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Roland JP-08

Roland Boutique Series JP-08

3.75 3.75 out of 5, based on 4 Reviews

Rebirth of a legend in a tiny form factor


27th January 2016

Roland Boutique Series JP-08 by monophonic

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Roland JP-08

If you don't know about the iconic monolith that the Jupiter-8 is, you'd better learn a bit about it first. Now, here's the miniature version of said iconic monolith. Roland did a very good job here. Even if I must admit I never had the chance to play the real thing, what I've heard and read here and there about it is quite very well summarized in the JP-08. Many people have been criticizing this or that aspect of the Boutique series, but considering the Jupiter alone, let's face it : would you really be able to afford the real gem ?

Visually speaking, you'll notice you're not exactly getting the real thing : small knobs, tiny faders, touch strip pitch and modulation, mini-keys. Roland has definitely nailed the concept of portable - well, maybe a bit too much here, though. It remains playable, and the illuminated faders are great, but you'll probably be using this synth (and its brothers) in the studio only.
Now for the inside : 4 voice polyphony, all right, you get half the real thing there. Anyway, for what I've been playing so far, it's quite enough. You'll be able to play your pads, strings and stuff. Obviously you'll be multitracking if you want full polyphony - or even better, get a second unit and chain them together.

The sound is... well, as I already said, I've never put my hands on a real Jupiter-8, so it's difficult to say if the JP-08 sounds exactly as its bigger brother. It's quite impressive anyway. Such a small unit giving you so much sonic power, even if it has a bit less depth than the original (after hearing a few comparisons on the Internet).
I found sound design to be fairly easy. I don't have a huge background in synthesis, but I know what most knobs do. If you know what you're looking for, you'll be getting a result in minutes. Otherwise, the journey into parameters will be the most pleasant anyway. The delay and the sequencer will be great tools as well to sculpt your sound.

The optional K-25m keyboard will allow you to have faster access to the JP whenever you feel like twiddling knobs and/or carrying it around. An external MIDI keyboard will otherwise be a much easier way to play on more octaves.

All in all, the JP-08 might not be your preferred synth because of its tiny knobs, but if you're after a Jupiter and can't afford it, then you'd better check this one out.

20th February 2016

Roland Boutique Series JP-08 by deepandrare

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 1 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 3
Roland JP-08

I really like the sound of it. close to what a Jupiter can do, of course some of the analogue vibeyness, mid-presence and polyphony are missing due to the DSP-generation, but it is still the only emulation in the box for such a price you will find.

The major cons for this piece of equipment is the lack of proper Midi-CC Implementation. No automation possible for any parameter, UNLESS you are willing to dig deep. The sliders are very tiny and getting to the sweet spot is difficult, making the wish for customizable automation and midi remote control even stronger.

Solutions can be found at the rolandclan forum, f.e. tbmidistuff on an ipad with a midi interface translating Midi into the sysex-only controls of the JP, using a firmware hack for the BCR2000 or a higher DAW f.e. logic or Pro-Tools which can handle 7-bit sysex will get you there.

To get the full potential out of your JP in a live rig or any other DAW but ProTools, Logic or Live (template can be found for paypal donations), you ll either have to dig deep and buy an ipad (170$ used) and the tbmidistuff-app (20$) + a midi interface of your choice (90$+).

B.t.w. there is 8€ donation based live template to control the automation parameters under:

daemonbite boutique-midi-converter

more info under:
Rolandclan Forum

24th March 2016

Roland Boutique Series JP-08 by contramark

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Roland JP-08

There have been lots of reviews out there about the new line of Boutique synths and thought I would weigh in being I'm probably one of the few owners of both a real Jupiter JP-8 and Boutique JP-08.....

First off, no I do not think they sound EXACTLY the same. Maybe watching the SonicState review on youtube through a crappy sound card (playing crappy presets in my opinion) they can sound pretty darn close, but immediately I noticed a difference in a home-studio setting.

4 things stand out:

1. The JP-08 sounds a bit compressed compared to the original JP-8. But not like a good high quality compression. Sort of like running it through a 3630.

2. It lacks some of the higher harmonics of the original. Not that it isn't bright enough, but just doesn't have the complexity up in the higher harmonic range.

3. It is noisier overall. And I'm talking digital cheap interface sounding noise...not the analog synth noise that sometimes sounds interesting and gives character. (if that makes sense) But go figure it doesn't have stereo XLR balanced outputs like the original but rather an 1/8 mono output.

4. When moving sliders/faders it doesn't sound great. You can hear some of the stepping.

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Having said all that, I am glad they released this unit as I can now play live alot of the sounds I create in the studio, however for recording I'm not going to think twice.

I'm not trashing the unit as I think it is one of the best sounding VAs that I've heard.

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Finally, for the record I am not some Jupiter JP-8 snob that spent $10k on the synth and pissed off about the digital re-creation.....In actuality as crazy as it is, I spent more on the Boutique JP-08 than I did on my original Jupiter 8, that I got in poor condition for only $200.

 

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