Which Roland synth to start with?

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PaulG
KVRian
Topic Starter
1301 posts since 30 Jan, 2004

Post Fri Sep 23, 2022 4:16 pm

Hi, all.

Guitar player of many years here, but not much synth knowledge.

I am leaning towards Roland for a first "good" synth (with full-size keys).

I simply am stunned at my cluelessness of the differences in Roland's synthesizers after looking at just the first five or so on their website.

I'm not even sure if I can tell if I just get Roland Cloud if that will get me any sound from those first five...

(All which seemed cool.)

Can someone please give a few basics on the differences between those...

And if I can just get the same thing out of a controller and their cloud platform?

Thanks.

- Paul

superscan
KVRist
321 posts since 2 Aug, 2013 from USA

Post Fri Sep 23, 2022 5:57 pm

Great question and welcome to the first step in your journey…

Roland Cloud is a great way to test out the Best of synths Roland has to offer. This includes are two versions of plug-ins:

Legacy / Plug-outs are very closely modeled synths that can be used in your Digital Audio Workstation or as “plug outs” with the System—8 hardware synth. System 8 comes with Jupiter 8, Juno 106 and a JX-3P synths built in (which can be swapped with any of the plug-out models) and its own System 8 synth.

Zen-Core - this is the newer tech Roland is using that models a lot of the legacy synths in its plug-in as expansions but is also foundational to the Fantom, Jupiter-X and Juno-X hardware synths.

So to answer your question, yes you can get a MIDI keyboard and pair it with a DAW and Roland cloud and try things out. Based on what you like you could buy a hardware synth like I mentioned above or stick with the cloud / midi keyboard or like some of us (myself included) do both.

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Constructed Identity
KVRist
371 posts since 29 Sep, 2012 from Minneapolis, MN

Post Sat Sep 24, 2022 10:12 am

PaulG wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 4:16 pm Hi, all.

Guitar player of many years here, but not much synth knowledge.

I am leaning towards Roland for a first "good" synth (with full-size keys).

I simply am stunned at my cluelessness of the differences in Roland's synthesizers after looking at just the first five or so on their website.

I'm not even sure if I can tell if I just get Roland Cloud if that will get me any sound from those first five...

(All which seemed cool.)

Can someone please give a few basics on the differences between those...

And if I can just get the same thing out of a controller and their cloud platform?

Thanks.

- Paul
I would get the Juno X. It is supposed to be multiple of their synths in one, sounds great, and is of a better build quality then many of their low-priced options. Really Rolland is all about legacy these days and the Juno X is supposed to be the all-in-one 80's sound source.

PaulG
KVRian
Topic Starter
1301 posts since 30 Jan, 2004

Post Sat Sep 24, 2022 12:53 pm

Thank you so much for the replies.

I'm essence, if I just want the sounds, hardly being a keyboard player, can I get anything else out of the synth hardware that I can't out of what I can get from their DAW plug in stuff?

(I'm probably going to be using MIDI guitar, but I really don't mind buying a synth...)

And thank you so much, again...

- Paul

PaulG
KVRian
Topic Starter
1301 posts since 30 Jan, 2004

Post Sat Sep 24, 2022 12:55 pm

And by the way, their hardware controllers (non-weighted) are some of the best that I've ever felt...

(Is there a downside to using one of their synths as a controller, too?)

Thanks again...

PaulG
KVRian
Topic Starter
1301 posts since 30 Jan, 2004

Post Sat Sep 24, 2022 12:57 pm

And if I can monopolize things further (sorry) be asking what's the main difference between Juno, Jupiter, and Fantom?

chk071
KVRAF
33052 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Sat Sep 24, 2022 1:28 pm

Constructed Identity wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 10:12 am Really Rolland is all about legacy these days and the Juno X is supposed to be the all-in-one 80's sound source.
Imagine how much more people would be all over Roland if they decided to build analog replicas of their classic analog synths. Sort of like Behringer just from the actual company itself. ;)

chk071
KVRAF
33052 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Sat Sep 24, 2022 1:30 pm

@PaulG: Your question is a bit difficult to answer. What exactly are you looking for? Can you specify a single Roland synth which would suit your needs and liking? They have so many. And they're all different, ranging from rather simply 1 oscillator + square + sub oscillator and a single envelope to 2 oscillator synths like the Jupiter which has 2 oscillators and a lot more features.

