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The cult of Roland JD-990
Old 19th August 2020
  #421
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grasspike's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Singleton View Post

Lastly (this is splitting the hair but since this is a vintage Roland thread), what do we actually know about the architecture of these ICs? We seem to be assuming they are "DSPs", but given the MHz etc. limitations of the day, it would make a lot of sense to me that these ICs had substantial fixed-function capabilities (ie stuff you can't easily change by changing the SW, apart from maybe some coefficient tables). I.e. even if the TC6088AF ran the R15239120 algorithms, I doubt they were interchangeable *if* they were otherwise a major revision apart.
Except Roland/Boss used them in several products with different algorithms. So not much is actually fixed

Moore's law is double the power at half the cost.

So why wouldn't Roland have fabricated chips that could do more in some applications and simply have the benefit of being cheaper in others, plus the more you make the cheaper they all become

You also wouldn't need or want the software guys to constantly have to reinvent the wheel so having the ability to use older code is a big plus
Old 19th August 2020
  #422
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Singleton's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by grasspike View Post
Except Roland/Boss used them in several products with different algorithms. So not much is actually fixed
Yeah, I wish we could get an internal schematic for the R15239120 as well as a programmer's manual (in Japanese only, no doubt). Would be quite interesting to see how these things were designed.
Old 19th August 2020
  #423
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grasspike's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Singleton View Post
Yeah, I wish we could get an internal schematic for the R15239120 as well as a programmer's manual (in Japanese only, no doubt). Would be quite interesting to see how these things were designed.
Yeah it would. Roland and Yamaha sure did recycle a lot of their effects from device to device over a long period of time

Be interesting to see how they pulled it off
Old 19th August 2020
  #424
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grasspike View Post
Except Roland/Boss used them in several products with different algorithms. So not much is actually fixed

Moore's law is double the power at half the cost.

So why wouldn't Roland have fabricated chips that could do more in some applications and simply have the benefit of being cheaper in others, plus the more you make the cheaper they all become
If they are truly custom and unique to Roland/Boss, then the manufacturing runs would have been quite small compared to consumer electronics or PC-destined chips, therefore the economies of scale (i.e. and thus the unit costs) wouldn't be the same.

So it's hard to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grasspike View Post

You also wouldn't need or want the software guys to constantly have to reinvent the wheel so having the ability to use older code is a big plus
Yes, in theory that would be a big advantage, but the software in the late 80s and the early 90s probably wasn't all that complex because other hardware would be doing most of the work that a distributed system would do entirely in software today.

I wouldn't be surprised if the algos, or at least the interface for them, were rewritten a number of times for different synths, effects units, hard disk recorders (e.g. VS-880 etc), you name it.

Fully admit this is all speculation.
Old 20th August 2020
  #425
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by gear_up View Post
If they are truly custom and unique to Roland/Boss, then the manufacturing runs would have been quite small compared to consumer electronics or PC-destined chips, therefore the economies of scale (i.e. and thus the unit costs) wouldn't be the same.
Roland/Boss uses the same chip on many products for a long time since the SSC.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthrea..._nekkid_p.html

The ESC2 is their 2nd gen SoC and is featured in all their products since circa 2010. As a main, scalable computing unit (Boss RC-30, RC-3 pedals, TD-30, SuperNatural synths, Aira series, digital Boutique series, digital pianos), COSM effect processor (Demora), USB audio interface (Mobile UA), or just a slow bus management bridge (Integra-7, SE-02)

https://www.roland.com/us/company/pr...ses/2011/1200/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phys...ling_synthesis

Yamaha has the same industrial approach with their SSP2 tone generator:

http://sandsoftwaresound.net/tag/tone-generator/

On a technical side, I believe there's a whole specific microchip ecosystem in Japan that's based on NEC or Hitachi SH technology (RISC I think). They were all over the place in consumer electronics products (gaming console, synths, whatever) in the 90s.

Roland has ties with this ecosystem. Their latest "proprietary" ZEN-Core platform use licensed RTOS dev tools from japanese academic :

https://static.roland.com/assets/med...01_eng01_W.pdf

Quote:
• This product contains eParts integrated software platform of eSOL Co.,Ltd. eParts is a trademark of eSOL Co., Ltd. in Japan.
• This Product uses the Source Code of μT-Kernel under T-License 2.0 granted by the T-Engine Forum (www.tron.org).
https://www.esol.com/embedded/lineup_rtos.html

I would'nt be suprised if they had now switched to ARM architecture, given the SBX-1 sync box is ARM based already. The platform embraces low power and hi-perf DSP for lightweight mobile devices. Waldorf Streichfett is a good example of such product on the electronic musical instrument industry, not to mention the ubiquitous and incredibly powerful mobile phones or tablets.

