7 thoughts on “Inside The Roland System-1m Eurorack Synthesizer

  1. am i the only one that sees him open up these Roland digital boxes and we see and hear there is “not much inside here really…just a chip and some connecting ribbons and thats about it” who feels like these are a ripoff?

  2. ^ Isn’t that what’s really in any synth? Really the only difference is whether analog circuits are producing the sound versus a DSP. With a DSP synth you’re paying for the time spent recreating analog circuits in a FPGA.

  3. I agree that it’s brilliant – not only are these candidates for modern classics, but it’s exciting to think about what happens when either a) the ESC-2 chips get cheaper/smaller/better yield and can be crammed in in bulk or b) what the ESC-3 is going to do. Once they hit the price point, the JP-08 will get 8 (or more!) voices or perhaps 96 KHz. The idea of a software upgrade that allows you to run the 1m in either 96 KHz mode with fewer voices or 48 KHz mode with double is cool as well.

    The awesome thing about an FPGA/software design is that it’s software upgradable and hackable. I can only imagine what people will do after either 1) someone reverse-engineers the ESC-2 or 2) roland releases info about it and allows people to program it.

    An even more exciting idea is if the ESC-2 is really a custom design, then that means Roland could make custom chips that have both digital and analog capabilities. FETs can be used in analog circuits, and bipolar transistors and diodes can also be fabricated on the same die.

    I think we may be nearing a Roland renaissance to follow the Korg renaissance, and it will be interesting to see where Roland’s FPGA-paved road will lead.

  4. By the way, we should be able to get some awesome plugouts for digital/hybrid synths as well…. I dream about a phase distortion/casio plugout, not to mention wavetable, fm, D-50, vector, etc..

  5. All AIRA System 1 synths are available as plug ins.ACB (Aira) seems just nothing more than software, It ‘s been repeated so many times it’s some kind ‘programmable FPGA / hardware that can only make this work, so people bought the hardware. Then the plugin’s came. So, it’s probably nothing more than a ARM chip with a DAC (see Axoloti) with a Roland label on it and the code recompiled to run in the processor. instead on PC/MAC . Now, please make something that software really can’t do. It’s just the waiting game. Anything will become available someday (i.e. Boutique plugins and their plug-outs for System 1, multi ACB processor based products etc..), but just after the maximum amount of money has been drained from those consumers who have been so manipulated and brainwashed by business/marketing folks and have become so worried those products may not come. (think … “limited” editions…). But if you like the current products, definitely just buy it.

    1. If it’s truly an FPGA it can do a lot more than a simple ARM core, even if that’s what it’s programmed as today. There has to be some ground truth somewhere, but time will tell.

  6. So first Roland develops the whole emulation in FPGA hardware circuitry and then does the whole thing once again in software for the plug-in ? Highly unlikely from a development cost point of view, unless there a some good and fast tools to port the FPGA circuit behavior to software. A customized ARM SoC is most likely so that porting between the soft and hardware is minimal.

Leave a Reply