New Roland Boutique SE-02 Is ‘Everything Analog Was Ever Meant To Be’

Roland today introduced the Boutique SE-02, a new analog synthesizer, designed in collaboration with Studio Electronics, creators of the revered MidiMini, SE-1, ATC-1, Omega 8, Boomstar, and Tonestar synthesizers.

The SE-02 is the first product of a planned Roland Boutique Designer Series. The SE-02 uses discrete analog circuitry to create a synthesizer with a vintage sound & vast programming options. It features lots of knobs and switches for immediate control, plus an onboard sequencer.

Here’s the official video intro:

The Roland Boutique SE-02

The SE-02’s monophonic synthesizer engine features three voltage-controlled oscillators, a voltage-controlled 24 dB low-pass filter, and a dual gain-stage amplifier. The oscillators have six different kinds of waveforms with the complex character associated with true analog VCOs. The VCOs are temperature stabilized with automatic tuning, so Roland says ‘you get all the benefits (of analog) and none of the downsides’.

The SE-02 has three types of cross modulation (XMOD), a filter feedback loop, a tempo-syncing LFO with nine waveforms, envelope sweeping and inverting, oscillator sync, a noise generator, and a tempo-syncing delay.

The knobs, switches, and buttons are sturdy and plentiful, giving you a vast palette of sound-shaping capabilities at your fingertips. Everything is hands-on and knob-per-function, with deep control and a logical, intuitive layout. To get started, you can choose from 384 preset sounds that cover a wide range of classic and modern tones. You can store your own custom creations in the 128 available user locations.


  • Discrete analog circuitry with knob-per-function interface
  • Three voltage controlled oscillators with six waveforms
  • Temperature-stabilized oscillators with automatic tuning
  • 24 dB low-pass filter and dual gain-stage amplifier
  • Three types of cross modulation (XMOD), feedback loop, and noise generator
  • Tempo-syncing LFO with nine waveforms
  • Tempo-syncing digital delay with bypass to maintain analog signal path
  • Save and recall sounds with 384 preset and 128 user locations
  • Musical and intuitive pattern sequencer with song mode
  • Sequence notes, gate time, glide, and synth parameters
  • CV, VCF CV and gate inputs, plus trigger in/out
  • External Input for routing audio through the SE-02’s filter section
  • Standard MIDI, USB-MIDI, and USB-Audio
  • Create a polyphonic synth by using Chain Mode to connect two or more SE-02s together via MIDI

Roland Boutique SE-02 Audio Demos:

Studio Electronics SE-02 Audio Demos:

Pricing and Availability

The Roland SE-02 analog synthesizers is officially ‘coming soon’, but some retailers already have it available to pre-order. It has a street price of US $499.99. See the Roland site for more information.

217 thoughts on “New Roland Boutique SE-02 Is ‘Everything Analog Was Ever Meant To Be’

    1. I’ll start! Sounds good to me and the price is better than decent, but is there a hint of the minilogue “clicky envelope” issue?

      1. “Sounds good to me and the price is better than decent, but is there a hint of the minilogue “clicky envelope” issue?”

        What? There’s still someone that thinks that is an ‘issue’? Where have you people been for the last two years?

        Let’s focus on the real picture: this blows away Behringer’s lame Minimoog clone, by actually delivering a hell of a lot more synth for $100 more.

        There is no comparison between this and the ‘D’ – this is the type of analog mono synth that a company should be making in the 21st century, not cloning another company’s 40-year-old designs.

        1. You know it’s compulsory to bitch when something new arrives, even if it’s exactly what people have been asking for for years ; )

          That xmod section is very interesting and it seems like they’ve put plenty of thought into the sequencer.

          1. This completely pwns the Behringer D, and Roland doesn’t have the track record of putting out stuff that starts falling apart as soon as you take it out of the box.

            Not sure why anyone would consider the Behringer D after this comes out. It’s better in just about every possible way.

          1. ps. people tend to say that the Yamaha CS (15, 30, 10, 5 i.e. black ones) have a sluggish envelope. In reality, if you’re a good synthesist and you supply the Yammie with a PROPER trigger (needs to be perfect) it is VERY snappy and fast, I found many situations with a CS-15 that I actually needed the Time x 5 switch to make the envelope ‘normal’ behavior.

      2. Did they ever resolve what that clicky envelope thing was with the Korg?

        I know there were theories:

        1. it has a true zero-time attack, so you might catch an oscillator cycle at full on.

        2. when the amp attack is set to zero, you might hear it click even if the filter attack is set to non-zero.

        1. It’s not fixed. I sent mine back because of the envelopes and the fact that it’s hard to get any low end out of the synth.

      3. A “clicky envelope” is what happens when you have a very fast one. It goes near a delta-click which has a noise spectrum. You can’t have very fast envelopes without a clicking noise. People don’t understand linear response theory.

    2. lmao what a pile of junk. the KORG MS-2000/r had four polyphonic voices and did the same thing 20 years ago. you can pick them up for US$200 secondhand. twice the price for a quarter of the value. they’ve released something that is 1/8th the value of existing equipment. the elektron equipment has 8 voices for only 3x the price, so it’s really not a competitive machine. I honestly do not understand why anyone is producing monophonic synths when it costs a few pennies more in parts to implement a design with an off the shelf DSP capable of more than one voice.

      a 300$ laptop can do the same thing. I have no idea why synth manufacturers are trying to compete with free midi software. Before anyone gets excited about the “analogue,” its a digital synth, but a lowfi 8-bit sounding one at that. the kind of thing you can build yourself for under 100$ with midibox.

      1. 150. Comments on this post and you’re wondering why companies aren’t making retreads of 20-year-old Virtual Analog synths?

        Also, reading comprehension saves lives,

      2. so much of what you just said is false lol

        the MS-2000 didn’t do the same thing, at all? its not analog, its huge (even the rack is big af) and isn’t a monosynth, you’re just making a completely arbitrary comparison here. Also, no you can’t get them for $200 easily, I see people listing them on ebay and reverb all the time for around, get this, $500. The exact same price. Also where are these cheap $300 laptops with enough processing power to run decently powerful vsts? Help me out here.

        Last but not least, you are saying the synth is digital when it’s not, it’s not VA like the other boutiques which means you straight up didn’t even read the article before vomiting several paragraphs of BS…

      3. Ree McPepe, why you did not compare SE-02 to Minilogue OR even Monologue? MS2000 is not a rival here, it’s a physical modelling synth, and frankly speaking, inferior to, for example, KingKORG, in terms of modeling quality. Compare new vs new, old vs old…
        Btw, despite the fact I’m fan of Roland’s synths, I’d better buy Minilogue for the same price. Or even KARP module.

    3. But the problem is that we nag about different things. I don’t mind neither digital nor analog. But I do find that analog oscillators are a bad decision for a moderne synth.
      I actually prefer my system-1m over this one.

