Roland Does Not Reissue The Jupiter-8 & TR-808 In Analog, “Never Chase A Ghost”

Roland has official announced that they are not planning an analog reissue of the Jupiter-8 Synthesizer & TR-808 drum machine because it does not fit to their vision.

Attention to all fans and lovers of Roland synths, this is a tough news. Back in September, Roland presented the new Jupiter-Xm as well as Jupiter-X, new flagship instruments. However, the fans were a bit disappointed with the release, as there are again digital synthesizers that emulate the well-known Roland synths.

The desire for new polyphonic analog synths from Roland is huge, even many want to see a reissue of the legendary Jupiter-8. Unfortunately, this wish can now be buried. In a recent interview conducted by the Roland team with the CEO and representative director Jun-ichi-Miki, he confirmed that Roland is not planning to release analog reissues of either the well-known Jupiter-8 Synthesizer or the TR-808 drum machine.

Roland Jupiter-8 analog reissue

Never Chase A Ghost

He describes the decision with the sentence: “Never chase a ghost” and that this doesn’t make sense for their vision of the future. The focus is on new synthesizers and technologies that can be found already in the Jupiter-X synths. Here what he said:

We are very aware of the very strong passion that synth fans have for the JUPITER-8, and some continue to wait for us to introduce a true analog version. This is something we do not plan to do. Our founder Mr. Kakehashi always said, “Never chase a ghost”, and I really understand his meaning.

Chasing the ghost” of the original JUPITER-8 or TR-808 does not make sense as we will never catch them, and this effort would not align with our vision for the future. Roland has developed many legendary products throughout our history that came from our drive to always design the future by applying the latest technology and our unique know-how from each era. This is our DNA which will never change.

Roland Chases Ghosts In Digital

In the interview, the CEO says Roland is not following any ghosts. In my opinion, they do that, just not in analog but in digital. Good examples are the Boutique synths, the System-1/8 plug-outs, or the new Jupiter-X series. All of these are replicas or emulations of previous Synthesizers based on DSP.

If Roland will develops new instruments that are not based on the past, I would say yes they do not chase ghosts. Let say, a futuristic synth à la Roland V-Synth with multiple synthesis engines (VA, FM, additive, granular) and advanced sample manipulation and not the 10th digital reissue of a digital warm-up of an SH-101 or Juno-6. Roland keeps track of the ghosts they called themselves and they will not let them go.

Free Track For Behringer & Others

Such a statement by the Roland CEO may inspire other companies to clone their own legendary products. Behringer has already successfully rebuilt the SH-101 (MS-1) and the TR-808 (RD-8). Do not be surprised if Uli conjures up an analog Jupiter-8 replica in the coming years.

If the communities are calling for analog replicas but the original manufacturer does not want to reissue them, then it is normal that other companies will try to satisfy those desires. And do not say it now: the evil synth companies that can only clone. Roland is to blame for this clone fever. If they want to revive the old instruments, equip them with new features and give them a modern look, they could slow down their interest in clones and it would be a huge success. Pretty sure!

I do not want to rant about Roland’s product portfolio, but one should not say that they have been warned many times. The interest of the community for analog reissues is and remains there.

Source: Roland Interview

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7 Comments

  1. Yepp! I am with you. Totally. Don’t tell us this nonsense about ghosts. What are the blutique D-50, TR-08/09 03??!! Are you kidding me.
    And if they are not chasing ghosts why do they then still use almostvthe same names???? TR/ Jupiter/D etc… Get real. There’s money to be made! A lot!

    • I think you might overestimate the market for analog synthesizers. It’s a niche within a niche. I am sure Roland earns most of their money with digital pianos, e-drums and digital workstations.

  2. Here’s a thought: don’t reissue an old analog synth. Instead make a new analog with that Roland sound. It doesn’t have to be a JP-8 exactly.

    After all, back in the day they did 3 different Jupiters and none of them sound particularly alike. But all of the Jupiter’s, the JX and Juno and SH lines – they were all unique yet they all sounded like a Roland.

    Nowadays Roland makes analog monosynths (SE-02) and modular – why not make a full-featured poly that can do the lineage proud? Call it a Jupiter-12 or something. There ya go Jun-Ichi-Miki, no ghost chasing involved.

    Dave Smith has been very successful with the Prophet-6 and OB-6, two modern analog homages to classic designs – throwbacks perhaps, but not reissues or clones – and they are wonderful instruments. Don’t reissue a Jupiter, give me a new analog Jupiter with that silky Roland sound.

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