Mini Key Wars - Roland Boutique

It seems after Yamaha introduced Reface series now Roland’s turn

Roland Boutique

They all seem to run out of ideas.

What is it about this mini key thing? How about no keys or real keys? I would be better off buying a bunch of these as little boxes and one splittable mini key controller if I wanted mini keys. Which I don’t.

Guess the logic goes like this: whoever hates mini keys can plug a full keyboard and use it as a module.

Pros are either in the “I don´t care how it looks, just how it sounds” camp or in the “gear fetish” camp. Mini keys are mostly not popular among many in the latter.

The rest, have a half-way decent way to play the synth.

“The Rest” includes the vast prosumer market.

They haven´t been churning out Microkorgs for ages just to piss us gear fetish types off.

This is what pays the bills for them to even consider making some riskier stuff.

Hey at least we’re getting hardware boxes again. My only disappointment with the Reface series is that they’re not sending audio over USB as well.

If they’re going to use mini keys, at least in Korg’s case, I wish they would use the keyboard from the MicroStation. It’s actually playable.

I don’t care about key size. If these are real analogue and the JX3P sounds like my 8P with full resonance, I am getting one.

I wold rather have no keys to save space, but they can go along the walls just like my vintage Rolands as I will just assume they have amazing MIDI control.

Of course they could literally charge $1000 for one of these and I would just laugh my ass off. My biggest issue with the “reface” was the price. Kind of absurd for the feature set and limited memory. Let’s hope that these are more reasonably priced with greater memory if they are digital.

I hope they are analog!

I’d wager that these are “ACB” ‘analogue’, since Roland have already developed the technique for it, and most people are perfectly happy with it. This should also keep component sourcing woes away, while allowing a relatively modest price. This could also allow them to make it sync to the Aira series(MX-1), and send stuff over a built in interface to your computer.

It might just be because I’m young, and in the target demographic for the Aira series, but a well executed digital revival of a analog synth is perfectly fine in my book - You don’t have all the problems of an original, they’re much cheaper than the original, and sound around 99% the same as the original.

I can certainly live with 99% of the original for less than 100% of the cost, and headache of the original.

Then again, the botique label might suggest an actual analog revival… Hrmmm…

The only reason why I believe that these are analogue is that all three of these models use the same Roland IR3109 chip. With ACB, there is no reason to use models that have the same IC. They could have made a JX10 or an Alpha Juno 2 with ACB instead of the JX3P and Juno 106.

On Ask Audio there was also a posting that hinted that there may be more sizes of keybed and that the 2 octave mini key models are the “consumer” model.

It is entirely feasible to fit 8 or 6 synth voices on a PCB that size using SMT components.

I also like the AIRA stuff and the System 1m, but these would be too cool if they are genuine analogue.

Analog(ue) or digital, both good, if they sound good! But 25 mini keys for a poly synth???
On synth like the MicroBrute this is ok, but not for a Jupiter 8 recreation.

@toneburst: Shruthi oscillator section in euro = 2 Braids and a Warps. And that adds a ton of extra features too! Such as being able to use “duo” and “fuzz” at the same time. :wink:

Back on topic, if these are digital, they would benefit from having more options than what they are recreating. A Roland “micron” with ACB type sound would be good too.

Love my Micron!

Cute! Mini keys are an extra purchase. You don’t need to buy them. Very smart!
They are all 4 voice ACB technologie, but you can chain them for more polyphony.

It seems these are the prices

K-25M USB MIDI Keyboard $99
JX-03 Synthesizer Module $299
JU-06 Synthesizer Module $299
JP-08 Synthesizer Module $399

I love the fact that the keys are optional.
I strongly dislike the suggestion of these being limited edition though. But then again, at that price, it seems like they were made to sell, so doubt they will be that limited edition. Hopefully. I’m really looking forward to these.

They are all 4 voice? Why can’t these run on a system 1m?

cool: telling from the ‘seq’ controls on the bottom right, all three seem to have a sequencer. if handles as well as the jx3p’s, but stores sequences per patch and also sends them as midi, that’s a really cool addition!

They pulled them from the site. Photos here

These look really attractive, but I’m a bit surprised by the limited polyphony. I would have gladly paid $200 more to get 8 voices in that JP-08.

Tweezers included!