  1. Looks like a pretty square shot at the big “B”. Get that first punch in before everything goes nuts. Roland picked a good partner for this, Studio Electronics knows what they’re doing. Sounds nice too, if not a little aggressive. But then they went and made it a “boutique” which pretty much means knobs so tiny you need surgery to make your hands smaller. I still almost want one though. Should be interesting to see some pics of the insides at some point too.

    1. Because of those little knobs you will need a keyboard with usable ones or for example an iPad to actually edit your sounds. That’s a pity.

      1. I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody with larger hands than mine, and the Boutique synths are fine to program for me.

        1. I’m certainly not saying the unit is unusable without tweezers, but part of the appeal of physical hardware is, well, the physical hands-on interaction you have with it. For anything more than a few buttons and sliders my opinion from experience is that the Boutique form factor is a bit small. I like what they did here with the SE-02, it’s a pretty amazing package for a very reasonable price (USB audio for this is pretty awesome!). But it doesn’t look fun to use. Go to 0:43 in the “7 minutes …” video and you’ll see someone having to pinch the knobs to carefully move them. You can even see his white fingertips from pinching so hard! Sounds great but I bet that’s not fun.

          I’m sure people will do some amazing things with this and I look forward to hearing the results. I’m sure it’s technically usable and will sell like crazy, just because of what it offers at it’s price point. I think I’ll wait for the Boutique XL series though.

    2. Maybe it shortens margin a bit but it will be no major contender to the “D”. What margin are we talking about? Korg Monologue with 4 Voice VCO for about 600? 200 for a monophonic one? Music Group will put the price down to sub 400 and will sell like hot cakes. This here will stay at shop like the unloved System 500. Take a bet?

      1. I don’t look at this as direct competition to the Model D, it’s too different. I’m sure Roland and SE were working on this way before the D was announced anyway. Roland probably pushed it to market as fast as they could though after hearing about it. Roland gets to take advantage of the heat Behringer generated by teasing the Model D. This will sway more than a few with Behringer D on their mind over. The SE-02 kills the D on features, save maybe the CV stuff and size. Many will buy both of them. Behringer will respond with a price cut of course. And then 10 more synths to make sure it gets completely lost in the noise. It’s like the small kid getting his shot in before the big kid. They’ll get their initial sales but the future after that is hazy.

        And you’re right about the Korg being a good alternative. Circuit Mono Station looks interesting as well. We have a lot of nice choices these days. System 500 was kind of a different thing. They didn’t really market it well and went to play in a world where real boutique makers are sought out. A bet? With the crazy times we’re in I bet on almost nothing anymore. Next week could be a new Dave Smith sub-$500 analog poly module or Waldorf releasing the $400 Blofeld 2 or Access releasing the Virus TI3 (ha!).

        1. Dave Smith’s sub-$500 is called Pioneer DJ Toraiz AS-1 and it’s monophonic. And I’m 90% sure that oncle Dave will not produce himself cheep standalone keyboard/ module synths under $800, he’s cherishing his upper middle segment. I was highly surprised by the price of REV2 and I think this is the absolute minimum for a DSI analog polysynth.
          Access will never release TI3, be sure or I buy you one bottle of cognac. The same for Radikal Accelerator 2.
          Waldorf’s Blofeld 2, if ever happens, will cost twice $400 🙂 Or buy Sledge instead. And they are physical modelling synths, we speak here about analogue or at least hybrids.
          P.S. I told previously, SE-02 target is Toraiz AS-1, not directly Behringer D (but of course by ricochet).

          1. You’re right about all of those synths. I was kind of throwing out the most unexpected outlandish possibilities I could think of. I don’t think any of them will happen, but everyone would go nuts if they did. Totally forgot about the AS-1. Another nice sounding synth. If that’s the most direct competitor I think the SE-02 would come up on top too, in almost every category except size and effects. Don’t know that I’d put an SE-02 on stage though, unless it’s totally remotely controlled. Bet we’ll see an AS-1 price drop soon, pretty sure the price is why I forgot it so fast.

            Too bad Access gave up on synths. They could almost get away with just some hardware upgrades and continue for another 10 years.

            1. Yes, we are waiting for this – all those synths… In vain, but the hope dies last 🙂 Meanwhile I started to buy old good ones like Karma and V-Synth, just because… I don’t want new cheep plastic boxes for the same price as old top synths. Next one will be Prophet`08 perhaps. Or Modal 002 (in the next life).
              P.S. Btw, you remember perhaps that Waldorf teased an expensive but very powerful hybrid a couple of months ago, called Quantum. This is the only one I want so violently that I’m ready to sell my 10 other synths.

    3. What strikes me as odd, initially, is that this thing looks (somewhat) like a minimoog but does not sound at all like a moog. And happy for me I don’t mind that at all. There are enough clones of the real thing around. The first video, with the talking, did not appeal to me at all. The sounds there are very similar to what Roland does with the Aira and JD-Xa. And enough of those around to. This is everything what along was always meant to be? That guy should take a travel to the west coast.
      The 2nd video (sound only) appeals some more. Still many sounds that are around in plenty from many “modern” synths, but if you listen more closely you’ll hear that modulation, timbres etc. all go one (small) step further.
      Still for me, based on these two videos, it lacks some essential character of its own. So keeping very interested in any future sound videos.
      Good and surprising move Roland!

      1. Funny thing ….. I’ve owned Moogs since 1978 including two D’s. I posted one of my old songs with the Minimoog carrying the lead with an open square wave patch in the flavor of Wakeman’s ‘And you and I’ patch. I then wrote in the post the Minimoog part was done with Arturias Minimoog VST. I got several comments the same i.e. “does not sound at all like a Moog'”lol. There are too many subtleties to judge this new Roland piece without having it in front of me personally. The bases in the videos sound dam close to me ….. the other patches Tibb’s is playing in the second video I don’t like, and are ones I have never dialed in on my real ones, nor would I want to ….. so again I’m not going to judge the thing until its on my rack. I’m going to pre-order it from Sweetwater right now, and if it isn’t happening their return policy will cover me.

        1. LOL! Rick, that’s hilarious! I’ve done the same thing on several occasions. It’s amazing how people will hear what they want to hear.

  2. Love that big companies, who seem to have lost their heart and soul when spitting out new machines, pair up with folk who always were true to their passion.
    Now we get to to enjoy the years of love and craftsmanship at an entry-level pricepoint.
    So much synth-goodness nowadays!

    1. What does “lost their heart and soul” even mean? People throw out these type of sentimental terms without any context all the time….expecting what? Please explain. I’d really like to know.

  3. This will kill “Behringer Minimoog Model D”…

    You get preset memory, midi placed on the back and build in sequencer…

  4. “Beyond Typical Analog” is giving me chuckles, it’s all pretty basic analog stuff LOL
    If there had been an option of adding a single-cycle waveform on the second or third oscillator or something like that and blend that with the analog oscillators, that would be a bit of a step. IMO synth powerhouses like Roland need to hire some NEW, YOUNG FORWARD THINKING PEOPLE. When was the last time a new type/form of synthesis was actually invented from scratch????

