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A Brief History Of Roland Synths

Published: Tue November 13, 2012  News Feed

A Brief History Of Roland Synths

Roland is a name synonymous with classic synth sounds, starting in 1973 with the SH-1000 through to the 80's with the iconic SH-101 and TB-303 then onward into 90's with their JV-8000 analogue modeling synth. All this sound design expertise has been poured into the current line of synths and keyboards so you can get classic synth sounds. Whether it's to emulate the 80's tones of Ultravox and Eurythmics, the funky squelch of Daft Punk, the savage attack of The Prodigy or to set sail for new sonic horizons.

Not resting on their laurels Roland have added numerous improvements and features to the classic formula, increasing polyphony, modulation sources and striving for ever better sound quality.



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Get That Sound

One oscillator, one filter, one
LFO and certainly one big sound. Optional keytar function.
Creating acid house may be going too far but few synths have had the impact of the mighty 101. Listing artists who haven't used it would be easier. The Gaia SH-01 is a clear spiritual successor, with a great analogue style filter but many more modulation and sound sources. The AX Synth for those who like to rock out with a keytar.
Jupiter 8
Eight voice polyphony, patch recall, 2 envelopes, unison function. Open, pastoral tones from Boards Of Canada
and John Foxx. Appearing on Blue Nile album 'Hats'. Not to mention that fabulous Roland unison sound.
The Jupiter lives on in the recently released Jupiter 50 and Jupiter 80. Roland still at the cutting edge of sound design with their SuperNATURAL
sound engine.
Nine oscillators, four filters, five VCAs, three LFOs, sequencer, mixer and complete analogue effects section. Artic lorry and sympathetic roadies required for touring. Costing the same as a luxury car in 1976 and
still worth the same as a modest sedan
in 2012. Masters of synth Depeche Mode used it extensively on their early albums.
It could only be Roland's flagship Fantom G8. Indeed the G8 can perform even more functions than the vast System 700 without taking up as much room as the drummer.
64 voices, 16-part multi-timbrality, hundreds of patches and a wide palette of sounds with the JV-80 range of expansion cards. Popped up on more recordings in the 90's than Snoop Dogg and Flea combined and Depeche Mode were fans, naturally. Currently the Juno-Gi and Juno-Di are the best one stop shop for a huge range of sounds at a reasonable price, while also providing a variety of other features.
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