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Product Presentation: Roland Jupiter 50
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Salvation    Said...

I thought you where very rude to the Roland Rep .

Thankfully the Roland Rep was very professional honest and knowledgeable against your scrutiny . You would have never did that to Bert from Yamaha and most certainly not to Scott Tibbs from Roland . And as a final insult you didn't even let his demo play for more than a few seconds before you started rolling the credits and cutting his demo short even after your silly "reward" comment . You were negative for 99% of the video and clearly already had your bias mind made up before the Roland Rep got there but don't worry because the new Jupiter is not for the old generation of grumpy old men it's for the new generation of talented musicians and those with a open mind that can look to the future , Jupiter 8 been there done that . Great job Roland keep it up !

24-May-12 09:26 AM

Nick B    Said...

We actually got on extremely well and my intention was to push on its capabilities as I would do with a review, rather than a sales pitch - you can see that on Roland's own product videos if that is what you are after. Actually I would have pushed just as hard for either of those other two demonstrators had they come here and agreed to a Q&A session.

Sorry you didn't like it.

24-May-12 09:37 AM

mattsynth    Said...

WOW, I did not see it that way. To me it was the Jupiter 50 that was the downfall of this video. No aftertouch what year is this 1970? Roland has not introduced this synth correctly if you ask me. Calling it a Jupiter was a big mistake and has confused all their customers.

24-May-12 09:43 AM

SteveFromBerlin    Said...

Well, the demo at the could have been a bit longer, but I really like the video!

24-May-12 02:17 PM

Dr. Feelgood    Said...

I have zero interest in this Jupiter. It bears no resemblance to what made the JP-8 so great and the sounds I heard in this video are unremarkable - to say the least.

I don't know why Roland is trying to out-M1 the M1, to out-Fantom the Fantom, to out-Triton the Triton. These digital synths and their acoustic instrument emulations have been done to death and I'm ready for something great from Roland.. like the JP-8 once was.

24-May-12 02:58 PM

Nick B    Said...

Fair comment about the demo, I just thought the video was quite long so trimmed that part. perhaps I should have let it run longer, I can post that separately if you really want to see it?

24-May-12 05:23 PM

Synth_Fan    Said...

I own the JP80 (among dozens of other synths including many classics from the past, and I have to say, I love the JP80 - the Supernatural system rival sand arguably surpasses the Yamaha VL1; while the Supernatural Synth engine is stunning.

I have to say, I do not know where Nick is coming from - he falsely misrepresented the sentiment of the public by suggesting the Roland JP80 Synth engine is not a full synth engine, as is not seen as a full synth engine - he said it repeatedly. Nick - this is wrong! If you were to lay the Supernatural Synth controls out in hardware it would be equivalent to three JP8's! The oscillator section is massively stocked with many analogue modelling waves, and then hundreds of PCM samples which puts this synth engine squarely into JD800 territory. Its enhanced filter with JP8, Moog and P5 options make it very versatile. The LFO section is extremely well specified, and the ADSR Envelopes are perfectly adequate. And then one can layer three synths to make just one Tone, and ultimately layer 27 Supernatural Synth engines within the entire instrument architecture if you so choose. To say nothing of the 250 note polyphony on the JP80, the excellent effects section, and then Roland having laid on over 2000+ Tones (Supernatural Synth Single Programs) to get you going (which are programmed very well I might add). It's bloody awesome – just as a synth.

But to reiterate - the Roland JP80 / 50 Supernatural Synth engine is as well specified as the Jupiter 8 and 6, and its over all package makes from a staggering versatile virtual analogue synth package. Sure it's not a modular synth, but as an OASYS owner - I can promise you - absolutely nobody is programming the MS20 modular emulation on it - it may as well not exist. And with the iPad app – this is a pleasure to program – far easier for example than even the Polysix on the OASYs/Kronos because there the touch screen is for selection only while on the iPad one can modify parameters in realtime on the Pad.

