Archives for posts with tag: Synth Technology

From Vanyland Premier!

It’s been about nine months since we last got a new single from Party Bois. We don’t need to tell you this, but that’s how long it takes to make a baby.

A baby.

Today, the Boston-based dance party machine return with twins — two new purely romantical jams, just in time for their show Friday night at Bearstronaut’s record release throwdown at the Sinclair in Cambridge.

The a-side, “True Confessional” is their very own “La Isla Bonita” — a tropical synth-pop shake and bake that tattoos its “Wha oh oh ohhh!” refrain on the inside of your lips. The flip, the more mechanical “Hit The Coast” is what happens when you make out too much in the back of your JEEP after a weekday at Revere Beach. If they ever made a sequel to Top Gun, this will soundtrack the long-anticipated beach volleyball rematch.

“It’s all about summer romance,” Party Bois frontman J-Boi tells us. “That was the theme. ‘True Confessional’ is the starry night song; ‘Coast’ is the sunny beach song.”

Lather up.

 

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Hard-rock vets get funky in synth-funk band Party Bois

For regular observers of the Boston rock scene, the effect was all the more delirious because the group comprises members from a number of notable local hard-rock bands, including frontman Keith Pierce of classic-rock throwbacks Mellow Bravo.

The project was born a few months back, when Pierce stopped into the New Alliance recording studio in Cambridge to visit with veteran engineers and producers Nick Zampiello and Rob Gonnella.

“I was saying, I’m bored, and I wanted to do something wacky and different,” Pierce says. “I asked Rob if he and Nick ever made beats, and he was like, ‘Oh, we’ve got beats.’ ” The two opened up a file of some 700 tracks they’d been amassing over the years. “There were fully realized jams, each had its own bridge, choruses and parts all well thought out. Immediately I was like, [expletive] yeah, we’re doing this.” He enlisted Johnny Northrup of the eclectic prog-pop act J/Q to join him in vocal and lyric-writing duties. “I was like, dude, you gotta check out this stuff I’m working on — it’s like funky Motown with old school beats. He said, ‘I have to be involved in this.’ ”

The interplay of the two frontmen is a key part of the appeal in songs like Party Bois’s first single, “In Your Head” — a sort of Robert Palmer-David Bowie hybrid as Zampiello describes it, with Pierce’s lower-end growl playing off of Northrup’s upper-register crooning. The two set to work trying to one-up one another, with provocative lyrical content that pushed just to the edge of propriety.

“We kept egging each other on, saying, ‘You can’t say that,’ and ‘Nope, I’m going to say it,’ ” Pierce says. “We just decided to really take a leap off a cliff, especially compared to the rock bands we’ve done in the past.”

Zampiello, who’s played in numerous Boston hard-rock favorites as well as the more synth-oriented Campaign for Real Time, said that he had no idea what they were up to until they came together to practice. “I had heard snippets of things, but when we showed up at the practice space for the first time, my jaw hit the floor,” he says. “They had completely blown up this idea. Keith was insisting it was going to be called Party Bois, and I didn’t realize how literal they meant that. I showed up, set up my laptop, then their friends showed up and started doing bong hits and dancing. It was just amazing.”

Bong hits or no, you’d be hard pressed to resist dancing to tracks like “Being in U.”

“I’ve always loved ’80s and ’90s R&B,” Northrup says. “This song sounds like Taylor Dayne. I want to be Taylor Dayne, I get to be Madonna up there. I don’t know why it’s always a female singer, but it is.”

That connection comes through on the vocals, but it’s the production that seals the deal. Zampiello, who has long experimented with beats and sampling, found that he had an affinity for funk. In the late ’70s, he says, “this thing happened with this step forward in technology, with very basic computers making beats, and people getting abstract and exploring that idea. I like the buoyancy of the music; it has a really upbeat feeling to it. It makes me smile.”

“The music is crazy,” guitarist James Towlson says. “It’s all analog synths from the ground up. Nick literally has 700 songs that he’s been writing, in so many different styles. It’s like being able to reach into a fridge, or going to the grocery store, and pulling out any type of song you want, then writing it.”

“To add to how freaky Nick can be with musicality,” Gonnella says, “I went over to his house for a party, and someone had leaned on the synths and crashed them. He woke up the next morning and turned everything on, and made a song out of it.”