    But nonetheless, a cool analog synth!

    1. “When was the last time a new type/form of synthesis was actually invented from scratch????”

      Two years ago, Roland introduced ACB, which brought analog circuit modeling to the mass market, and allows one piece of hardware to take on the characteristics of many different synth designs.

      Whether or not that is your bag – it’s pretty killer tech.

      1. What exactly makes Rolands ACB so special compared to other brands’ VA? You can’t say why because nobody really knows. I guess it sounds okay, but I won’t be paying for a dedicated software box anytime soon…

          1. When you’re ignorant, you shouldn’t advertise it.

            Please read The Brain’s comment and don’t post nonsense anymore.

            1. Well Chaz, I prefer to base my comments on what I know rather than on what people called “The Brain” think they might know. What “The Brain” described was Wavetable Synthesis. Although still used today, it hasn’t been used in any Virtual Analogue applications for about 20 years. Back when ROM samplers were more practical than computer based DSP processing. There’s no need to do that these days, so no serious software developers would bother. However, they do study the BEHAVIOUR of audio signals as they pass through analogue circuits and then try to model this using code.

              At best it is only ever an approximation. A discrete set of values that try to mimic the continuous nature of analogue signal

          1. It’s fantastic, but definitely sounds like a D/A converter (if you listen to it “from the future” if that makes sense)

            1. Rubbish. Have you actually used one? Really used one for enough time to put it through its paces? The System 8 is stunning in it’s modelling quality and the fact you can load a number of older Roland synths is a bonus. I call bullshit on the “you can hear the D/A” or “it sounds plastic” garbage. I have played it live (not a shitty Youtube encode) for people who have decades of using synths and they are all shocked at how good it sounds. So the question is, should i trust people with, what is considered, expertise, or random internet babble. The fact you some people don’t even know what ACB is at this point is a very basic fail. Do any of you even listen to gear anymore?

              1. I tested a DM12 against a System 8 and DM12 is way better sounding. Especially the filter is still a weakness. ACB is no game changer!

              2. I had a System-1m, JP-08, JU-06 and JX-03. I returned the System-1m because it was terrible (the aliasing was unbearable), and sold the Boutiques because of their goofy limitations. There was aliasing on all of those as well.

                While I would agree that they did overall sound really nice, they did not sound ‘real’ if you get my meaning. I did have a JX-3P and Juno-106 for direct comparison to the JU-06 and JX-03, and while it was close, it just wasn’t there. That’s just my subjective opinion.

                I haven’t tried the System 8, but from listening to those crappy YouTube videos, it appears to be much of the same thing. I’m sure it is an improvement over the previous generation, but there is just something I don’t like about it, and I do have an arsenal of synths to compare it to.

                I’m not trying to rag on ACB. I still own and love a TR-8 and TB-03.

                1. Interesting, since I and loads of my synth friends have not encountered any aliasing in any of those models. Do you have a sound file you can send us? I’d really like to hear it. It’s possible you had faulty units or what you were hearing is not aliasing at all.

                  1. Sweetwater Demo at 12:50.
                    We are still not at the computational level that emulates a true VCO, VCF and VCA to 100%.
                    Even Urs at U-he admits that we are still having latency issues and feedback especially on filters. So why should i buy a System 8 “sounding like” a real Jupiter 8 when there is real analog technology like DSI OB6 or Minilogue which are fantastic. Same for the wonderful sounding DM12. You can’t hear it? Just go to shop and tweak yourself these synths.

                    1. Sorry that’s not aliasing.

                      “So why should i buy a System 8 “sounding like” a real Jupiter 8…”

                      This is a bizarre thing to say. Isn’t the point of modelling to have the model sound like the thing you are modelling? I have been in this game long enough a heard enough synths to know that there was more variation between the same model of synth due to component tolerances than there are in any of the new modelling techniques. Every synth, whether analog or digital, has places where the sound gets weird and unpredictable. It’s your own biases that propagate these stupid ideas that analog somehow has a “better” sound than digital modelling. I own and have owned a lot of synths, both analog and digital, and the most reoccurring lesson that appears with every new generation is that if you are more concerned with your tools than what you create with them, then you are are trapped and miss the point entirely. Good luck

              3. I’ve tried it two times for a limited time, but I’m quick. I’ve worked with repairing synthesizers for a couple of years and have touched upon nearly the whole herd. What I was talking about was that the oscillators wouldn’t cut it in the low register, where you can actually hear the waveform because it’s so slow. There it sounded like a piece of paper if that makes sense… There’s not a lot of synths in the world where the oscillator actually ‘keeps together’ at the very lowest (doesn’t get torn apart) The perfect example are 90s Digital synths where you can hear the waveform struggling at the bottom due to the sample rate (I guess) that is has ‘gaps’ between.

                But on the other hand I considered a System-8 because of it’s newness, it’s definitely a step towards the future (I’m sick of ye olde revival) and it’s got a LOT of possibilities. Same with the JD-XA that sounds really good and if you know what you’re doing, it can really push the boundaries!

                Still I say that they’re not the best when it comes to low-end (different low-end) not the one where you get massive sub bass, but where the texture of the oscillators doesn’t “deliver”.

                1. You’re talking about completely different architecture. Early digital synths used single-cyle samples to act as oscillators and it was obvious what happened when changing the tuning. Hence the advent of multi-samples as memory became cheaper. The low end on component modelling doesn’t have this issue so I’m not sure what you are hearing. There is more issues with some analog architectures in the low end as was discovered in DSI’s new P6 or OB6. What people thought was a flaw is just an inherent part of the design when dealing with analog hard sync.

                  Massive sub-bass is great but not a realistic goal in a mix. Ask any owner of a Minitaur and when they try to use it in a track.

            2. @GBH : Actually you are hearing the A/D of the soundcard they used to record the synth, then the YouTube compression algorithm, and then your computer’s (i imagine) crappy built in D/A? or even your bluetooth headphones packing/unpacking process..

              jus’ sayin’

              1. Hmm, nope just headphones straight from the synth(s)….

                A more extreme example would be the Roland D-50, the D/A converter there is 12-bit and it’s very easy to max it out so-to-speak so the best outcome was to adjust the levels of the parts and DCAs a bit/much lower than the max and running the Master Volume/Output at max, then re-amping it afterwards, resulting in much more headroom for the DCAs and OSCs. (noisy but I don’t mind that)

                The System-8 is a wonderful synth and it has it’s own character, I would definitely use it if I had it, but I wouldn’t let it do certain things some solid analog synths can achieve much better.

