Roland was never cool.

Kick back and relax!

Moderators: MetroSonus, Plink Floyd

Roland was never cool.

Postby MetroSonus » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:35 pm

Everyone complains that Roland sucks, has lost it's edge ect and they rest on the coolness of their old stuff (which I agree with).

But I argue they were never cool to begin with. Perhaps with the exception of the D-50, JD-800, JP-8000 & V synth, all of their products have been aimed at performing musicians. Take for instance the 808, 909 and 303. They were meant to be chained together to work as an auto accompaniment system much like how they are using Roland's new keyboards. When I was doing AV at my other campus, I nearly exclusively saw Fantoms. I also just went out to dinner for my wi'fe's birthday and they had a live guitarist playing to back up from a Roland arranger.

Remember when everyone got pissed and said that roland was coping out and using the juno name to sell romplers? and they said that in roland history the juno was the entry level synth? I think roland was telling the truth and not minding at the free hype at the same time. I think it was the synth people that did wrong expecting that Roland should release another analog synth with the juipter or juno name. Remember the alpha juno? how many have come up on ebay that still have the music stand and song book? Hoovers be damned, it was a sold as a home electric organ / keyboard.

And yet once again, Rolands high end synths are called "juipter". Yea they're playing on the hype, but they are also reviving and old tradition. Well that's dead now anyway since they've moved on .. :horse:

But my point being, roland also sold analog string synths and "electric organ" type things because analog was all they had to work with at the time. Once the M1 came along they dumped all since they got better sounds out of sampled sounds stored on a ROM chip than by using analog emulations.

All in all, yes Roland has cashed in on the 303 / 808 hype and names over the years and I do think it's sad that we haven't seen a synth as cool JP8000 (or sh201) from them again or an update to the MC series. But that's a niche market and it's also not their primary. I think they've stayed pretty true to their original business model over the decades.

and yes you could argue what about the system 100 or something, but back then, that was their "me too" product like the Jp8000 was in it's day and fortunately both where fine instruments and not cheap crap like some of Rolands other offerings.

So yea, I'm never not surprised when a roland product release comes up and i think only other people are because they're seeing it with synth colored glasses on and they aren't seeing rolands products from roalnds point of view.

I think really people should get away from the old school nostalgia of roland and get on board with Korg who has really tried to embrace the synth scene.
User avatar
MetroSonus
My style, is the best style.
 
Posts: 8461
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:20 pm

Re: Roland was never cool.

Postby ElectricPuppy » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:04 pm

Pretty much spot-on.

The X0X series of gear wasn't cool in its time, it only became that way later when penniless DJs picked used ones up for $5 at garage sales. And they only made them cool because they abused them, instead of using them in the manner they were originally intended for, which was accompaniment.

However, I'll contend that Roland had cool in the 80's in the form of the Jupiter 6/8 and the Junos. I certainly coveted a Jupiter-8 when they were new. But again, at the time, this was the best Roland could do for the price-point. I think ultimately they wanted to create instruments that could recreate the sounds of an orchestra, but that was really difficult and ungodly expensive then. If they could have made and sold the cheesy equivalent of a modern Casio Portatone then, they would have and they would have called it The Best Sound Ever, even though today we know that would sound like cheese.

Overall, I don't think Roland's purpose is to cater strictly to the synthesist. They aim to cater to performing musicians. Sometimes those aren't the same thing.
User avatar
ElectricPuppy
The Banned Man
 
Posts: 7112
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 10:16 pm

Re: Roland was never cool.

Postby christianrock » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:47 pm

Roland still is cool.

But it's also cool to dump on them, you always hurt the ones you love :)

If you have the cash, I don't see how you can go wrong with an Integra-7, for example. And for little money, that new V-Combo rocks. They go through phases, but they usually end up releasing something useful, albeit with lots of odd ends.
User avatar
christianrock
has a runny bottom
 
Posts: 12174
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:44 pm

Re: Roland was never cool.

Postby MetroSonus » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:19 pm

I didn't say i didnt like their products: lol: i just meant that its not you're like some people think the juno 106 was meant for techno on purpose
User avatar
MetroSonus
My style, is the best style.
 
