Part of the company’s massive 909 Day product launch, we’ve got early details.
Rumors have been burning up on the web recently as Roland’s 909 Day mass-release of gear and technology approached. Now it’s here and we’ve got early details on a quintet of some of the coolest units in this massive launch.
Roland System-8 Synthesizer
Undoubtedly, the new Roland System-8 synth has been subjected to some of the most heated speculation. The System-8 delivers plug-out support for three synths and comes with Jupiter-8 and Juno-106 plug-outs. The possibilities are mind-boggling: imagine what you can create splitting and layering three different synths of this caliber.
The word is Roland has captured four decades of synth development in the System-8. With eight voices and three oscillators, this beast promises to be among the most powerful synths ever. The next-generation Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) engine is accessed through an interface of hi-res faders and knobs that can summon up pretty much any sound you can imagine. With Roland, we’ve learned to expect great filters and effects, and combined with System-8’s plug-out capabilities, only the limits of your imagination will constrain you.
JUNO-106 is scheduled for release in 2017.
Support for SYSTEM-8 on previously released plug-out synths to be available soon.
Roland VP-03 Vocoder
With roots in 1960s psychedelia, the vocoder has been a powerful contributor to pop music ever since. Among the most prized of the early vocoders was the 10-band Roland’ VP-330. The new VP-03 Vocoder evokes the original’s look and feel in a modern, compact form that makes it easy to integrate into crowded studios. Thanks to the same ACB engine used in the System-8, the VP-03 generates the strings and human voice sounds of its forerunner to perfection. Chord-memory capability allows easy single-finger performance. A newly developed voice step sequencer can use either MIDI or actual voices as sources—think of what’s possible! Roland’s aim is to make the creation of original phrases dead simple, and voices can be triggered to “sing” automatically or at any tempo you dial in.
Roland TB-03 Bass Synth
A new addition to the Roland Boutique lineup, the TB-03 (Note: This model is no longer available) is a miniaturized version of the iconic TB-303 bass synth that helped shape the sound of ‘80s music. The TB-03 control surface recalls the original layout while adding new functions like tap-pattern writing, fine tempo control plus powerful trigger and input control for newfound creativity. A 4-digit LCD display makes programming tracks and patterns as well as dialing in tempo and shuffle values simpler. A trigger input allows connection of other Boutique units such as the new TR-09 (below) or the original TR-909. You can also control the TB-03 via USB or MIDI—a nice feature for mobile producers.
Roland TR-09 Rhythm Machine
Another new Boutique line addition, the TR-09 draws its inspiration from the 1980s-era TR-909 Rhythm Composer—one of the first Roland units to include MIDI capability. The original unit was around for the birth of modern EDM, contributing its drum sounds to the origins of techno, acid and house music. The new miniaturized TR-09 has a newly developed encoder that gives you unprecedented levels of control over drum sounds and patterns. Tempos, shuffles, flams and other drumming rudiments have never been so controllable. A trigger output lets you control external gear such as the Roland TB-03, JX-3P or SH-101. The 16-step sequencer has 16 subsets allowing you to create very elaborate patterns. The big, legible display will help you program parameters sure-handedly. And like the TB-03, you can control the TR-09 via MIDI or USB to suit your composing/performance needs.
Roland DJ-808 DJ Controller
DJs definitely weren’t left out of the equation for 909 Day. In collaboration with Serato, Roland has just announced the DJ-808, a 4-channel pro DJ controller with onboard drum sequencing, vocal processing and world-class integration of Serato’s acclaimed platform. The integrated drum machine conjures up the sounds of iconic drum machines like the TR-606, TR-707, TR-808, and TR-909. The 16-step sequencer will also trigger the 8-slot Serato DJ Sampler. RGB performance pads are tightly integrated with Serato features like Hot Cues, Loop Roll, Slicer, and more. The Roland VT Voice Transformer will give Serato DJs a whole new bag of tricks to work with. Dual AIRA link USB ports make connection of other Roland gear simple. Advanced DJs who use Serato features such as Flip, Pitch ‘n Time DJ Key Shifting and Sync will find the DJ-808 the ideal control surface.
Related: Roland introduces new TR-8S Rhythm Performer Drum Machine.