to sell really well, or the manufacturers wouldn’t bother.

          1. I will totally agree with you the day that most pianos have mini-keys. I will partly agree with you the day I hear someone say, I hope Moog do a mini-key version? But nobody says that rubbish, do they?

            I don’t find anything wrong with someone playing mini-keys, if that is the intent – you decided form an age that mini-keys is the way you will go, and all you will play is mini-keys. That will work for you, until someone puts a piano in front of you.

            The issue is professionalism, some guy has a studio to record in, pro player says I’ll bring my synth down – told, no need I have a room full of synths. So he gets to studio only to realize he has a room full of mini-keys that will compromise the parts he plays, total waste of time – we need standards.

  4. I can’t wait to hear people bitching about minikeys again…

    But yea, they are probably similar to Reface, as in new versions of old analogs as VA synths.

  5. Something that should be comparable with Jupiter 8, JX3P and Juno 6? Roland made quite a few synthesizers since 1984 but those are not listed. Needs to be analog to be relevant in comparison then. But 2 octave keyboards is not comparable to 5…. What’s the Boutique – as in going down into a Gucci handbag?

  6. I think that Roland has seen people snapping up the Minibrute and Microbrute, and it is hoping to compete. If that means competitive prices, it’s fine with me.

  7. If they are able to nail the sound (even if it is hybrid digital/analog) this will be cool. The 106 was a bass monster. And though it is a very desirable sound, these keyboards are not easy to find and not cheap.

    Though some purists might not like it, I would like to see velocity control of amp, filter, and even pitch– perhaps just velocity to control env depth +/-.

    I don’t mind the mini-keys. I can understand that Roland is wanting to let this kind of “special” sound to fit into a larger arsenal. Perhaps they are betting that not enough people would want a very large footprint. And you could also choose the type of controller you want externally.

    Best case scenario, they nail the sound and add modern touches to make it a little more future proof. Worst case, they fall short and it is something that only excites people who haven’t heard the real thing.

  8. Ummmm, what’s wrong with giving synths big keyboards? (I don’t mean vs. minikeys – I’m OK with minikeys, I mean octaves!!!!) 🙂

    One would have to buy or employ *another* MIDI controller to make the best use of these I fear. :-/

    Sure – manufacturing costs, low-end market, mass appeal, etc. But, come on, seriously, *musicians* used the originals – and musicians played more than two octaves without having to mess with octave up/down buttons. Musicians would *want* to use these reissues (assuming they’re analog or a *very* good VA.)

    Sure – I have synths (and keyboards) that only have two octaves too. BUT, as a keyboard player, I do not rely on them as my only means of controlling such synths.

    Feeling…. bemused …. again at Roland… (And, I have 3 older Roland keyboards which I do very much like, so, not saying this with any implied negativity!)

  9. If these are analogue, this will be very exciting. But I bet they aren’t.

    Digital synths are fine and there is probably a lot of innovative work to be done with that tech (just look at Mutable Instruments), but stop pretending they are analogue synths! If you want it to have an “analogue vibe” JUST MAKE IT AN ANALOGUE SYNTH.

  10. Polysynths with 2-octave keyboards?
    25 is the minimum legal number of keys for monosynths.
    3 octaves on a poly feels restricted. 2 was outlawed by the United Nations Council on Prog Rock.

  11. I feel like the entire keyboard industry is shoving minikeys down our throats.

    Do we like them? It doesn’t matter.
    Do we want them? It doesn’t matter.
    Will we buy them? It doesn’t frickin’ matter.

    Minikeys are apparently now a fact of life and whether consumers have an opinion obviously and simply doesn’t matter.

    1. I see a lot of distaste for the mini-keys. Why not have a full-size mother keyboard that you just love, and control a rack of theses mini-synths? I think the mini-keys just make it more transportable and take up less space in the studio.

      1. Isn’t it a little odd that the big three (YKR) have all come out with short-bed minikey reissues of their vintage keyboards at more or less the same time? Couldn’t be a coincidence, so it’s some sort of agreement between them. Either a focus group said “Hey, this is a great idea” or the big three are saying “take it or leave it”. Maybe there will be a paradigm shift towards a controller and a bunch of Reface-alikes, I don’t know. Certainly looks like that’s what YKR wants but it’s not something I want.

