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Synthesizers

  • 7256

    Sound Modules

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    Synthesis / Sound Design

  • 8106

    Synth Secrets

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    Roland Fantom S & Fantom S88

    Synth Workstations

    Despite the synth-spangled history of the company, it's been many years since a Roland product ruled the high-end keyboard roost, and 2001's Fantom workstation failed to change this. However, there's much more to the new Fantom S than one extra letter...

    Reviews Oct 2003
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    Roland V-Synth

    Variphrase Synthesizer

    The V-Synth is a classic case of the whole being more than the sum of its parts. None of its impressive features are new — they've all been seen on previous Roland products — but nevertheless, it's the best new synth in years. We explain why...

    Reviews May 2003
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    Roland MC909

    Sampling Groovebox

    The latest in Roland's line of MC-series workstations is their best (and most expensive) yet, incorporating synthesis, sequencing, real-time control, and sampling. But in an increasingly software-driven world, can a Groovebox still cut it?

    Reviews Mar 2003
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    Synthesizing Acoustic Pianos On The Roland JX10 [Part 3]

    Synth Secrets

    When trying to copy a real piano with an analogue synth, if one patch doesn't quite do it, two just might...

    Techniques Jan 2003
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    Synthesizing Acoustic Pianos On The Roland JX10 [Part 2]

    Synth Secrets

    How did they make that sound on a subtractive synth? We continue to dissect the analogue 'Acoustic Piano' Performance from Roland's 1986-vintage JX10.

    Techniques Dec 2002
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    Roland XV2020

    Synth Module

    Designed to replace the JV1010 as Roland's entry-level synth product, the XV2020 is diminutive, affordable, and crammed with those great XV sounds. But what's it like to use?

    Reviews Nov 2002
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    Synthesizing Acoustic Pianos On The Roland JX10 [Part 1]

    Synth Secrets

    As explained last month, synthesizing the sound of an acoustic piano is difficult, but it can be done reasonably realistically, as the 1986-vintage Roland JX10 shows. We find out how Roland managed it...

    Techniques Nov 2002
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    Figure 1: Synthesizing a cymbal using the Nord Modular.

    Synthesizing Bells

    Synth Secrets

    Having come up last month with a reasonably realistic cymbal patch, it's time to take the principles of synthesizing metallic percussion one stage further, and produce bell sounds. But there's more to this than you might think...

    Techniques Aug 2002
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    Roland XV5050

    Sample-based Synth Module

    Roland's latest module provides the most affordable way yet to access the company's fine XV soundset, albeit with reduced polyphony and a less intuitive user interface compared to the more expensive XV5080. We weigh up the pros and cons.

    Reviews Jun 2002
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    Roland SH32

    Virtual Analogue Synthesizer

    Roland released the JP8000/8080 virtual analogue synth way back in 1997, but never really followed it up. Now they've combined the modelling synth idea with their Groovebox concept, presenting it in compact form with a wealth of hardware control options...

    Reviews May 2002
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    Practical Snare Drum Synthesis

    Synth Secrets

    Last month, we revealed just how hideously complex the sound-producing mechanism of the snare drum can be. Nevertheless, synthesizing the sound is not as hard as it seems, as we find out with the aid of a Roland SH101...

    Techniques Apr 2002
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    Roland Fantom FA76

    Keyboard Workstation

    Korg's Triton has dominated the workstation synth market for several years, but the past 12 months have seen challenges to this position firstly from Yamaha, with their Motif, and now from Roland. Does this Fantom have what it takes?

    Reviews Feb 2002
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    Synth Secrets Nov 2001 artwork image of timpani and percussion.

    Synthesizing Percussion

    Synth Secrets

    Synth Secrets turns its attention to the synthesis of percussion instruments, beginning with pitched drums.

    Techniques Nov 2001
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    Synth Secrets Oct 2001 Parker Fly electric guitar header image.

    A Final Attempt To Synthesize Guitars

    Synth Secrets

    Having proved that subtractive synthesis of an acoustic guitar is completely impractical, Gordon Reid tries his hand at the electric variety, and deconstructs some past attempts to emulate the sound via analogue means.

    Techniques Oct 2001
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    Figure 1: Top panel of a Roland SH101.

    Roland SH101 & ARP Axxe Brass Synthesis

    Synth Secrets

    Gordon Reid concludes his attempts to adapt an idealised analogue brass patch so that it can be programmed on real synths. This month, he looks at the Roland SH101 and ARP Axxe.

    Techniques Jul 2001
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    Roland MC307 Groovebox

    Sequencing Workstation

    Roland followed their first MC303 Groovebox with the well-specified MC505. Now there's the MC307, with a spec more like the 505, a price closer to that of the 303, and more DJ-friendly features.

    Reviews Jun 2001
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    Roland SPV355

    P/V Pitch-to-voltage Synth (Retro)

    The SPV355, launched in the late '70s, was intended to allow the pitch of instruments such as guitars and saxophones to control analogue synth sounds — which it does with varying degrees of success. Fortunately, it has other tricks up its sleeve, as Chris Carter explains.

    Reviews May 2001
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    Roland VG88

    V-guitar System

    Ever imagined what a guitar with a resinator body would sound like with a humbucker-style pickup, played at the 12th fret through a Marshall stack? John Walden creates just such a virtual instrument, with the help of Roland's VG88 V-Guitar System.

    Reviews Dec 2000
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    Roland XV5080

    Rack Synthesizer/sample Playback Module

    In their eagerly-awaited new flagship synth, Roland have harked back to the sampling technology of their respected S-series samplers, as well as adding some contemporary touches to equip it for the 21st century. Gordon Reid assesses past, present and future.

    Reviews Nov 2000
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    Roland XV3080

    Sound Module

    Roland's JV1080 and 2080 have become the bread-and-butter sound sources for innumerable MIDI studios worldwide. Now the company have introduced their successors in the shape of the XV-series. Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser test the new XV3080.

    Reviews Jul 2000
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    Roland MRS2 Promars [Retrozone]

    Compuphonic Mono Synthesizer

    The Roland Promars helped to usher in a new era of microprocessor-controlled analogue synthesizer, but has subsequently been all but forgotten. Gordon Reid remembers the world's only 'Compuphonic' monosynth.

    Reviews May 2000

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