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Roland boutique series stuff
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Author Roland boutique series stuff
submute
A) are these garbage?

B) are they better than software equivalents? Mainly thinking about the TR-09 (and its many software versions), the SH01A (compared to the LuSH 101 from D16) and maybe most of all, the JP08 (compared to Arturia's Jupiter 8 plugin)

I always like knobs and physical things but I also like software and spending less money and not taking up desk space.

Thoughts?
rod_zero
I think they are as good as the SW equivalents, in fact you can get the software versions of almost all the boutiques (except the drum machines): the sh101, sh02, system 100, jupiter and juno are all available in their "roland cloud" thing, the first month is free so you can try and see if you like the sound.

As for the boutiques I personally found them very small, to the point that it is uncomfortable tweaking them, I had the JP08 and while I liked the sound the size was not to my liking, neither the polyphony.

Personally I think the System 1m is the best value in all the digital line, you get the native engine, and you can load the Sh101, sh02, promars or system100 and you are also getting a good size synth and the patch points.

I got the system 8 because it has the poly synths in a proper size synth for me. It sounds very good to me, as good as Diva (but Diva has more options).
CoreInside
submute
Ugh, subscription stuff sucks. Can you just buy the J106 or the JP8 from Roland? I guess I need to A/B with the JP8 from Arturia.
mayanspring
Enjoyed the tr09 workflow and sound was better than tr8. but then when I played it at same time as tanzbar lite, every drum sound was flat in comparison to the analog next to it...

Does anyone feel like it is similar across the rest of the boutique range? Like sounds good for sure and nice to to have the original interface... but goes thin against other analog equipment?
sparood
I have A-01, which is, unlike the rest of the series, not a replica of an already existing thing to my knowledge. I use it as sequencer and 8-bit synth, it's really simple but that is what makes it great.

But there are some really dumb choices been made with the design of the product.

1) Micro-USB powered. Micro-USB is super fragile, I get that it is cheaper to omit a dedicated 9v power but at least that one will last a bit longer. Yeah you can also put battery's in it, but that is not very convenient (I think it only lasts 4 hours on 4xAA).
2) Mini-jack out. If you process it through modular it's okay, for everything else I need an adapter or mini-jack-to-jack cable. Who did you design it for Roland, who ? At least it has full-size MIDI in-and-out, and the A-01 also has CV and Gate out, don't know about the others.
3) Now I don't use the speaker of the A-01, but the ribbon cable to attach the keyboard goes over the speaker. OVER THE SPEAKER.
4) Like rod_zero mentions, the controls on the rest of the Boutique machines are very small and I assume they will get very frustrating / tiresome at frequent use.
5) They seem sturdier than they really are. 'metal enclosure' means metal front. The back and sides of the machines are plastic and I would not trust it for live use.

See, I paid €90 for mine new, that's okay. But €300 or €400 is to much for what it really is.
Christopher Winkels
I posted this recently elsewhere on MW, but my biggest complaint is that I found they aren't terribly fun to use. Synths I enjoy using get pulled down off the shelf again and again, regardless of their other qualities or failings. Gear one has to fight with or overcome tends to collect dust or get sold.

Part of the problem with the boutiques is down to the minute form factor and how it compromises the playability, and part of it (in the case of the SE-02; can't speak with authority on the others) comes from a noticeable lag in the controls.

If Roland had made better choices from the start this wouldn't be an issue. There's nothing wrong with making gear more compact; Korg did a good job with the Odyssey module as it takes up less than half the space of the full size keyboard version but loses nothing in easy of use and playability. Roland by contrast took a good idea, performed an act of reductio ad absurdum, and came up with the Boutique line.
Prints
The Roland Boutique series is small. What a brilliant discussion. Always enjoy listening to people complain about their inability to make music due to the big bad synth manufacturers cursing them with inadequate gear. This place is about to become as cool as Gearslutz.
toddADSR
I have an SE-02 and love the sound of it. It is a very big and capable sounding synth. Yeah, everything's really small but so what. Yeah, some pots could be a little less wiggly. Only thing I don't like that hopefully and update can address is when you sequence knob changes or even CC message from an external sequencer, it remains on the value the message sent it to rather than reverting back to its original position when the message is ended.
PISS.EXE
Christopher Winkels wrote:
Part of the problem with the boutiques is down to the minute form factor and how it compromises the playability, and part of it (in the case of the SE-02; can't speak with authority on the others) comes from a noticeable lag in the controls.


It's not a Boutiques problem. It's the SE-02, the biggest piece of shit by far to bear the Boutiques name. Just sell it and load up 3x Osc on FL studio for the same sound. Lag free too.