  12. It can have micro- or nano-keys as far as I’m concerned, as long as it’s REAL ANALOG and not VA.

    The biggest, most luxurious keybeds in the world won’t help these if they’re digital.

    Don’t even bother with a physical product if they’re digital; just make plug-ins or iOS apps or whatever.

    This should be common sense by now.

  13. Just gimme these as desktop/rackmount units. I actually own a keyboard or two thanks Roland. The keyboard part is so small as to be redundant anyway – just saw it off and give me the important part!.

  14. Am I the only person sick of “paying homage” with reissues and synths inspired-by stuff 20 or more years old?

    Where is the innovation? It’s like the big synth companies are stagnating. I don’t want more stuff that sounds old. I want NEW synthesizers with NEW capabilities to make NEW music with.

    Analog doesn’t have to be so boring… and we don’t have to fall for the marketing, and fetishize the past… it’s lazy and stupid imho.

    The snake oil is soo strong, in the last ten years we went from instant recall and interesting hybrid products… Elektron-style parameter locking, the Access virus, Maschine… to moog re-releasing $30,000 monophonic modulars? Korg minikey Odyssey? What is going on here?

    Screw this… I like analog gear, but it’s not what it’s cracked out to be sometimes. This analog fanaticism trend is BS. The market is officially saturated with new old stuff. Let’s move on…

    1. the thing about the old synths (especially modular and semi-modular) is that you can create new sounds with them.

      many more modern synths are very limited due to an enshrining of a certain architecture (thanks moog) or by the fact that code is a lot less flexible than voltages.

      there are also many types of sound creation that never became available to the public either due to the price or that they were confusing and unintuitive to keyboardists that wanted “realistic” sounds.

      once the sync sounds of a odysssey, waveshapers of a buchla, cross modulation between oscillators and filters like on a micromoog, pitch to cv and freaky signal processing capabilities of an MS-20 become common THEN you can talk to me about new sounds.

  15. well!

    if the jx3p version sounds anything like the original ..i’m having it!…i sorely miss my old jx3p with pg200…these look to have 2 oct full sized keys and a to of fadeers/knobs

    WANT…if it’s aira based emulation – cool…if it’s re creating with real analogue cool

    can’t see this being anything other than EPIC

  16. I cant believe Roland have decided to re-release the sound of their greatest synths through “boutique” two octave mini key machines. It really is an insult to their legacy. That said I do have some faith in the sound quality after being so impressed with the aira plugins…. It would be great if these could also be released as aira plugins.

  17. Stuff doesn’t have to be analogue to be exciting….half the stuff in my modular synth is digital (Mutable In instruments etc.), it only really matters how it sounds and if its fun/easy to get great sounds out of it…mini keys are great for programing sequences, kill for minikeys on my Analog4 or OP-1, luxury!

    1. IF it’s going to be a remake or re-imagining of legacy Roland synths, then it ABSOLUTELY matters whether it’s analog or VA, contents of your modular notwithstanding.

      NEW digital eurorack modules that don’t invoke legacy analog synths are not germane to this discussion.

  18. A company the size of Roland cannot make anything “Boutique”. When large manufacturers start throwing that word around, it’s lost all of it’s meaning. Boutique should mean made by hand in very small quantities. Not injection molded plastic pieces with robot assembled circuit boards, all assembled overseas by third-world labour.

    Nice try Roland.

    1. I can’t comment on these new synths, but their new analog synth module (Driftbox) is definitely boutique, as is their new line of analog Euro modules.

    2. Exactly.
      Roland’s affiliate brand, Boss, has released the Waza pedal series.
      Meaning that botique has gain a very different meaning during a team meeting at Roland/boss HQ.
      Some might call it marketing. We all know it is pure rubish.

  19. After the Yamaha reface debacle, the quickest way to make me not give a shite about a new instrument is to release a ‘teaser’ video, esp. one referencing classic (at least the JP8) analog synths. I’m disappointed to see mini-keys again, but peace to ye who think that kind of thing is cool…not interested.

  20. Sorry guys, not analog….

    Roland, having invested so much money into the electronica dance scene, is still flogging this Aira stuff and that’s exactly what these will be. Digital DSP based Jupiter-8, JX-3P & Juno-106 voiced Aira synths with different front panels…

    I’m already bored of this announcement.