There’s more precision at work here, but the spirit of on-the-fly, anything-goes is overwhelming in the group’s live show. Zampiello performs in front of a synth drum kit, jumping up and down through the entire set, while the two singers prowl the stage.

“Oh man, I don’t even know — it’s just like a flurry of lights and male crotches, I don’t really know how to describe it,” Pierce jokes of their show. “It’s a feast for the eyes and ears.”

And it wouldn’t work under any other name, Towlson asserts. “That’s the whole point,” he says. “It’s almost like Party Bois should be the adjective for how we describe it. Once you see it it’s like, Oh, right, it’s Party Bois.”

An album is in the works. Hear music at partybois.bandcamp.com.

I have some good in depth tech posts to come including a complete restoration on a Simmons SDS V ( another one! ).

But to tide you over i would like to present : The Roland Synthesizer History Chronicle.

I quoted and edited from their site as i prefer to start at the beginning and not the end…  And I lose interest after L.A. Synthesis.  I really enjoy the descriptions on this list.  Classic Roland manual writing has a special kind of ‘Engrish’ and it’s in full force on this list!

😀

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Standouts are ( and this list is intentionally on the short side! ) :

JD800 : Because it looks awesome.  Just amazing with tons of realtime sliders at cool looking angles .

SH5 : Great source and modulation capabilities.  Similar to the more advanced Yamaha CS series synths.  I like the blue more than the SH7 green.

Jupiter 8 : This is a beautiful machine.  Sounds great.  Built like a tank.

JX8P : This one makes the bucket list way before the JX3P which is more popular.  It can make gritty yet classy analog love and is capable of seriously complex tonality.

Juno 60 : Again, it’s simple and classy.  Cooler to me than the JX3P with the arpeggiator and doesn’t need a programmer. Plus you can save patches unlike it’s predecessor the Juno 6.

System 100 : SEMI MODULAR! And it has that awesome 70’s piping with tolex look!  Sexy.  More straight forward and cost effective than the System 700

SH101 : It COMES IN MULTIPLE COLORS!!!!!  And it’s super popular with techno / dance and electronic crowds.  I take one in red with the keytar hand grip please.

JP 8080 : This looks great and packs a wallup!  If i saw one cheap i’d pounce.  Decent layout for a box that does too much and its much easier on the eye than the JP8000.

On to the List!

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Here Goes:

1973 SH-1000

1973: SH-1000

This 1VCO analog synthesizer’s claim to fame is being the first mass-production synthesizer made in Japan. It had a selection of preset tones to choose from, and control functions to give the user freedom when producing sounds. It carried a price tag of ¥165,000 in Japan (roughly $600).


1974 SH-3

1974: SH-3

1VCO analog synthesizer making full use of control functions. There are two types — the SH-3 and SH-3A (photo) — which differ slightly in terms of appearance and internal construction. Additive synthesis oscillation creates a distinctive meaty sound.


1974 SH-2000

1974: SH-2000

This preset-only analog synthesizer (1VCO) is equipped with aftertouch. Although Roland analog keyboard synthesizers have 1V/1oct VCOs, this one uses Hz/V.

1975 SH-5

1975: SH-5

Roland’s first 2VCO analog synthesizer. The huge one-piece case blew away keyboardists at the time. This synth was also the first to have pitch bender levers.


1976 System-100

1976: SYSTEM-100

This system consisted of a small 2VCO synthesizer, expander, mixer, analog sequencer, and a pair of speakers (photo showed the basic model 101 synth). It was possible to purchase each unit separately.


1976 SYSTEM-700

1976: SYSTEM-700

The first — and only — modular synth to be made in Japan. It included 9VCO, 4VCF, 5VCA, 4ENV, 3LFO, mixer, analog sequencer, effects processors, and more. The full system was priced at ¥2,650,000 in Japan (roughly $9,000).


1978 SH-1

1978: SH-1

A 1VCO analog synthesizer with a basic circuit design derived from Roland’s System-700. In addition to being the first synth to incorporate a sub-oscillator, it was also the first to use a molded plastic case.


1978 SH-7

1978: SH-7

This 2VCO analog synthesizer was released as the successor to the SH-5. The case was made somewhat smaller, and it could play two voices, taking advantage of the two VCOs.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1978: SH-09

A number of cost-cutting measures were applied to the SH-1. The result was this 1VCO analog synthesizer, the first to sell for below ¥100,000 in Japan (roughly $450). This synth played a major role in popularizing synthesizers in Japan.


