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.