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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Roland Virtual Analog (ACB and Zen Core)
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Roland Virtual Analog (ACB and Zen Core)
SteeVtheRipper
So I know this is probably a “popcorn munching emoji” topic....

I’ve been poking around a few forums and Roland has been getting a lot of eye rolls for their latest crop of synths. I’ve also watched a few comparisons between some of their modeled synth engines and the synths they’re actually emulating and to my ears they sound pretty darn good. Close enough that in a blind test I probably couldn’t tell the difference. So why so much hate?

For me, the plastic plug out synths were not my cup of tea aesthetically. But these new Jupiters (X and XM) look much better. And the synth implementation in the Fantom seems quite extensive and dedicated front panel controls are a nice touch.

So aside from an ALL ANALOG JUPITER 8 clone or follow up....what is everyone really wanting from Roland? In my humble opinion I think their synths are sounding pretty good these days.
ObsoleteModular
SteeVtheRipper wrote:
Roland has been getting a lot of eye rolls ... So why so much hate?


Because people

It's just noise and from only a handful of malcontents. Filter it out and get on with making music.

Quote:
In my humble opinion I think their synths are sounding pretty good these days.


They sound amazing. Most synths sound amazing. It's an incredible time to be alive if you like music technology.

Never forget ...

haters gonna hate, only lovers create thumbs up
dubonaire
I agree that ACB and ZEN Core are exceptional. Actually even Roland's earlier PCM is very good. Roland has persisted with various takes on PCM and modeling for a long time now, rebadging it many times. But overall I don't get it. Its products lack a sense of romance, and when you look at its early products they were full of romance, although they were mainly ahead of their time then. So it's really a conundrum.
ObsoleteModular
dubonaire wrote:
I agree that ACB and ZEN Core are exceptional. Actually even Roland's earlier PCM is very good. Roland has persisted with various takes on PCM and modeling for a long time now, rebadging it many times. But overall I don't get it. Its products lack a sense of romance, and when you look at its early products they were full of romance, although they were mainly ahead of their time then. So it's really a conundrum.


Don't get me wrong, I have a few thousand beer tokens invested in vintage Roland (and others) but didn't the romance come later? Isn't it in part nostalgia?

I love looking at my Roland SH09 and SH2. Aka The Twins! I stroke them softly.

But up against a client deadline I want products that get the job done. In the middle of a gig I want products that are reliable.

I do agree to an extent but isn't the issue universal and not unique to Roland? The synthesiser was a novelty in the 1970s. Like 'home computers'. Yes a Commodore 64 is a more 'romantic' object than some faceless biege box but I know which I'd rather send an email from.
Blairio
ObsoleteModular wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
I agree that ACB and ZEN Core are exceptional. Actually even Roland's earlier PCM is very good. Roland has persisted with various takes on PCM and modeling for a long time now, rebadging it many times. But overall I don't get it. Its products lack a sense of romance, and when you look at its early products they were full of romance, although they were mainly ahead of their time then. So it's really a conundrum.


Don't get me wrong, I have a few thousand beer tokens invested in vintage Roland (and others) but didn't the romance come later? Isn't it in part nostalgia?

I love looking at my Roland SH09 and SH2. Aka The Twins! I stroke them softly.

But up against a client deadline I want products that get the job done. In the middle of a gig I want products that are reliable.

I do agree to an extent but isn't the issue universal and not unique to Roland? The synthesiser was a novelty in the 1970s. Like 'home computers'. Yes a Commodore 64 is a more 'romantic' object than some faceless biege box but I know which I'd rather send an email from.


Most workstations - whatever the brand - will get the job done in a live situation. It's a good example of the 80/20 rule. You get 80% result with 20% of the effort. In studios, unless a part is really exposed in a mix, you would be surprised how little the listener cares about the sound source. It's important to the musician, but to the average listener, one string synth pad is pretty much like another. Herecy, I know, but there you have it.
dubonaire
ObsoleteModular wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
I agree that ACB and ZEN Core are exceptional. Actually even Roland's earlier PCM is very good. Roland has persisted with various takes on PCM and modeling for a long time now, rebadging it many times. But overall I don't get it. Its products lack a sense of romance, and when you look at its early products they were full of romance, although they were mainly ahead of their time then. So it's really a conundrum.


Don't get me wrong, I have a few thousand beer tokens invested in vintage Roland (and others) but didn't the romance come later? Isn't it in part nostalgia?