        1. LOL at people saying it’s a “marketing gimmick.” — NO. You’re just f***ing ignorant of how the technology works.

          In old VAs, the waveform is saved as a static data table where the data is read-through at various rates — the faster it gets, it skips certain entries to maintain speed (eg, 440hz vs 4400hz). An interpolation algorithm is added to smooth over the results.

          In ACB, the behavior of individual chips and circuits are modelled individually, rather than using a static, stored data table of the end sound. Wildly different. ACB isn’t a VA — it’s PHYSICAL MODELLING synth, but instead of a violin or metal plate being modelled, instead it’s a circuit board. It’s one reason why it is so computationally expensive. This isn’t voodoo. It isn’t a marketing gimmick. This is actual technology — educate yourself.

          But of course, you all won’t, since you’re probably nothing more than beer-guzzling wannabe musicians working for free at the local bar.

          1. “Educate yourself”

            LOL, through Roland brochures then, or what? Lots of softsynths use the same kind of modelling. Someone has been guzzling recent marketing I believe…

            1. No Heinz, maybe some people program and understand the current state of FPGA or DSP power and solutions and others might have information because they worked for some of these companies. You also do realize that Roland has a long history of creating their own terminology for their solutions. Nothing unusual here. You could have saved time by doing the most basic research online into ACB and what it probably is. There is no reason to fail the internet these days. Point…Click

              1. That’s alot of assumptions. Instead, the rational thing would be to explain why ACB is so great. But, you can’t. I tried researching and didn’t find anything special about it. Alot of other (soft)synths use some kind of modeling, and you can’t refute this.

                1. Explaining sound is like dancing to architecture. Listen. I’m not here to convince you as you already seem to have made a decision. The fact you can’t find anything says more about you than is worth talking about here.

                  1. “Explaining sound is like dancing to architecture”

                    This makes literally no sense. Sound, as a physical phenomena can and has been described in the most utmost detail by physics.

                    Yeah I too have looked into ACB and found nothing that hasn’t been touted at me by hundreds of other soft synth developers. It’s not like anyone here has any better insight into ACB technology.

                    All we know is what Roland have told us. Which isn’t much.

                    I for one wasn’t fooled by the videos of “engineers” standing around in lab coats prodding vintage Roland gear in front of an oscilloscope. Please. Pull the other one

                    Unless someone here has managed to reverse engineer some ACB or jailbreak it from a Roland synth and show us this brand new super advanced tech, then it is safe to assume the technology isn’t anything more advanced than what you can already find in VA and physical modelling apps

                    1. So the reference was a bit obscure. Zappa demands a certain taste.
                      I’ll make it simple. If you want to know what a synth sounds like you need to listen to it while interacting with it – ideally on really good headphones or speakers. The technology behind the sound is mostly irrelevant except to pundits on blogs like this. I know what Roland is doing with ACB as do most programmers of plugins. They can call it anything they want but the what you hear and your UX experience is all that matters. Debating anything else is rather silly.

            2. No Heinz,

              When you are corrected, embarrassed and educated, you thank someone rather than continue to revel in ignorance.

          2. Too bad Roland could not physically model out the horrible aliasing from the physically modeled ACB oscillators! Frankly, I was incredulous those products made it to market that way.

            IMO, this excerpt from Wikipedia is an accurate high level description of VA synthesis. I’d say ACB falls squarely under this category of synthesis.


            From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

            Virtual Analog Synthesizers (also known as Analog Modeling) are synthesizers that produce the sounds of traditional analog synthesizers using digital signal processing or other methods.

            1. There isn’t aliasing with analog circuit modeling. Your confusing it with stair-stepping or ‘zippering’, which shows up on analog and digital synths with encoders.

              I have not experienced it with the Boutique synths, but it’s all over classic Dave Smith gear.

          3. Physical modeling (like Tassman, Chromophone, Tension) is really a different technology than circuit modeling (ACB, Diva, Spice). Physical modeling emulates the physical characteristics of actual objects like strings, plates, hammers and drum skins while circuit modeling deals with emulating the electrical behavior and signal path of an analog circuit.

          4. No va has ever used a table to play back a waveform , not even jp8000. Btw this thing here sounds clearly better to a system1/8 etc and no bad youtube or soundcloud encoding has managed to alter that.

        2. The thing that makes it different is that they are modeling each circuit in the synth one by one. VA’s are usually emulating from a more total reference point. Line 6 does this circuit on their Helix and it’s the best amp/effects modeling I’ve ever heard.

      2. Lol. ACB wasn’t new tech at all. It was simply Roland sticking a new brand on VA. Manufacturers and developers (Roland included) have been re-branding VA since the early 90s in order to sell synths. Sure VA has advanced over the years and sounds better now than it used to but that doesn’t make Roland’s particular brand of VA any better than another brand

        U-he for example. They make pretty good VA. Better than Roland’s I’d wager. The only difference is Roland’s is on a chip inside a plastic box and U-he’s is on a chip inside a computer. It’s all code at the end of the day

        1. Circuit modeling is completely different technology than VA, and it is much more computationally intensive. Circuit modeling completely crushes CPU’s as a result, but delivers the most accurate results currently possible.

          Roland’s ACB synths sound fantastic, but more importantly, ACB makes it possible to have synths that can change architectures and become multiple synths, without the limitations of physical circuits.

          1. I agree it’s better than earlier incarnations of VA, but it’s still a digital emulation of something analog, hence virtual analog.


            Look how empty it is inside. Does that look like powerful CPUs compared to any modern laptop? You are essentially paying for a boxed Roland VST with “legacy” presets with this cr*p.

            It’s a fancy name for current gen Roland VA, arguing something else is just absurd.

            1. The level of population on a circuit board isn’t very indicative of it’s actual computational power. Looking inside of a modern laptop as a comparison in terms of CPU power isn’t really valid since a laptop is a general computing device that relies on a highly clocked general cpu as well as larger-scale memory and possibly discreet video circuitry. It will also include circuitry to handle various USB, wireless, ethernet and other communications protocols and audio D/A.

              The idea of circuit board population as a measurement of computing power is erroneous, unless you think that my original 1986 Mac 512k is substantially more powerful than my 2013 MacBook Pro Retina.

              Anyway, I thought this thread was about the SE 02…

              1. I agree with the board population thing.

                But if a chip needs to work hard, it usually also has to draw a lot of power and that would require cooling. This isn’t something you see a lot on standalone DSP chips because it’s not required.

                As mentioned, if you wish to see how computationally demanding the Roland plug outs are, then you can run them as VSTi in your DAW and monitor the system performance. They are not very computationally demanding. No more than other plugins. Certainly not CPU crushing level

                1. “They are not very computationally demanding. No more than other plugins. Certainly not CPU crushing level”

                  Check the max polyphony of your circuit-modeled plugins vs your virtual analog plugins. Your VA’s will be able to do an order of magnitude greater, because they’re NOT doing component-level circuit modeling.

