Roland Boutique Synthesizer Video Overview


In this video, Sweetwater’s Mitch Gallagher gives an overview of the new Roland Boutique Series synthesizers – the JP-08, JU-06, and JX-03, along with the optional K-25m keyboard controller and module dock:

These synth modules are inspired by classic Roland synth designs and emulated using Roland’s Analog Circuit Behavior modeling.

Each of these synth modules is designed to give you the sound and feel of working with the original synths, but with some new enhancements:

  • The Roland JP-08 synthesizer is based on the Jupiter-8 synthesizer, and expands on the original with extra waveforms and an extended VCO range.
  • The Roland JU-06 synthesizer, based on the Juno-106, adds a variable highpass filter and a faster LFO.
  • And Roland JX-03 synthesizer, modeled after the JX-3P, adds extra waveforms for the LFO and DCOs, as well as an extended DCO range.
  • The K-25M keyboard is a detachable keyboard controller that runs the modules keyboard synthesizers.

For details, see the Roland Boutique site.

40 thoughts on “Roland Boutique Synthesizer Video Overview

  1. They do look beautiful to look at its just a shame they’re only 4 voice polyphony and £300 a pop (including the keyboard). 🙁

  2. I wonder which will be the most popular selling model………
    I think the JX03 looks the funkiest……’s those colours – so striking.

  3. Anyone any idea if the polychaining is just between multiples of the exact same unit, or between the whole botique range? Since the underpinnings will be the same either which way, I don’t see any real reason it couldn’t be organised so that you could pick, say, the JX-03 as the master unit, and then chain a JU-06, running as a JX-03 sound engine, with no controls (or maybe with extra controls?), for the extra polyphony. People are more likely to buy the full range than just multiples of the same synth, and having the option to chain them together like that’d make them substansially more appealing, as you’d then get a 12-note poly version of each synth. If they through in a larger, full-size keyboard unit that’d hold all three, and maybe a package deal of some sort, I reckon it’d push a fair few people to buying the lot.

    1. “you’d then get a 12-note poly version of each synth” … no, you’d get 12 notes of 3 different sounds being triggered after the 4th note is pressed. It may still be interesting to do this just to experiment.
      Those little guys sound good (even if not real analogue).

      1. No, What I’m saying is that , since the actual DSP etc. will be identical between the synths, each synth could, in theory, run as a copy of any of the other synths, just without the synth-specific control surface. Therefore, you pick a master, and the other modules work as slave units, running the same synth engine as the master on their own DSP units. You have to remember that these are doing everything in software, and, provided the hardware’s the same, it is just like running a different plug-in.

    1. Indeed, I’m really digging that small size, this is great for the travelling musician that already need to take Laptop, soundcard, cables, midi controller, drum machine, guitar etc etc..

      1. Yes Full size , Full Price, why not? If they cost $300 in book size, I believe that $1000 – $1300 for full size is very attractive price and 3 or 4 times up the initial price. Every price above $1000 – $1300 it will be unacceptable

        1. They are monophonic(paraphony doesn’t count) and sound like crap.

          The Boutique may look like toys, but they sound like the real deal. The functionality and amount of control makes the at least 10.000 times better deal, than Yamaha’s Reface.

          1. The reface DS & CS are more than twice the synth – both physically and sonically – than these “Boutique” synths, and for about the same price.

            The Boutique synths are 300-400, with no keyboard. Add a keyboard, and you’re paying about the same as the Reface synths.

            But did you notice how tiny these boutique synths are? They’re half the size of an album cover. Get out your magnifying glass when you want to do anything with them.

            And they’ve got half the polyphony of the Reface synths – which aren’t that generous themselves at 8 voices.

            It’s hard not to see that these are fairly compromised synths, designed for the beginner market. Basically they’ve repackaged the electronics of the System-1 to get some more mileage out of it. Unfortunately, they’re shafting the System-1 owners by not making these synths available to them.

    1. The last really new synth Roland released – the V-Synth – is also dismissed these days because it’s digital, even though it is one of the most robust sound design tools ever designed. A proper synthesizer if one ever existed.

      While synth heads like to pretend they are forward thinking and progressive, most of them only want to recreate the sounds made by analog subtractive synths from the ’70s. This attitude is getting stronger and stronger every day, and it’s old, tired, and quite dull.

  4. filter sweep please, want to hear shimmery chorus II mode high resonance sweepy sounds to hear if this miniature juno 106 is for real or just a fake ACB dream.
    I feel like I just watched a 9 minutes commercial about a juice blender on the shopping network,

  5. Whingers. Why do people complain? They exist. They’re cheap. They sound good for the money, Buy them or don’t. Shut up moaning.

    1. I like oxymoron nature of such posts, let us whinge and moan about people whinging and moaning. Such a level of irony would be witty with intent, yet without intent that irony is gladly mocked – do some people think comment is only negative when it comes from others? Odd.

  6. Most of the folk “complaining” here will be under 50 …. If you guys had grown up in the 70’s you’d know how amazing you have it now. FFS STOP COMPLAINING.
    You are spoiled for choice!!!!

    Oh crap .. You’re just “spoiled” full stop.

    Back when these synths came out we had to make real choices … A basic mono, manybe a really simple poly if we were able to stretch it. now I have amazing synths on my iPad and I love all these recreations …these simple instruments are why there was a synth revolution in the first place.

    Small, cheap and pretty simple …. What’s not to like ??