  21. Somebody said “minikeys” three times in a row and POOF, three poodles appeared wearing giant spiked collars. If I’m going to be handed a module with those on it, I’d just prefer the module. I’m going to have to play the thing from elsewhere anyway. Bill Maher said, “Everyone wants to be famous for fifteen minutes a DAY” and that may seem possible when the electronics are so dazzling and fall-off-a-log easy to “play.” My casual advice: make use of full-sized keys somewhere and learn to solo a bit by hand. It’ll really up your game in both obvious and subtle ways. When I see someone playing 2 full-sized keyboards with modules and/or minikeys on top, that seems like the sweet spot. If these are emulations of the three classics named, then clearly the company thinks it can sell more of those units in this form than a full keyboard that blends all three. Therefore, take your baby JP-8 like a man and don’t pine away for a $5k version you couldn’t afford anyway. Who knows, it might rock.

  22. i hate these kinds of teaser things, but those 3 synths are in the top 5 that roland has ever made.. imho

    so im definitely interested in whats going on

    i thought it might be another set of aira plugouts as well, but that wouldnt really make sense with the “Boutique” branding they have going here – also in the picture there it doesnt match the system-1 layout

    my guess is $400-$500, portable analog synths with minikeys.. hopefully they wont suck

  23. This type of teaser is about as welcome as bringing a zombie to a dinner party in a t-shirt that says ALL THIS AND BRAINS TOO. Just show me the bloody STUFF already, will ya?

  24. If they have anything to do with the referenced original synths they are not analog. Just stop. Roland could make three small format analog synths, no doubt, but there simply isn’t the physical space to emulate those older analog synths in a package that size.

      1. Much as I love my Volca keys, it ain’t a Jupiter 8.

        Not at all saying you can’t make small analog gear but I’m skeptical of the logistical possibility of putting an 8 voice poly with the J8’s architecture into a tiny box.

    1. You could probably fit the electronics for a Jupiter 8 in a Volca at this point. Look inside a Minibrute sometime – it’s 90% air.

      I’d agree that you can’t really emulate the user interface of something like Jupiter 8 in a minisynth, though!.

  25. I don’t mind mini keys at all but I’d prefer not to pay for them when I don’t need them. Always nice to have a way to trigger a sound when programming a synth but otherwise, I’d rather save the cash and the space.

    1. I understand the anti-minikeys sentiment, but the minikeys are what make these synths a product that can be manufactured and sold.

      Putting even the most basic keyboard on a module means that ‘normal people’ can use it.

      There have been 10 synths released in the last couple of years, all priced under $500, that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for ‘normal people’ buyers, vs ‘synth purist’ buyers.

      I, for one, am glad that I’ve got 10 new synths to choose from, all of which are dirt-cheap as synths go. If you can’t make interesting sounds with a MicroBrute or a JD-Xa, the keyboard ain’t the problem.

  26. Teasers are “useful” to manufacturers for several reasons: 1, look at all of the posts on this thread, generating free PR fot a product that isn’t even out yet. 2. it might make some people delay their purchase of, say, a Yamaha re-thingy or Korg reissue thingy, because the Roland stuff is “coming soon”. Gives them enough time to actually finish making them.

  27. I hope it is a Virtual Analogue (VA) chip with mini-keys strapped on.

    I know it is a big ask, one can but dream – but how cool would that be? A VA chip with mini-keys, and they could include a limited patch memory, as not to cannibalise the adult market – wow!

    These corporations just keep giving.

  28. i bought the jdxi but I couldnt play on it cause I did not see the red text and I could not play the minikeys, my fingers stucked he he… well minikeys is a goodbye

      1. Mini keys have been about a long time, the cz 101, and dx100 are good examples.
        Hard to believe this is an issue, it means affordability.
        The people who are complaining must have little experience of MIDI, cause soon as a midi cable is connected, your master keyboard controls it.
        Are the people moaning with out master keyboards? My Korg Z1 controls 7 synthesizers, its called MIDI

        1. There are $500 synths that can be had with full size keys (e.g. Minibrute, Bass Station II). Full size keys don’t cost much more. Mini-keys are a joke. They make ANY synth with them look and play like a toy.

          1. I have both the Minibrute and the Bass Station II (as well as the Microbrute SE). Great synths – but the two octave keyboards I find really limiting. So I’ve plugged in a cheap MIDI Controller (Alesis Q49) to act as the ‘keyboard’ for the Minibrute and Microbrute SE (the latter being linked to the Minibrute via cv/gate) and it makes a huge difference. I’m increasingly finding that the number of keys really matters. So I’m going to stop buying two octave keyboards from now on.