                  If you look at U-He’s site (, they even put CPU warnings on their circuit-modeled synths:

                  “Attention! DIVA is *extremely* demanding on CPU! Despite exploiting all conceivable opportunities to make Diva run as fast as possible, the level of analogue simulation we put into her simply requires extraordinary CPU power.”

                  This is a fact of life of analog circuit modeling.

                  If your ears can’t hear the differences that circuit modeling brings, then there’s no doubt that – for you – analog circuit modeling is no better than traditional VA technology.

                  A lot of people, though, can hear the difference and are willing to take the CPU hit. Which is why U-He can sell Diva, and why Roland can sell digital synths both with 4-voice polyphony (boutiques) and 129-voice polyphony (JD-Xi) for about the same price.

          2. ACB is no more computationally heavy than anything else. I’ve used the plug-in versions of all the Roland “plug outs” and they didn’t “crush” my meagre 2.5GHz dual core CPU

            Besides, if they did crush CPUs then where are the huge CPUs, heatsinks and cooling inside all the ACB Roland gear ???

            Well there isn’t any because it’s not required

        2. Sounds like Yamaha’s fancy term ‘AWM’ which is actually single-cycle waveform synthesis/oscillators (Advanced Wave Memory ? Analog Circuit Behavior)
          Sampling & VA IMO (or the next level of VA)

      3. To be fair to the original poster, ACB is not a ‘type/form of synthesis’. It’s a modelling technology thus far mainly used to model subtractive synthesis.

    2. There are lots of type of synthesis.
      But Analog Subtractive and digital versions of it, are that ones that are easiest to program and understand.
      But when too many features are thrown in, even analog subtractive synthesis becomes diffucult to program and understand, and ususally those synths do not get a knob per function.

      If you want granular synthesis, then look for synths that does that.
      If you want FM, then look for synths that does that.
      If you want physical modelling, there are lot of different concepts of that as well, and not all about really making it sound like an actual instrument, so there is “synthesis” there as well.
      If you want additive, there are some spins on that, as well.
      If you want wavetable synthesis that is also around.

      And it all you want is to add digital oscs to this synth, it has a pre-filter input, so you can connect the output of you digital synth to the input of this, and get a hybrid.

  5. Seems like today was a ‘black’ Tuesday at Behringer HQ. This thing blows their poor attempt at cloning Model D out of the water.

  6. This thing sounds good and it’s cheap. Nowt more you can ask for really, but I bet a few people will have a bitch about it.

  7. Roland MiniD? Yes, please! For $500. Novation and Dave Smith’s monos can’t compete at that price. Two DCOsc synths shouldn’t be more than $350, maybe even $250.

    Also, you know, a poly can’t be far behind? Jupiter 8 Resurrection Boutique Edition (TM) incoming.

    1. I’m not sure they can make a analog poly in the Boutique format, and the boutique price-range.
      But they could very well put a few of these boards in a larger body, use the poly-chain feature, but add larger controls, to make an interesting poly. But it won’t be cheap, then.

    2. This is kind of a silly comment. The Novation BS2 sounds great, is $100 less, has a keyboard, full sized knobs, etc.

      And what the Mopho lacks in knobs, it absolutely makes up for with sonic potential. Don’t think there’s another sub-$400 synth with that much sonic range.

      Not to take away from the Roland release. Just your comment. 😉

  8. I love that it has presets. SE has been making Moog clones for years and this is a good one. Roland put its crappy AIRA touch in there as well. I am interested in it only because now SE can use economies of scale to make the price more in line with reality, unlike their Boomstar.

    1. Isn’t it reality that full-size pro gear will have pro prices?

      The most common complaint about this thing is that it’s miniature. Lol.

  9. This format/architecture has been done to death now, but I guess its a cheap entry point if someone hast already got an analogue synth, I still think all the invention and real creativity is with the Eurorack stuff (small boutique manufactures) but for the same reason hat stuff is expensive, it would probably cost 2 grand to make something similar in Euro!

    I think a lot of people will buy and enjoy this, I think B’s Mini clone will really suffer- no schadenfreude, it would be a shame as DeepMind 12 has still set the Standard for low cost accessible analogue…and may be responsible for these new ‘low’ prices.

  10. great to see this finally but i dont quite understand why Roland needed SE to finally get an analog synth off the ground…its like they can only make digital now and have “forgotten” how to make analog? or maybe they just dont know what is cool? (obviously)…dont they remember they made the mighty Jupiter 8? just dont get why they could not have done this by themselves….

    1. I think it’s 3 fold
      – they short cut the analog side
      – they get some of SE’s reputation for quality analog
      – sales hype around colaberation

    2. SE could probably do it better and for less ¥$€ than Roland. Check out the System 500 re-design in eurorack that Malekko did for them. I would call it a win for SE as well as the customers. I don’t care how they get there- I’ll take this over anything else they’ve been releasing.

    3. Well, this unit is clearly ‘inspired’ by the Minimoog, at least as far as its voice architecture goes, so it makes sense to pair up with a company that has a lot of experience modding the real thing and making their own takes on the Model D. I’m sure they had good reasons for teaming with Malekko when they did their Eurorack modules a while back.

      Whether or not it sounds the same as a Model D is probably something people will argue about, but it’s really moot. From the videos I’ve seen, it sounded good, even on my phone’s speaker. The extra features and price point should make it a big seller. Will it hurt Behringer’s D? Maybe, maybe not. The competition might push Behringer to make their product more competitive with Roland’s.

  11. again and yet again… no display.. *facepalm* for comparison: for the same price electribe 2 and 2s both come with decent screens. roland, start learning from korg!

  12. I saw this coming when AIRA System 1m and 500 arrived. I think the next ‘big keyboard’ analog in the designer series will be a collab with either Dave Smith, or Dave Rossum. The future will be interesting.

  13. pros:
    1. User presets
    2. Audio input
    3. Compact form
    4. xMOD
    5. Analog with 3 VCO
    6. MIDI chain
    7. Knob-per-function
    1. 5V power would had been great for mobility
    2. no aftertouch
    3. rather basic sequencer
    Conclusion: ALMOST perfect for this price

    1. Unless I’m wrong the sequencer can store parameter changes per step, which makes it a lot more interesting for creating beats, rhythmic lines, patch-per-step etc.

      If the sequence is saved with the patch all the better.

      Nothing as advanced as say Elektron’s sequencer but still enough to do some cool things

  14. Awesome Roland, you knocked one out of the park. The video was good n the synth sounds great. Your raising the bar why’ll staying affordable to most musicians n keeping to true analog.

    Behringer, and Moog, and the rest ….watch out! Roland has landed with a smashingly good analong monophonic synth….n very portable to boot!!

  15. Why didn’t they just release this years ago instead of making us sit through all that AIRA shite? The mind boggles

    1. This isn’t polyphonic, so there is still an advantage in going for the ACB (aira, and previous Boutique) stuff.

  16. What is the fascination with copying Moog’s ADS envelopes instead of having ADSRs? Does adding a separate control for release make the price go up?

