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Why don't they remake cult instruments?
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:43 pm
Why don't Roland for example get some factory in china to remake the chips and casing from a 303, and start making them again?
If it was possible then, why don't they do it again now with old ones giogn for so much on Ebay?
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:44 pm
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:46 pm
good question, keeping the value, the cult, sleeping... why? would they really sell a lot? i guess yeah, a little update, better midi, sequencing, etc. and i guess it would be a bomb. but what do i know?
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:49 pm
I thought they tried that with the MC303?
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:12 pm
Must be a cost and components issue.
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:30 pm
I've wondered this, especially with the TB303. I can't believe it would be that expensive to remake a TB303 (though I'd imagine some of their other synths could cost a fair bit) as its a pretty simple bit of kit. Plus if they put an exact copy of it out at say £200 they would sell shit loads, easily 1000's and probably in to 5 figures.
I reckon soft synths sound just as good as an original TB303, but even I'd stump up £200 for an original copy.
But there must be a reason. Maybe its just that making the old analogue components would be cheap and they wouldn't recap their money. I doubt the original holding its value is much of a concern for them.
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:43 pm
I suppose they could but you really have to understand that a company like Roland makes a tremendous amount of money on the gospel audience and worship industry; so much more that releasing a "new TB-303" wouldn't really be worth their time.
Also, how would they market it? Let's say they came out with an exact replica. They would need to promote it as a "groove" product for "dance" which is exactely the opposite of how they marketed it when it was first released!
When the TB-303 came out it was intended to basically be a substitute for a real bass player, in a rock band. The only reason we are even writing about it is because hundreds of the units ended up in pawn shops throughout the country or other second hand shops because, well, the product failed. They were cheap and aspiring musicians could afford them, period.
Personally, I'd rather see Roland move forward instead of backward. Let the boutique companies specialize in replicating nostalgic instruments.
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:44 pm
Why does no hardware manufacturer build a new interesting synthesizer anymore?
It seems the days of hardware are counted, but hey, there are reasons why an affordable hardware synthesizer that is really inspiring could still sell. And who had more resources than Roland,...
Probably in terms of synthesis all you could want is there, implemented in the V-Synth. But it could not be less appealing to me. If they would release a synthesizer that is not a collection of 100+ concepts but offers one cool newer synthesis technique with great haptic control - i might be tempted to buy it, because sometimes I do not want to stare in a computer screen.
I imagine for example something like a granular synthesizer, where every parameter has its own knob, where the sample import come from a usb stick, or via usb to a host, and only a little display to show preset name and the most basic info.
Turn it on, find an interesting point in a sample, turn up density and spray, add some reverb and a filter plus a simple ADSR envelope and spend endless nights creating great morphing atmospheres. I think the key to the success of such an instrument would be that it shall not have more controls than say a Jupiter 8.
Enough to achieve complexity, and not too much to make it too expensive and incomprehensible. But i assume this will never happen anymore, because not enough people would buy it to pay off for the development and manufacturing cost.
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:49 pm
And the reason I suggest boutique companies should specialize in recreating these retro sounding instruments is because that technology is there and has been there for years. A small Mom and Pop shop such as Future Retro can take their time and really handbuild instruments. Bigger companies simply can't.
I'd much rather see the Roland's and the Korg's of the industry use their dollars and years of expertise to push things forward in terms of development. While Roland has kinda been quiet for a few years, Korg has delivered some impressive, innovative results (Korg Kaoss pads, DS-10 software, Legacy Cell software) at a price point suited for the masses.
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:54 pm
Robert Henke wrote:Why does no hardware manufacturer build a new interesting synthesizer anymore?
I'm not so sure an Access Virus TI doesn't do (almost) what you are looking for. With enough editing, you can get some fantastic results from any of those TI synths. It's a shame that Access is pigeonholed as the "trance synth" because they offer so much more then what their presets will lead most to believe.
The Access Virus is a perfect example, in my opinion, of what a modern day hardware manufacturer should be aiming for. Is it perfect, no but it's certainly closer (and supported better!!) then the V-Synth.
I scratch my head when I think about how a relatively new company like Access (and Clavia) comes out with the technology that they have been able to release while big giant Roland sits there allowing them to out-think them.
Kinda like the United States of America, really!
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:56 pm
Yes, right, i always overlook this one! And (as far as I know) the company does well with it, and they deserve it.
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:58 pm
Robert Henke wrote:Yes, right, i always overlook this one! And (as far as I know) the company does well with it, and they deserve it.
Robert, did you ever own or at least demo an Access? Id love to hear what you could come up with if you program one!
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:02 pm
I will also give kudos to Yamaha for getting behind a crazy little idea like the Tenori-on. Very impressive that a company with so much going on decided to take a chance on releasing and supporting this wild instrument.
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:03 pm
thelike5 wrote:Also, how would they market it? Let's say they came out with an exact replica. They would need to promote it as a "groove" product for "dance" which is exactely the opposite of how they marketed it when it was first released!
Why would they need to promote it? I reckon 99% of people that own a DAW or synth know what a TB303 is, i reckon a lot of other people will have heard of it as well.
They just need to say "TB303, exact replica" and that's their marketing campaign sorted.
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:09 pm
Hardware synth companies don't tend to release exciting synths because they don't make money.
People want strings/brass/pianos, etc..
When we get a nice tweakable hardware synth, it's almost like a fluke, and often marketed along with current trends (DX200 inserted in a groove box, Micro Korg with hip hop knob, etc...).
As far as why real TB303s and 909s aren't made,
1. Their star is falling and has been since their peak in the 90's.
2. The original components are no longer made, Roland would have to recreate too much.