1978 SYSTEM-100M

1978: SYSTEM-100M

A version of the System-700 aimed more at the general consumer. This compact modular synthesizer was made up of various modules and a rack with built-in power supply (a 32-key and 49-key keyboard was available).


1979 SH-2

1979: SH-2

The meaty sound of 2VCO + 1 sub-oscillator made this analog synthesizer quite popular. As with the SH-09, a price of under ¥100,000 in Japan (roughly $450) propelled this synth’s popularity. It’s a coveted classic.


1979 Jupiter-4

1979: JUPITER-4

Roland’s first polyphonic analog synthesizer (4 voices). The 4VCO sound in unison mode is superb, and it also has built-in user sound memory function. The synth carried a price tag of ¥385,000 in Japan at the time (roughly $1750).


1981 JUPITER-8

1981: JUPITER-8

A deluxe 8-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer with 64-sound memory. Its smorgasbord of features, including key split, patch preset, and auto arpeggio, earned this synth global praise and legendary status.


1982 JUNO-6

1982: JUNO-6

This 6-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer used a DCO per voice to generate sound. Built-in chorus effects increased the range of sounds that could be produced. This synth also had a key transpose feature.


1982 SH-101

1982: SH-101

A 1VCO analog mono synth available in three color variations; modulation grip was also an option. The synth could run on batteries, allowing it to be slung on a shoulder strap and worn like a guitar.


1982 JUNO-60

1982: JUNO-60

A Juno-6 with newly added memory functions for 56 sounds. Roland’s proprietary DCB interface standard was used for exchanging control information with external devices.


1983 JUPITER-6

1983: JUPITER-6

Scaling down the Jupiter-8 to 6-voice polyphony, coupled with creative tweaking by Roland’s engineers, allowed the Jupiter-6 to hit the market at half the price of the Jupiter-8. It also made news with its highly stable oscillator and MIDI terminal.


1983 JX-3P

1983: JX-3P

This MIDI-capable, 2DCO per voice, 6-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer was released at the same time as the Jupiter-6. A PG-200 sound programmer (could be placed on the upper right on the panel) was also available.


1984 JUNO-106

1984: JUNO-106

This 1DCO per voice, 6-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer was the successor of the Juno-60. Equipped with 128-sound memory and MIDI, it would become a favorite of dance and techno artists.

1984 MKS-30

1984: MKS-30

A 2U-rack vesion of the JX-3P. Although the JX-3P’s MIDI receive channel was fixed to ch. 1, the MKS-30 has programmable channels. The PG-200 sound programmer for the JX-3P could also be with this model.


1984 MKS-80

1984: MKS-80

2U-rack size, 8-voice polyphonic version of the Jupiter-6. Nicknamed the Super Jupiter, it stood out for its ability to play a wide range of sounds, from musical instruments to special effects. The MPG-80 sound programmer was also available as an option.


1984 JX-8P

1984: JX-8P

An upgraded version of the JX-3P, the JX-8P analog synthesizer featured 6-voice polyphony and two DCOs per voice. A separately sold PG-800 sound programmer was also available.


1985 JUNO-106S

1985: JUNO-106S

This JUNO was equipped with stereo speakers; other than that, the specs were completely identical to the JUNO-106. As a common feature in this time — internal sound memory could be backed up to a cassette tape.


1985 ajuno1

1985: α JUNO-1

Pronounced “alpha JUNO-1″, this was a low-cost model in the JUNO series. It had 49 keys, and a specially designed sound-generator IC. Although it had 6-voice polyphony and 128 sound memory, it was below ¥100,000 in Japan (roughly $420) – quite an appealing combination.


1985 alpha juno 2

1985: α JUNO-2

A step up from the α JUNO-1, the α JUNO-2 had 61 keys. The JUNO series was always popular for its string and bass sounds, and still is to this day. The PG-300 programmer, common to the α JUNO-1 and -2, was also available.


1986 JX10

1986: JX-10

This 76-key, DCO-type analog synthesizer incorporated 2 JX-8P sound generators. With 12-voice polyphony, this synth was nicknamed the Super JX. The PG-800 sound programmer could be used with it.


1986 mks-70

1986: MKS-70

A rack version of the JX-10, this model could also use the same PG-800 sound programmer as the JX-10. Equipped with three different effects — portamento, delay, and chorus — it also had a memory cartridge slot.


