Today Roland announce their new products - September has become their traditional slot now - and it makes sense - out of the NAMM rush and in time for the Christmas buying spree. This time we're getting a few in the keyboard/synth category to check out.
We hooked with David Áhlund at their London HQ at Metropolis Studios to take a look at the, new MC-707 Groovebox, the Jupiter-Xm, Boutique JU-06A and the new Fantom range (did you know that Axel Hartmann had a hand in the new look?)
Roland return to the groovebox world - the MC707 features 8 tracks - Drum (each has 16 drum sounds), Tone (64 voice synth engine) and Audio tracks (with up to 6 minutes of sampling for each project). Clip and scene style launching, per track macro assignments, built in FX, inputs for recording and processing and more. You can mix and match freely between the track types, no limitations on how many of each, within the 8. Also has 2x MIDI outputs and is Aira Link compatible.
Also available - MC-101 (four track version) £431
Using their new A-Core synth engine, this differs from ACB in that is is more CPU efficient and can provide up to 256 voices across 5 part multi-timbrality with FX and assignable performances. The Jupiter Xm also allows for different models to be loaded (mix and match) with Jupiter 8, Juno, JX, SH101, XV and RD (piano) engines. Its nicely built with large format connections, XLR and combi jacks for IO (features a vocoder too). Although its only got a 3 octave keybed - which also is not full size, its got aftertouch and feels pretty good. A real voice rich workhorse. In the room it sounded beefy so decent D/As are used.
Yes there is also a Jupiter X - which is also the full size version, which will be available April 2020 we hear, priced at $2499. This was not functioning at the time we were there.
Jupiter-Xm Price $1499/€1400
This is a new release, and its not as far as we know going to be limited edition like many of the other Boutiiques. Its an updated JU06 which now features the 106 model and the Juno 60 (which used VCOs not DCOs). This is using the ACB (Analog Circuit Behaviour) modelling tech at 48kHz like the other Boutiques. Gone are the mod strips, replaced by an arpeggiator and mode selection switches. Still with four voices, but has some classic sounds from what we heard.
New Fantom Workstations
Roland have updated their Fantom range, with a new program structure, all setups are now stored in scenes, there's no other unit of memory storage - each scene stores the whole lot - voice parameters for all 16 parts, mixer and FX, sequencer and audio samples. There's also a V-Piano engine in there as TR step recording. Its aimed at the MD, live performer and songwriter who wants the full workstation experience. I suspect we'll be seeing these on the road soon.
Comes in F6 (61 key), F7 (76 key) and F8 (88 weighted keys) models
$3299,3499Euros, $3599/3699Euros, $3999/3999Euros, respectively.
Fantom F6 Product page: https://www.roland.com/global/products/fantom_series/fantom-6/