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You know what would be perfect for a Roland Boutique synth?

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You know what would be perfect for a Roland Boutique synth?

Postby feline1 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:09 pm

A boutique Jupiter 4!

Dunno why I never really thought about this before -

but it would be perfect. For once, 4-note polyphonic would be exactly right!
The JP-4 keyboard itself was never any great shakes,
and the synth itself is horribly lumberingly physically heavy to carry around.
And indeed the whole "compuphobic" styling with the multicoloured bakelite buttons looks a bit - dare I say it - silly.
But there's some days where I agree with Phil Oakey and say it's my favourite ever synth.
It would be beautiful to get the same sound out of a matchbox, with none of the impractical weight and lumber.
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Re: You know what would be perfect for a Roland Boutique synth?

Postby desmond » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:18 pm

Surprised there isn’t an official Roland plugin for this either. Although Roland US were putting out calls for someone to lend them a JP4 last month, so rumours suggest it might be coming (either a plugin or a Boutique)
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Re: You know what would be perfect for a Roland Boutique synth?

Postby johnny h » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:59 am

The boutique range are all pretty much the same inside. Check them out side by side and you can see how all the knobs are bunched up towards the top right, even though it makes the tr09 very difficult to use with adult sized fingers.

The low powered cpu will have no chance of reproducing the analogue tone of a real jp4. It’s questionable whether Roland are even capable of pulling off a convincing emulation. They’ve never produced software which has come close to the quality of u-he, especially in terms of filters and envelopes.
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Re: You know what would be perfect for a Roland Boutique synth?

Postby pilot-wave » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:28 pm

Somehow, even though I've been messing with synths for several decades now, the Jupiter 4 thing has passed me by... until now. It definitely seems to have that sonic 'something' which is all its own thing to the point of finding myself uncharacteristically tempted to stoke up silly money for the real thing, failing parts and all. But I've left it too long financially. Eventually, reason kicks in and its into the long grass again.

If Roland insist on the 4 note habit with the boutiques and could pull off something like the equivalent of what Creamware managed with their Minimax ASB Minimoog emulation (impressively close enough for me) I might just be interested. Something tells me this could be even more of a challenge than the Mini, but not impossible.
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Re: You know what would be perfect for a Roland Boutique synth?

Postby Dave B » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:15 pm

In response to Johnny's comments / opinions, a couple of points are worth considering :

1. I know a few people who have placed the boutiques side by side against the originals and have declared them basically identical. CPU performance is a complex beast - look at the pathetic cpu in the Korg Kronos and that's still a flagship workstation. It's not the be-all and end-all of modelling.

2. Our own Chevvytraveller has put the Promars model against his unit and found it perfectly acceptable. And he's no slouch in the synth department. In fact, when I suggested the same 'JP4 boutique' to him a while back, he was more interested in a poly version of Promars.

3. Yeah - a boutique JP4 is something that I might actually quite like. I have a very soft spot for it

Opinions. Backsides. yadda yadda :D
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Re: You know what would be perfect for a Roland Boutique synth?

Postby johnny h » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:29 pm

Dave B wrote:In response to Johnny's comments / opinions, a couple of points are worth considering :

1. I know a few people who have placed the boutiques side by side against the originals and have declared them basically identical. CPU performance is a complex beast - look at the pathetic cpu in the Korg Kronos and that's still a flagship workstation. It's not the be-all and end-all of modelling.

2. Our own Chevvytraveller has put the Promars model against his unit and found it perfectly acceptable. And he's no slouch in the synth department. In fact, when I suggested the same 'JP4 boutique' to him a while back, he was more interested in a poly version of Promars.

3. Yeah - a boutique JP4 is something that I might actually quite like. I have a very soft spot for it

Opinions. Backsides. yadda yadda :D
Different standards, too!

When the original Native Instruments Pro-52 came out the reviews declared it "almost indistinguishable" from the original (the Prophet 5). Likewise, Rebirth was treated to tremendous acclaim "only hardcore purists could tell the difference between the original 303, 909" etc etc

All nonsense then, all nonsense now. Good analogue hardware is complicated to get right, and you need tremendous skill and decent cpu power to pull it off, especially with a polysynth.

As for the Kronos, it may very well be a flagship, but there's nothing that special about it in terms of synthesis. Its just a souped up Trinity running on a bargain basement netbook processor. If you think that's worth 3 grand or whatever they want for it, good luck to you!
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Re: You know what would be perfect for a Roland Boutique synth?

Postby Dave B » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:10 am

Once again Johnny, you seem to be slipping into your old ways of being offensive for offensive's sake. That's not very becoming ...

