Roland's selling faithful new versions of classic synths

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Oh man, I was hoping for another synth thread to pop up on BB!

I am buying my first synth tonight, a used Microbrute which I plan on using as a foundation for getting into Eurorack. Apparently it is much more affordable if you buy kits and solder the modules yourself…

Any tips from someone who has gone down this road?


Now we can fill Youtube with True Survivor covers…

Seriously, great bits of kit that I’d have little hope of using to their full potential, but I think it’s good that Roland have understood the value of making these available again…


I’m sorry, but jammin’ hunchbacked DJ’s turning knobs on their gear could only possibly look cool against a black background in a dark basement club with the fog machine cranked all the way to 10.

Against a white background they look like ordinary nerds.

Set and setting is very important.


I have a Microbrute and love it, but have so far avoided the black hole of Eurorack. Instead I have a bunch of small/weird/old modules, including a couple that can do CV (like a Thingamagoop 3000).


It would be pretty sweet if they started making new versions of those ancient ISA sound cards that sell for so much money on eBay. Clearly there’s a market for these things.


Any kits or kit suppliers you can recommend?

I got all excited, but sadly there’s no 808.


mmmm …midi


They’re cute things, and the thought of owning a Juno-6 again really created a soft warm feeling deep inside. But to be honest they are digital anyway (I assume? Citation needed?*), and these days there are such excellent VSTs (for drums I love Nepheton by D16).

Most of what will give you “the authentic sound” is coming downstream in the processing you use, back in the day people drove these things hard through analog consoles and much of the sound and character we associate with them comes from this kind of DIY processing.

My 2c anyhoo.

*Edit: Wow there’s this thing called Google, and you can find out stuff!

These units use Roland’s Analog Circuit Behaviour (ACB) technology. So yep these are emulated.


Sounds like they’re Blackwinging it.


This seems to be a trend. Moog Music’s latest Minimoog is supposed to be a faithful reproduction of the original model D, complete with discrete components and original sound but with only a few new technology extras. Apparently you have to let it warm up for 20 minutes, just like the original (or so says the review in Keyboard Magazine, print version).

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Yeah the Korg MS20 mini is the same, genuine analog with discrete components. I don’t think the Roland boutique range is though. The Roland boutique range are all digital emulations.

I’m tempted by the MS20 mini. That was one of the first synths I used and it is very tactile with the patch bay in a way that the legacy collection VST doesn’t capture well.

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I’m getting the TR-09 for sure.

These are lovely. Makes me miss my old JX-3P I had years ago. :crying_cat_face:

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You may get excited again…

We just need VR versions of these, complete with wired gloves that provide input to the machine as well as tactile feedback to the musician, not just the keys (or sax or whatever is being played), but turning knobs and changing patchcords!

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I’ve wound up buying built units rather than kits. My favorite toys besides the MicroBrute are:

– Soulsby Atmegatron. Crazy 8-bit hackable instrument with several available firmware synths. There’s also a miniAtmegatron kit to plug into an Arduino Uno, though it’s a bit more limited in features.

– Olegtron* 4060. It’s basically a 4060 oscillator/divider, and mini-patchboard and a bagful of electronic parts to create patches in the most low-level way possible. You can use it to generate audio, clock other synths, send CV, whatever. You can source the parts elsewhere and breadboard it for much less if you’re a hardware hacker; it’s really mostly a convenience package. I like it for having a completely different approach than any other synth, and usually will wind up stumbling into a sequence or drone I like, resampling it in Maschine and starting from there.


The miniAtmegatron may end up on desk soon :slight_smile:

The other one may have to go my xmas wish list. Cheers!

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Isn’t the 909 very similar?

[edit] no, they’re quite different. the 606 and 808 are quite alike though.