Roland abandon hope of ever inventing anything new

Roland have three big new products at NAMM. This is the Juno G, which is a nondescript sample playback keyboard (albeit with a built in 4-track audio recorder and a USB port). I'm sure it's a good keyboard if you like that sort of thing. Bafflingly, Roland have chosen to dress it up to look like a Juno 6/60/106 keyboard from the early '80s, apparently trying to make it appeal to the kind of people who read Music Thing. Who would - in the main - hate this kind of keyboard. In a similar vein, they've launched the MC-808, a groovebox with motorised faders, and the abomindable looking SH-201, a hideous combination of black plastic, awful typography, and silver knobs. Yes, it might sound wonderful, I have no idea. I just wouldn't want it in my house.

Y'know, the Juno-D and Juno-G are travesties, but I'm actually interested in the SH-201...

I own, love, and use a Juno-60, SH-101, JP-8080 and a pile of old drum machines... through the years I've owned or had in my possession pretty much every Juno. I hate what they're doing to the Juno name.

OTOH, the SH-32 was actually a pretty neat little synth, kind of like a chopped-down SH-1000. The SH-201 is apparently that same SH-32 synth engine, along with a USB port for audio and MIDI I/O, and a VSTi controller. With all the hype about the Virus TI, I'd imagine there's quite a few people who'd want that feature!

*shrug*. I'm controlling my SH-101 and Juno-60 using a Synhouse MIDIJACK and Kenton Pro-DCB, respectively, from Ableton Live. I won't give up the analogue, but I do admit it'd be awfully nice to be able to record any synth slider movements in Live... it sounds like the SH-201 can do that.
Beware, your Roland oldies might refuse working once you put that obrobrious sh-toy on their side :)
Very disapointing. There are so many better options than Roland these days though. I thikn this is quite a desperate bid to milk their existing market because x0x boxes etc. mean nothing to kids these days.
I remember the days when Roland gear was sleek, professional, sexy, sleek, desirable, lust-inspiring and more.

They can't even make anything that doesn't look like a toy - even their high-end gear. Awful...
All this Roland bashing... somebody please name a compelling alternative to the RD700SX. Can you name even one other modern combination digital stage piano and master controller worthy of both labels?

Yamaha and Korg stage pianos are completely lacking in controller features (assignable knobs, sliders, wheels, sticks, etc).

Every 88-key workstation I've found and even the much lauded and dauntingly expensive Nord Stage sacrifice a piano-type keyboard to make it easier to play organ and synth runs. As a pianist, that's not a tradeoff I'm willing to make.

Kurzweil and General Music both purportedly have models in the niche that interests me. Unfortunately the former appears to be barely still in business (if at all), and the latter has no distributers in the United States, so good luck finding a place to demo it if you're an American like me!

Roland looks pretty dang good to me.
divbyzero: looking for a stage piano, 88 keys, with knobs and sliders and excellent built in sounds?

Forgive me, but that sounds like you're looking for something that just doesn't exist, like a powerful, fast, sleek and sexy sports car with excellent clearance, low maintenance, tonnes of cargo space, and good gas mileage. :)

In your shoes, I'd go the component route - a Fatar 88-key weighted master keyboard (reportedly among the best "feeling" keyboards in the world), a small controller like the Evolution UC-33 or Doepfer PocketControl for knobs or faders, and a rack module like the Nord Electro for EP and organ sounds. That way, you can keep your keyboard for life, but upgrade your sounds as needs be...

Hell, put an Emu "Vintage Keys" in the rack. :)
mux: You're right, the a la carte approach gives you more flexibility. But this isn't such an esoteric combination of features as to require the decrease in portability and the increase in cost of a multicomponent system. At least Roland seems to understand.

And I drive a WRX, a sports car with all wheel drive and very pragmatic hatchback. :-)
Just the other day I was drunk and saying that more keyboards needed to look lilke the old Juno 60/106. What kind of world do we live in where my drunken rant's are are answered but my prayers go ignored.
I would find it more interesting to know what they sound like than what they look like.
they sound just like all the other generic sample-based crap they've been churning out for the past 10 years! the last decent thing they made was the jp-8000. FU roland, Korg and Alesis are the only big boys making anything interesting anymore.
"I would find it more interesting to know what they sound like than what they look like."

