Monday, March 24, 2014

Roland Jupiter-6 "We Design The Future" brochure, April 1983

Roland Jupiter-6 "We Design The Future" four page colour brochure from April, 1983.

Yeaaah... I got a bit of a buzz going for Roland at the moment. As much as I'm a diehard analog gearhead, I really am digging their new AIRA products. Normally I would knee-jerk to anything new that is supposed to resemble the old, but after my knee-jerk to the Korg MS-20mini, I decided to take a wait-and-see approach. And I'm glad I did.

I've even proclaimed on Twitter that I'm going to retire my TB-303 and TR-808. Not sell... just retire. I'll still pull them out every now and then to play with, but for recording and live shows I'm going to be using the TB-3 and TR-8 from now on. I've done a few simple YouTube tests (more on that a bit later in the blog post) and I figure if they can get the TR and TB done correctly, why stop there. I'd love to retire my lovely Jupiter-6 too  :)

And thus the reason for posting this Jupiter-6 brochure. I love that thing.

I've blogged about a number of Roland's other "We Design The Future" series of brochures including:

None of those brochures disappoint, and neither does this Jupiter-6 brochure. Except for the hole punches, but that's not Roland's (or my own!) fault. People have to stop hole punching these things.

Those inside pages are especially nice - a great big photo of the Jupiter 6 and a nice diagram of the back panel too. But really intrigues me is that purplish call out box on the left side that has the rectangles and cones sitting on something that resembles the slat wall that holds up all my keyboards in my studio. Why isn't THAT the image on the front cover? That would be more aligned with the other more creative front covers of the other brochures.

That back page is also great. The specs are always nice to see clearly laid out, but its the images of the other synths currently available from Roland that I find useful as a way of knowing exactly what gear Roland was still officially selling as of April 1983 when the brochure was printed. Helps with those reference timelines.

Anyways, enough about the brochure. It's awesome. We all know it.

And as you might have guessed, I find Roland's new AIRA gear just as awesome. I mentioned near the beginning of this blog post that the first thing I did when I got my Roland AIRA TB-3 and TR-8 was turn them on and set them up side-by-side with the originals for a little simple testing. Nothing as detailed as you'll find elsewhere online. Just something to give me an idea.

Now, if you recall from my last blog post on the Big Briar Touch Ribbon Controller, I had been side-tracked from creating my first Retro Synth Ads video. But I'd done all the leg work to figure out how exactly I was going to set up the camera, get audio from the mixer into the mic jack of the camera, etc... . So, I decided to finally get my first video up and running last Thursday evening with that test.

For my first YouTube video, I think it turned out okay!

Next up was a little test of the TB-303 against a few of the different clones I have - the XOXBOX, the TB-3 and the TT-303. I programmed the same pattern into all of them and turned on the video camera.

In my opinion, all of them do an okay impression. The TB-3 is a little more bassy, and the TT-303 tends to loose the growl during long slides. But both of those may be user-error. Remember, there were just simple tests after very little time with the machines. Overall, with effects added in, very few people would know the difference.

The thing I love about the TB-3 is that it goes above and beyond the classic "303" sound. So, I took out both of them (yes, I bought two - don't judge me) and decided to try and push them outside there normal 303 comfort zone.  I uploaded that final video on Friday night.

Accompanied by the TR-8 as well as my MC-202 for a bit of vintage flavour, I just created a few small riffs and started the recorder. Not too shabby for 10 minutes of work.

All in all - I'm digging the AIRA line and the technology behind them. And for the record, Roland isn't paying me to say that.

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