1986 mks-50

1986: MKS-50

This rack-mounted model of the α JUNO series made it possible to add portamento, detune, and other parameters to patches. It was equipped with chord memory, and could also use the PG-300.


1987 D-50

1987: D-50

Equipped with the Linear Arithmetic (LA) synthesis, this was Roland’s first digital synthesizer. It also had a digital filter/effects processor. One of Roland’s best-selling models, this synthesizer also excelled at analog-style sound.


1988 D-550

1987: D-550

This rack-mounted version of the D-50 synth also had an LA sound generator. Creating sounds was made simply by using a PG-1000 external controller that enabled manipulation of edit parameters in real time.


1988 D-10

1988: D-10

Although this digital synthesizer was reasonably priced, it borrowed the D-50’s LA sound generator, and also had multitimbral capability and rhythm machine functions. It had seven types of digital reverb, and the first built-in ROM player.


1988 D-110

1988: D-110

A stand-alone version of the D-10 sound generator, this sound module fit in a 1U rack. In addition to its main stereo output, it also had six individual outputs.


1988 D-20

1988: D-20

This model contained the same basic features of the D-10 but added a sequencer capable of 9-track multi-recording and a 3.5-inch floppy drive. The sequencer supported real time recording method.


U-110 Roland Synthesizer

1988: U-110

A simple-playback sound module with a DC-PCM sound generator. In addition to a wide range of built-in musical instrument tones, it could hold up to four memory cards at once. By combining these, users could create custom sounds.


1989 U-20

1989: U-20

This keyboard used the RS-PCM sound generator, which retained compatibility with the U-110′s tone data. It was distinguished by a unique system of operation, with sound patches that managed tone data, and keyboard patches that managed MIDI data.


1989 D-5

1989: D-5

The greatest feature of the D series was an onboard LA sound generator. With a chase function and arpeggiator at a price of ¥99,800 in Japan (roughly $725), this synthesizer offered outstanding cost performance.


1989 U-220

1989: U-220

Employing the RS-PCM sound generator system, this upper model of the U-110 aimed at even higher sound quality. Preset tones were increased from 99 in the U-110 to 128 in U-220, and an onboard effects processor provides built-in chorus and reverb.
1990 D-70

1990: D-70

This synthesizer used Advanced LA synthesis, which is an evolved form of LA synthesis. It had a built-in DLM function that could generate a variety of wave data for synthesizing. This innovation created an infinite range of sound creation possibilities.

1991 JD-800

1991: JD-800

This digital synth employed a large number of sliders on the panel to allow real-time control of all parameters with an analog feel. Each Patch could consist of up to four Tones for creating fat sounds.


1991 JX-1

1991: JX-1

While low priced, this playback keyboard had the ultimate selection of preset sounds, from acoustic instruments to analog synthesizers. It also had an edit function with eight parameters.
1992 JV-80

1992: JV-80

With eight paramaters sliders, this PCM synthesizer could be operated with an analog feel. This was the first synth compatible with the best-selling SR-JV80-Series expansion board.

1992: JV-30

The lower model of the JV-80, this 16-part multitimbral synthesizer captivated users with its 189 high-quality, built-in PCM tones and ease of operation. Editing filter, envelope generator, and vibrato was possible.


1992 JV-880

1992: JV-880

This PCM sound module, with the high-quality sound and functionality of the JV-80, was made to fit into a compact 1U rack-size. In addition to four main and sub outputs, the module has a Preview function that allowed users to check tones without using any other equipment.


1992 JW-50

1992: JW-50

This workstation had an onboard GS sound generator with a built-in 16-track sequencer. In addition to a backing function as a composition-support tool, the JW-50’s ease of editing tones made for an appealing instrument.


1993 JV-1000

1993: JV-1000

This workstation featured a refined version of the JV-80 sound generator, with a built-in MC-50MKII sequencer engine. Expansion boards made this workstation expandable up to 993 patches, and 56 voices.


1993 JV-35

1993: JV-35

This model offered superb cost performance. While low priced, it allowed expansion boards to be installed, adding extra sounds and voices The separately sold VE-JV-1 provided the synth-engine equivalent of the JV-1000.


1993 JV-90

1993: JV-90

The JV-1000 synthesizer with the sequencer removed, the JV-90 was based on the concept of expandability. Expansion boards could be used to expand the number of voices and sounds as needed.


