Roland Intros iPad Patch Editor For Jupiter-50 & Jupiter-80 Synthesizers; Should Other Companies Do The Same?

Roland today introduced JP Synth EditorΒ (App Store link) – a free iPad patch editor for the Jupiter-50 and Jupiter-80 synthesizers.

Here’s a video introduction to the JP Synth Editor:

JP Synth Editor is a useful idea. It lets you use the relatively large display of an iPad to control the parameters of ‘Synth Tones’ on the Jupiter 50 or 80.Β The larger multi-touch screen should make editing faster and more user-friendly.

Do you think that other manufactures should follow Roland’s lead and release free patch editors for the iPad?

29 thoughts on “Roland Intros iPad Patch Editor For Jupiter-50 & Jupiter-80 Synthesizers; Should Other Companies Do The Same?

  1. This seems like something more synth makers should do. It would be really useful and they could probably do it a lot better than third parties.There are some third party apps in iTunes that are designed for this and they mostly look terrible.

  2. In the area of cheap, portable gorgeous touch screens, I find the prospect of bending over a keyboard to program on a tiny budget screen to be ridiculous. Yes, this should be standard, or better yet, the whole paradigm should be re-designed from the ground up. The very concept of what a “keyboard” is has changed.

    1. I’d much rather have a synth with knobs for everything than a touchscreen.

      But as soon as companies use menus to make cheaper synths, the idea of using a touchscreen starts looking very nice.

      The Venom as an example. Nice synth, but there’s a lot you can’t do from the panel.

    2. Synthmaker has been around for creating oddball synths & VSTs for years and it has a basic modular structure. While there will always be OS changes on the horizon to outdate older tools, it would not seem unreasonable for the industry to agree on a standard as they did with MIDI. Bring Apple & Microsoft in and set up a template with accomodation for customization via alloted slots similar to the extended MIDI CC solution of a few years back. VST and AU have settled in well. Let’s see an iPad template for musical uses.

      1. >Bring Apple & Microsoft in …

        Why exactly bring Microsoft in? Other than Microsoft Office which is hardly music-centric, does Microsoft make anything people WANT to use?

        Apple isn’t my favorite corporation, but they’re trying to make good products and LOTS of people buy their products by choice, rather than to fit in with what some corporate IT or DP guy purchases.

        If Microsoft isn’t part of the music world why exactly “bring them in” and give them a voice with Apple?

        1. PCs are still dominant, so Microsoft matters all too much. Better to head off as much madness as possible BEFORE it happens because everyone went their own way. VSTs and AU took time to stabilize. Why not learn from that and this time, further the inevitable with a more orderly introduction? Yeah, I know… I’m skeptical, so I can hear the winged monkeys flapping in the distance, but anything that can forestall or even PREVENT bad corporate behavior seems very important. I don’t fault your view on it. I just think that if MIDI could happen as it did, then the growing pad-world needs a few side-doors like sys-ex to repeat the positives that grew from it.

  3. Definitely. I know you can build stuff like this in things like TouchOSC, but it would take a ton of time and wouldn’t ever be as powerful.

  4. yes! i would love to see more of this. would love something like this for my tetra (havent tried lemur with it yet)

  5. The code has to be there to begin with and pads are well on their way to becoming the dominant platform. Its pretty much a no-brainer to make an iOS editor part of your business plan. I’m fairly impressed overall, but I want a BIGGER touchscreen than an iPad’s, as portability means little to me compared with adequate working space for a DAW. Until then, I’ll be happy to watch great things like Animoog push and define the borders, because it’ll all dove-tail in a few short years… probably RIGHT after I upgrade my desktop, heh.

  6. Give my regards to Kurzweil. They are undoubtably up to something expensive, probably with bigger screen this time, and if they don’t care to invest in the GUI more than Roland and Korg, pehaps it would be best to just use the iPad and save on the R&D.

    I tend to like synths own screens, but latest examples are depressing and probably still expensive(both as components and r&d wise). On other hand I’d like to see iPad used everywhere, but then again, I’m not going to buy 7 iPads. Perhaps now would be the perfect time to reintroduce Racks/modules and put the most of the interface into the touchscreen.

  7. How about us Android people? I know that the Android market is more fragmented, but, simply stated, there are more Android devices out there than Apples. I, for one, refuse to support a greedy and controlling company like Apple — just look at their spats with Amazon, and Dropbox to name a couple. Also try to download VideoLan for Apple devices — not allowed because it is OPEN SOURCE (OMG, let’s panic). However, if I could get and Android patch editor for my Korg MicroStation, I would love it.

    1. >I, for one, refuse to support a greedy and controlling company like Apple

      But you are more than happy to support a greedy add agency like Google? Ha! What a sucker!

      1. I agree. I use Android and I feel that there should have been an Android app. For me to use this technology, I have to spend at least Β£270 to buy an iPad mini. I’ll continue to use the JP80’s screen for now!

    2. I use VLC on all my Macs AND my iPad. You sir, are a fool!

      Android’s OS architecture isn’t easy to write good quality sound apps for, neither is the diversity of devices and form factors.

  8. Only if they want to stay relevant in the current market. Software editors are becoming the new standard for keyboards in general.

  9. Soundtower is working on an editor app for the Mopho (and likely some other DSI products). They’ve also just released some VST versions of their editors (which I’ve installed, but have yet to use).