PaulG
KVRian
Topic Starter
1301 posts since 30 Jan, 2004

Post Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:47 pm

chk071 wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 1:30 pm @PaulG: Your question is a bit difficult to answer. What exactly are you looking for? Can you specify a single Roland synth which would suit your needs and liking? They have so many. And they're all different, ranging from rather simply 1 oscillator + square + sub oscillator and a single envelope to 2 oscillator synths like the Jupiter which has 2 oscillators and a lot more features.
It's why I'm asking this in the first place.

😉

30+ years of guitar behind me.
30 minutes of synths.

I don't know what an oscillator "is/does" yet, & I was checking out their offerings, trying to get a "real world" summary of what the ones here do in terms of the sound differences...

https://www.roland.com/global/categorie ... _modeling/

🤷🏼‍♂️

I don't have budget limitations as much as space limitations.

(I want a good Roland synth that is covering most bases well, & I'm not a synth player, so "all those dials & sliders" are pretty intimidating the more you scroll down.)

Is it just as easy to tweak the software versions?

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digitalboytn
KVRAF
2572 posts since 8 Dec, 2008 from Global Cowboy

Post Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:55 pm

Start with Alpha 🥳
No auto tune...

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Etienne1973
KVRian
1439 posts since 8 Feb, 2013 from Switzerland

Post Sat Sep 24, 2022 3:09 pm

PaulG wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:47 pm(I want a good Roland synth that is covering most bases well, & I'm not a synth player, so "all those dials & sliders" are pretty intimidating the more you scroll down.)
Seems you need a synth/rompler with a good assorted preset library. Covering most bases? What sounds are thinking of? Examples? What do you like?

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_leras
KVRAF
1798 posts since 20 Apr, 2005

Post Sun Sep 25, 2022 3:37 am

Etienne1973 wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 3:09 pm
PaulG wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:47 pm(I want a good Roland synth that is covering most bases well, & I'm not a synth player, so "all those dials & sliders" are pretty intimidating the more you scroll down.)
Seems you need a synth/rompler with a good assorted preset library. Covering most bases? What sounds are thinking of? Examples? What do you like?
This is the key question. What types of sounds?

Are you expecting a wide range of sounds, including pianos, strings, harpsichords, brass...

Or...

Purely synthesised techno type sounds?

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cryophonik
KVRAF
8691 posts since 7 Sep, 2006 from Roseville, CA

Post Sun Sep 25, 2022 4:52 am

Seems a bit arbitrary to limit yourself to one brand before you even know what you want. Unless we’re talking workstations, Roland is pretty near the bottom of my list of synths I’d recommend. They’ve pretty much become synonymous with cheap gimmicky plastic toys IMO and now mostly rely on their name recognition as a company who used to be innovators in synthesis 20-40 years ago. They’ve been surpassed by countless other synth developers since then. So, my advice is to keep an open mind with regard to brand and find the best one that fits your needs, based on your needs.

As others have already mentioned, it would help to know more about what you want from a synth. What types of sounds (“real” sounds vs synth sounds, or both)? Keys - what type (fully weighted, semi-weighted, lighter synth action, full size vs mini keys, etc.) and how many keys (or no keys/desktop/rackmount)? Is it for studio use only, or live use? Do you want/need a multitimbral synth, or is one sound at a time sufficient? Budget? Without knowing some of these details, our guess is no better than yours.
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chk071
KVRAF
33052 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Sun Sep 25, 2022 5:06 am

TBH, I almost recommended a used JP-8000, simply because it can do so much more than most of the their analog modelled one trick ponies these days. ;)

But, cryophonik is abolutely correct, it would help a lot of it was more clear what exactly you expect from such a synth, and why you think that it's necessary to limit yourself to one specific brand.

And, if your experience is really limited to 30 minutes with any kind of synthesizer, then I'd recommend getting familiar with something like TAL-Noisemaker first. Which is a free software synthesizer which was heavily inspired by Roland's synths.

trusampler
KVRAF
1609 posts since 2 Jul, 2007

Post Sun Sep 25, 2022 5:23 am

( Juno 60 / Juno 106 ) great introduction to the Roland sound, and perhaps the best synth's to learn Subtractive synthesis with.

neither of which are one trick ponys,a large portion of electronic music has and still is made using these synths.
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Interface:Slate VMS/Antelope Audio Discrete 8 Synergy Core/UA Apollo Rack/SSL UF8+UC1
Synths: Sequential Prophet 10/Roland Juno 106+Juno X/Roland Fantom7/Deepmind 12/Korg OPsix/Akai Mpc

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