These photos of Roland Jupiter, Juno, JX just leaked, show optional keyboard

We broke the news (okay, uh, I changed the contrast values on the video) of a new line of budget Roland synths last week. Details continue to leak out about those products, and though no one has heard anything yet, the public reaction has been really positive. Now we know more: portable with battery power, optional keyboard, and lots of built-in features.

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Roland teases ’boutique’ with three mystery mini keyboard synths

Roland continues their journey into uncharted waters – following the unexpected entry into categories like DIN sync, control voltage-manipulated analog, and Eurorack modular, the Japanese titan today teases something new it’s calling “Roland Boutique.” The legacy is spelled out in the opening – Jupiter-8, JX-3P, and Juno-106 synth keyboards from the early 80s give way to three backlit boxes with just-visible faders with LEDs on them. And at least we see there’s no eye-blinding green LEDs (cough, AIRA). So, this is pretty obvious: you get one box inspired by each of the earlier ones. Really, it’s the word ’boutique’ that’s …

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Stereoping Adds Knobs, Programming to Vintage Gear Missing Them [Video]

The electronic musical instrument world is littered with cases of one person, individually solving a problem. This one gets even more specific. There’s some beloved MIDI gear out there that’s just a bear to program. Yes, you can use various knob boxes – but because some of the programming requires archaic System Exclusive messages, prepare yourself for some work. The Stereoping device adds knobs and custom firmware for that hardware. Amusingly, the product is available as a kit, but maybe that’s perfect – you spend a bit of cash and devote that time to the soothing task of soldering rather …

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What’s The Deal With This Leaked Roland Analog-Digital Hybrid Synth?

Synthesizers in the mass market are forever part of up and down swings – and we’re back in an up swing. At the same time as other musical instrument segments lag in sales, NAMM reports both more synths at their trade show and double-digit year-on-year sales growth. (In music, that’s just huge.) So, you can expect we’ll see a lot more synthesizer options. And the first of the 2015 products has already leaked out. As Synthtopia noted on Friday, Japanese artist Daisuke Asakura leaked a new Roland keyboard on Twitter, following a public performance on New Years’ Eve in Japan. …

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Production, Beyond the Track: Mad Zach on Collaboration, Combining Tech and Technique [Interview]

“Producer”: in electronic music, this used to mean some person who makes tracks. Today, some special electronic musicians go way beyond that role. They’re combining skills partly because it means diversifying income, but also out of a real love for doing a variety of stuff. They’re holed up in the studio making music, sure – but they’re also finding collaborative ways of doing that, often online, and sharing skills and sounds as they develop them. It’s a more open, connected approach to electronic musical practice. And Mad Zach is a great example. He’s a producer and DJ, but he’s also …

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Experimental Electronics Listening: Biosphere, Samuel Kerridge, Bill Kouligas + PAN

Humming and hypnotic, moving from dripping-wet ambient surface textures to pulsing thumps like an alien rave in the next room of your spaceship, the sounds of these three artists and their taste in tracks can pleasantly absorb an evening. We have not one but three four separate mixes, enough experimental electronic sonic diversity that you should feel absolutely free to skip my textual ramblings and queue up some music to hear. In fact, I actually hope that you don’t know many of the artists featured, as simply encountering sound is a great pleasure – us journalists with our waterfalls of …

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Cooking up Sounds, with One Synthesizer Every Day

John Keston of Audio Cookbook sends in a fascinating project: he’s producing one sound each day from a different synthesizer. Sounds like a great way to build up a library of sounds. He writes: On January 5, 2011 I started a new project on AudioCookbook.org called “One Synthesizer Sound Every Day”. It’s in the vein of the “One Sound Every Day” project I did from July 2008 to 2009, except focused on synthesis. Last week I surpassed my fiftieth article in the project. I’ve been posting self-produced sounds from a wide variety of hardware and software synths including: Casio CZ-1000, …

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Roland Round-up: A Mobile Juno Workstation, Realistic Piano Models, More

Roland dropped a slew of news announcements today, from new keyboards to software. There’s a new JUNO-Gi, which takes Roland’s economical synth workstation and adds multitrack recording and BOSS effects. The virtual piano lineup has all been remade in the image of the V-Piano, with more realistic sampling tech. And there’s a set of offerings as broad as what we’re accustomed to seeing at trade shows, including one nice-looking harmonic stompbox. Here are the highlights, focusing on what you need to know. The JUNO that Records A keyboard workstation, multitrack recording, and BOSS effects, mobile at just over a grand …

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Analog JUNO-60 and What JUNO’s Labels Should Really Say

Octopus transmute! I can’t in good conscience fail to mention the JUNO-60 video uploaded to the Roland How Do You Juno contest. The work of UTM, you have love that (a) it’s a video of the legendary JUNO-60, the original, analog JUNO, and (b) all those gorgeous flying imaginary graphics. Clarification: I should say that the JUNO has an all-analog signal chain. That is, the oscillators are digitally-clocked DCOs and get digital patch storage, but everything else is analog. So it’s more analog than the JUNOs sold by Roland now. And by “original,” yes, the 60 was an update of …

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Roland JUNO Contest Ends at Midnight; A Viral Ad for the … Alpha 2!

Getting DIY ads out of YouTube is all the rage these days, but when it comes to certain time-tested synth names, let’s just say the audience is a little different. You love the gear, you make music with the gear, you praise everything that’s brilliant and you’re unafraid of criticizing what’s not. We covered the Roland “How Do You JUNO” contest launch back in April with a look back at the JUNO line through the years. Check out comments for some frank, nostalgia-immune commentary from synth geeks about the high points and low points of the various models. And so, …

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