Posts: 8461
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:20 pm

Re: Roland was never cool.

Postby soundwave106 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:40 am

MetroSonus wrote:But I argue they were never cool to begin with. Perhaps with the exception of the D-50, JD-800, JP-8000 & V synth, all of their products have been aimed at performing musicians.


In part, I think they are now "uncool" because they also have fallen in ranks for performing musician instruments. Back in the "analog time" it's true that people weren't as interested in techno-y squelches, but you have to admit that Roland's Jupiters were probably neck-in-neck with Prophet and Oberheim for flagship polyphonics. Furthermore I get the perception that the Roland Juno series was the top notch entry-level keyboard of the time. Later, during the digital era, Roland was running neck and neck with Korg and Kurzweil as far as popularity goes. They may have lost their edge in entry level synths (where Korg and Alesis dominated) but the D and JV / XP series was rather popular.

Nowadays, they are a solid third place in all categories behind Yamaha and Korg, in my opinion. At least from my experience of "seeing shows".

The other trend that I think I see, is that, well, workstations aren't a mainstay at shows as much as they used to be. Maybe it's my alternative band focus, but it almost seems like the stereotypical keyboardist today carries around neither a do-it-all Kronos or Motif or Fantom, but a do-it-all Apple laptop, with a Korg Microkorg and a Moog Little Phatty or Voyager for bleeps and bloops. Add the general decline of the cover band market that consumed these workstations, and I personally think Korg is doing a better job of reading the tea-leaves by "being cool" (re-releasing the MS-20) as well as the PC-esque Kronos.
BC | SC
User avatar
soundwave106
 
Posts: 675
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:09 pm

Re: Roland was never cool.

Postby gregwar » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:46 am

meh

I think a fantom g, v-synth (with d-50 card) and integra-7 would be a badass setup

maybe throw in a d2 for good measure lol

actually I've seen some DIY system 100 modules that were on bread boards and it got me thinking if I get into DIY 2 synths I would want to build are a 100 and arp 2500. I have most of the schematics, high res images for making a 4u 19" panel. I just need time and practice building something more simple first or with better assembly instructions.

there are a few places that sell Jupiter osc and filters and junos can still be had for half-decent prices. I'd love to get a Juno 60 and mod it like carbons. and no, I don't think that diva nails the juno sound, the 106 being my fave synth but I'll test it out again if u guys think its close or find some shoot-outs on gs. if u guys have links for said shoot outs please post them !
User avatar
gregwar
 
Posts: 1728
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:59 pm

Re: Roland was never cool.

Postby MetroSonus » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:28 pm

However, I'll contend that Roland had cool in the 80's in the form of the Jupiter 6/8 and the Junos.


of course they were! But to roland at the time, it was just a top of the line flagship keyboard just as the kronos is today. It wasn't because it was THE sound of afirkka bambatta or howard jones or something as we interpret it today. I'm reiterating of course..

Nowadays, they are a solid third place in all categories behind Yamaha and Korg, in my opinion. At least from my experience of "seeing shows".


The only time I"ve seen a roland rompler has been with some sort of ethnic band, just in my perspective around here. As far as other bands go, I think the difference is because roland caters to bread and butter and tons of it. Many versions of electric pianos, organs and such. Whereas if you went with a korg or yamaha, you're instantly inundated with trance presets and hip hop beats. And I think those keyboards are just more convenient and multipurpose to use than dedicated VA for someone that just wants to add some electronic leads or background sounds to their band with.
User avatar
MetroSonus
My style, is the best style.
 
Posts: 8461
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:20 pm

Re: Roland was never cool.

Postby christianrock » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:18 pm

MetroSonus wrote:I didn't say i didnt like their products: lol: i just meant that its not you're like some people think the juno 106 was meant for techno on purpose


Oh I totally agree.

The truth is that most Roland products are undesirable when they come out, but they're high quality. So they're dropped quickly and sold cheaply in the used market when someone finds out that they can do something it wasn't really designed for, and then they are suddenly hot.

It'll happen with the new Jupiters too, I promise :lol:
User avatar
christianrock
has a runny bottom
 
Posts: 12174
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:44 pm

Re: Roland was never cool.