        2. The mini keys is really a non issue with these synths.
          For one thing these synths are modules that you can purchase the minikeyboard for an extra $99.00 which you don’t have to buy. I would think that most serious keyboardist already have a very good keyboard controller…of which these modules can fit very nicely on the controller board. I don’t get the mini key angst….don’t buy the mini keyboard…use a creditable midi controller…problem solved.

          The real issue is how does this module sound?
          Hope to hear some example audio soon

    1. No one criticizes the Virus and Prophet desktops for having no keys altogether.

      Many of the people this is targeted at already have midi controllers which they can use instead of needing to buy another set of full size keys. I’d much rather have a more compact synth I can use with my Linnstrument that takes up less desk space but also can be played without an external controller in certain situations.

  29. If it has the same quality as system-1 plugins (compared to other VA) I’m interested.
    If it has a good chorus I’m more interested!
    (And not the strange bit crusher of sys-1)
    If you can choose to send the sequencer to play other gear while playing this I’m very interested!!
    And if it looks good I’m super interested!!! 🙂

      1. “Their modelling is a joke afaic.” There was a great thread on Muffwiggler – still is, actually – where someone put up a blind test… Roland SH101 vs Aira System1. Which one sounded more authentic? The majority of respondents, known for their discerning taste in synthesizers, when picking out the better unite in the blind a/b test ended up choosing the System 1.

        You’re right, that is kind of funny. I guess that’s why their modeling is a joke, right?

        https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=118485&sid=ac30241c17c2142bfae6d9ad27a0c383

        1. …as far as you know…right?:) What self-serving mini-key VA-loving troublemaker ‘wouldn’t’ post two samples of just the software, in order to screw with the real analog crowd?! Oh, I forgot – the internet is a bastion of honesty;)

        2. I have no doubt that some people can’t discern the difference between analogue and VA emulations. I also don’t doubt that some people simply prefer the character of VA. Neither of those positions rule out the alternative though – that some people can indeed perceive a difference between analogue and digital, and furthermore they prefer the character of analogue.

          I fall into the latter camp – not out of snobbery or pretension, it’s just my own personal aesthetic preference. And that’s not to say that I don’t like any digital synths, or that I don’t dislike any analogue synths. And it’s certainly not to say that VA will never improve to the point that I won’t be able to tell the difference. [God – I hope it does!]

          Regardless; the question of whether or not Roland’s VA’s are currently worth a damn when compared to their analogue counterparts, is another question entirely.

          Again, it is perhaps subjective, but I personally found the disparity between the Jupiter 8 /80 (highlighted in one of Roland’s own promotional videos) to be so significant, that I initially thought it was a parody – but Roland’s own engineers clearly heard the results of that engine, very differently.

          I’m no engineer and I don’t own an oscilloscope, but I know what my ears and soul tell me. And yes – I did the A/B test without the screen.

          To conclude – and to also refer back to the Jupiter 80 debacle – I don’t think anyone wishes for a synth company to fail on any project (except maybe Akai) but what clearly riles everyone up is this playing on classic model names when launching inferior products. I realise that it’s a very precious attitude to take, but precious or not, you’d think their PR departments would at least take note of how appalled people generally are about that.

          Heck even the teaser goes from Jupiter 8 -> Jx3P -> Juno 106 -> whatever shit they’re imminently flogging TBC. That’s like watching humans turn back into apes, surely? #TheDescentOfRoland

          Citation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EwIsbmL_tg

        3. The sh101 emulation is spot on. It’s clear that digital may be able to emulate analog some day, but the sh101 is a pretty thin sounding synth to begin with. It was a cheap alternative to the analog monsters of the day.
          Analog still rules overall.. At doing analog anyway.

  30. Too many teaser the same week… Mother 32, Roland.. cool but not cool. It’s frustrating. BTW, if those synth are analog, wow… I’ll buy it, good & cheap polys are quite rare. And to respond to Hektor, no it doesn’t seems to be a Aira plug to my eyes, because of this long and shiny slider on the left side of the panel. There is not such design on the actual Roland hardware.

    1. Even if it’s something like an SH reissue or single voice or 2-3voice version of a jup6 or 8 i am plenty happy with the idea. Each of the boxes in the pic look squarely in the Bass Station 2 type size so hopefully they are after more of that market perhaps. Tho yes Polys would be amazing.

      And hell yeah to Roland specifically name-dropping these models. Talk about fan service.

      1. btw just counted the lights on these compared to the Jup8 and juno106:

        first model has 22 red lights, corresponding closely to the jup8’s 23 sliders.

        third has 16 red lights, corresponding closely to the 106’s 17 sliders.
        consider me officially excited! Tho really, the jupiter 6 has a better architecture to the 8… if you asked me.

  31. I won’t say the word “most” because someone will cry, but many synth users today are not standing in a studio playing their keyboards while the tape recorder at the same standing height records the synth. Many synth users like myself are also computer musicians that want the keyboard on their desk, they don’t really need big keys because they can’t actually play, they mostly program midi, and people want portability and low prices, so despite the cry for full sized keys, you are probably only going to see them on workstations or synths geared towards performance and presets and less around lab and computer companion type synths.

    1. For me it’s more about space and the fact I have small hands, but also the option of portability. I can’t play keys brilliantly, but I’m learning, but I already own 11 hardware synths, if they were all 61 key full size I’d have run out of room a long time ago.

      I’d argue my situation is the more common, hardware synths sell more than computer software does according to any local music shop. And hardware synths sell like hot cakes.

      1. So the new Roland models are retro units for players who can’t play? Great. You guys should take a look at the Korg Liverpool while you are at it….

    2. When you say “many synth users” what you really mean are bedroom EDM wannabes with a Macbook air and a pirated copy of Ableton Live. The kind of people who take pictures of a desk with a laptop and a Roland gaia and call it their “studio”.

      Most synth users either want full size keys or they want a rack/module.

      1. Hey you have to start somewhere. I wonder, how many of today’s leading musicians started out in their bedrooms? Not everyone can immediately set up a full professional music studio in a large room that is professionally built for the purpose. The whole basis of the revolution in electronic music has been to make synthesizers much more accessible to a broader sector of the musical industry including ‘wannabees’ that one day will go on to be the next Jean Michel Jarre or Jordan Rudess. I have a ‘bedroom studio’ – not because I hold aspirations to be a professional musician, but because I enjoy electronic music and have always been into synths. So at 51 years of age, with a professional career in academia, my personal interests matter to me, and that includes electronic music. I get a lot of fun out it. I may not produce any hit music, but I get satisfaction from experimenting with sound design, and trying out new gear. But I agree with your final comment – full size keys and a decent sized keyboard – 49 or 61 keys – is what I’m looking for in a good synth.

    3. darren m spake “…they can’t actually play.” With so many people piling funtime gear up in the den, it sure seems that way part of the time. I’m a big proponent of playing two-fisted in real-time, at least enough to deserve cred-for-chops. You connect better to the instrument, which benefits you all along the line. OTOH, synths are why there are several WAYS to play that aren’t open to acoustic-only players. I can think of several realms that are synth-only. I really like the vintage Cluster and general Roedelius musics. Its minimalist German e-music, but its deceptively simple and has a lot to say tonally. No big prog soloing, just evocative melodies and analog synth sounds that sound almost pure, because the thing was so new to the players. Music feels vital to a full life, so play what you play. There’s a lot to be said for simply having some fun and not being on crank. Besides, if the JP-8 surrogate emits that same classic fat brass blat, a lot of the JP-8 hollering will dwindle.

  32. I wonder if these synths are going to be real analog like the ones they are trying to replicate or if they will be VA’s based on ACB technology? Either way I like where Roland is going these days.

  33. Mini Keys or not, tired of hearing/seeing hate upon mini keyed synths, get over it!

    These will be awesome

    btw its not about the key size, its about the sound of the instrument!

    1. Oh the complaining. Minikeys minikeys let me in.

      “Its not about the key size, its about the sound of the instrument!”

      I might add “about the skill of the player.” Minikeys? Strings? Rusty nails? A real player deals with it. Nine Inch Nails plays nice piano lines on some cheap Fatar keybed that’s mounted to a hydraulic lift. Last week I watched a dude in a metal band play a kick ass solo on a Microbrute. Just about the last thing I consider when buying a synth is the keys. The size (does it fit), the sound (does it fit) and the top panel/ease of access are all that matter. Take or leave the keys, as far as I see them, they’re a bonus.

