Roland System-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer Specs & Pricing


Roland has officially released the System-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer, a new polysynth, based on Roland’s Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) circuit-modeling technology.

The System-8 can host and control up to three Roland Plug-Out software synthesizers, and new Jupiter-8 and Juno-106 Plug-Out synths are included with purchase.

The synth offers a massive array of hands-on controls, as well as a polyphonic step sequencer, vocoder, CV/GATE outputs, arpeggiator and more.

Here’s the official video intro:

The System-8 features Roland’s most advanced ACB engine yet, powering eight voices of polyphony, three oscillators, hi-resolution filters, and versatile LFOs. Roland says that the engine is capable of producing everything from classic analog-style pads, basses, and lead synths to crisp, dynamic tones and evocative textures.


The System-8 also features three expansion slots for hosting and controlling Roland’s Plug-Out software synths. Jupiter-8 and Juno-106 synths are included, giving you immediate access to sonic reproductions of these Roland classics. Optional Plug-Outs such as the SH-2, SH-101, PROMARS, and others are supported as well.

Using the System-8’s Performance mode, it’s possible to combine the internal synth engine and hosted Plug-Outs to create ‘super-synth’ patches ,with layered voices, custom splits, and more.

The SYSTEM-8’s panel is filled with knobs, buttons, and sliders for hands-on sound creation and performance expression. Many filter types are available courtesy of the advanced ACB engine, including a powerful side-band filter inherited from Roland’s influential V-Synth. Effects include overdrive, distortion, fuzz, delay, chorus, reverb and more. Like the numerous synth parameters, the effects controls make them highly tweakable.

Also included in the System-8 are many creative tools.

  • The polyphonic 64-step sequencer features a familiar TR-REC style interface and dedicated controls to record, play, and manipulate loop sequences.
  • The Arpeggio function is equipped with quick-access knobs for switching patterns and styles in real time.
  • Chord Memory allows the user to trigger polyphonic note stacks with a single key.
  • The System-8 even has a vocoder built in.

The System-8 is also designed to easily integrate into a music production workflows.

The synth functions as a USB audio/MIDI interface for a DAW, and the 49 full-size keys (with velocity) provide a responsive keyboard for recording MIDI tracks. There’s also a control surface mode for using the SYSTEM-8’s knobs, sliders, and buttons with soft synths.

The SYSTEM-8 is also equipped with CV/GATE outputs, so you can send note/pitch data from the synth engine and step sequencer to trigger modular synths and vintage analog gear.

Pricing and Availability

The System-8 PLUG-OUT Synthesizer is priced at $1499 street. Availability is to be announced. See the Roland site for details.


32 thoughts on “Roland System-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer Specs & Pricing

    1. The price seems downright affordable to me, considering all the controls and features.

      Controllers are not free, and neither is developing a complex synth, let alone three.

      1. I agree, lot’s of control …………and the 2 plugins are probably worth $300.00 or more for both to buy them separately, which I would think they will offer in the future? But all in all seems affordable to me for what you get. I think I will be selling my 2 JP08’s (no reason for redundancy) and get this nice looking synth but not till I hear more of the Jupiter 8 plug-in and how it sounds, I would think it has the same sound quality of the jP08?

        1. My understanding is that the JP08 outputs at 16 bit 48khz and the System-8 Jupitor 8 is a full 24 bit 96khz. So better sound quality by a fairly substantial margin.

  1. That it also acts as a MIDI controller and has the layout of a well featured subtractive synth is worth a big chunk of the asking price to me. Death to 8 slider/buttons/knobs MIDI controllers already. Wish they’d just put one of those out for ~$400! 🙂

    1. It’s been tried several times in the past (sm pro v-machine, muse receptor, and a few pc based keyboards). The only one that really ever took off was the receptor. I just don’t think they’re a practice option. The beauty of hardware is having a purpose built interface.

  2. I like the Cross Mod stuff but with only one LFO and no mod Env I can’t imagine many people choosing this over Behringer’s synth. Let alone something like Diva if you don’t mind VSTs.

    The price is just to much. It’s even competing with Roland’s own JDXA for just a bit more.

  3. Looking again, I’m confused. Questions if anyone knows:

    Is it the Jupiter and Juno plugouts in addition to some built in synth engine with a sound of its own or is it only a plugout host? If there are potentially 4 sound engines (internal + 3 slots) can you replace the base engine via software?

    Also, if you stack plugouts in performance mode, do you magically get more voices or is it 8 max regardless of source?

    Is it multitimbral?

    1. Internal engine is generally the same from System 1 and it can also load plug outs of other synths. The internal synth can’t be replaced but it has 3 slots for plug outs.

      A limit of 8 total voices of polyphony (solo, split, stack) not sure about multitimbral.

  4. thats ~10x launch controls ( reg version, 16 knobs and 8 buttons each ) and an impulse 61 with change for powered hubs and cords. oh and plenty of lime green labeling tape, of course

    figure 168 knobs, 80 buttons, 9 sliders, 16 pads and 61 keys.
    not including the user presets.
    lil overkill eh?

    how much the plug outs cost? could spare a few launchcontrols and include them too lol

    1. Or a Behringer Deep Mind 12, Prophet 08, Elektron Analog Keys, even Roland’s own JDXA seems like a better deal.

      Me, I’m getting a Matrixbrute and I’m going to use it as a high end midi controller for Diva when I want poly.

  5. All plug out is is the next generation of the tech that was in the v-synth and red variphrase box. Just with better models. I’m surprised they have not done the D50 since there was a D50 emulation in that generation of products.

  6. People complaining about the price smh. We are talking 3 synths in one, plus a midi controller with CV, step sequencer & 8 voices. What more do you want for the price? Spoiled brats

    1. Amen! I guess that the same people would complain if the price were 999,99. They should probably stick to pirating plugins while at the same time looking down on anything that is not analog hardware.

  7. Roland, there is this thing called ‘aftertouch’. It’s great, you may not remember but you used to have keyboards with it. It’s a wonderful thing to CONTROL a sound on a synth. You’d think that a synth that advertises CONTROL might actually have it. Well, I guess YOU wouldn’t think it.

    Unrelated question, hey Roland, do you actually know any keyboard/synth players?

  8. Notice this guy’s lights are flickering. He cant pay his power bill because he’s buying overpriced Roland products! HAHAHA :D… This is expensive. Really expensive. And its almost as nifty as a microkorg which is 5 times cheaper. Nice try! FAIL!

  9. $1,499 seems high given only 8 voices and a 4 octave keyboard with no aftertouch. The vocoder is a nice plus, but it really needs 16 voices at that price. The studio logic sledge v2 only features one model of VA but it adds some sampled content, wavetables, and a superior keyboard for $999. I was hoping to upgrade my boutiques to this instead of buying doubles of everything to get the desired polyphony. Why does all the new Roland stuff seem to be only 75% satisfying at 159% of the price. Don’t even get me started on the 4 voice vp-03. A 4 voice string synth?!? Wff?

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