1993 JV-50

1993: JV-50

This model featured the same functions as the JV-35, with a built-in SMF player. As with the JV-35/90, it was based on the JV-series concept of expandability, capable of up to 56 voices.


W-50 Roland Synthesizer

1993: W-50

Intended for Professional Use / Church Environment (Complete library of rich Organ sounds,etc). This keyboard was a collaboration with Rodgers Organ (a Roland subsidiary).


1993 JD-990

1993: JD-990

This sound-generator module achieved the operability of the JD-800 via a large-screen display. In addition to enabling ring modulation and oscillator sync, it was equipped with an FXM function and eight multi-effects processors.


1994 JV-1080

1994: JV-1080

This synthesizer module featured 64 voices and 16-part multitimbral specs. Nicknamed the Super JV, the module could carry four wave expansion boards simultaneously, enabling up to 1,741 patches that spanned a wide range of music genres.


1995 XP-50

1995: XP-50

This workstation featured the sound generator of the JV-1080, and a sequencer with loop recording and quick play. It also featured Realtime Phrase Sequence (RPS).


1995 XP-10

1995: XP-10

This XP-series model was aimed at the more affordable price range. Equipped with 16-part multitimbral GM/GS sound generator, it also incorporated a newly developed arpeggiator with 30 different styles, a Combination Palette, and more.


1996 XP-80

1996: XP-80

The top model in the XP series, this synthesizer was based on the XP-50 with many refinements added on, plus 76 keys with weighted action. The sequencer memory could hold about 60,000 notes, three times that of the XP-50.


1996 JP-8000

1996: JP-8000

This 8-voice synthesizer offered an impressive array of knobs and sliders to manipulate its analog modeling synthesis engine. It had a built-in Motion Control function that allowed operations on the panel to be recorded and played back.


1997 JV-2080

1997: JV-2080

This sound module became so popular, it was considered a world standard. With features such as 640 patches and 16 multitimbral parts, it represented the pinnacle in sample-playback synthesis at the time.


1998 XP-60

1998: XP-60

This model compressed the features of the XP-80 into a compact 61-key body. All operations conformed to the XP-80. New expansion boards went on sale at the same time, increasing the appeal of this instrument even further.
1998 JX-305

1998: JX-305

The playability of a keyboard was added to the functionality of the MC-505 Groovebox, which was a hit product at the time. The main appeal of the model was easy operation with inspiring realtime operation.


1998 JP-8080

1998: JP-8080

This rack version of the JP-8000 sound generator upped the power even more. Built-in Unison and Voice Modulator, an increase in polyphony from 8 to 10, and external audio input were some of the features that distinguished this module.


1999 XP-30

1999: XP-30

The last model in the XP-Series. Although the sequencer was removed in order to lower the price, it boasted a full lineup of features, including 1,406 patches and an arpeggio function.


1999 JV-1010

1999: JV-1010

This compact half-rack module inherited the rich preset sounds of the JV-1080 and 2080. Able to hold one SR-JV80-Series expansion board, it could handle up to 1,151 patches.


2000 RS-5

2000: RS-5

While reasonably priced, this synthesizer contained the same high-quality sounds as the JV/XP/XV series. It was also easy to operate, with knob controls for LFO, filter, and other parameters.


2000 XV-88

2000: XV-88

The XV-88 was the full-sized keyboard model of the XV series. This 128-voice synthesizer was equipped with an 88-key, hammer-action keyboard. It could hold up to four expansion cards (two SRX series and two SR-JV80 series).


2000 XV-3080

2000: XV-3080

This 2U-rack synthesizer module had the same sound generator as the XV-88. It could hold up to two SRX-series and four SR-JV80-series sound expansion boards.


2000 XV-5080

2000: XV-5080

The top-of-the-line XV module, it had the highest-performance sound generator of its time, as well as a smorgasbord of attractive features, including Matrix Control and sample playback via SIMM.


2001 Fantom

2001: Fantom

A new breed of workstation with a large graphical LCD and centralized control of its numerous functions. This 76-key workstation featured professional XV-5080 quality sounds and a wide range of realtime performance functions.


2001 XV-5050

2001: XV-5050

This 64-voice, 16-part sound module fits the high sound quality of the XV-5080 into a 1U-rack size. Editing software is also included that allows all parameters to be controlled via computer.


2001 SH-32

2001: SH-32

After 20 years in retirement, the “SH” prefix was revived. This ambitious product integrates the traditional panel interface to evoke images of the first SH-series, plus programmable arpeggiator and many other new features.