Nick - you have poorly and falsely represented the JP80/50, and public perception / grievance about it. It is true there are many who do not like the instrument – rather 0 do not like it being called Jupiter - but nobody is saying the Supernatural Synth engine is not well specified and you are flatly wrong to say it is not a full blown synth - it is, and you should correct that impression. While I do not think you were in ay way insulting to the demonstrator, I agree with the first poster that you clearly have a prejudice against this instrument. You first bad review – hope it’s your last bad review.

24-May-12 05:36 PM

The Guvnor    Said...

I don't think the rep's excuse for the keyboard's name is a good one at all. The JP-4 is a synth that few people remember the sounds from, and the look of the current Jupiter range is more in line with that of a cash-in on the JP-8's styling. To say that the current range is named as an update to the JP-4's lousy acoustic emulations is a bit misleading.

Its good at what it does, but in this day not having much in the way of synth editing capabilities is a big let-down.

Loved the 'Starsky & Hutch' demo at the end even if it was curtailed :(

24-May-12 06:04 PM

Japansynth    Said...

Not sure why Nick has been accused of prejudice. What I saw and heard was a very accomplished keyboard player demonstrate what you can do with skill and an intimate knowledge of the keyboards OS.

Without Nick drilling down, (with polite incisive questioning), into the fundamentals of the sound generation and its pros and cons I would have had no idea how the roland was any different from anything else. I didn't sense the rep was rattled nor was he an apologist for the machine not being a VA.

It seems to me that this sort of detailed analysis and questioning is exactly what we want from an independent review.

24-May-12 10:22 PM

Eric    Said...

I have never played a Jupiter 8 to know even what they REALLY sounded like. I have experienced many other analog synths of classic yesteryear.

The key here is What WAS intended with the Jupiter line (aka Roland sticking to original intention of the Jupiter line) and what the synth's name has come to be known as.

From someone whom hasn't touched a Jupiter, It is understood to be a plethora of color on the face (new one has this) and amazing ANALOG sound. There is a REASON it is heavily sought after and emulated by companies and resold as VST's. It was for its 'sounds like natural instruments'.

The issue is that Roland insists on trying to tell the public that the Juptier line is NOT about its heritage as it was used (aka its synth as a raw synth power) but a new technology engine.

Sorry but to me It is Roland not understanding the internal definitions of the Jupiter line did not translate into the original analog synths and should not still be held up as the 'true' reason people love the name.

the public knows 'Jupiter' as a analog synth. not a digital one. They don't know it as what Rolands calls it "Jupiter stands for new technology for real emulated instruments'.

I believe Roland should have NOT used the jupiter name. it shows lack of understanding of WHY that name of synth line became famous.

I think now that I have explained this I am going to release a new star wars film and put vampires that sparkle in it. why? because that is what is new, it is what was out there.

anyway. . you get the point, i hope.

25-May-12 12:16 AM

Blake    Said...

I was and am still amazed by the Jupiter-80. Sadly though it is too big and out of my price range. That said, I had high hopes for a scaled down version but this J-50 just comes up short to me. The J-80 is such an expressive instrument with amazing realism. To have that and then take away an aftertouch keybed has me going Why The Hell did they do that. I also wish I knew why they insisted on a 73 key format instead of a 61 key?

This was an excellent review but I think I'll pass on this instrument in the hopes that Roland releases a module and/or a 61 key version with aftertouch.

I really don't care what they call it. The technology in these Jupiter instruments is amazing, It's just Roland's "packaging" department that needs an overhaul.

25-May-12 06:38 AM

raphus    Said...

Star Wars with sparkling vampires…exactly! They could have avoided so much angst and ill will from customers if they had just named it the Neptune 80 or Pluto 80 or something like that…same theme, new name. I much prefer pointed questions in interviews like this one to starry-eyed prompts for more advertizing fluff.

25-May-12 06:17 PM

zvukoprocessor    Said...

Nick was fair and did great job with this. I'm not a keyboard player so I don't need this keyboard but I love synths and own a modular that ends up almost in every track I compose. I can see the need to include acoustic instruments in a keyboard, but for the sake of the music itself if you need a guitar sound in your composition, why not ask a guitar player to play his instrument for you, same with all the other acoustic "sounds". and VA? common... trillion stacked waveforms.... what a promotional nonsense, even plastic 1 osc synth like sh-101 will blow away that "new technology"

26-May-12 06:13 AM

FG    Said...