  34. The two octave keyboard – whether its mini keys or not – is disappointing. I’d be willing to pay more for a good 61-key keyboard to maximise playability, which is important to me for both performance and in the studio. Someone above said most people who use synths don’t know how to play – they just program MIDI. That’s a sad indictment on how electronic music is produced. Its great to have the gear, but important to learn how to play as well – so spend money on music lessons (theory and practice), and I’m sure it will help.

    As for these keyboards – I’ll wait and see. Like the Yamaha Reface and the Roland JD-XI, they may not fit with my needs that well. So even if they sound great, I may give them a miss. Having said that, I have both the Korg ARP Odyssey and the Korg MS-20 Mini and get a lot of use out of them, so I prefer to keep an open mind on whether these will be any use to me. For the interim I’m saving for a JD-XA.

  35. Fucckkk all this minikey bitching.

    Am i the only one here that doesnt want a room full of 61 key synths!

    MIDI people.. Buy a 61Key with the kind of action you love and use MIDI to control all these other synths. I find it mad that people wanted a reface with 61 Keys.. why???

    Most of synthtopia must have mansions with enough room to house 30+ 61 Key synths..

    1. THIS seriously I just want these as racks with a ton of knobs/sliders, I already have 61 keys sitting at home just give me the damn synth in a box and Im good.

    2. Agree totally! Why have 19 rackable synths seem to have gone out of fashion? Virus, Modor and a couple of other honourable exceptions, but the big manufacturers all seem to think there’s this insatiable demand for keyboards. Ahem there’s this cool thing called MIDI now… maybe it’ll never catch on:(

  36. As for me, I would like to see all these as rack modules. Then I both save space and don’t pay for keys, too often not of the best quality, that I will not use. Korg has the right idea with their MS 20 module kit. If only Novation would rack the bass station 2, for example!

    1. I would love it if they put those kinds of “behaviour” faults on the trial versions of the plug outs, and registering unlocks the “synth repair service” button!!

  37. ACB is for me the most impressive VA technology today, so having an ACB recreation of Jup’8, JXP3 and Juno106 which are all 3 fitting in my backpack is a really goog new.
    Just hoping for a fair fair price !

  38. They are releasing 3 synths simultaneously. That means same circuits with different software like their digital Euro modules. That is more Pokemon than Boutique.

  39. I’m pretty certain these devices will be VA as they’d be otherwise undercutting their JD-XA model which is only a 4 voice poly.

    Strange how Korg though can produce and sell the Volca Keys for £90 which is a 3 voice poly synth and yet you have to pay in the region of £1k plus for the Roland JD-XA.

    1. I think that Korg volca key is not a polyphonic synth but a paraphonic synth with a few control. the JDXA is a true ployphonic analog synth + a polyphonic digital synth with a LOT of controls. Let’s compare what is comparable

      1. last week i went to the local music shop 2 times, playing around with the Prophet 6 as well as with the JD Xa. I was really impressed by the JD Xa! Not that i can afford it and for me my broken MS 10 and one or two other things are enough to do what i want to, but the JS Xa is really a very interesting machine. If i was into serious commercial producing i would buy one for sure.

  40. hell yes! rolands VA sounds quite good for the price. lets just hope they include the cool polyphonic step sequencer of the jx3p and combine it with p-locks. shouldnt be that hard with VA.

  41. All this talk got me thinking if it’s not been discussed already – 116 comments to get through. I’m wondering if this might be some sort of new plug out? I’ve got more keyboards than I care to mention so not bothered about mini keys so will just plug it in (scuse the pun).

  42. The third teaser from a major in a month? We’ve been burned before. These instruments will cater to the beginner as usual. Hope I’m wrong.

    1. Oh come on now! You can least put some effort in. Maybe if this was 1995 you might have something but a bit more nuance is in order.

  43. Is the JP8 inspired one going to have Duran Duran songs pre-programmed in like the Liverpool? Oh please say yes. But silliness aside, I am intrigued.

    1. You are in an extreme minority if you think the ACB modelling is “crappy”. I mean…EXTREME minority – at least among those who have actually heard it.

    1. Okay, if in fact these are the real thing then I am definitely interested. Particularly with the chain mode for the JP-08 to allow a full 8 voice synth. I’d not get the 25 note keyboard – just use it with a nice 61 note or 88 note MIDI controller.

