Roland synths. They’re legendary. I have two: the Juno 106 and the JP8000. And whilst I’m not quite so sure about all this cut-down remake thing they’re currently doing, their output from the early 70s to the mid 90s is exemplary and unmatchable.
909, 303, 808. SH, JV, MKS. Mere sequences of numbers and letters that have entered our language and our consciousness, to be forever connected with the mighty Japanese company.
Such is the status of their classic machines that second hand Jupiter 8s, TR-909s and System 100s go for crazy amounts of money. Not surprisingly then, cheaper software versions have been lusted after in the world of computer music. There are some cool freebies, Reaktor module emulations and also Roland’s own new “Cloud” and “Plug Out” versions. But, far and away my favourite is Uno LX by Togu Audio Line. TAL (as they are often called) started out with some free Roland synth emulations, notably of the SH101, before graduating on to releasing perfected commercial versions. This is where Uno LX comes in.
It is a really terrific emulation. Genuinely first rate. Which makes it’s extraordinarily attractive price of about £50 rather gobsmacking. There’s literally no excuse to not own a copy. Especially as you can get a 20% off voucher for Uno LX itself when you buy the Special Edition copy of Vulcan!
The soundset, Uno LX Vulcan, is inspired by a blend of classic 70s/80s synth scores (think The Fog, Suspiria, Tron), as well as synth pop bands such as Human League, Ultravox and Kraftwerk. But it’s also inspired by more modern synth sounds: the scores of Cliff Martinez, Michael McCann, Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow, as well as the whole Synthwave and Vaporwave scenes.
Uno LX is a great emulation. I’ve tested it against my Juno 106 and it stands up extremely well. I know a friend of mine who sold his Juno 6 after buying it!
Hopefully Vulcan suitably shows off what it can do and what I really love about it, as I’d love to do more soundsets for it in the future.