I think Nick did a good job as always. roland has lost it, I say.

I see no real innovation and I don't see updates and support either, synth OS:es are left half-done and feature crippled.

27-May-12 07:00 AM

Gareth Bowen    Said...

Hi, I just thought I would let you all know that Nick and I had a great day at his studio and I knew he was going to be probing, which is what people expect from him as he is a very knowledgeable man when it comes to keyboards, I do think that he has kind of missed the point here though a little, and hasn't spent enough time with the keyboard to see it's full potential and capabilities. I am still shocked at the response from people though about using the Jupiter name when so far 100% of the people I've heard this comment from haven't played, heard, or even seen a Jupiter 8. They cost nearly 5000 pounds when they came out in 1981 which is the equivalent to around 10,000 pounds today, and there were only a couple of thousand made so it amazes me how there are so many so called experts on it out there? and most of those so called experts can't even play keyboards and the Jupiters have always been performance keyboards for players !! The fact is though that both the Jupiter-80 and 50 are incredible keyboards and as a player that has owned nearly every make of keyboard going, which have all had their one individual merits, The Jupiters are the best all round performance/sound creating keyboards I have ever had the pleasure of playing, and if you take a look at all the top session players and bands out at the moment, you will see that most of them are using a Jupiter and they can't all be wrong ! I think people should move on and forget the name and just see the keyboards for what they really are, Amazing/Brilliant studio/performance keyboards. The analogue modelling and editing goes far deeper than most people think. I suggest that those people that can't play a note and just want an analogue keyboard to make strange sounds should maybe just go on Ebay and buy an old Synth that has no memory and goes out of tune all the time. I had to use those keyboards back in the day and trust me, They are no fun on stage at all, You were never sure that they would play the right sound at the right time. The New Jupiters are Beasts. I am an independent session player and demonstrator and can honestly say with hand on heart that they are the best keyboards I have ever owned for the creation of sounds and for use on stage. You won't be sorry if your lucky enough to get one !!



27-May-12 07:39 AM

Mark    Said...

I think that nick did a great Job. @ Gareth Bowen, whats with the attack on people who like analogue synthesizers, yea like their all total morons that have no idea how to play... facepalm... watch Jexus, though he likes making noises he can also play... And also, you don't have go for vintage if you don't want to, DSI, MOOG and atria, cough, cough. Cost as much as these new Jupiters too. They don't go out of tune. I wonder how much Roland paid him for that one...

27-May-12 10:12 AM

Gareth    Said...

Maybe I was a bit over the top and I wasn't paid by anyone, these are just my views but I do find that most people that say that the keyboards dont deserve the name Jupiter haven't even seen the old Jupiter and just want a vintage style synth which is fine and should go and get one. Sorry if you were offended but I am aloud my point of view too and am willing to have a sensible discussion with anyone that can actually back up their arguments with actual facts. I do feel that I have to defend the keyboards though as anyone that does sit down with them for a while soon sees how good they are. I hope you get a chance to too.

Cheers. G.

27-May-12 12:47 PM

E Chambone    Said...

Here is what I don't get....

So the Jupiter 80/50 has analog modeling but it doesn't sound like a true analog synth.

People who love analog synths are purists (call them freaks whatever) and very straight to point if they get spanked by marketing in the wrong direction.

We hate Roland, Korg, Yamaha and all those big companies who made the absolute best synths in de 70/80/90 and are now selling plastic VA junk like its the best they can do. (and they do it year after year) My favorite synth of all time is probably the Juno-60 and Roland totally milked it until there was only blood. (if you get my point) There's nothing special about these brands anymore. I think that is a big fall bag for the true musician who loved the absolute best in analog.

But......Build us a true analog synth again and we will advertise it like madmen! At this point and just can't sell it with a straight face. I'm Sorry

27-May-12 05:05 PM

Japansynth    Said...


If we put the relative merits of what is clearly a very capable keyboard aside for a moment and just discuss the branding.