TBH, the people I know who are happy with the Roland modelling are respected names in the business and have proven track records. They also aren't slouches in the programming dept. and definitely know their beans. When they tell me that the new system stuff is good, I trust them. YMMV

As for the Kronos being a pumped up Trinity .. sheesh ... if you knew anything about either machine you'd cringe at just how incorrect that statement is ... The Kronos might not float your boat, but there's a good reason why it's a staple of many pro rigs. And my point still stands - cpu cycles alone are not a valid metric for authenticity.
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Re: You know what would be perfect for a Roland Boutique synth?

Postby johnny h » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:31 pm

Hi Dave

I’m sorry if you’ve taken offence at my opinion, but I stand by it. I have a trinity and it’s a very good machine that came out of the Oasys project. Korg openly admits that the Kronos is derived from the same source. Obviously they claim it’s enhanced, but nothing I’ve heard shows any sign of signinificant improvement, just more sample memory and a few tweaks here and there.

The “netbook cpu” comment is unarguable.

I personally find it offensive that once great companies (Roland, Korg, Yamaha) constantly rebadge old technology and consider it good enough.

The fact we have a thread on here about which hardware synths fail to even get basic envelope behaviour correct shows up the sheer laziness and complacently of too many big companies in this industry.
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Re: You know what would be perfect for a Roland Boutique synth?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:49 pm

johnny h wrote:I’m sorry if you’ve taken offence at my opinion

He's don't think he's taking offence at your opinion, Johnny. I think he's taking offence -- as am I, to be honest -- at your rude and belittling attitude towards him and his opinions.

Holding a different viewpoint is one thing; implying someone has 'low standards' is quite another.

H
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Re: You know what would be perfect for a Roland Boutique synth?

Postby Escapegoat » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:55 pm

johnny h wrote:
As for the Kronos, it may very well be a flagship, but there's nothing that special about it in terms of synthesis. Its just a souped up Trinity running on a bargain basement netbook processor.

Er, yeah, that's all it is. :beamup:
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Re: You know what would be perfect for a Roland Boutique synth?

Postby johnny h » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:51 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
johnny h wrote:I’m sorry if you’ve taken offence at my opinion

He's don't think he's taking offence at your opinion, Johnny. I think he's taking offence -- as am I, to be honest -- at your rude and belittling attitude towards him and his opinions.

Holding a different viewpoint is one thing; implying someone has 'low standards' is quite another.
Its tools for the job. Perfectly good music (of high standard!) can be made on synths which have a very digital sound. Analogue character isn't important to everyone. Nobody has proven it possible to achieve a convincing analogue emluation without using vast amounts of cpu.
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Re: You know what would be perfect for a Roland Boutique synth?

Postby The Elf » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:55 pm

I've had my old JP8 and the boutique emulation side by side and the boutique is good enough for me sound-wise.

Credit where it's due. I loathe Roland's boutique range for several reasons, but their ability to sonically emulate our old favourites isn't one of those reasons.
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Re: You know what would be perfect for a Roland Boutique synth?

Postby Folderol » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:39 pm

At last year's Linux Audio Conference I had an interesting chat with a guy who's job is emulation. He said the biggest problem is not the mathematics itself, but knowing what it is you're actually emulating. Some of the old analog stuff used very peculiar, and little known characteristics of the components, the details of which were never written down, and the designers are no longer around.

Apparently in some cases it is easier to emulate a real instrument, than one of these bits of kit!

P.S.
Hmm, I've just remembered an example of this!

There was a wah pedal that nobody seemed able to duplicate. Everything measured out identical yet the later ones didn't sound the same. It turned out that there was something weird about the inductor that was used for the tuning. Eventually it was discovered that the material used in the magnetic core actually had a magnetic 'bias' so subtly added some even-order harmonic distortion, along with asymmetric hysteresis - dependent on drive level.
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Re: You know what would be perfect for a Roland Boutique synth?

Postby johnny h » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:17 am

Folderol wrote:At last year's Linux Audio Conference I had an interesting chat with a guy who's job is emulation. He said the biggest problem is not the mathematics itself, but knowing what it is you're actually emulating. Some of the old analog stuff used very peculiar, and little known characteristics of the components, the details of which were never written down, and the designers are no longer around.

Apparently in some cases it is easier to emulate a real instrument, than one of these bits of kit!
This can also happen in the analogue realm.

I was talking to Ken MacBeth a while back and he says that when Moog fixed a supposed "fault" in their filter design the sound changed for the worse (sterile), hence why Voyagers simply don't sound as good as Minimoogs. Macbeth filters are designed to sound more like the faulty but characterful older Moogs.

Roland haven't had an in-house analogue team for decades. The few analogue products they do sell are all outsourced and completely unconnected to their past designs.
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Re: You know what would be perfect for a Roland Boutique synth?

Postby feline1 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:58 pm

desmond wrote:Surprised there isn’t an official Roland plugin for this either.

Well, Roland always seemed to think the JP4 was shite -
I still remember in the early noughties being berated on the phone by their head service engineer in Swansea for wanting to get the service manual for one, as he said it was basically crap anyways :roll:
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