  17. I always look at these cool analogs and think of trying one out, but then I see the part about “monophonic” and I balk.

    1. Monosynths have their strengths: leads, bass, sound effects, loops. Pairing a polysynth with a mono is best of both worlds.

      That said I’d think in this age of cheap, high quality digital FX chips they could add optional harmonizer/chorus effects to extend the feature-set when you want pads.

    2. monos have a thicker more powerful sound then any poly. has to do with gain staging. imaging a poly with 32 of those bombastic minimoog vcos. now that would just be irresponsible 😉

      like obese camels and the eye of the needle

  18. Notice in the video where he says “our first collaboration.” I took that to mean there will be multiple collaborations coming to the Boutique line, which makes sense. It’s an homage line of products. But other than the Moog style synth, I can’t see them doing Arp since Korg is doing that, so I wonder what the next collaboration might be.

  19. I have a JX-03 and I love it, especially the form factor – but I also got it for $199- I don’t know if I see getting one of these for the $499 tag when there are so many other cheaper or equivalent options if I want to add another monosynth to my setup – or I may just stick with the mopho I have and call it a day.

    1. The thing about synths is many of them can sound quite different.
      There isn’t a lot of 3 osc synths in this pricerange. There is the Pulse 2, but that is quite different.
      And there will be the Behringer D, that will even be cheaper. But this adds some features, that could make up for that.
      And if one want hands on controls, it is not like there is a lot of digital offerings either.
      Looking at the price of the Minilogue, that in total has 8 OSCs inside and four filter, and that has been this price, it doesn’t seem like great value for money… but if one is after this type of sound, there aren’t many alternatives.

      1. true – on the 3 osc – it puzzles me that there aren’t a lot of cheaper 3 osc synths because they found a way to do it on the cheap in the volca bass…..

        1. It’s not rocket science to put a stripped down synth in a crappy plastic box, which is what Korg did with the Volcas.

          The secret to the Korg Volca’s success is that other companies never imagined that people would want such crappy devices, even at that price.

          Korg discovered that there’s an untapped market for low-end synth toys.

  20. The big takeaway from this is simply that Behringer responding more realistically to the current market has indeed had a big enough impact to get even the likes of Roland to start competing with quality at a lower price point. We can expect any synth manufacturer who wants to stay in business to follow soon after. The top end will persists, but the middle will completely disappear, and the bottom end will have oodles of new devices at mid-level quality. Don’t believe me? Look at the economic impact of today’s economy on virtually any other industry.

    1. This isn’t a response to Behringer – for Roland to come out with a much more sophisticated synth like this, they HAD to have started before Behringer did.

      This is more of a case of two companies responding to what people have been asking for – cheap analogs – and doing it in different ways.

      Behringer cloned a 40-year old synth and copied the name and look of a competitor ‘s product, and Roland is actually doing something modern and and interesting, but making it inexpensive.

      1. “Behringer cloned a 40-year old synth and copied the name and look of a competitor ‘s product, and Roland is actually doing something modern and and interesting, but making it inexpensive.”

        Explain to me how Roland making their own Minimoog is doing “something modern and and interesting”. To say that Behringer is just cloning the Minimoog directly with no new features is pretty disingenuous. They didn’t steal the MiniMoog name since they don’t even have an actual name for it yet, the Roland one also looks similar to the original Minimoog and the Mini Moog design has been public domain for years now.

        1. Michael

          Not sure what your confusion is.

          Roland did not suggest that they are making a Minimoog clone. And they haven’t – they’ve come up with an original design.

          Uli Behringer was the one that said he was making a Minimoog clone. He said ‘Behringer is cloning the Minimoog Model D’.

          Then he said that it sounds like a Model D. And he copied the look of a Model D, down to the red and blue toggle switches. And he’s calling it the ‘D’, and putting a giant ‘D’ on the front panel. And he hasn’t said that he’s renaming it.

          Even if he DID rename it, suggesting that Behringer is doing anything other than making a cheap knockoff of the Minimoog Model D is completely disingenuous. Making cheap knockoffs is what Behringer is known for.

          You asked what Roland is doing that is modern. That’s obvious from the SE-02’s feature list, isn’t it? None of these are features of the Model D:

          Temperature-stabilized oscillators with automatic tuning
          Three types of cross modulation (XMOD)
          Feedback loop
          Tempo-syncing LFO with nine waveforms
          Tempo-syncing digital delay
          Save and recall sounds with 384 preset and 128 user locations
          Musical and intuitive pattern sequencer with song mode
          Sequence notes, gate time, glide, and synth parameters
          Standard MIDI, USB-MIDI, and USB-Audio
          Chain Mode

          None of these are features you’ll find on most vintage analog synths. And a lot of these features would be impossible to implement on vintage designs that use pots vs encoders.

          Now, I can understand why you might be excited about Behringer making a cheap Minimoog knockoff, especially if there were not alternatives.

          But, when you see what Roland and Studio Electronics have done with the SE-02, it actually makes the Behringer D look like what it is – a cheap knockoff and kind of expensive for what it is, in comparison.

      2. You completely missed my point. This is not about the tech, it’s about the price point. Anyone who can deliver something that looks like an expensive existing product and have it be “good enough” for the masses will change everything. Quality always looses to convenience and affordability. Always. In any industry, in any era, in any culture. Do the research.

        As for the tech, once the new price point is established, then new players generally come in and do the real innovating, because the economic and distribution barrier to entry has been removed for new players and a larger market established. But the older players are still burdened by existing infrastructure, expenses and processes.

    2. Exactly – but Behringer isn’t the pioneer, they’re playing follow the leader and Simon Says.

      Arturia, Korg, Novation and Roland have all out out some amazing affordable gear in the last 5 years. When you consider that you can get an analog semimodular synth from Arturia for $250, a full size mono from Novation for $400, an analog poly for under $500 from Korg and a full size drum machine for under $500 from Roland, it’s obvious that all the companies are trying to make gear for the budget market. And some of that gear is pretty amazing.

      The downside of this is that it does seem to be killing off the midrange market. If Korg can do the Minilogue for $500, they could do a full size 8- voice poly for $700, which I think would be awesome.

      The problem for synths nowadays is that people will always choose the < $500 synths because they're cheap, and then complain about all the minikey synths that companies are making.

  21. So, Boutiques are not “limited” anymore :-).it’s a good one for “Boutique collectors”
    Many are expected s a JX3P update among others for the System 8 since a year or so, but nothing and nothing much new for the rest of AIRA Line in ages. and the FA07 is not much shocking as well. This Synth one seems to be outsourced (collaboration in nice marketing terms). Anyone left in Roland ? Wish there would be an affordable / updated SE-Omega 8 CODE.