    2. OK, those are super cool, that they are said to work the same as the originals (OK, not as many voices on the 106 clone) and not a lite version. I like that the JU has a sequencer added and the JX has the knobs built in since it originally had them as an add on. If they are sysex compatible it will be super cool. And the price is right on. First time a tease ad paid off. If this is what it looks like, I’m getting all 3.

      And har har to the mini key haters, you guys have the option to buy it without them, just like you keep asking for.

  44. That’s pretty cool! I’d be interested to see a teardown – if there is more processing power than the system-1? since these are ‘limited’ will roland be putting out sneaky system 1 patches in the future for these?

    slightly odd decision to put the speaker on the module – probably better off putting that on the key unit as I suspect most people who will use the module only will be plugging into a larger setup anyway.

  45. more roland digital Rubbish. Its like the Roland R&D department is baiting the internet to be bashed with this crap! keep giving us the ammunition Roland! If i wanted digital i would fire up a DAW plugin.

    all this will do is push the already crazy prices for these original analog synths into the stratosphere, when people realize that there is no substitute for the Real Thing. Shame Roland still havent figured out in 2015 make the Real Thing. Moog always have and still do. Dave Smith knows. Hell even Korg knows.

    But apparently Roland never got the memo when it comes to their Jupiter 8, Juno, etc.

    1. The reaction over the web, reddit and all, seems to be pretty damn positive, especially with the reasonable prices for each when compared to more expensive and more difficult-to-program VA synths in that same league like both of the Microkorgs. Also this is one of the most melodramatic reactions I’ve read on here in a while, I dont think a few AIRA based modules are going to greatly affect the price of a vintage synth that is already going for 8K on ebay, that just seems nonsensical.

  46. C’mon guys…These new “Boutique” thingies are just a re-badged Aira System 1 (hence the 4-voice polyphony) in a new case. They obviously share the same DSP “guts” with the System 1, but disguised in three flavours. So basically, Roland wants you to pay three times the price of a System 1, so that you can use three more DSP codes that were supposed to be System 1 Plug-Outs. I bet they were designed to be Plug-Outs in the first place, but then someone at Roland had a “Eureka” moment, to disguise them as completely new “must-have” hardware-only products. And I also bet that after the SH101, SH2, ProMars and System 100, there won’t be any more Plug-Outs released for the System 1, I think it’s “product lifetime” is near its end. There won’t be any JP8, Juno or TB303 plug-outs, although the hardware capable of running all of them is the same (System 1). And why? Because synths that were released as plug-outs were not nearly as popular or legendary (apart from the SH101, but that was the simplest possible one to recreate, I suppose) as the ones that people would be prepared to pay almost four times the price of a Plug-Out version so they could have an illusion of owning the “almost real deal”. Some clever thinking there, Roland. And a good way to make loads of easy cash again. Selling their fake “heritage” products in a hardware-exclusive form, for the N-th time…I remember Roland’s claim that MC303 was “as close to the real deal as it can be” back in the 90’s when it was released. Typical second-hand price for one now is less than 100$. I don’t think that anybody consider it a great peace of gear. But a lot of people swallowed the marketing bait, and bought one. Myself included. Never found a use for it, it was that bad…How many times the mighty Jupiter name was recycled by Roland? First, there was the JD800 (supposedly JD meant Jupiter-Digital), then there was the JP8000 VA, then Jupiter 80, and now this JP08…Hello, wake up, can’t you see the pattern here? So, thanks…but NO, thanks. I’m saving for the Prophet 6. If Roland makes Plug-ins or Plug-Outs of these instruments, I would be interested. And 99$ for an optional two-octave mini-keys controller in 2015? Roland, you gotta be kidding…

    1. I wish they were rebadged Aira. But not! They are much lesser in sound quality than Aira. They sound harsh, brittle, flat and cold – nothing like the originals. The JX-03 is the best emulation of the Boutiques but the other 2 are very different in sound from the originals, and the worst emulation, sadly, is the JU-06. The boutiques run at 44.1 and the Airas all run at 96khz – so much better high end on the Airas unlike the harsh brittle highs of the Boutiques. And, the Boutiques were developed by a different team than the Airas. Methinks a team with poor ears (except for the JX-03 which is the closest in sound to the real thing).

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