    And if you want cutting edge … super synths they’re out there too. You just have to make choices … But the choice you have now ….. You have more firepower than any one had in the seventies and eighties.. So stop you’re whining …. Kids today .. Don’t know how lucky they are, sit around all day whinging about this and that, making a noise and calling it music. MUSIC they’re having a laugh ..the machines do it all you know, no talent …. . Where’s the skilll in pushing a few buttons ……..

    1. Disagree with that assessment. I was born in the nineties and it seems people my age are the only ones who see cheap/portable/bedroom options as entirely legitimate. I got into synthesis through iOS synths, which I still prefer to VSTs due to portability, touch interface, and average cost of like 5 bucks. Thats not something you can admit to older musicians and still be taken seriously. Meanwhile, my generation is making music any way it can, ripping samples off of youtube and piecing them together in a pirated copy of ableton…

    2. Also you truely date yourself with the “Where’s the skilll in pushing a few buttons” argument. This is always spewed by people above a certain age who have no idea who J Dilla is. Do a bit of research into sample based music/performance before extending the life of that ridiculous pretense everyone seems to have.

      Heres are a few of those no-talent button pushers for you to check out 😉

  7. I would suggest that the gentleman who asserted that ” ..the machines do it all you know, no talent.. Where’s the skill in pushing a few buttons?” was being somewhat mischievous and ironic. The sprightly young fellow in the video is admittedly rather good at playing drums on an MPC pad although one feels that the overall composition leaves something to be desired.

    To return to the point though, I don’t find myself particularly excited by Roland’s recent obsession with recreating their old analogue machines in miniaturised digital formats. I’d prefer to see digital and analogue systems being used to do the things they’re best at.

    1. Oh dear … The problem with different generations is ” cultural references ” … I was playing with an old Monty Python sketch …. If you don’t know who Mony Python is/was ask your dad ….

      When you become an old fart like me you take on old and respected wisdom: you say “the younger generation don’t know how lucky they are” …because they don’t but . That’s progress I guess.

      Many of us grew up looking at our hero’s playing stuff we’d never get our hands on in a million years. So yes we do get excited by these things. I was never going to own a Jupiter 8. And things like the Juno when we could afford them we’d sell a few years later to get the next “advancement” so this is a great treat to be able to access our past our heritage our youth.

      But I agree with the guy who says he was born in the 1990’s … Talented people will always produce amazing music from even the most basic of equipment. In The early ’80’s I visited a mate who had made the most incredible track “bouncing” on a 2 track cassette recorder with a mike and cheap Casio “toy” keyboard. That demo got his foot in the door with a well know producer and he went on to work with some 80’s legends first as an engineer then as producer.

      “Talent will out” as they say. But my point that I was trying to make humorously was that there is huge choice now. In real terms this stuff is buttons and there is a place for most things.

      My problem is with the biitching … Go make music. There are plenty of people making instruments in every shape and flavour for every niche. If you don’t like it …look around there is something out there for you. And believe me the choice, cost and range is HUGE now compared to what was around at the beginning of this journey.

      I used to have a room full of synths … Didn’t make much music though. Now I have an iPad, some apps (some of my favourite ’70’s synths) and a real just about in one piece ARP AXXE. And I’ve made more music on that in the last 3 years than I did in the previous 30 … Go figure.

      1. Another whinging and moaning comment to tell people to stop whinging and moaning, what is wrong here? I think people have a right to not like something and to bitch about it, ultimately Roland has control of that with the products they choice to sell, or not.

        The problem with progress is that it makes people progressive, meaning that old standards of practice soon fall short – hence this and people not liking it. So someone is more progressive than yourself, and holds higher standards – how does that earn someone a right to attack those higher values and standards? I don’t think it does. If many people feel this is a shite product for Roland to release at this time then that is more that valid, the more comments that echo that comment help to make it more valid. Thus, showing a higher set of values and standards than your own. Confronted with that the logic, why question the professional standards of others, maybe question why this matches your own standards while falling short of others – would that therefore not conclude that ones own standards fall far short to what is currently acceptable by others? Thus making ones own opinion, entitled yet invalid.

        The stupefying issue of people not moaning because they never had it so good belittles us all. Imagine if Apple took this stance, the next iPad will be a bulky and intensive as a 1980’s laptop – because it was good enough of the kids back then, so it good enough today – we have progress for a reason, to be progressive – and we are, and we demand more, and most importantly we earned the right to demand more.

        This offering from Roland falls short of my standards.

  8. I don’t know, they kinda just come off as missing the point and just wanting to get a quick buck out of nostalgia.

    4 voice polyphony is pretty limited, oh but of course you can chain two together to make 8 voices, meaning you have to buy 2 of these “limited edition” synths to really get a “faithful” reproduction making them even more “limited” assuming that’s not just some hot sell tag they put on to move units. That and the fact the Jp-08 costs $100 bucks more totally comes off as Roland trying to nickel and dime their customers knowing that one will be the most in demand.

    I’ll stick with Korg. They have been doing this whole resurgence of classic synths right while Roland still needs to figure it out.

  9. Slightly disappointed that there is no boutique D-50. I think this is where Yamaha excelled because they didn’t choose to simply go analogue only. And yes, the JX3P was a great bargain synth at the time, namely because of its lack of knobs, but as an actual synth it was a pretty dull affair. come on you synth companies. Stop reproducing and start innovating!

Leave a Reply