I love looking at my Roland SH09 and SH2. Aka The Twins! I stroke them softly.

But up against a client deadline I want products that get the job done. In the middle of a gig I want products that are reliable.

I do agree to an extent but isn't the issue universal and not unique to Roland? The synthesiser was a novelty in the 1970s. Like 'home computers'. Yes a Commodore 64 is a more 'romantic' object than some faceless biege box but I know which I'd rather send an email from.


I'm not really in any disagreement with you. Particularly, Roland products work really well and don't tend to be as buggy as some smaller companies. It's just that are constantly recreating digital versions of their early synths in new wrappers.
SteeVtheRipper
I think had they bypassed their boutiques and just went for something like the System 8/Jupiter x from the start it might have seemed a little less like they were beating the same old drum. However I’m not sure how far their rehashing goes back. I only started paying attention with the boutiques.
daveholiday
I was never into a new VA poly (have a Nord rack 1X) but after spending some time with the System 8....I really like it! I have never spend much time with the plugins, but I really like the System 8 as is. It has a lot of control and variation...if my Nord R1 dies, that will be the next thing!

I do own a TB-03...I think it sounds fatastic. To be honest tho...I use my Syntecno TeeBees more than anything, but it is a nice addition.

Roland have big shoes to fill when it comes to releasing new products. I don't see them coming out with anything too extreme or revolutionary. It seems they are going for music for the masses....with a company that size I get it. Some of the most innovative products that I have been looking at lately have come from small companies....I don't ever see Roland reverting back to a "think outside the box" philosophy.
3hands
I have the TR09, and I must say, as someone else said above, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference in a blind test. It’s unreal. And it’s incredibly subtle in the way that it mimics even the noise source of the original (and the phasing it produced), has been recreated! It’s fantastic!
skunk_hour
I was an early skeptic, but I've really liked the sound of the more recent stuff. I think part of what put me off was that the first round of stuff just didn't sound right--the Juno emulation running on the System-8 sounds great, but the JU-06 wasn't great (think there was a samplerate difference, it's hard to believe that accounted for the entire difference though), and the JP-08 was just unpleasant.

I really dislike their cloud pricing model, though, and dislike how they're setting a bad trend for other companies to follow.
dubonaire
SteeVtheRipper wrote:
I think had they bypassed their boutiques and just went for something like the System 8/Jupiter x from the start it might have seemed a little less like they were beating the same old drum. However I’m not sure how far their rehashing goes back. I only started paying attention with the boutiques.


The rehashing really goes as far back as Roland's romplers. The Jupiter X etc are a continuation of the rompler/synth concept.
dubonaire
daveholiday wrote:
I was never into a new VA poly (have a Nord rack 1X) but after spending some time with the System 8....I really like it! I have never spend much time with the plugins, but I really like the System 8 as is. It has a lot of control and variation...if my Nord R1 dies, that will be the next thing!

I do own a TB-03...I think it sounds fatastic. To be honest tho...I use my Syntecno TeeBees more than anything, but it is a nice addition.

Roland have big shoes to fill when it comes to releasing new products. I don't see them coming out with anything too extreme or revolutionary. It seems they are going for music for the masses....with a company that size I get it. Some of the most innovative products that I have been looking at lately have come from small companies....I don't ever see Roland reverting back to a "think outside the box" philosophy.


I have 5 boutiques. I think they are heaps of fun and sound great. I also have an Intergra-7 so it's not like I hate the company, its digital modeling approach or its romplers.

It's interesting that Jun-ichi Miki, CEO of Roland Corporation, describes the Jupiter X as a game changer. Also Roland developed a new proprietary chip they call Behavior Modeling Core which according to Roland contains a large array of DSP and CPU core blocks plus hardware logic. ZEN-Core is an expandable and customizable synthesizer engine running on BMC. So it seems they have put a lot of R&D into this ability to play multiple emulations of all their old synths.
realtrance
The Jupiter X might be called a game changer by Roland because - despite all the weird forum propaganda, Roland has actually been pushing purely for innovation, for many years.

Jupiter-X, however, honors the core of what made the company originally successful, while at the same time serving as a testbed for new things, like IArpeggiator, and the hybrid architecture of Zen Core.

It's a very difficult balance, and it's clear a lot of effort has been put in to making it work.
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