2002 XV-2020

2002: XV-2020

The XV-2020 synthesizer module put Roland’s acclaimed XV sounds in a half-rack unit with USB and GM2 compatibility. It offered two SRX expansion boards, 16 multitimbral parts, and three effects processors.


2003 V-Synth

2003: V-Synth

The V-Synth integrated Variphrase technology, allowing realtime control of waveform pitch, time, and formant for organic and animated sounds. It also offered analog-modeling synthesis, COSM filtering, and the unique TimeTrip Pad.


2003 Fantom-S

2003: Fantom-S

This 61-note workstation keyboard offered seamless integration of audio and MIDI with advanced sampling features such as realtime time-stretching and Skip Back Sampling, plus a Dynamic Pad Bank, mastering effects, and USB file exchange.


NKB 03

2003: RS-70

With a fresh collection of quality sounds, a Loop Sequencer, and friendly Direct Access buttons for instantly selecting patches, the RS-70 introduced a new level of performance power for live or song production at an attractive price.


RKYBTT2//0

2003: RS-50

A scaled-down version of the RS-70, this live-performance synthesizer provided great Roland sounds and performance-friendly features including Phrase/Arpeggio Generator and Multi Chord Memory to the entry-level market.


2003 VariOS

2003: VariOS / VariOS-8 / VariOS 303

Thanks to its open-ended hardware/software system, VariOS could emulate Roland’s most popular synths. VariOS 8 emulated Roland’s vintage Juno and Jupiter, and VariOS 303 emulated the classic TB-303, without draining the host computer’s CPU.


2004 Fantom-X7

2004: Fantom-X7

The Fantom-X Series were the first “Giga-Workstations,” providing nearly 1GB of wave memory when fully expanded with four SRX cards. They also offered 128-voice polyphony, eight stereo audio tracks, and a large color LCD.


NKB 03

2004: JUNO-D

Budget priced yet big on features, the Juno-D offered 640 of new patches, a world-class array of expressive multi-effects, realtime performance controllers, and tools for groove creation and composition.


NKB 07

2004: Fantom-XR

The stunning sound of a Fantom-X workstation in a 1U rack module, the Fantom-XR provides room for over 1GB of sounds when fully expanded with six SRX cards and DIMMs for user sampling.


2004 Fantom-Xa

2004: Fantom-Xa

For musicians who craved Fantom power, but wanted a more cost-effective way to Fantomize their rig, the Fantom-Xa was the answer — a multifaceted sampling workstation with a 16-track sequencer and affordable price tag.


2006 SH-201
2006: SH-201

This 49-key analog-modeling synthesizer provides the famous Roland Super SAW waveform. It also has an External Input for manipulating audio, a D Beam, and plentiful knobs and switches for realtime control.


V-SYNTH XT

2006: V-SYNTH XT

Named the “Synthesizer of the Year” at the 2004 MIPA Awards, Roland’s groundbreaking V-Synth now has a travel-friendly offspring. The XT is a portable new V-Synth with some spectacular tricks up its sleeves — and with enough synthesis and audio-processing power to make heads spin.


2006 JUNO-G

2006: JUNO-G

For songwriters and performers, the JUNO-G synth offers a 16-part MIDI sequencer with four companion stereo audio tracks, plus a powerful Fantom-X-quality sound engine, 128-voice polyphony, and SRX expansion.


2007 V-SYNTH GT

2007: V-Synth GT

Onboard dual-core engine supercharges Elastic Audio Synthesis with revolutionary Articulative Phrase Synthesis, which models the performance behavior and nuance of acoustic music instruments, plus Vocal Designer.


2007 Sonic Cell

2007: SonicCell

With its dual SRX expansion bay, built-in USB audio interface, and ability to play SMFs and WAV/AIFF/MP3 files, SonicCell puts the power and legendary sound quality of a Roland hardware synthesizer on the desktop.


JUNO-STAGE

2008: JUNO-STAGE

Decked out with an extra-large display, USB backing-track functionality, a Click output for drummers, performance knobs, hands-free patch select, master MIDI control, and more, the 76-key JUNO-STAGE offers onstage power at a great price.


Fantom-G6 Roland Synthesizer

2008: Fantom-G6

The Fantom-G6 is a dream instrument that redefines the boundaries of playability and creativity with its advanced sound engine, revolutionary ARX SuperNATURAL™ expansion bay, large-sized color LCD, powerful new audio/MIDI sequencer and more.


