Monday, September 21, 2015

Weekend Leak: New Roland Boutique line digitally recreates the classic Jupiter 8, Juno 106, and JX-3P in small modules for under $400! Full pics and specs!

Over the weekend, eagle eyed reddit user Leviathant found that  Zzounds had accidentally posted the new Roland Boutique line early complete with high resolution photos and full specs, after Roland had teased last weekend that something new and retro-inspired was coming on their website.  While it was clear that the new line would be small and modeled after the Jupiter 8, Juno 106 and JX-3P, no other information was available besides some desperate attempts to make out what the keyboards looked like.

With the cat out of the bag before the big reveal from Roland, I've decided to post a quick brief of what the new devices are.  Each is a 4 voice knobby module (with an optional detachable 25 key mini keyboard) with MIDI, USB, battery or USB power, patch memory, built in speaker, and a sequencer.

The JP-08, modeled after the Jupiter 8, is slightly more expensive than its two siblings at $399, but the JU-06 and JX-03 (Juno 106 and JX-3P recreations, respectively) are $299.  The emulations of these new keyboards are based off the same technology used in the TR-8.

The modules are said to be limited edition, although how limited remains to be seen.  I can't help but imagine that this is a test to see how well they'll sell, and perhaps we'll see full 8 voice versions in the near future with a regular size keyboard.  Speaking of which, you can grab 2 of the Boutique synths and polychain them together to get an 8 voice synth.

The new Roland Boutique line is expected to launch November 8th.  Full specs just below.  For all the pictures, scroll down further.

Roland JP-08 Synthesizer Module

The legendary Jupiter-8 synth is back - as a limited-edition module no bigger than a book. Part of the Roland Boutique series, the JP-08 is all about hands-on control and that iconic Jupiter sound. With an array of 36 knobs and sliders from the original Jupiter-8 front panel, the 4-voice JP-08 is highly programmable and encourages sonic experimentation, especially with the built-in speaker and battery operation. Using Roland's acclaimed Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology the JP-08 faithfully reproduces the original Jupiter-8 sounds and adds a few new twists in the form of extra LFOs and expanded VCO range. You can even slide the JP-08 into the K-25m keyboard unit (not included) for a self-contained, go-anywhere synth experience.

Huge Synth. Small Package. The Jupiter-8 was a big synth in every way; physically imposing with loads of knobs and sliders, and most importantly, a huge sound. The JP-08 retains the big sound of the Jupiter-8 but shrinks everything else - including the price - into a module measuring under 12" across.

Hands-on control With such an expressive sound engine, you'll want to shape the sounds to match your mood. With 36 of the original parameters accessible from the front panel, the JP-08 is all about hands-on control, and even users of the Jupiter-8 will quickly feel at home as the user interface and programming 'feel' is highly reminiscent of the original.

New Sound-Shaping Options Even though the JP-08 is an authentic recreation of the Jupiter-8, Roland also included a few extras. The JP-08 adds several new waveforms to the original architecture, including TRI and NOISE for the LFO and SIN for VCO-1, and both VCOs have an expanded range for even more sound shaping potential.

Develop Your Ideas with a 16-Step Sequencer The onboard 16-step sequencer is a sonic scratchpad that lets you try out new ideas without bringing lots of gear - it can even be used without a keyboard. And if there's no keyboard connected, the ribbon controller lets you preview the sound, making it an ideal way to program patches quickly and easily.

Optional K-25m Keyboard Unit The JP-08 works especially well with the K-25m, an optional 25-key velocity sensitive keyboard that takes your music making to the next level. Once docked in the keyboard, the module's front panel adjusts to three positions for convenient access to the knobs and sliders.

Chain Mode One of the killer features of the original Jupiter-8 was its ability to create huge pads, splits and layers using its 8 voices of polyphony. The JP-08 features a chain mode that allows you to connect two JP-08 modules using the MIDI ports and create one, 8-voice synthesizer, just like the original. Adding additional modules adds another 4 voices of polyphony with each module. This is especially great when controlling the JP-08 from a larger external keyboard. You can even edit the sound from the master module and control both units. Great for real-time filter sweeps and LFO effects.

Battery or USB Bus Power Some of the best music is made away from the studio, so the Roland Boutique series runs on 4 x AA batteries, ready for when inspiration strikes. Alternatively, you can power the JP-08 via USB bus power.

USB Audio Interface for Direct Recording Into Your DAW The built-in USB port also functions as a high-quality 24bit, 44.1 kHz audio interface, for a fast, simple and reliable way of recording directly to your DAW application. You can keep your favorite patches and sequencer patterns safe too, via the USB data backup function.