Twenty years after releasing the great JP-8000 analog-modeling keyboard, Roland has another digital classic on its hands. This time around, it’s the System-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer, which utilizes Roland’s next-generation Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology to magnify analog modeling down to the component level. And while the 8-voice synth has its own incredible sound engine, it can also host up to three Plug-Out synths at a time. These are essentially software synths that you have complete hands-on control over. The Jupiter-8 and Juno-106 Plug- Out versions are included.
But the System-8 really is its own beast. Designed to be easy to operate, it’s packed with a laundry list of perks—a built-in vocoder, arpeggiator, 64-step polyphonic sequencer, one-note chord memory per patch, onboard effects, and a Performance mode that lets you layer two sounds or split the keyboard with two sounds from either the onboard or Plug-Out synth engines. And to top it off, connectivity is available through USB, MIDI, and CV/Gate I/O. Overall, the System-8 is a key addition to any studio or stage rig.