Lazy man’s synthesizer buying guide
Do you want to pretend to make compelling music without having to work at it? Do you find it too hard to research which synthesizer would work best for you using a couple of Google searches before asking strangers online to do your research for you? I have the buyer’s guide for you!
You can not buy a real synthesizer for $100. Get a job and save up enough money to get a real synth.
You can not buy a real synthesizer for $200. Get a job and save up enough money to get a real synth.
You can not buy a real synthesizer for $300. Get a job and save up enough money to get a real synth.
What is the best synthesizer to buy for $398?
You can not buy a real synthesizer for $398. Get a job and save up enough money to get a real synth.
Congratulations, you now have enough money to buy a real synthesizer! The Roland JP-08 is a real synthesizer, and is, in fact, the only real synthesizer out there.
But what about the $300 Boutique JU-06 and JX-03?
While these two synthesizers are a pale reflection of the one true synthesizer, they are not real synthesizers. Get a job and save up enough money to get a real synth.
But the JP-08 is not real analog!
Analog is irrelevant. Roland perfectly simulates analog circuits with their ACB implementation. The sound is indistinguishable from an actual analog synthesizer, and does not have the reliability problems analog has.
But four voices of polyphony is not enough!
Yes, it is. People who need more than four voices in their synthesizer need to become better musicians, and make better music which can be played with only four voices of polyphony.
But the knobs and sliders are too small!
The knobs and sliders are the perfect size to make effective music without needlessly wasting space. If your hands are too big to effectively use the sliders on a JP-08, the solution is simple: Get an operation that makes your hands smaller!
Why is the JP-08 the only true synth?
It has true analog sound, a sequencer, remarkably deep programming, and is easy to learn, since all of the controls are on the front panel.
But what about digital synthesis and samples?
Real music does not need digital synthesis, nor does it need to use samples.
But the JP-08 is digital!
ACB is digital that sounds just like analog and is therefore, analog.
But that’s not real analog
Yes, it is. Indeed, the only real analog is Roland ACB analog. Everything else is not as deep, lush, and beautiful as the sound only ACB can make.
Real synthesizers are not battery powered
Actually, they are, since the JP-08, the only true synth, can be battery or USB powered.
Real synthesizers don’t have built in speakers
Yes, they do, since the JP-08 has a speaker.
I don’t like the mini keys
The JP-08 does not have mini keys.
The JP-08 does not have built in reverb or chorus
The JP-08 is a real synthesizer, not a rompler toy.
The JP-08 is not as flexible as a modular synthesizer
With VCO2 able to modulate the frequency of VCO1, VCO1 able to hard sync VCO2, EG1 able to modulate VCO1/VCO2 frequency (either one or the other or both), VCO pulse width and/or VCF cutoff, EG2 able to modulate VCF cutoff and VCA level, the LFO able to modulate VCO1/VCO2 frequency, VCO pulse width, VCF cutoff, and/or VCA level, and the key pressed modulate the VCF cutoff and the speed of either (or both) EGs, the JP-08 has enough modulation routings to make real music.
Any music that needs different modulation routings than the above is not real music.
The JP-08’s digital interface is at 44.1khz
According to the Meyer/Moran study, 16-bit 44.1khz is indistinguishable from a wire. The JP-08’s 24-bit 44.1 is actually overkill.
The best synthesizer to buy for $500 is a Roland JP-08. Use the $100 left over to buy a keyboard and reverb pedal.
The best synthesizer to buy for $700 is a Roland JP-08. Use the $300 left over to buy a keyboard, multitrack, and a reverb pedal or unit.
The best synthesizers to buy for $800 are two Roland JP-08s. The two modules can be linked together to have eight voices of polyphony.
But you said real music didn’t need more than four voices!
Real music, indeed, doesn’t need more than four voices. But, by linking two JP-08s together, it is possible to make fake music that needs more than four voices of polyphony, which is no longer fake music because it is made with a real JP-08.
Is the Roland Jupiter-8 a real synthesizer?
While the Jupiter-8 is a pale reflection of the JP-08, and indeed an inspiration for the JP-08, it is not a real synthesizer because it is not, in fact, a JP-08.
But there’s a picture of a Jupiter-8 on the JP-08’s box!
In order to protect people around the JP-08 from the splendor of seeing a graven image of a real JP-08, they put a picture of a fake synthesizer on its box instead.
But Alicia Keys played a Roland Jupiter-8 in her #1 hit “No One”
No, Alicia Keys played a Yamaha Jupiter-8
But Yamaha never made a Jupiter-8!
Exactly. The keyboard Alicia Keys played in the video for “No One” is an imaginary synthesizer that does not really exist. The reason for this is simple: The only real keyboard that exists is a JP-08. Since the keyboard in “No One” is not a JP-08, it is not a real keyboard, but an imaginary one.
But what about using a computer to make music?
Using a computer as a digital audio workstation (DAW) can only make fake music. Real music, after all, can only be made with a JP-08.
Buy 25 Roland JP-08s.
You can get a Jupiter-8 for $10,000!
But why get one fake synthesizer when you can get 25 real JP-08s for the same price?
So, what synthesizer should I buy?
Based on the above logical arguments, the only real keyboard to get is a JP-08. This definitely answers any “What synthesizer should I get for $XXX questions” that will ever be asked online.