      1. why? a battery powered, portable, analog 808 would be incredible. can literally plug it into your car and jam away in grid lock traffic.

  22. Buttons don’t look any smaller than Elektron boxes and my XL meathooks have no problem there. Since I have a small studio space I guess I appreciate smaller synths.

    If I’m reading it correctly it looks like the sequencer has parameter locking per step so that’s a big win.

  23. Nice. Baby version of the older SE-1 in some ways with Roland ‘shine’ … if you want big knobs pickup a used and lovely SE1-X at twice the price. For the “bedspread market” as I call it, this will be a home run.

  24. Those tiny little knobs may work in Japan, but they are a non-starter for my big American hands. I love my Arturia Matrixbrute because I can hang laundry off those knobs – fantastic! The whole point of a hardware synth in this age is form factor, the tactile sensation – this thing looks like the shifter in a Prius! I want full size keys and full size knobs!

  25. Every one complaining about “the same old thing” and wanting a new type of synthesis, Why don’t you see if you can come up with one?

    1. I have the JX-03 and JP-08. There is no way to see if a knob is at the preset level for either of those. But, having said that, since these synths are almost completely 1-to-1, it’s not really that hard to just grab a knob and turn, hear the change, and then turn back.

  26. Great job, Studio Electronics!!! You are the heart and soul of this synth. Roland gives it a good skin though!

  27. This has me fantasizing about a DSI collab, maybe a Jupiter version of a Prophet/OB 6? The JUP-6. And since this is a fantasy, switch out the DSI effects section with a Boss CE-1/2 and a true bbd delay. Would take <1 ms for me hit that pre-order button.

  28. Still the “Boutique” definition of Roland’s synth series makes me laugh 🙂
    I do own some boutiques but they’re definitely not boutique…
    I think they’re using Studio Electronics, so as to be crowned ANALOGUE
    And indeed i don’t know if Roland has managed to outstrip Behringer, since SE clone filters etc. too

  29. Per step automation of any panel parameter is a really really big deal. If that includes switches and not just knobs, it’ll open this thing right up. Plus pattern chaining and song mode? Dayyyyyum.

    Any idea of how many parameters can be automated per step? The Monologue, for instance, maxes out at 4. Which is usually plenty. One would be a disappointment.

    Would be interesting to see this with slimmer knobs. I know that Moog style is pretty and all but seems like some of the size gripes could be quelled with thin capped “rocket nose” style knobs.

  30. So we can sum up the comments as follows:

    – This will outsell Behringers alternative
    – I like it, will buy it, great move from Roland (bonus: make a polyphonic one!!!)
    – Roland doesn’t have passion nor creativity. Roland should invent a new form of synthesis.
    – I have big hands

    Did I miss one?

    1. you left out a summary of the weird discussion about software analog modelling … under an analog synth article …

      1. Oh yeah, that was a good one. And I added the one that was missing at the end. Updated

        – This will outsell Behringers alternative
        – I like it, will buy it, great move from Roland (bonus: make a polyphonic one!!!)
        – Roland doesn’t have passion nor creativity. Roland should invent a new form of synthesis.
        – I have big hands
        – ACB is not the same as VA, which is an important matter to consider when designing an analog synthesizer
        – Behringer is a rip off (it took 130 comments for this to surface)

  31. So…… where’s the outrage from all the snobs who thought Behringer was ripping off peoples designs and going to cut into Moogs profits? I guess it’s okay because it’s Roland and not Behringer.

    1. No, Michael,

      People here are smart enough to tell the difference between what Behringer is doing with their ‘D’ synth – copying the name and look and feel of a competitor’s production product and sticking it on a clone; and what SE and Roland are doing.

      1. “copying the name and look and feel of a competitor’s production product and sticking it on a clone”

        They don’t have an official name for it yet and there’s nothing indicating they plan on calling it a Model D or whatever so there’s strike one.

        The MiniMoog design has long been in public domain so anyone who wants to produce one has every right to do so that’s strike two.

        Would you like to take another swing?

        1. Michael

          They’re calling it the ‘D’ and it has a giant ‘D’ on the front. Get a pair of glasses, if you can’t see that. What do you think they are trying to suggest by calling it that?

          And you seem to have no clue about the difference between patents, which expire, vs trademarks and trade dress. If you did, you wouldn’t be asking uninformed questions.

          Behringer is cloning not just circuits, which are out of patent, but also ripping off the look of the Minimoog Model D and the Model D name. That’s a dick move at best.

          Especially now that Roland has demonstrated that you can do it right – make a new synth design with modern features, with a look that doesn’t rip off another company’s current products and a name that isn’t a ripoff, and do it for under $500.

          Kudos to Roland for taking the time to do it right.

          1. “They’re calling it the ‘D’ and it has a giant ‘D’ on the front. Get a pair of glasses, if you can’t see that. What do you think they are trying to suggest by calling it that?”

            The Prototype has a D on it. “Prototype” being the key word, if your gonna insult me maybe get your facts straightened out first. We have no idea what the final product is gonna be called or even look like when it’s finished. The Deepmind 12 was originally called the Phat 12 when it was in development.

            “Especially now that Roland has demonstrated that you can do it right – make a new synth design with modern features”

            Before I saw the headline of the article and saw the picture of the SE-02, I immediately thought it was a Minimoog clone based on the layout and controls with a handful of extra features. Roland’s product bears just as much resemblance to the Minimoog as Behringers does save for the color scheme of the switches. Explain to me what about this synth design is new and groundbreaking?

            1. Where’d I insult you?

              Was it when I said “you seem to have no clue about the difference between patents, which expire, vs trademarks and trade dress. If you did, you wouldn’t be asking uninformed questions.”?

              That’s not an insult – that’s stating facts. You don’t seem to know the difference between those things, and you’re spreading misinformation as a result.

              If having that pointed out offends you, take the time to learn the difference between patents, trademarks and trade dress so you can avoid spreading misinformation in the future.

              You’re also suggesting that the Behringer D ISN’T a cheap Minimoog Model D knockoff. Why? That is EXACTLY what Uli Behringer has said it is.

              And you’re suggesting that the SE-02 IS Model D knockoff, when ANYBODY looking at the SE-02’s specs should see features that no Model D has ever had or could have.

              How are you going to do patch memory on a Model D?

              How would you add parameter locks on a Model D?

              How would you add USB-Audio & USB-MIDI control on a Model D?

              You can’t have ANY of those features without completely changing the Model D’s architecture. You’d have to replace all the pots with encoders, DESTROYING what makes the Model D appeal to people.

              Spreading misinformation doesn’t reflect well on you or anybody else – take a minute to read the specs, compare what Roland and Behringer are doing, and it should be VERY obvious that they have different goals.

              And, whatever you think, isn’t it great Behringer and Roland are giving us some affordable options?

              If you want a cheap Model D knockoff, Behringer’s got you covered.