Last edited by Poumtschak; 22nd August 2020 at 11:36 AM.. Reason: Terrible spelling
Old 22nd August 2020
  #426
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poumtschak View Post

On a technical side, I believe there's a whole specific microchip ecosystem in Japan that's based on NEC or Hitachi SH technology (RISC I think). They were all over the place in consumer electronics products (gaming console, synths, whatever) in the 90s.

Roland has ties with this ecosystem.
...since at least the 1990s, as many of their 1990s products use Hitachi processors, often with the same processors shared between their professional gear and more consumer-oriented products.
Old 24th August 2020
  #427
Gear Nut
 

Found a good deal in the states over the weekend for a mint unit with vintage expansion, £700 including shipping to the UK. Hope I remember to use a step up transformer with it when it lands...
Old 24th August 2020
  #428
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Monkey Man's Avatar
 

Indeed, if it were the other way 'round (UK->US) it wouldn't blow anything up, but 110v->240v... better be careful!
Old 27th August 2020
  #429
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Pilotwings's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasi View Post
I did the replacement several weeks ago, quite easy. I also would suggest recapping the electrolytics in there. Especially the PSU. Also the expansion card smt cap. Google for the service manual for cap values.

A tip for removing the screen cover off your old display: Use a hot air station ~100c or hair dryer to apply generous heat. Use a guitar pick or a soft plastic store card/ID card to break the glue lengthwise between display/cover. When you go to reassemble everything, it's probably best you replace the glue & display cover as the very final step once everything is all together again. There won't be any guessing with alignment that way.
Thanks for the tip removing the screen cover! I just swapped the old one out today - the new one looks great. At some point I may have it recapped, but I’ll leave that to a tech.
Attached Thumbnails
The cult of Roland JD-990-3f1e3138-efec-47e2-a8ac-193c9eca7b9f.jpg  
Old 28th August 2020
  #430
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drxcm's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJBarrister View Post
Found a good deal in the states over the weekend for a mint unit with vintage expansion, £700 including shipping to the UK. Hope I remember to use a step up transformer with it when it lands...
Congrats. If you open it up, its really easy to convert it to your local voltage by moving a wire or two on the power supply. Basic soldering and almost impossible to butcher even with the most inept soldering skills like mine!
Old 31st August 2020
  #431
RDP
Gear Maniac
No, I don't think so. I'll buy a car instead.

https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/b479229925

RDP
Old 31st August 2020
  #432
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drxcm View Post
Congrats. If you open it up, its really easy to convert it to your local voltage by moving a wire or two on the power supply. Basic soldering and almost impossible to butcher even with the most inept soldering skills like mine!
Do you happen to know at what point Roland started using power supplies similar to this one where you can just move a couple of wires to change the voltage? Mid-80s? Early 80s?

Is this only possible in export versions (i.e. 120V and 220V versions)?
Old 31st August 2020
  #433
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by RDP View Post
No, I don't think so. I'll buy a car instead.

https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/b479229925

RDP
Type R, or JD800? Hmm.

It does look very nice though. But damn, that price is pure insanity.
Old 31st August 2020
  #434
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gear_up View Post
Do you happen to know at what point Roland started using power supplies similar to this one where you can just move a couple of wires to change the voltage? Mid-80s? Early 80s?

Is this only possible in export versions (i.e. 120V and 220V versions)?
Don’t know sorry
Old 31st August 2020
  #435
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Singleton's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RDP View Post
No, I don't think so. I'll buy a car instead.

https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/b479229925

RDP
No red glue issues I hope?
Old 1st September 2020
  #436
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singleton View Post
No red glue issues I hope?
No, it features a custom Eggshell White glue issue
Old 4th September 2020
  #437
Here for the gear
 

JD-990 WaveRex

The folks at WaveReX just teased a working prototype for the JD-990 on Facebook!
Attached Thumbnails
The cult of Roland JD-990-jd990waverex.jpg  
Old 4th September 2020
  #438
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoastalScrub View Post
The folks at WaveReX just teased a working prototype for the JD-990 on Facebook!
...which does not use the PCM card slot like the regular WaveRex, and seems to emulate a SR-JV80 board instead.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/WaveReX/...=page_internal

Interesting. Thanks for the heads up.
Attached Thumbnails
The cult of Roland JD-990-118816277_715066785710792_5058337258796571448_o.jpg   The cult of Roland JD-990-118805110_715066745710796_3427379429668889051_o.jpg  
Old 5th September 2020
  #439
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Monkey Man's Avatar
 

Can anyone translate from FakeBook to rest-of-the-world format so we can read the blurb? That'd be much-appreciated.