Postby soundwave106 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:41 pm

MetroSonus wrote:The only time I"ve seen a roland rompler has been with some sort of ethnic band, just in my perspective around here. As far as other bands go, I think the difference is because roland caters to bread and butter and tons of it. Many versions of electric pianos, organs and such.


I still use a VK-8 (with a Ventilator) and a JV1010 but that's quite an old piece of kit these days.

Roland still seems to rule the roost with their V-drums though (does anyone make anything even close to them?) and they seem to have the monopoly on keytars. :jam:
BC | SC
User avatar
soundwave106
 
Posts: 675
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:09 pm

Re: Roland was never cool.

Postby MetroSonus » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:48 pm

You know I just searched for the VR-09 and the first thread that came up was from HC :lol:

what do you think about that? What's the synth engine in it?

I think korg has a similar one too.
User avatar
MetroSonus
My style, is the best style.
 
Posts: 8461
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:20 pm

Re: Roland was never cool.

Postby christianrock » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:39 pm

soundwave106 wrote:
MetroSonus wrote:The only time I"ve seen a roland rompler has been with some sort of ethnic band, just in my perspective around here. As far as other bands go, I think the difference is because roland caters to bread and butter and tons of it. Many versions of electric pianos, organs and such.


I still use a VK-8 (with a Ventilator) and a JV1010 but that's quite an old piece of kit these days.

Roland still seems to rule the roost with their V-drums though (does anyone make anything even close to them?) and they seem to have the monopoly on keytars. :jam:


Alesis actually makes good electronic drums and has different levels of price/quality, like Roland (albeit at much lower prices).

Alesis also has cheap keytars :)

MetroSonus wrote:You know I just searched for the VR-09 and the first thread that came up was from HC :lol:


what do you think about that? What's the synth engine in it?

I think korg has a similar one too.


The VR-09 seems to have a tonewheel emulator (the Roland flavor is a bit different from Korg but I find it very pleasing to the ears), a ROMpler AND the JP-50 VA synth engine (!!!) :eek: :eek:
For the price, it's a VERY good deal. I just wonder how editable it is without a computer or iPad.
User avatar
christianrock
has a runny bottom
 
Posts: 12174
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:44 pm

Re: Roland was never cool.

Postby Plink Floyd » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:16 pm

soundwave106 wrote:I still use a VK-8 (with a Ventilator)
:thu: In the clone-osphere, that's hard to beat. I druther have one of those new two manual drawbar Norgans, though...
User avatar
Plink Floyd
Moderator
 
Posts: 6330
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:13 am

Re: Roland was never cool.

Postby gregwar » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:16 am

i just came across this link: http://investing.businessweek.com/resea ... er=7944:JP

Year over year, Roland Corp. has seen revenues fall from ¥78.3B JPY to ¥74.8B JPY. In addition, the company has been unable to reduce the percentage of sales devoted to cost of goods sold, SGA expenses and income tax expenses. This has led to a reduction in the bottom line from a loss of ¥694.0M JPY to an even larger loss of ¥1.9B JPY.


people have been talking about roland and how 'they're back' or the roland 19xx-2013 thread and whispering about their demise. it turns out the last 3 years have seen loses on the order of -2090 million yen in 2010 ($22.18 m us), -694 million yen in 2011 ($7.37 m us) and -1930 million yen in 2012 ($20.49 m us).

thats pretty brutal
User avatar
gregwar
 
Posts: 1728
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:59 pm

Re: Roland was never cool.

Postby medwaystudios » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:15 pm

Have to agree even though I love Roland gear (at least the old stuff). They only became 'cool' after the fact. I do remember a friend of my parents playing in a band who showed us his new 606 to replace their drummer.
medwaystudios
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:22 pm

Re: Roland was never cool.

Postby MetroSonus » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:28 pm

But if they followed korg and reused old tech in new and cheaper ways, they'd make a bank man. Those old names carry some strong loyalty and I'd bet they'd sell better than the electribes / volcaboxes ect.
User avatar
MetroSonus
My style, is the best style.
 
Posts: 8461
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:20 pm


Return to The Hang Out.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron