The legendary Jupiter-8 synth is back as a limited-edition tabletop sound module. Part of the Roland Boutique Series, the JP-08 Boutique is all about hands-on control and that iconic Jupiter sound. Th... Read More
The legendary Jupiter-8 synth is back as a limited-edition tabletop sound module. Part of the Roland Boutique Series, the JP-08 Boutique is all about hands-on control and that iconic Jupiter sound. Those engaging analog strings and pads, those blistering leads, and those bass patches are yours again, but with better control than ever. With an array of 36 knobs and sliders from the original Jupiter-8 front panel, the 4-voice JP-08 Boutique is highly programmable and encourages sonic experimentation, especially with the built-in speaker and battery operation.
Using Roland's acclaimed Analog Circuit Behaviour (ACB) technology the JP-08 Boutique faithfully reproduces the original Jupiter-8 sounds and adds a few new twists in the form of extra LFOs and expanded VCO range. You can even slide the JP-08 Boutique into the optional K-25m keyboard unit for a self-contained, go-anywhere synth experience.
Huge Synth. Small Package.
The Jupiter-8 was a big synth in every way; physically imposing with loads of knobs and sliders, and most importantly, a huge sound. The JP-08 Boutique retains the big sound of the Jupiter-8, but shrinks everything else – including the price – into a module measuring under 12 in. across.
With such an expressive sound engine, you'll want to shape the sounds to match your mood. With 36 of the original parameters accessible from the front panel, the JP-08 Boutique is all about hands-on control, and even users of the Jupiter-8 will quickly feel at home as the user interface and programming "feel" is highly reminiscent of the original.
New sound-shaping options
Even though the JP-08 Boutique is an authentic recreation of the Jupiter-8, Roland also included a few extras. The JP-08 Boutique adds several new waveforms to the original architecture, including TRI and NOISE for the LFO and SIN for VCO-1, and both VCOs have an expanded range for even more sound shaping potential.
Develop your ideas with a 16-step sequencer
The onboard 16-step sequencer is a sonic scratchpad that lets you try out new ideas without bringing lots of gear –it can even be used without a keyboard. And if there's no keyboard connected, the ribbon controller lets you preview the sound, making it an ideal way to program patches quickly and easily.
Optional K-25m keyboard unit
The JP-08 Boutique works especially well with the K-25m, an optional 25-key velocity sensitive keyboard that takes your music making to the next level. Once docked in the keyboard, the module's front panel adjusts to three positions for convenient access to the knobs and sliders.
One of the killer features of the original Jupiter-8 was its ability to create huge pads, splits and layers using its 8 voices of polyphony. The JP-08 Boutique features a chain mode that allows you to connect two JP-08 Boutique modules using the MIDI ports and create one, 8-voice synthesizer, just like the original. Adding additional modules adds another 4 voices of polyphony with each module. This is especially great when controlling the JP-08 Boutique from a larger external keyboard. You can even edit the sound from the master module and control both units. Great for realtime filter sweeps and LFO effects.
Battery or USB Bus power
Some of the best music is made away from the studio, so the Roland Boutique series runs on 4 x AA batteries, ready for when inspiration strikes. Alternatively, you can power the JP-08 Boutique via USB bus power.
USB audio interface for direct recording into your DAW
The built-in USB port also functions as a high-quality 24-bit, 44.1kHz audio interface, for a fast, simple and reliable way of recording directly to your DAW application. You can keep your favorite patches and sequencer patterns safe too, via the USB data backup function.
*NOTE: The JP-08 Boutique is pictured above with the optional K-25m keyboard unit, which must be purchased separately if you want to use the JP-08 Boutique as a self-contained syntheszier. Please see #J26980 to purchase this add-on.