Can't load anything to do with the site as I've had it blocked from the get-go and refuse to go there anyway.
Old 5th September 2020
  #440
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John Difool's Avatar
 

He says this:

"You can copy the retail boards to it via USB AND create your own boards"
Old 5th September 2020
  #441
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Rob Ocelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey Man View Post
Can anyone translate from FakeBook to rest-of-the-world format so we can read the blurb? That'd be much-appreciated.

Can't load anything to do with the site as I've had it blocked from the get-go and refuse to go there anyway.
No real blurb, just the pictures posted above along with a few others -- one shows a 990's boot up screen showing a SRJV-04 (Vintage Synth) expansion followed by the same boot up screen showing it acknowledging a "Waverex" expansion. The most important picture IMO is the one above showing that waves can be sourced from the expansion card.

Which brings up a couple of questions...

*If this is SRJV compatible does it also have ROM or flashRAM space for custom patches that point to waves on the card or is it just flashRAM for waves?

*If this is SRJV compatible why not show it working with compatible JV/XV units (1080, 2080, etc) as the potential audience for wave expansion would be about 10x greater than the 990?

*I guess that leaves JD-800 owners in the dark unless they are working on an 800 compatible card (which would make it also 990 compatible)

*The USB slot looks to be on the card, which means you will have to unscrew the expansion bay (and potentially remove the card if it can't be written to while on the JD expansion bus) every time you want to add new waves -- it's a potential source of stress to the delicate expansion port pins. Maybe Waverex will sell an expansion bay cover that allows a USB cable to be constantly connected.

*This potentially means people could pirate the waves from such coveted cards as the JD-800 strings and JD-990 Vintage Synth which could devalue these cards somewhat. I'm mixed on this -- if it means that more musicians have access to more waves to run through the JD-990 synth engine then I'm head over heels. Pirating Roland's proprietary waves though... meh.
Old 5th September 2020
  #442
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mu:zines's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Ocelot View Post
*If this is SRJV compatible why not show it working with compatible JV/XV units (1080, 2080, etc) as the potential audience for wave expansion would be about 10x greater than the 990?
Lots of reasons - it may be planned, but they are starting on the 990 for now, perhaps because they have one, and don't have any of the other modules? Anyway, you get it working on one, then look at what needs to be done to make it work on other things too...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Ocelot View Post
*This potentially means people could pirate the waves from such coveted cards as the JD-800 strings and JD-990 Vintage Synth which could devalue these cards somewhat. I'm mixed on this -- if it means that more musicians have access to more waves to run through the JD-990 synth engine then I'm head over heels. Pirating Roland's proprietary waves though... meh.
The same is true for the M1/Wavestation stuff too. I think really the market is so small for this, *and* a lot of this material already exists in other forms (eg, the Korg and Roland plugins) that it's not really a huge problem.
Old 5th September 2020
  #443
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Monkey Man's Avatar
 

More-elegant UI handling of the SR-JV80 card we've already installed would be my #1 wish for the 990; always has been.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Difool View Post
He says this:

"You can copy the retail boards to it via USB AND create your own boards"
Ahh... thank you John.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Ocelot View Post
No real blurb, just the pictures posted above along with a few others -- one shows a 990's boot up screen showing a SRJV-04 (Vintage Synth) expansion followed by the same boot up screen showing it acknowledging a "Waverex" expansion. The most important picture IMO is the one above showing that waves can be sourced from the expansion card.

Which brings up a couple of questions...

*If this is SRJV compatible does it also have ROM or flashRAM space for custom patches that point to waves on the card or is it just flashRAM for waves?

*If this is SRJV compatible why not show it working with compatible JV/XV units (1080, 2080, etc) as the potential audience for wave expansion would be about 10x greater than the 990?

*I guess that leaves JD-800 owners in the dark unless they are working on an 800 compatible card (which would make it also 990 compatible)

*The USB slot looks to be on the card, which means you will have to unscrew the expansion bay (and potentially remove the card if it can't be written to while on the JD expansion bus) every time you want to add new waves -- it's a potential source of stress to the delicate expansion port pins. Maybe Waverex will sell an expansion bay cover that allows a USB cable to be constantly connected.

*This potentially means people could pirate the waves from such coveted cards as the JD-800 strings and JD-990 Vintage Synth which could devalue these cards somewhat. I'm mixed on this -- if it means that more musicians have access to more waves to run through the JD-990 synth engine then I'm head over heels. Pirating Roland's proprietary waves though... meh.
Thank you for taking all that time, Rob!
Old 5th September 2020
  #444
I am actually close friend with WaveReX, but we are off-topic. Perhaps someone should open a separate thread.
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