2008 Fantom-G7

2008: Fantom-G7

The Fantom-G series redefines the boundaries of playability and creativity with its advanced sound engine, revolutionary ARX SuperNATURAL expansion bay, large-sized color LCD, powerful 152-track audio/MIDI sequencer, and more.

Player for larger-than-life performances.

2009 AX-Synth

2009: AX-Synth

The battery-powered AX-Synth is an eye-catching 49-key remote keyboard with a high-quality sound generator onboard. It’s self-contained and equipped with powerful, solo-oriented sounds from Roland’s latest generation of synths.


2009 JUNO-Di

2009: JUNO-Di

A traveling musician’s dream, the JUNO-Di is lightweight, can run on batteries, and is easy to use. It’s packed with 1,000+ great sounds, has a friendly control panel for easy editing, and a Song Player for larger-than-life performances.


VR-700
2010: V-Combo VR-700

With a legendary Virtual Tone Wheel organ and dedicated harmonic bars onboard, plus banks of essential ensemble sounds, the V-Combo melds an entire rig into one convenient instrument for easy transport and fast setup.


2010 AX-09

2010: Lucina AX-09

This 37-key ultra-light synth is designed to fit all musicians — even kids. It’s loaded with 150 excellent sounds, all easily selectable with the onboard category buttons, and features a USB Audio Player function for jam-along fun.


2010 SH-01

2010:  GAIA SH-01

Affordable yet powerful, the GAIA SH-01 is a high-performance value with old-school charm. The triple-stacked engine provides massive virtual-analog synthesis under the control of hands-on knobs, sliders, and buttons.


JUNO-Gi Roland Synthesizer

2010: JUNO-Gi

What propels this power-synth into another realm, however, is its supercharged feature set with over 1,300 fresh sounds, an onboard eight-track digital recorder, and pro effects created by BOSS. Write, record, mix, master, and perform anywhere with the new JUNO-Gi.


JUPITER Synth Legends Vol. 1

The emulations in JUPITER Synth Legends provide you with a large selection of authentic vintage sounds to use alongside the advanced acoustic and synth capabilities already in the JUPITER-80/-50. Featured synths include:

  1. JUPITER-8
  2. SH-101
  3. TB-303
  4. JUNO-60
  5. JUPITER-6
  6. JUNO-106
  7. D-50

2012 JUPITER-80

2012: JUPITER-80

A live-performance powerhouse that pays homage to its legendary namesake with road-proven hardware and massive sound, yet blasts into the future with advanced SuperNATURAL® technology.


2012 JUPITER-50

2012: JUPITER-50

By combining the supreme expression of the JUPITER-80 with the travel friendliness of the JUNO series, the new JUPITER-50 brings SuperNATURAL® sound and pro performance to every stage and studio.


2012 INTEGRA-7

2012: INTEGRA-7

The powerhouse rack comprises a “greatest hits” collection of sounds from Roland’s flagship keyboards and V-Drums modules, plus a coveted lineup from the legacy SRX library. It also introduces a new technology called Motional Surround, a 17-part ambience engine that lets you graphically control the distance and position of each part within 360-degree sound field.

V-COMBO VR-09

2013: V-COMBO VR-09

Travel-ready, affordable, and outfitted with top-level Roland sounds, the V-Combo VR-09 is the ideal all-in-one solution for performing keyboard players. Dedicated piano, organ, and synth sound engines—organized in three intuitive blocks on the front panel—provide all the essential tones you need, right under your fingertips.

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Source :  The Roland Synthesizer History Chronicle

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I’ve promised these and so fresh for 2013 here they are!  Extensive photos of the inner life and workings of a Simmons SDS-V with the MFB SEQ-01 sequencer built in.

But first, a little background.

Simmons electronic drums were developed by Richard James Burgess and Dave Simmons.  Burgess’ idea was to make a fully electronic drumset that could be played  by a real drummer or a sequencer.  He pioneered this idea while working on the first Landscape album From the Tea-Rooms of Mars… To the Hell-Holes of Uranus ( a great soundtrack styled listen BTW ).  In 1981 he produced the Spandau Ballet hit, “Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)”.  It was the first breakthrough hit with a real drummer playing the now famous hexagonal pads and the first production Simmons SDS-V brain.