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Review Snapshotby PowerReviews
Reviewed by 3 customers
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Comments about Roland JP-08 Sound Module:
I really wanted to like it and had high hopes after all the hype. Sadly it sounds like a cheap freeware vst, NOTHING like a real JP-8. I do not own a real JP-8, But have been fortunate to borrow a friends from time to time for projects. This is geared for the guys who like to fiddle with nobs and not real musicians. I cannot speak for all, but most musicians I know are quite tired of all the mini synth stuff and small keys on everything now. I was going to buy the Korg version of the ARP Odyssey as well, but when I found out about the small size and reduced keys............I just saved up another $600 and bought a REAL one. I know Im going to get flamed over this, But the Arturia Jupiter 8V is a more logical choice for sound and real world work if you cannot obtain a real Jupiter 8 Synth. The JP-08 will probably be discontinued before long, and I dont see it ever being a "classic synth" in regard to sound quality. It reminds me of a original JUNO-6, but WITHOUT all of the analog warmth in the sound. It can be run through effects and EQ's to achieve a thicker sound, but whats the point honestly? It would be nice if Roland could reproduce a REAL Jupiter 8, but lets face it the production cost to do it would put a new one in the same price range of the vintage ones $9000+ The real synth enthusiast will recognize the toy quality right away. In this day and age everything is going software anyway. the days of dragging a huge modular or an arsenal of vintage synths are coming to a close as collector's (not real musicians) have driven the price of these awesome machines out of mortal man and woman's grasp sadly. On the bright side, most people (fans /listeners, Not synth aficionados and programmers) cant hear the difference from analog and virtual synths anyways. man I feel like a dinosaur lol. Bottom line, this is a toy and a passing fad im my opinion. yours may differ, it may be the best thing you have ever heard. If you get to demo it and love it, more power to you.
Comments about Roland JP-08 Sound Module:
I've never had or played a classic Roland Jupiter-8, so I'm not going to try to make comparisons. What I can say is that this is an extremely powerful and deep synth that is absolutely evocative of 80s analog sounds. I think Roland is to be commended for the entire Boutique line, and I have them all. I would easily recommend them for anyone that wants these classic sounds with a hands-on "knob per function" synth: JU-06 for those new to synthesis, JX-03 for its intermediate complexity and broad flexibility, and this JP-08 for its depth and complexity. I think the portability and form factor (with an optional keyboard: genius) is a winner. BUT, I wish the design had not impacted the usability of the JP-08 quite so much, and definitely a bit more than its siblings. Precise control on these smaller sliders is difficult, but that's not to say that it can't be controlled. It's simply that when it comes to some advanced features of the JP like cross-modulation, it requires a precision that is difficult to pull off. This wouldn't be such an issue if the Boutiques had better MIDI CC support, but they don't, and that's a shame. The whole line would really benefit from it, as well as the ability to better integrate into a DAW. I'd like to think this is something Roland can "fix in firmware", but I never buy in the hope of that, and neither should you. Having said that, there are 3rd parties on the internet who are coming up with good solutions (documenting the SysEx, creating Web MIDI interfaces for the Boutiques, iOS control solutions) and filling the gap that Roland themselves have left. Nevertheless, the JP-08 is, as it is, a tremendous value for its pricetag. Because of the "chain mode", I almost certainly will buy a second JP-08 for a full 8-voice Jupiter-like experience.
Also, kudos to Guitar Center for carrying them and, in this case, shipping it so quickly, packed well. I acquired the other Boutiques at my local store immediately.
If you want one, buy one soon. They truly do seem to be limited edition, and are already hard to find in Europe (January 2016).
4 to 4.5 stars out of 5
Comments about Roland JP-08 Sound Module:
Although I'm a Drummer, I have a little experience with analog synthesizers, starting back in the early '70s. I've personally owned these keyboards: "Korg MiniKorg-700S", "Minimoog Model-D" and "ARP 2600". I was fortunate to be able to take private synthesizer lessons, at a University in Florida, on a Studio Moog. So, I guess you could say, besides "rhythms" and "drumming", I also enjoy designing sounds.
