CatSynth pic: Cat and Roland MC-505

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From Suren Seneviratne via the Facebook group Synthesizer Freaks. This rather fastidious cat is guarding its Roland MC-505 and what appears to be another Roland drum or bass synth.

CatSynth pic: Marcel and Roland SH-101

Marcel and Roland SH-101

The handsome Marcel returns, and he wants to make sure we all know who owns this Roland SH-101 synthesizer. From Eric of polynominal.

CatSynth Pic: Cat and Roland Jupiter 8 (in space)

Cat and Roland Jupiter 8

From Cats on Synthesizers in Space.

Kitty playing Roland Jupiter 8 Synthesizer, while cruising into the sunrise.

CatSynth pic: Cat on Jupiter 8 (in space)

Cat on Jupiter 8

Cat playing a Roland Jupiter 8, possibly near Jupiter. From Cats on Synthesizers in Space on Facebook.

CatSynth pic: Slinky and Roland JP-08

Slinky and Roland JP-08

Slinky the cat gets his paws on the new Roland JP-08 synthesizer. Submitted by Steven Franks via our Facebook page.

“Had a new Mini-Joop for about a half hour before Slinky had to give it a try.”

You can read our recent NAMM review of the Boutique series and other synths from Roland here.

CatSynth pic: Roland SH-101

Black Cat and Roland SH-101

No this is not Luna. But it is another pretty black cat who wants us to know that this Roland SH-101 is not available.

From Paul Barker via The MATRIXSYNTH Lounge on Facebook.

Roland Aira modular and Boutique Series

The a few years during which Roland was no longer a major stop at NAMM for me. After a burst or more esoteric instruments, it felt like they veered strongly to the most conventional and commercial. But like with other companies, they have taken a turn towards synthesizers, analog and otherwise, that are worth time and consideration.

The Series 500 modules are new designs that recall classic Roland modular synthesizers in Eurorack format. Combined with the new A-01 controller, it becomes a standalone system.

Roland Series 500

Note that this is not a replica of vintage Roland modulars (e.g., 100m or 700), but a new instrument for its own sound. The oscillators and filters do sound good, a bit darker and coarser, though not quite at the grit level of the Korg MS-20. In addition to these classic-inspired modules (the panels look the part), Roland has a few other modules in the AIRA modular series called “Effectors.”

Roland AIRA Effector modulesw

In addition to the more colorful and modernist design, these modules serve different functions from the Series 500. These are really standalone effects boxes in Eurorack format, with high-sample-rate digital signal and control paths, as well as programmability via a computer or tablet to reconfigure their signal paths. The Bitrazer and Scooper were the most interesting out of the box. For both sets of modules, the real power would be incorporate them into larger heterogenous modular systems rather than as standalone units.

The Boutique series rounds out Roland’s offering based on their vintage instruments. There are three small units that model the classic Jupiter 8, Juno 106 and JX-3P synthesizers, respectively. And when combined with the optional keyboard, they are absolutely adorable.

Roland JP-08 Boutique series

The cuteness factor alone attracts me – I had seen a few of these before NAMM and that was what stood out to me. You just want to adopt one and take it home. Musically, the JP-08 would probably be the most interesting to me. But if one is a fan of the Juno 106 or JX-3P, the others are worth considering. They are also metal and look like they could withstand sitting next to a modular on stage. Did I mention that they are cute?

CatSynth pic: Meow-town Sampler (and Moog Sub Phatty)

Meow-town Sampler

From Matt Ray via the Facebook group Synthesizer Freaks:

“My current set up. Anyone else tried out the new Meow-town sampler?”

We at CatSynth like the Meow-town sampler, as well as the Moog Sub Phatty 🙂

CatSynth pic: Roland VT-3

Cat and Roland VT-3

This cat is contemplating the Roland VT-3, part of the new “Boutique” series with its distinctive green design. From blightmakesright on Instagram.

CatSynth pic: Indie and Roland TB-3 and SYSTEM-1

Indie and Roland Synths

Submitted by Stefan Statik Petrie via our Facebook page.

“another one with indie, he likes my synths a bit too much sometimes”

He seems particularly fond of the Roland TB-3.