They offered a Kick drum, Snare drum, Toms, and even High Hats and Cymbal modules although the Cymbal and HH ones are super rare.  Seven of any combination could be housed in one brain and triggered via octagonal pad, sequencer, and even acoustic triggers attached to drums.  There was even an open/closed HH pedal input to trigger 2 different variations from the HH module.  You could program your own sounds via the front panel of each module with full controls for 3 presets on the front and one ‘factory’ set inside that are all adjustable.  The Brain did double duty of allowing trigger inputs while offering basic mixing of the internal sounds via a stereo and mono output ( with individual out as well ).  These brains quickly became cult like in their status and were used in everything from jazz bands by Bill Bruford to rock groups like Def Leppard ( by the one armed Rick Allen ) and of course funk and dance groups like Prince.

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And i never get bored of this song:

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I had picked up an SDS-V brain with a Kick, Snare, and 3 Tom modules.  But there was those two empty slots at the end… hmmmm… Then it occurred to me, What if i turn this Brain into a full DRUM MACHINE!!! Lo an behold, a few Googles later yielded my plan of attack.  I could fit a modern modular sequencer into this old brain and make an instrument of the future past! There’s some technical hurdles to surmount in adding a sequencer to the SDS-V brain.

1, The MFB SEQ-01 is designed to work in a modular synth case.  the SDS-V case is of equivalent hight but the mounting holes are not lined up. So, more accurately, the MFB fits vertically and horizontally but the mounting holes don’t line up.  To avoid damaging the original mounting setup i opted to temporarily put  washers over the adjacent screws to hold the sequencer in.

2, The MFB SEQ-01 needs to be routed to the trigger or sequencer inputs on the SDS-V cards. I had a few options here.  One was to connect the sequencer outs to the Simmons’ native sequencer inputs.  The other was to hook it up to the trigger or pad inputs.  I opted to use the trigger inputs ( counter intuitive, i know! ) because this gave me a gain adjustment on the face plate of the brain for each trigger from the sequencer to the drum module.  The SDS-V drum modules are very dynamic and it’s useful to be able to hit them with sequencer trigger more or less to taste.

3, Lastly, The MFB SEQ-01 needs to be powered and it runs at a different voltage than the SDS-V. I had MFB modify the Seq-01 to run on 15 volts in the SDS.  Then i connected the power from the +/-15 volt rail in the Brain to the power input on the MFB edge connector.  Pretty straight forward!

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Photos by J-poo.

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Future plans for the SDS-V:

1, So, there’s one quirk in the Simmons SDS-V design i’d like to point out.  The audio outs are wired pin 3 hot.  This is the XLR wiring convention used by many old British companies and it’s the opposite of the US convention of pin 2 hot.  Reversing this would be great to more easily interface with other equipment.

2, I’d eventually like to disconnect the back panel sequencer jacks from the SDS-V modules and instead wire them to the MFB SEQ-01 outputs.  This way the sequencer outs  could be used to drive more than just the Simmons modules.  there’s actually 12 sequencer slots and the Simmons SDSV can only hold 5 cards with the sequencer installed. Maybe someday!

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References:

Simmons SDSV with MFB SEQ-01

Simmons SDSV – Wikipedia

Simmons Synth

::: IF :::

The Linndrum we have has a long and illustrious lineage!  It was originally owned by a good friend of mine who is now a great painter ( Alvan Long )!  He is also a drummer and was in several boston bands long before my time!  Here’s a Pure No Wave Gem from one of those bands called  The November Group:

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So, some of the people involved in that band started a studio called New Alliance Audio.  After several years the Linndrum was packed up in it’s road case and put into storage.

And it sat there for almost 15 years.  Those years took a toll too.  The batteries leaked, the capacitors went bad, and the foam from the road case became a rubbery dust that permeated everything!

When we pulled it out of storage i decided to send it to Bruce at FORAT for a refurb. He’s the Linndrum expert!  He fixed the batteries, power supply, sliders and pots, EVERYTHING!

I love this machine and use it all the time.  It’s built like a tank, has the OG JL Cooper Midi interface installed ( so it can sync to anything ), and it sounds great!  The Linndrum also had a great ‘pocket’.  The shuffle is sexy and if you tweak the hi hat decay while it’s playing you can create a great human feel.  It’s a great middle ground between the bright and open Roland 808 / 909 drum machines and the darker Oberheim DX / DMX 8 bit eprom machines.

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Linndrum VSE

Linndrum WIKI

::: IF :::