Roland updates Jupiter, Juno plug-ins – and at last fixes their preset UI; this is a tour

Roland up to date their Roland Cloud software program recreations of the JUPITER-8, JUPITER-4, and JUNO-106. That features new UIs, and at last a usable patch supervisor. Right here’s a glance, together with one terrific sound characteristic.

I’ve all the time been torn on Roland Cloud, and I anticipate I’m not alone there. The sound and choice make the gathering straightforward to advocate – underrated, even. The plug-ins sound implausible, actually near their originals, with a great deal of presets (even from the likes of DJ Phuture). And having almost all the Roland synth and impact library at your disposal is nice, for these of us who like that historical past. However the usability, UI, and {hardware} integration aspect have been uneven, to say the least. The patch supervisor specifically feels prefer it’s out of some previous decade. (I’ve even shared the expertise with others of failing to avoid wasting a sound with the previous patch supervisor, it’s so archaically designed.) And that rightfully might make you nervous about spending, particularly on a subscription.

That’s what makes these updates promising. There are UI updates, which look extra polished (and repair an annoying bug I had the place parameter hints would stick on the display screen). These take up much more house onscreen – larger decision, although fortuitously, you may scale them down simply. (Except you acquire a 40″ monitor in the course of the pandemic.)

However extra importantly, additionally they embrace overhauls for the synths’ preset administration.

Improved patch supervisor

First, right here’s the previous approach of doing this, from the TB-303 (and these are usually not completely constant throughout the vary):

Then contained in the patch supervisor, you need to manually click on a RENAME button to even title your preset.

Right here’s the brand new approach, with extra constant entry and a greater Patch Supervisor.

Now, the brand new preset supervisor isn’t precisely the best UI/UX I’ve ever seen, and retains among the previous design options, however at the very least you may see what you’re doing, you may click on to enter your preset title, and all of the features you want can be found. PLUG-OUT performance can also be massively extra discoverable. And you may nonetheless write from the principle display screen – right-click to rapidly replace a preset as you tweak.

There’s additionally a brand new Browser which can also be simpler on the eyes. Navigating presets is way much less of a chore, and also you get macro controls within the presets. That’s good, really – you may dial by presets and rapidly see if a distinct envelope or filter or impact will make it value utilizing. I can’t consider one other software program instrument with this strategy, precisely; this counts as some actual innovation.

Take a look at the pop-up menu, too, because it presents varied format and UI settings in a single place. That features the power to decide on a digital fader or oscilloscope view instead of these cutesy analog VU meters.

There are another refinements within the UI, too. I feel that routing of assorted parameters is now clearer. I say “suppose” as a result of it’s both a brand new view or else it was there earlier than however is simpler to see.

Roland additionally final month up to date their Roland Cloud Supervisor in its largest UI overhaul but. It’s at the very least extra engaging, although I couldn’t personally discover a use for the reorganization. (Uh, some issues are actually in a distinct place. It took me roughly the identical period of time to seek out them. Your mileage might fluctuate.)

Circuit Mod

Like I stated, it’s actually the mix of “almost the whole lot Roland ever made that you just bear in mind” with “actually genuine recreations” that makes Roland Cloud. On the digital aspect, the devices are actually the identical. For these analog devices, there’s some software program modeling of the circuits. And it’s very, superb – as you’d hope from the group in Japan working for the corporate that made the originals.

Circuit Mod is fascinating if laborious to elucidate. Right here’s an instance on the JUPITER-4. You’ll see you modify the habits of the patch’s timbre and even the response of the envelopes, and you may repeatedly modify the sound. That instance is adopted by the identical sample on a JUPITER-8 patch, the place you hear Circuit Mod even causes drift between oscillators:

On the JUNO-106, you principally hear the oscillator calibration. We just lately talked about why that is helpful creatively on Sinevibes’ Dense.

Right here’s how they describe this within the documentation:

Simulates the calibration trimmer on the motherboard.
Elevating the worth creates extra variations in calibration between the voices, including a singular type of unevenness or expressiveness to the sound.

Somebody who has repaired and/or modded Jupiters and Junos would possibly be capable of higher clarify what the “calibration trimmer” is, but it surely does appear to consolidate some completely different modeling internally.

That is along with a “Situation” pot launched beforehand that’s meant to simulate growing older, although you should use the 2 in live performance. (Situation is on the prime, subsequent to Tuning.)

Look, the underside line is, if you need the ability to drag up a complete host of Roland’s previous synths at any time, there’s nothing fairly like Roland Cloud. Mockingly, it’s the digital stuff that’s Roland-exclusive, since they’ve all the unique wavetables and algorithms. However whereas extra well-liked analog Roland devices can be found from third events – and properly value checking if all you need is a 303 and a Jupiter-8 – Roland has decisions others positively lack. And also you do have, as you completely ought to have, the choice of both subscribing month-to-month at varied tiers or shopping for a one-time “lifetime” license outright.

It’s the following smartest thing to having the precise gear at your disposal. So I welcome the updates and nonetheless extra sonic causes to make these a go-to.


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