My D-05 is fucking amazing and i haven't put it down since buying it. The Sh01a is fun as fuck. The TB03 is fun as fuck. They all sound great and are perfectly usable for real time tweaking. Yes I have made at least an album's worth of recordings in the week or so I've had the D05 and have no complaints. I don't have fat kludgy finger though so maybe that's why I don't hate them more? There's absolutely 0 lag on any of the Boutiques I just mentioned and I'm fully aware the SE-02 is a big embarrassing mess that needs a firmware update stat.

I have kept up with the SE02 thread to make sure i didn't make a mistake and am not missing out on anything. The "best demo yet" of acid sounds I could have done with my Spectral Protone or D05 or SH32 or even C64 with the TR09 it would have blown the SE02 out of the water.
Prints
What are you people even talking about? Lag on the analog SE-02 Boutique?? It doesn't lag. What are you people on? It's just a freaking affordable analog monosynth sheesh.
Maine
I've tried them all and my favourites are the SH-01a and the D-05.

The others I didn't really like as I like playing chords, and 4 voices isn't enough for me. And the voice allocation on the JP-08 completely baffled me. I could never tell which note was going to sound or be cut off.

The sequencers in the early ones were quite fiddly and hard to learn, but the SH-01a is much easier to use. Within seconds I was churning out old Orbital tunes. :-)
skunk_hour
Isn't the sample rate a lot lower on the boutiques vs. the System 8 and (potentially, depending on your settings) the plugins?
Maine
AIRA line is 96k, and boutiques are 44.1k. However I think the boutique 303 sounds better than the AIRA one, so...?

https://www.roland.com/global/promos/roland_boutique/interview_1/
calaveras
with the exception of the SE2 and the D5, I found all of them have a kind of hard boxy sound. I don't know if it is a digital thing or a weird output amp thing. But I just hated the sound of the Juno, Jupiter and JX3 models.
I wasn't confirmation biasing. I had no idea they were ACB when I checked them out.
The D5 sounds okay, but just like the original, you will need a manual to make your own patches. It's opaque as fuck.
The SE2 sounded great to me. Is it a stellar acid machine? I don't know. I hate that kind of thing.
It does a nice splitting of the difference between Moog and Roland tones. Putting you someplace interesting.
It also has pattern and song memory. Which is cool.
hawkfuzz
Just started using the SH01A in my band instead of bringing my whole rig in a sketchy DIY case and love it. Sounds great and I was only patching subtractive for the group so it's wonderful. The thing sounds so deep and crazy. I played the OG and it sounds just like it to me. Might be different in some respects if you A/B but I'm sure you could find that with the proper synth originally. It does the trick and cost way less than the other pieces and they do more in less space.

Maybe in thirty years people will have studios with these instead.
computer controlled
Prints wrote:
What are you people even talking about? Lag on the analog SE-02 Boutique?? It doesn't lag. What are you people on? It's just a freaking affordable analog monosynth sheesh.


Exactly. It makes no sense. How can they "lag"? What is lagging? NO context at all.
PISS.EXE
I just realized you can record direct thru usb into something like vocaroo online. That is pretty cool. I did it with my d-05. meh since it's a normal audio input device but still cool.
legionhwp
Fwiw I own the JP08, JU06, A01, and TB03. I plan to pick up a sh01a next year. I also have a TR8. I haven’t bought a new Roland product since the MC505.

The original three were basically software in tiny controllers with UI. I wanted the JP08 and that’s the one I have on my coffee table in the K1 setup. As has been pointed out the power connector is idiotic and the four voice and extra voice allocation is crippled. The other main issue with the original 3 is the non intuitive odd button presses with no feedback for all the sequencer, FX, midi, and other functions. Even things like tempo and portamento are hidden. If I don’t play them for a few weeks I have to go back to manual to study for any changes.

Then out came the tB-03 and Roland added a function button and LED screen. The 303 works great as a boutique and it’s the best of the lot IMO. Easy to get to FX, tempo, dedicated sequencer buttons, etc. seems they did the same thing for the sh01a which is why I’ll be trying one.

I got the A01 for the low price and like it. Again, dedicated buttons and actually decent size knobs and layout /UI make it very cool.

If I didn’t have the tr8 I would pick up the tr08. Tiny knobs, sliders aside the 2nd and third generation of boutiques seems to be more “toys” and far better for it IMO. The first three boutique still suffered from typical manufacturer “let’s add more features even if it’s next to impossible to use them” .

Sound wise they are all pretty good. At least or better than vsts in my opinion. The tb03 is about 75% the fun of the real 303. Doesn’t sound the same and the accent implementation is fuck wrong but they got the main thing s and the fun factor right. Fwiw I sold my original 303 after I A/B’d the two. The 303 sounded much better but I can make just as good acid on the tb03 and the features it added like the delay and midi and step in make it more usable and fun for me.