Since my wife and I had never worked with a Roland Jupiter-8, our goal in buying the JP-08 was not to recreate those sounds. Instead, we wanted something small with a lot of features for the price and ultra-stable. (Although we enjoy the warmth of "Analog" synthesizers, "Digital" is ok with us. Especially since it delivers dependable sounds.)
Since we don't like "mini keys", we did not buy the optional "Roland K-25m" keyboard.
On to the Roland JP-08…
(Some of the general things I mention below will also apply to the other Boutique modules. Since we don't own those, I can only speak about our experience with the "JP-08".)
• It's a little larger (thicker and longer) than a hardcover book and, yes, its knobs and sliders are very small but they're not as difficult to work with as they appear in the photos and videos I've seen. However, there are times when I wish the Sliders had a little more "Throw" to them. (A longer, physical area to move the Slider.) For "me", the "CROSS MOD" Slider is where I notice this the most… As you move that particular Slider, you sometimes land on some very interesting "harmonics" or "pulsings" (created by the two Oscillators being slightly detuned from each other). Having a longer Slider for that Parameter, would allow me to experiment more deeply with the subtleties generated by that effect.
• Besides generating unusual harmonic combinations, the "CROSS MOD" can also generate "metallic" sounds, which is usually accomplished by a "Ring Modulator". Personally, I like a synth to have a "Ring Modulator" but the "CROSS MOD" effect on the JP-08 is a fair substitute., especially for the price and compactness of the unit.
• It "can" run on 4-AA batteries (which were included).
• There are two built-in "Ribbon Controllers" (for "Pitch Bend" and "Modulation") — two strips of plastic where you can modify the sound by placing your finger on that area and sliding it higher or lower. Each "Ribbon" has its own feedback light. (Although this is nice, to "me", it's only for "show" and doesn't really offer any real feedback. Since you're placing your finger on a certain spot of a Ribbon, your "finger" provides the feedback of "where" the Ribbon is being touched.) Since this product doesn't have a built-in keyboard, you can play individual notes by touching the "Pitch Bend's" plastic "Ribbon" strip.
• The "C1 Ribbon" allows you to play 25 notes "IF" the MIDI and USB Ports are not connected and "IF" the optional "Roland K-25m" keyboard is not attached. This "playable Ribbon" is a very good idea. I usually keep the JP-08 on my desk and, because it has its own speaker and can run on batteries, between various projects, I can instantly turn it on and experiment with the sounds and sequence patterns and then the playable Ribbon comes in very handy..
• This unit takes about 3-seconds to be ready to use, once its Power Switch is turned on.
• The JP-08 is fairly intuitive to use but, as with any synthesizer, if you're new to this type of instrument, it would be wise to learn what the basic synthesizer components do (Oscillator, Filter, Envelope Generator, etc.). Within the first 30-minutes or so, I had created 5 or 6 very interesting sounds. A couple of times, I was confused at how this tiny unit was producing "Reverb" effects when it doesn't have "Reverb". (It has "Delay" but it wasn't turned ON.)
• "ENV-1" (Envelope Generator - 1) is hardwired to the "VCO MOD" Section.
• "ENV-2" (Envelope Generator - 2) is hardwired to the VCA (amplifier).
• The Filter (VCF) has a switch, which allows it to be controlled by "ENV-1" or "ENV-2". (This means, if this switch is set to "ENV-2", then both the "Filter" and the "amplifier (the "VCA") will be controlled by that Generator.)
• "ENV-1" has a switch which allows it's Voltage Controlling "Shape" to be Inverted. (Finding the right balance in its settings, you can achieve two, instantly-different effects just by flipping this switch. It's tricky but can be done. You just have to wrap your mind around the idea of the Inverted signal, which I struggle with sometimes.)
• The box is well thought-out and has nice protective padding inside. We almost didn't see the batteries. When we did, they were a bit difficult to remove from the box.
• The sounds, through the JP-08's built-in speaker, are better than I expected but then I connected the JP-08 to a small Roland amplifier (the "CUBE CM-30) and, wow! The sounds are very rich and highly detailed. The sounds through the online videos don't do this unit justice.