              And if want a cheap analog monosynth that has some killer features, Roland’s got you covered.

              Can we all agree on that?

              1. Telling me to get glasses, saying I’m spreading misinformation, questioning my intelligence and trying to dress your opinion as fact. How exactly am I supposed to take that if not insulting? Maybe you should be the one doing some learning if you can’t figure that out.

                Your the one that seems to need to read up on Trademarks and Trade Dress since as I said, there’s enough difference between the Behringer any the actual Reissue to avoid and trademark infringement. Simply putting wood panels on and using similar colored switches doesn’t count.

                “You’re also suggesting that the Behringer D ISN’T a cheap Minimoog Model D knockoff.”

                Seems your the one spreading misinformation now. Where and How did I imply that it wasn’t? I said and I directly quote “We have no idea what the final product is gonna be called or even look like when it’s finished.” which is not me saying that it wasn’t a clone of the MiniMoog. My point was what we’ve seen so far is not the final product and it can undergo any matter of cosmetic or name changes between now and it’s actual release. I never suggested it would end up not being a clone of the Minimoog.

                “And you’re suggesting that the SE-02 IS Model D knockoff, when ANYBODY looking at the SE-02’s specs should see features that no Model D has ever had or could have.”

                You can’t convince me that the overall layout of the controls on the SE-02 was not purposely done to be reminiscent of the MiniMoog layout. Adding some modern features doesn’t change the fact that the base architecture is the same as the Model D. Save for the extra features, the scheme looks very similar to the Midi Moog, the product that Studio Electronics got their start with.

                “And, whatever you think, isn’t it great Behringer and Roland are giving us some affordable options?”

                I don’t know, your the one that seemed to be suggesting what Behringer is doing is wrong so which is it?

    1. You lazy man, it’s got a sequencer (where you basically just program your arpeggiator pattern and then play with Transpose) and it accepts trigger in so you could have an external arp / drum machine drive the envelopes = arpeggiator. Not to forget the actual MIDI connection as well! LOL

  32. It’s too small, it’s too big…it’s too expensive, it’s too cheap…it’s too Analog, it’s too digital. It’s not a new enough form of synthesis, it’s too clicky. Wow, the comment section here is a case study in how impossible it is to please people. There should be an anti-whining clause in the comment requirements.

    This synth sounds great as all other SE stuff and honestly, isn’t sound the whole point of what we’re doing here. If there is a limitation, find out how to conquer it and leverage the strengths of the instrument. I’ve seen people use five gallon buckets, pots and pans on the street more masterfully than a orchestral percussion section.

    Make awsome music, stop whining!

    Signing off

    1. Yeah, right! How dare we potentional customers to question anything about it, or behold – even say what we like and dislike about it! Everybody should just shut up and buy the damn thing or move on. It’s not like this is a synthsite for synthnerds who like to discuss gear, isn’t it?

  33. I am all for analog synths that do what other analog synths do as long as its half the price of the other analog synths.

    1. I want x but not at the cost of x because I want it at half off = wait for a liquidation sale, live without it, or save up

  34. J Dub is right! If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. It’s just gear. It is an “instrument”; find what works for you and use it, learn it, experiment with it. What ever it is.

    As for Roland’s VA technology I picked up the GP-10 guitar processor that has the VA GR300 in it. It is DEAD ON sound-wise and allows me to have my GR300 sound without dealing with my now aging, fragile and perpetually out of tune vintage GR300. So if the tool works for the job then use it. We have so much amazing gear available now, something for everyone. Stop the hate, make some music. Or just some cool noises.

  35. Last time Roland collaborated they made a really cool modular synth… Now this looks like it is well calibrated to the synth market… I think they need to collaborate more. Maybe rename themselves Roland and Friends.

  36. Question… will this work with the Aira ports on the MX-1 mixer like the newer Roland gear?

    I sold all of my Aira gear, but kept the MX-1 because it is a great mixer/interface/effects sequencer. So it would be nice to put one of the four empty Aira ports to use.

    Now I’d like an analog Boutique Designer Series 808 and 909 please. 😉

  37. Very pleased about this – and will look at this as a future option. But why a Boutique format – why not a full size synth with a proper 49 note keyboard, and proper knobs and sliders that fit normal hands? Yes, more expensive, but nicer to use.

    Still I think Roland are heading in the right direction, and will be interested to see Behringer’s response.

    1. Why pay extra for the keyboard when you probably already have an old keyboard or a MIDI one like Keystep?
      Plus, the compact Boutique form is saving space and provide extra mobility.

  38. Well, one does wonder why Roland decided to release a ACB based boutique TB03 instead of an analog one…
    Surely this proves it could have been done and would not have clashed with whatever marketing strategy they have?

    1. Maybe that’s because, they couldn’t, actually. Maybe SE-02 was mostly designed by Studio Electronics, and Roland just made preliminary specification and branding. Of course, I’m just speculating here…

  39. Nice synth!
    It certainly sounds like SE ( you may have noticed the similarities between the ATC-line, the SE’s, the Omega/Codes etc). I think Roland maybe got it togheter with them because of their very good oscillators and filters. However – I’m curious about the envelopes. Generally the weaker point from SE – if this one has that issue fixed it’s as good as it gets.

    I look forward to watching shootouts between the Moog, the Uli-thing and this one. The first one (re-issued mini) lacks some on midi – espesially controlling the pitch-bend, which makes it hard to use when sequencing intersting solos. I.e. one have to practice and re-record a lot to get the right feel. No problem in a live-gig, but tedious when composing.

  40. God, its tiny, like a kids toy tiny. I’ll wait the Behrimger Model D it has at least man sized knobs(ooo-er missis!)

  41. Nice piece. But, I’d rather hear and see actual Roland analog. I might have bought it if it was. Roland and their decisions nowadays make me feel that they’ve lost the pulse of musicians.

  42. Seems good for the price, but I suspect that this will have analogue oscillators and filter but digital envelopes and lfos, which is generally the case with modern programmable ‘analogue signal path’ synths and it does have an affect on the sound quality imho. I think the Behringer D might have the advantage here on pure sound quality, though it is not possible to tell yet. Definitely an interesting move from Roland though. I do like the SE synths (I have an ATC-1) so I will no doubt be checking out the SE-02 sooner or later.

  43. This is analog, but with regards to ACB: If you don’t know whow FPGAs differ from x86 processors then you don’t know what ACB is and why ACB isn’t merely another VST player.

    Come back and post after you educate yourself on Fourier synthesis, digital logic, acoustics, elecromagnetic theory, advanced mathematics for engineering, digital signal processing with a focus on massively parallel ops.

  44. As happy as I am Roland are producing analog synths for midgets, I have shovels for hands.

    The knob quality looks a bit suspect, and what the hell is going on with the oscillators lowest LFO rate?

    If this is what people are calling ‘Everything Analog Was Ever Meant To Be’

    I find your expectations a little disappointing.

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