I infer your position is that "Jupiter" is synonymous with a performance keyboard. For me "Jupiter" = oldschool analogue. In fairness to me and the other perplexed the received wisdom from all music tech mags and interviews with keyboardists I have seen speak of the jupiter's analogue warmth and rarely mention playability/performance. In addition we have had vst emulations of the Jupiter which have reinforced the notion of what a Jupiter is and allowed many to tinker with the virtual iteration of the beast.

As a result I think the brand concept of what a Jupiter should be is written in large warm letters in the brains of music geeks. Hence the non sequitur. (although I agree the outrage some have is odd)

A great presentations from you. It is always thrilling to watch a musician bring an instrument alive.

P.S I own a Jupiter 6, but you're right my playing is crap

27-May-12 08:29 PM

Dr. Feelgood    Said...

Coming from the other side, I'm here to tell you that the "analog cranks" that Gareth and others complain about are completely in the right.

The average VA synth, even the above-average ones, just don't sound that good. I've got most of them. I relied on them for years in my productions, figuring that the world had moved on.

Then, last year, I PLAYED a Prophet 08. It was so great that I immediately bought it and took it home with me.

I have since procured a number of other analog synthesizers, including a Minimoog Voyager. No emulations even come close to either the Moog or the DSI Prophet. Not. Even. Close.

And this is coming from "Mister Plugin", which is what I was a year ago. Render unto synthesizers.. that which requires analog synthesis. The difference is stark.

27-May-12 08:33 PM

Gareth    Said...

Please don't get me wrong. I do love the old Synths, What I am trying to say, but obviously not very well is that I think that now we have the best of both Worlds without having to buy multiple keyboards to achieve the goal of getting the sound we want. We now have (I feel) very accurate sounds from the passed greats and I do find them fat and warm. I have lined up some old classics along side the Jupiter to see how close I can get to recreating the sound and I was very impressed. You have loads of waveforms, Multiple filters and ADSR envelopes for each oscillator and also plenty of LFO control. Add the huge range of effects that can be run in parallel as well as serial and you have the whole package, but that is just what I think. Don't you think it is great to have a keyboard that not only has incredible acoustic tones and control but also 1900 synth tones Modelled. Yes modelled but accurately modelled on all the old classics? It is far cheaper too than buying loads of individual synths. I thought Nick was great at putting across his points and not rude at all and I look forward to working with him again as Q&A sessions are great and important. None of us know what is planned for the future but I do feel that these Jupiter's will also be classics in the Future, Thanks for your comments guys. I do enjoy reading them, good and bad. I think Japansynth puts across his point of view very well indeed and Yes I love the Jupiter 6 too and it's not all about the playing. I know that. Thanks also for the nice words.

28-May-12 07:03 AM

Mark    Said...

Haha, ok maybe I was a bit harsh with the Roland paying comment, you obviously really like this board. To be honest their probably is not anything wrong with the Jupiter 50, it does it's job as a predominantly present based machine with some basic synth stuff. It's just that its a lot like all the other sample based keyboards out there. I think people are just frustrated at Roland because it is this company which has made so many great reasonably affordable synthesizer boards (haha probably affordable to many as second hand acquisitions) both digital and analogue, which sounded so good and were so much fun to program, and now they really don't have anything in that area, mar the toyish Gaia and the high end V synth and fantom if anyone has 5000 dollars lying around... I think people are also frustrated at Roland's stubborn mindset that is obsessed with sheen and the idea that Analogue is outdated, it can't seem to get into its big corporate head that a lot of people don't want a Van Halen emulation that sounds flat thin and digital or want to have 8 multitimbrality and 6 billion polyphony and that they just want to create some sounds they feel they own, they think sound cool and new, and they can use to have a jam by themselves or with others. Like I mean, korg does much better value and sounding VA synths like the microkorg and the radias, and DSI does analogue polys that sound like oberhiems/old prophets and something new. Isn't it time a new analoguey proper Roland sound was available? Alot of people do not want 64 voices, they want good sounding, highly editable or analogue synth voices, and 6 or 8 voices is fine. Instead of this boring unexciting present stuff...

28-May-12 10:55 AM

Gareth    Said...

