Red Dog Music | Oct 9, 2018 | 0
Roland Boutique JU-06, JP-08 & JX-03 are now official
Yes, we’ve all seen the leaked photos and read all the speculation online, but now we’re finally allowed to talk about them! The Roland Boutique JU-06, JP-08 and JX-03 are now official!
Roland Boutique Series
Once again, Roland haven’t done a great job of securing their images, and we’ve seen the leaked pictures, deciphered the knob legends and heard the classic sounds in our heads over and over again.
Now though, the time for inference is over. Let’s take a closer look at the Roland Boutique series of modules; a range that puts their legendary synthesisers of the past into your studio without having to sell your prized Gauguin or pawn your favourite Faberge egg…
The Juno-106 was a 6-voice analogue synth released in 1984, making it one of Roland’s first MIDI synths. The third in the Juno series, following the Juno-6 and Juno-60, some people consider the Juno-106 to be among the last great synths of the analogue era; it was definitely among the last to feature many dedicated controllers and buttons for fast, easy programming.
The 106 retained the warm analogue signal path of its predecessors, including a silky-smooth 24dB low pass filter. But since each voice was driven by its own digitally controlled oscillator (DCO), it was stable and reliable with super-sharp envelope generation. Musicians quickly adopted the versatile Juno-106, and it became (and remains to this day) a studio classic. Renowned for its pads, but also capable of punchy basses and searing leads, the Juno-106 can be heard on countless records and is a firm favourite within the house and techno genres. What’s more, its simple, hands-on nature made it ideal for learning about synthesis and how to create sounds from scratch.
As a house producer myself, the Roland Boutique JU-06 is something about which I am particularly excited. Those pad sounds are legendary and, when you combine that with the ease of programming, I’m going to have to get in quick if I want one of these for myself!
The Jupiter-8 is perhaps the most beloved of Roland’s synthesisers. Introduced in 1981, the 8-voice, analogue powerhouse was a revelation to use, with an abundance of controls on the front panel. Most parameters had a dedicated controller which encouraged musicians to experiment, unleashing a sonic revolution that helped define the sound of the 1980s. The powerful synth engine was highly flexible with discrete circuitry able to create everything from majestic, ethereal pads to the punchiest lead sounds – especially when all 16 oscillators were stacked up in unison mode.
Although only produced for a few years, the true legacy of the Jupiter-8 can be found through the people who used it. Even at the time, it graced the keyboard rigs of some of the world’s biggest bands and it quickly became the synth of choice when you needed a big sound for your record. Things became even more interesting after Roland stopped making the Jupiter-8. With the sound still in demand but only a limited number of synths in circulation, the Jupiter-8 became rare, expensive and highly coveted and the legacy of the Jupiter-8 is as strong now as it was over 30 years ago – and it still sounds amazing.
With the Roland JP-08, those sounds can be in your studio at a fraction of the price, and can fit in your messenger bag.
Introduced in 1983, the JX-3P was Roland’s first analogue synth with MIDI. Sharing the 6-voice polyphony of its Juno stablemates, it also shared a variety of analogue components including the classic Roland VCF. But the presence of two DCOs per voice gave the sound a distinctive, deep character that musicians loved – encompassing everything from big, sweeping pads to warm lead sounds bursting with personality.
The 3P stood for Programmable Preset Polyphonic, meaning this was a synth designed for instant access to big sounds, with a straightforward button-driven user interface. However, the JX-3P was highly programmable – especially when used with the optional PG-200 controller which transformed the synth into a programming powerhouse by adding an array of rotary knobs for instant sound shaping and experimentation.
The Roland Boutique JX-03 is sure to follow in the footsteps of its predecessor when it comes to sound and ease of use. With the JX-03 though, those sounds can be there wherever you want to go…
Roland Boutique Summary
It’s clear that the Roland Boutique range has a foot in the past, but aligned with the needs of the modern producer. Quite why Roland have chosen to make these products limited edition escapes me. I could see these things selling for as long as they were to choose to make them…
And of course, if you want to go beyond the module, there’s always the K25M to look at…
The Roland Boutique range are a limited edition run and, particularly at these prices, they probably won’t hang around for too long. We’re expecting these to land with us in the last week of November, but, if you really fancy one you might want to think about getting your order in early, so give us a call or order on line and get at the top of the queue! Just make sure and leave a Juno for me…
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