You might want to look in another blog, dude.
i think roland should fire their developers. maybe they could be making more profit remaking their old stuff, just like fender does.
Yeah, but they've radically expanded their accordion line-up since last year. Seriously, their V-Accordions rule.
I stopped paying attention to roland synths years ago. they come out like open-source software revisions - every few months. the faxtol, the faxtol x, the faxtol xl, the faxtol xl2...It's too much. I can't remember the last thing they made that was an 'instrument'. Like a playable, musical instrument that was worth keeping. I'm sure there have been a few amongst the 36 new devices they release every 6 months but in the slew of walmart toys they put out, how could I even notice? I'm not historian but was the d-50 the last really forward looking thing they did? And of course, that was shitty instrument. Forever fearing that another m1 would come along and make them pointless for a while again, they seem to put out the next amazing wonderbox every day. All those friggin resources, wasted if you ask me.
I think the comment just above totally nails it. Once they stopped making "instruments" and devoted everything to the "workstation" spec, they lost me.
divbyzero: looking for a stage piano, 88 keys, with knobs and sliders and excellent built in sounds?

mux: Forgive me, but that sounds like you're looking for something that just doesn't exist, like a powerful, fast, sleek and sexy sports car with excellent clearance, low maintenance, tonnes of cargo space, and good gas mileage. :)

Me: Clavia Nord Stage 88...
I've tried it, and I'm going to get the 76 key version... It sounds fantastic!
So nobody noticed their Handsonic 10? I only found out about it when trying to find the link for the HPD-15, to add to a post about how I love mine.
Retro is the new black.
Blah, the Handsonic is just a repack of the same SoundCanvas chip and sounds they've been using since Osama was on our side.
sp404 bitches.
How can someone say that Roland has no new ideas?
The ROLAND V-SYNTH is a GREAT synth...
Try the Nord new stage piano. looks quite good. heaps od nobs well its 3 keyboards in one. they have taken a sntyh a orgain and a stage piano and put it all into one. and it has waighted keys which there other ones didnt have
Roland more than any other makers, tread the fine line between incredibly useable and damned opportunistic/faddish. The D50 supposedly had a ring modulator, but I could NEVER get it to make any difference to the sound.
I think the discussion of the cosmetic look of keyboards is a road to nowhere - at least the new Juno isn't silver.
alot of great pbservatons on Roland...but lets lump kurzweil in there with Roland...JEEZ...they are STILL making 48 voice polyphony 16 years after the introduction of the THEN awesome K2000...they suck and i was doing cheers for them..AMERICANS...oh well. at least we have Dave Smith and MOOG!
but you have to admit, the V-Synth is pretty amazing and forward thinking. and the JP was damn nice too. Alesis is nice enough but they just cant seem to get thier sample library up to par with someone like Yamaha. you get what you pay for I least they are honest with thier prices.
For the person who says you want to know what it sounds like, not just what it looks like, watch a Roland Juno G demo video from Summer NAMM 2006 to hear the "synth" in action.
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Hi, I own a Roland RD-700-SX. I would like to see Roland add a "Bender" and volume control capability to the Rhythm section. The Bender would be controlled via a side slider on the expression pedal, like the old organs had. Hence the expression pedal would need to be modified to provide 2 controls, bender and volume control, but would affect only the rhythm section, not the keyboard.

Any thoughts about this type of modification?
Hi there I'm searching for help regarding kenton pro dcb for my juno 60. I'm using it (or trying to) with ableton.

I just got my converter today and am having problems with it so I wondered if you might be able to help me out.
The cables are fine, the soundcard is brand new (lexicon lambda arrived today) and fully functioning (midi outs go to and are received by other external hardware).
The problem lies in the fact that I can't seem to send midi messages from ableton to the kento pro DCB. The juno can send them into ableton, and my midi keyboard can send them directly into the juno - but the reason i got the thing was to use ableton to play it.
I was wondering if there is some setting i'm overlooking.
Kenton haven't been too helpful as they say the device receives incoming midi (from my controller keyboard) so there can't be a problem.
I hope someone can help.
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