    For a desktop synth – this makes perfect sense. But honestly with a synth like the JP80, you’ve got a lot of real estate for physical controls – why not make that as awesome as possible? Or, do both – tailor the synth panel as a “quick edit” style interface, and then have a space to rest an iPad or small form laptop, for in-depth editing.

  10. Give my regards to Casio too. Theres already the rubber landing pad reserved for an iPad, but no editor for it. Chop chop Casio. And Roland could change the Jupiter-80 into a workstation with a little help from the iPad editor by including a sequencer into the app. Korg could make something, hmm, like an affordable analog synth, that has an audio interface built in, and the iPad could expand its polyphony with Korgs software synths, as well as act as an editor, sequencer and loop sampler.

  11. The idea of a more general patch editor (ie: libpd/csound/supercollider/Max) for iOS that’s portable between apps would be an enormously huge deal; like having shader languages for 3D graphics. In combination with working out all the setup and pitch warts of MIDI (or simply having a background OSC equivalent to background MIDI), it would spell the end of every developer spending 60% of total development time making another synth, and developers concentrating on putting the touch surface to uses for which it is uniquely suited. In my mind, that would be – making the user interface to drive the play and control surfaces.

  12. Hardware manufacturers in general need to be sent to a boot camp on UI design. Keyboards with limited functionality, like where everything can have it’s own knob, tend to be great. But for everything else they have been really convoluted and rediculous. Layers and setups and tabbing and scrolling and all kinds of crap, just to get to basic parameters or do bread and butter things like make a group of patches for a performance. I fiddled with a new Jupiter in a store and found it atrocious, especially after using really well designed software interfaces for years. For the money that thing costs, it should be a LOT better designed than it is.

    This problem also shows up in software synths that re-create the classics. For instance, using an Arturia Jupiter 8V or Prophet V just reminds me how much faster and more satisfying it is to use something well designed like Alchemy. I want the “classic sounds”, but I really, REALLY don’t want the crappy classic interfaces. u-he took a lot of steps in the right direction in Diva, which has some very classic sounding components but is more modern in it’s interface. You can see legacy design problems in older software too, like Ni Absynth and Logic 9, which both really show their age in several places (I love both of those products, BTW. They just need some serious updates in areas!).

    It’s time to make a big change, in both software and hardware! User interfaces need to be clean, with some standards of functionality. Sound generation, hardware or software, doesn’t need to be tied to the form factors it used to be. I personally love the idea of a sleek rack mounted box that pumps out sexy sound while I sit comfortably in an office chair with a 27 inch monitor programming it, or in a living room chair using an iPad. Furthermore, control surfaces can be completely separate as well. Make control surfaces modular… let us buy the small parts we want, and fit them into various “rack shapes” as we choose. That way I can have one great thing that truly meets my needs, and controls everything I have. The sound of a device is it’s signature. No need anymore to have a room full of redundant keys and knobs, all tied to various convoluted schemes that control essentially the same parameters. Even emulating old mixing desks isn’t necessarily a good idea anymore, when we could easily create some pretty great node based solutions.

    1. Great comment and a great point.

      But I don’t see things getting better. Interface design doesn’t seem to be a priority within industry the way it was at Apple under Jobs. Many cars ship with dashboards people can’t understand, and many cameras have menus so deep that many people never even bother looking at the deepest level. The only industrial exception to this I’m aware of is the Leica M9 camera with its very carefully designed UI but that is a point-and-shoot camera that costs almost 10k. I’m very depressed about the current state of user interfaces on consumer goods. And I’m afraid it will get worse.

  13. Is the whole point of a hardware synth not the hands on tactile knobs for everthing experience? Why introduce a small touchscreen to do this job? Why not just keep your synth int he software domain?

    I agree it is time for a rethink for how the hardware, tactile land can be complemented by the advances/cost reduction of touchscreens land. Let them live together in harmony πŸ™‚

    When touchscreens offer tactile feedback that will be the real daddy of interfaces πŸ™‚ I am sure its not far off.

    A place for everything and all that. πŸ™‚

  14. Sure! I can’t wait to see universal KARMA – kronos/m3/tr (from karma lab) editor for iPad. That would be huge. Alternatively I wrote a MidiMachine concept for iPad unfortunately I do not know anyone who would be interested/capable to implement that :/

  15. Looks good. Now if they can just implement the sound generation part (and sell it for 99 cents, preferably) that would be even better. πŸ˜€

  16. It lets you “edit” the synth tones? Looks like more a selector of those tones. The other parameters are related to the effects that are applied to each tone, which begs the question where are the parameters for the synth oscillator edited? If I wanted to make a casio / walsh function generator “sound” in there is it possible?
    Are Roland overcoming the synthesis capability with what amounts to a glorified wavetable (not sample) player with parameters and effects?

  17. I feel tablets will eventually overtake the majority of the innards of a workstation,. & keyboard manufactures will compete by making all kinds of different controller schemes for their keyboards,. Built in hard drives that range in capacity, & on & on & on … OASYS for example “could” be an app someday … Then to add to this potential wonder would be for all workstation apps to be able to co mingle in every conceivable way,. while also being able to keep up & co mingle w/ the desktop/laptop DAW world,.. This to me would be an open field fo a whole new world of easy to use mass integrated, user integrated music production potentialities …

  18. In other words all fields of music production could live under true “Total Integration” everything could be brought from one platform to another & back again,. Infinity . . . And that means hardware & software,. of course : )

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