O.K Mark I know there is no convincing you but I am glad we are friends again ;-) I can tell you this though. I have had some great nights with the GAIA and the computer editor for it. It's really cool too and a great way of learning Synthesis. There are 10 GAIA's built into the Jupiter-80 but I will stop there as I am not getting paid for this. Ha. All the best. G.

28-May-12 12:32 PM

knolan    Said...

@Gareth -

Your first post is excellent and highlights all the key points in this debate. Your appraisal of the instrument is spot on - it's stunning and as you indicate those griping have largely not played it.

My only issue with Nick's review was his repeated suggestion that the JP80 Supernatural Synth was not a full synth, which is wrong, it is. To me, he gave the suggestion that the JP80 synth tones were about as similar in editing capability of Yamaha PSR keyboards; and of course the JP80 Synth tones are higely capable and fully specified

I own and use the Jupiter 6, VP330, J106, JD990, V-SynthGT Prophet 10, Prophet T8, CS80 CS70M CS40M CS30 and CS01, Korg Trident and MonoPoly and then synths like the JD800 and SY99 & VL1 all the way up to the OASYS - and I agree - the JP80 is different to them all, has its own unique place. While the Supernatural Acoustic Tones are just wonderful to play, I'm equally excited by the Supernatural Synth Tones because of the stunning sound, ease of editing, fabulous layering - it adds equal weight and capability when compared to any of the other great synths in my arsenal. Above all - I love playing it - it's a joy and pleasure to use and feels like a real instrument of immense capability and true ‘feel’.

28-May-12 01:10 PM

Mark    Said...

Well guess I better get back to trolling through the VSE forums and fantasizing about the minibrute... Nice arguing with you (:

28-May-12 01:51 PM

Lagrange Audio    Said...

For the record I have played a JP80 and as Gareth points out it is an amazing instrument, I would love to have one. I just wish they would have called it something else. Sorry.

29-May-12 06:37 AM

raphus    Said...

I think discrediting the JP80's critics by pointing out that most of them have never played a JP8 is too easy, and it's a cheap shot. Of course most of us have never played a JP8, for many of the reasons that were pointed out: they were incredibly expensive and never very common, and they remain so today. I've listened to innumerable songs made with them, however, I've lusted after them for 30 years, and I've played various other analogs (including a JP6). So I think my opinion counts. One way for Roland to find out if reviving the Jupiter name was a good idea is to do it and see how the community reacts. That's what they did, and the community has reacted. The overwhelming reaction I've seen is negative. Like it or not, whatever Roland's original intentions for the JP8 were, the Jupiter name has become inextricably linked in customer's minds with high-quality, hands-on analog synthesis. Personally, I would not have minded a digital Jupiter; it's the acoustic emulations and lack of knobs and sliders that offends me about the JP80.

31-May-12 12:51 PM

Lagrange Audio    Said...

The enduring feeling I get with this issue is that despite the original intent behind the JP8 the impression that most people get when the JP8 is mentioned is one of a genuine beast of a an analogue synth and not Roland's original intent of acoustic emulation. Rightly or wrongly that is what people think. The simple fact that people have reacted in the manner they have speaks volumes about Roland's inability to understand this sentiment. I can just imagine the initial internal marketing discussions and the lone voice in the back of the room saying "You know what, maybe we shouldn't call it a Jupiter". If for no other reason that should they ever decide to actually do a 'proper' Jupiter (emulated or otherwise) they potentially may now do that machine a disservice. What also amazes me is the fact that Casio's XW-P1 is being raved about for no other reason (cost aside) that it potentially suggests the possibility of a genuine CZ something in the works. The XW-P1 contains some CZ references in its sounds in the same manner the JP80/50 does. The difference is that Casio had the marketing good sense to ensure the link was only tenuous thereby paving the way (should they ever decide to build such a thing) for a positive market reaction if and when it comes, it's a smart move on their part. As I have said before, while never having played the JP8 I like many others are eminently familiar with it. Having played a JP80 I loved it but it was difficult to walk away from that experience without thinking that what the name conjures up is not what it actually is. Saying all of that I can't afford one anyway and given there are so many more important things to worry about, it's only a name.

31-May-12 09:42 PM

Benedict Johnson    Said...

