My Roland System-8 Synthesizer Review


About Roland

Co​​​​mpany Details

Roland Corporation is a leading manufacturer and distributor of electronic musical instruments.

Roland is known for keyboards and synthesizers, guitar products, electronic percussion, digital recording equipment, amplifiers, and audio processing devices.

Roland Website


My Initial Thoughts

Roland System-8 Synthesizer is a new model that has its own architecture, but that also recreates the circuits of Roland’s classics like the Juno-106 and Jupiter-8.

Let’s take a closer look at this new and exciting take on the good old models.

Roland had several great surprises for us over the past several years, and thanks to those, the excitement over every new model is now incredible.

If this was any other company, I wouldn’t care as much.

But considering that Roland is a company that’s mostly responsible for the sound of dance music, I’ve been waiting impatiently for their newest model.

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Roland Synthesizer (SYSTEM-8)
19 Reviews
Roland Synthesizer (SYSTEM-8)
  • Versatile performance synthesizer with...
  • Internal sound engine delivers classic analog...
  • Hosts up to three plug-out synths; Jupiter-8...

Feel, Specifications, Dimensions, and Integrations

What I got is System-8, a reissue of the classic polysynth line, that comes with Juno-106 and Jupiter-8 plug-outs, that were incredibly (and justifiably so) popular during the 80s.

This new flagship synthesizer model is really versatile, and it has a lot to offer.

When it comes to size, this 13-pound heavy synthesizer is 14.3” deep, 34.7” wide, and 4.3” tall. Not too big, and not too small, with its 49 keys, this synth can really offer a lot. The case is pretty resilient, and the sound is simply amazing.

I have to admit though, that the design isn’t one of the most beautiful out there. On the other side, not everything is about appearances.

In case you need to backup or restore your data, it comes with an SD card support. It draws 2A of current, and its power supply comes from an AC adaptor.

Is this the best synthesizer I’ve seen?

Well, if not the best, it’s among top ten definitely.

It has an onboard sequencer that’s accurate over 10 octaves and that you can use for polyphonic sequencing anywhere between 16 and 64 steps.

Advanced Features and Performance

The Analog Circuit Behavior or ACB engine has incredible filters and effects.

This advanced version is a three-oscillator, eight-voice wonder that also has versatile LFOs.

You can easily split and layer synths.

Also, you can use the integrated arpeggiator, vocoder, CV/gate outs and the advanced sequencer to explore new creative depths.

The Roland System-8 synth has 49 keys and 4 octaves. 

The internal sound engine will deliver dynamic modern tones, as well as classic analog ones.

You can host up to three plug-out synths on this model.

I love that it offers advanced low pass, side-band, and high-pass filters and that it all comes with high-resolution controls.

The legend is white on a black background, so it’s really easy to read.


Pros & Cons of System-8

Benefits

It can sound very similar to the more expensive Jupiter-8 or Juno-106 synths

Amazing sound

Sequencer and arpeggiator

Drawbacks

The design is definitely not among the better ones

No Arpeggiator clock trigger

Plug-outs need a bit of time to catch up


My Final Thoughts

With a sensible price, incredible plug-out options, and amazing versatility, this synth is a definite, resounding yes.

If Roland keeps rolling out models like this one, it will definitely live up to the high expectations that I’ve got after setting my hands onto System-8.

It’s a powerful synthesizer, that comes well-equipped, and it’s definitely meant for pros.


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