• The ability to store Patches in the JP-08 and back them up or restore them from a computer, is also handy.
• The MIDI Chain" feature is ONE of the reasons we choose the JP-08 over something else, such as the Arturia MiniBrute. Activate this feature and ANY MIDI instrument, not just another "Boutique" Module, will sound whenever more than four notes are produced within the JP-08.
• Because I'm new to "Digital" synths, especially the JP-08 with Roland's "Analog Circuit Behavior" (ACB) technology, I'm sometimes annoyed by the "Reverb" this unit produces. It doesn't have "Reverb". It does have "Delay" but I typically leave it off. (I think what's happening is… "usually", when the "Release Time" of one or both of the JP-08's Envelope Generators is between the halfway mark and fully open, it sustains the audio information just enough to blend it with the next note played and THIS produces a perceived "Reverb" effect. Just a guess on my part)
• Although the JP-08 does come with 4-AA batteries, you can also connect it to a computer and draw Power from there. However, if you want to use a standard electrical outlet for Power, you'll have to purchase another cable. (Keep in mind that this unit has a "Micro" USB Port. Not a "Mini" USB Port.)
• It would have been nice it the box "folded-out" or could be "inverted", in order to serve a second purpose of acting as a "Stand" for the JP-08. For us, we just made our own stand. We bought a small sheet of metal at a local hardware store and I "cut" and "bent" it, to form an "A" type of Stand. I placed photos of this on our "Infinity" Bandsite.
• Connecting any audio source to the "Input" Port on the JP-08 will not allow you to manipulate that sound. The unit simply sends that sound directly to its "Output" Port, without affecting it in any way. (I asked Roland Tech Support about this and was told this feature allows Users to buy more than one Boutique Module, connect them together with a MIDI cable and use the "Input" and "Output" Ports to route the sound through each unit and finally out to an amplifier. In other words, without that "pass-through-audio" feature, you'd have to use more than one audio cable between a Boutique Module and your amp. We look at this as a crippled "feature". It's a "synthesizer". Allow the JP-08 to modify those sounds. We also own a Roland SH-201 and it also has an audio input Port. However, IT allows you to modify the sound.)
• (We did not buy the optional "K-25m" keyboard.) The biggest issue for us is the Boutique's inability to send MIDI "out" through its "MIDI Out" Port. That's right. No MIDI information is sent out of that Port UNLESS you have the "K-25m" keyboard attached. (Initially, we thought this was a manufacturing defect… because in OUR JP-08, MIDI information WAS being sent out but only when using certain Patches. However, after doing a "Factory Reset", even this stopped working.) We did mention this to Roland and we're still confused about their decision… If Roland only wants the Boutique Modules to send MIDI out when their keyboard is attached, then why didn't they simply put the "MIDI Out" Port ON the K-25m? Seeing this Port on the JP-08 tells "us" that we now have this capability "out of the box" (without buying anything else)! So, once Roland Tech Support informed us that we don't have this capability, we were disappointed. (Even if you have two or three Boutique Modules connected together through "MIDI" AND you had the "K-25m" connected to one of them, the other two Modules would NOT send out any MIDI. This is what Roland Tech Support told us.) We didn't return the JP-08 because, for "us", it's still a very good all-purpose and "scratch-pad" (to work-out quick ideas) synthesizer. The frustrating part comes when we've spent a lot of time creating a great sequence pattern and then want to hear how that "pattern" would affect an instrument in one of our other synths: "Oh. Wait. We can't get that pattern out of the JP-08 because its "MIDI Out" isn't activated." So, for "us", not having MIDI "out" is not a deal-breaker. However, we were going to buy a Roland JX-03 (another "Boutique" Module) but didn't (because of the "MIDI Out" and "Input" issues). Instead, we purchased a Roland "System-1m". It's similar to the JP-08 but more powerful and very flexible (although it doesn't have a Sequencer).
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