Wow - has a SonicState video ever sparked so much controversy? I think Nick was quite rightly skeptical. The demo at the end was fairly embarrassing. The control panel lay-out seems more appropriate for performance than the Kronos. If the iPad editor comes at the price of nothing more than a USB-dock, surely every workstation from now on should take advantage of iPad proliferation.

Surely the whole world is about to go analogue again anyway, right?

02-Jun-12 01:19 AM

Gareth (W)    Said...

Great job from both Nick and Gareth. Nick's line of questioning was excellent and there is no denying the talent of the demonstrator.

The way I see it, the new Jupiters seem to be a new packaging of old technology. Yamaha have had their Mega-voices with articulations for ages and now Roland seems to be playing catch up. LIstening and watching the demos I don't see or hear anything new, revolutionary or groundbreaking. , just rehashed technology. wow, layered sounds! My old Roland D70 could do all that stuff 20 years ago! THe only difference is that the acoustic instruments sound more convincing, that's just slow evolution.

Must say that it appears to be a robust, solidly build high quality instrument though. Thumbs up for that!

02-Jun-12 08:47 AM

Zuckwheat    Said...

This keyboard will fit my performance needs. It's all I'll need to bring to a gig.

12-Jun-12 04:24 PM

Mike    Said...

The link to this video appears to be broken. It cannot be downloaded here or from iTunes.

20-Jun-12 06:26 PM

Peter K.    Said...

I think if you take the Jupiter-50 for what it IS, and if that suits your needs, cool.

I have a Jupiter 6, a JD-800, a 106, and a few other classics. I love all of them for being creative, but if I had to roll with one board to do a gig, it would be the JP-50, or something like it.

In this as well as some of the other videos I've seen, it does sound very good, even the (modelled) synth tones. The acoustic emulations are pretty amazing - again I think of the Korg Z1 and Yamaha VL series... It's great that they're using this behavior modelling to interpolate the differences between playing the real instruments from a keyboard.

Although I'm getting great results from my Korg Kronoses, I see the value in these instruments. They don't offer the level of hands on control that I'd like, but I can't fault their sounds. Does it sound or function like my Jupiter 6? No. But the same argument could be made the other way. I could cut almost any gig on a 50, but not a 6. If I had to have only one, I would buy the 50 first. (Then save up and get a vintage synth or a Prophet'08 afterwards).

29-Jun-12 07:14 PM

Alex    Said...

I criticize the name choice too as I see behind it sales trick back on the days with Juno-D and Juno-G. So they repeat the trick with Jupiter series. And its all repacking.

@Raphus -- great! I think it would have better to name it Neptun or Pluto this synth instead of Jupiter80 / 50. To call it "XV88 mk II" would have made point too - atleast it would have been something!

But... Is it really worth for them to release almost every year a "new" synth model in repackaged casing?

otherwise nice ok digital synth for those who want to get their first ROMpler. :)

08-Jul-12 06:54 AM

Joe G    Said...

Gotta be honest- I spent a solid 2 hours with the JP-50 today in the store wearing headphones, and I came away unimpressed. The reason? The sound. It is not there for me. Sure, it screams, it barks and it growls, but it never really sizzles. The sounds are so terrible awash in effects, and when I removed them to hear the pure sound I was left with the feeling that they are terribly lacking, especially in presence. Maybe that's the way it is with all new synths, but the JP-6 and -8 grabbed you by the cojones without any effects on them. This doesn't. I went in to the store with the intention of walking out with a Jupiter-50, and I walked out with disappointment.

03-Sep-12 06:39 PM

Joe G    Said...

Gotta be honest- I spent a solid 2 hours with the JP-50 today in the store wearing headphones, and I came away unimpressed. The reason? The sound. It is not there for me. Sure, it screams, it barks and it growls, but it never really sizzles. The sounds are so terrible awash in effects, and when I removed them to hear the pure sound I was left with the feeling that they are terribly lacking, especially in presence. Maybe that's the way it is with all new synths, but the JP-6 and -8 grabbed you by the cojones without any effects on them. This doesn't. I went in to the store with the intention of walking out with a Jupiter-50, and I walked out with disappointment.

03-Sep-12 06:39 PM

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