So I’d say A: they are not junk. Certainly not built like a tank but ok for the next ten years or so less a lighted slider here and there’s. The Power thing is stupidballs but you buy into it or you don’t.

B: I prefer hardware, especially dedicated labeled sliders. So imo they are “better” than software.

Final point: I considered the other aria line but the requirement to be on WiFi to go to the cloud to use the models was a no starter. Also I don’t mind one-and-done purchases but FUCK a subscription system each month or you get nothing when you stop.
PISS.EXE
When you say "the power thing" do you mean microusb for power? The connector looks pretty sturdy for a microusb but im worried about the longevity of it too. Already wondering if i should invest in those magnetic microusb things Beatstep people were using.
legionhwp
yes, I'm talking about the fact it uses a micro USB connector. Even the most hardy of those is quite susceptible to falls or something hitting it and is far less solid that a barrel connector. I've eventually lost half my phones because the connector was loose from fatigue, I'm guess that will be the case for these at some point. If the korg Volcas could use a solid connector and meet their price point it's just super lazy for Roland to do this IMO.

Another point of failure I haven't heard anyone mention is the multi pin keyboard connector which you can't see when you're inserting the cable. It's up and under the unit from the back and I found it quite tricky to connect. Would be very easy to bend a pin or break something fiddling around with that when connecting the K1 unit.

On the original three the toggle "switch" is a *tiny* plastic blip about the size of a pin. A child could snap it off easily. I kind of dig the lighted orange and red sliders for their looks but I wonder how long the LEDs will last. On the plus side making them lighted really helps with the UI on the JP and JU. you can see the envelope structure in a flash for example which helps even though they are so small.

I haven't put my hands on a SH-01a but it seems to be logical and well done like the TB03. As far as actual UI goes I'd say all the boutique I've played with are ok. In Size of knobs/physcial ease of control I'd rank them:

A01 - BIG normal sized metal knobs, well laid out grid buttons and GREAT backlit informative screen. Even shows the waveform which is super cool.

TB03 - Great use of layout for additional features. Super helpful LED. original mojo of buttons and sequencer for the most part.

JU06 - Basically just the main sliders. Super secret button pushes for even the most basic stuff like portamento, Unison mode, midi channel. etc. (all of which were right on the original Juno 106 panel). God help me if I ever need to tweak delay or gate settings live.

JP08 - This has even smaller sliders than the JU06 with the same sekret button pushes.


PISS.EXE wrote:
When you say "the power thing" do you mean microusb for power? The connector looks pretty sturdy for a microusb but im worried about the longevity of it too. Already wondering if i should invest in those magnetic microusb things Beatstep people were using.
Christopher Winkels
Prints wrote:
What are you people even talking about? Lag on the analog SE-02 Boutique?? It doesn't lag. What are you people on? It's just a freaking affordable analog monosynth sheesh.


When I flipped a switch or turned a pot on the SE-o2 I demoed there was a noticeable delay between the motion of that control and any effect on the sound. That's what I mean by laggy.

Perhaps the unit was faulty? Perhaps yours has newer software? Who knows. It was enough to put me off as I don't enjoy fighting with my gear. If you're enjoying your unit that's all that should matter.
Tumulishroomaroom
I have a friend who has the JU06 and I must say it sounds pretty good, especially on pads. Throw a good reverb/delay behind and you can go quite far.

Personally I just got the TB-03 a few weeks ago and so far it's been tremendous fun. The sound is there as far as I'm concerned (never had a 303, and I don't feel like paying three grand for an original nor paying for a pricier clone i.e Avalon/DinSync) and the fact that it closely resembles the original in terms of form factor is a big plus for me; the Roland logo helps too smile. Whereas the whole Boutique line comes from synths/drum machines that were at least 3 or 4 times bigger, the 03 has shrank only a little, and this makes it very agreeable to use. It's sturdy, it's fun (very fun, especially with the shit overdrive and the basic delay) and the Trigger/Cv/Gate make it a ideal companion to my modular. I would recommend it highly if you rate 303 sounds and are not a youtube snob.
Xmit
^
yep... Heard rumours about the TB-03 being discontinued soon & even though I'm not a massive 303 user I think I've slept on this too long, so just ordered one.

it'll go nicely with my TR-09 for my live rig if nothing else Guinness ftw!
PISS.EXE
Who's saying the tb03 might get discontinued? I might have to re-prioritize my upcoming synth purchases if the tb03 is about to be unobtainable and I also don't wanna wait for used prices to boom if that's true? zombie
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