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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Having laid bare the inner workings of oscillators, contour generators and filters, Gordon Reid turns his attention to something which at first sight seems entirely self-evident. Can the humble voltage-controlled amplifier really hold any Synth Secrets?
Gordon Reid reveals some of the limitations of the 'classic' ADSR envelope with reference to a practical synthesis example, and explains some of the different types of envelopes found on 'classic' analogue synths, from AR envelopes right up to highly flexible digitally controlled EGs.
GM synths have a reputation in hi-tech circles for being dull and samey, but they're undeniably popular — and now the specification has been updated. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser take a look at the first of the GM2 generation.
Recognising that there are millions of synth-hungry guitarists out there, manufacturers have been trying for years to develop products which would appeal to them. Norm Leete traces the history of Roland's innovative GR range of guitar synths and controllers.
If you were offered a Roland JV2080, complete with Session expansion card and software editor, for around half the price of a JV1080, you'd probably wonder what the catch was. OK, so the JV1010 isn't quite that, but it comes surprisingly close...
One of two General MIDI modules are simply a cut above the rest, and Roland's high-end Sound Canvases fit right into this category. Paul White retires to the studio with the latest in the line and dips into a seemingly limitless palette of sound...
This month, Paul Wiffen looks at ways of modifying a filter's shape, both in terms of frequency response and over time, and considers the importance of routing in connecting together a synth's various sound-generating and -modifying components.
Roland's JV1080 was a great success with serious synthesists, and recognising that if it ain't broke there's no need to fix it, Roland have provided more of the same with the new 2080. Derek Johnson's spoilt for choice.
Roland's SC88 could be described as a Rolls-Royce in the world of General MIDI sound modules. So is the new upgraded SC88 Pro a luxurious stretch limo complete with mini-bar and luxuriant walnut veneer? Derek Johnson dons his chauffeur's cap and takes it for a drive...