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Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
#3023814 01/15/20 09:02 PM
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https://www.roland.com/us/company/press_releases/2020/ROLAND-UNVEILS-ZEN-CORE-SYNTHESIS-SYSTEM/

I didn't see this covered anywhere yet, so it may be hot-off-the-press in anticipation of NAMM starting tomorrow.


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3023839 01/15/20 09:51 PM
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Hadn't they already used ZEN-Core in another synth? confused

I know the article is from today, but still...


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3023841 01/15/20 09:55 PM
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Couldn't they incorporate this into the System-8 as well?


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3023842 01/15/20 10:03 PM
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Oh, maybe so, as I seem to recall earlier talk of a new system infrastructure that folds in all of their technology.

Roland may be borrowing a page from Gibson in representing an old news item as fresh-off-the-press due to a trade show or what not.


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3023843 01/15/20 10:04 PM
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I haven't really looked at Jupiter-X; is it based on System-8? If so, then probably ZEN-core can include everything they're currently doing.


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3023844 01/15/20 10:06 PM
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The sound transferability between Fantom, Jupiter, RD and grooveboxes is news to me, and great news as well.


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3023847 01/15/20 10:10 PM
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Yes, agreed, the link between boards is cool.


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3023850 01/15/20 10:38 PM
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Of course the curmudgeon in me notices that the compatibility doesn't take just one more step into the past & include us FA-0* owners.

Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3023860 01/15/20 11:29 PM
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Zen-Core is not in itself new news. Sharing sounds between different models might be what's new in this announcement. Fantom and Jupiter X are very similar animals, but if sounds from those critters can be played in the RD88, that makes the RD seem more interesting.

Also of note is the reference to Fantom firmware 1.50 due in late January. Current system is 1.11. It might be placing too much emphasis on labels, but Fantom owners can hope that 1.50 is more than just an incremental improvement and might include new sound engines.

edit: looks like you can download Beta 1.50 right now:
https://www.roland.com/global/suppo...ls/e8006ef7-1509-4b31-ac36-da05c4180822/

Last edited by Adan; 01/15/20 11:34 PM.

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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Adan #3023869 01/16/20 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BenWaB3
Of course the curmudgeon in me notices that the compatibility doesn't take just one more step into the past & include us FA-0* owners.

I think because the FA does not already have the Zen-Core engine in it. The other boards do, but they are adding patch compatibility between models that are based on the same engines. At least that's what it looks like to me.

Originally Posted by Adan
if sounds from those critters can be played in the RD88, that makes the RD seem more interesting.

The RD-88 already struck me as the most appealing stage piano they have made in a good 10 years or more. But now, yes, even better, it will have some level of patch compatibility with those other models.

From the press release:

Quote
owners of FANTOM 6/7/8 Synthesizers (Version 1.50*), JUPITER-X Series Synthesizers (Version 1.10) and RD-88 Stage Pianos will be able to start using the same compatible sounds across all models, adding a new collaborative capability to their instruments. An update for the MC-101 and MC-707 GROOVEBOXES will also be available in Q2 2020, with an update planned for AX-EDGE later this year.

That's interesting about the AX-Edge. I had seen speculation that the AX-Edge was based on Zen-Core (or an early version of it), just before they had decided to call it by that name, because the AX-Edge sound set is included in the new Fantom and Jupiter X, making up quite a bit of their patch library. And I have to say, the AX-Edge has some really nice sounds in it, when you get into its deeper tone set, beyond the "keytar focussed" synth lead presets.

More...

Quote
ZEN-Core base engine tones created on one instrument can be shared with other users or transferred into completely different compatible Roland hardware. Performers can take sounds made on a FANTOM and play them in the spotlight on an AX-Edge Keytar, or perform a JUPITER-X synth patch on an RD-88, dramatically simplifying setup and expanding tonal options. Sounds are easily shared with a bandmate or co-creator, even when using different compatible Roland hardware. With ZEN-Core, users have access to the sounds they want, in the format they want, wherever they produce or perform.

The Roland ZEN-Core multi-timbral engine combines the latest Virtual Analog and PCM (up to 256 voices) synthesis techniques with powerful DSP effects. Advanced synthesis features include new VA oscillators, precisely modeled filters, ultra-fast and smooth LFO and envelope modulators, and high-resolution control of primary editing and performance parameters. Sounds created for the base engine will be compatible across all ZEN-Core instruments, opening-up a world of opportunities for creators and sound designers alike.

ZEN-Core supports instrument-specific ZEN-Core Expansions including Analog Behavior Modeling for the JUPITER-X series and V-Piano for the new FANTOM Series. Further ZEN-Core expansions will soon arrive for other instruments in the Roland ZEN-Core family.

That last paragraph could use some clarification. I don't expect to be able to load ABM or V-Piano patches into Zen-Core models that don't already include those technologies, but this paragraph is vague.

ETA: More info at

https://www.roland.com/global/promo...XS77C0q3cyLjtFH3qMmnhZj6LlX268fercvFZjHc

Last edited by AnotherScott; 01/16/20 12:20 AM.

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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3023876 01/16/20 12:47 AM
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ZenCore is basically the same as the Jupiter SN Synth - PCM plus analog modeling.

Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3023877 01/16/20 12:52 AM
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So what types of sounds might one hope to drop into the RD-88?
Is it dependent upon what samples / waveforms exist in the unit to begin with?


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3053190 07/08/20 01:50 PM
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“ Roland's latest ZEN-Core Sound Packs deliver everything from vintage analog to fresh hybrid tones, expanding the sounds of the FANTOM, JUPITER-X and JUPITER-Xm, MC GROOVEBOXES, RD-88, and ZENOLOGY. And Model Expansions for Roland Cloud transform ZENOLOGY into entirely different instruments with their own sonic personalities, features, and preset tones.

AVAILABLE NOW
"Designer Series" Patch Collection: Juno-106 Synth Pop Espen Kraft (released July 7)
Model Expansion: JX-8P (released June 30)

COMING MID-JULY
"Designer Series" Patch Collection: JV-1080 Signature Sound Set Don Solaris
"Designer Series" Patch Collection: JV-1080 Cinematic Cyber Punk Dual Shaman
"Designer Series" Patch Collection: JV-1080 Wide Screen Ambient J. Scott
ZEN-Core Sound Pack: SDZ021 New Romantic
ZEN-Core Sound Pack: SDZ022 Keyboard Toolkit Vol.1
Model Expansion: SH-101

COMING LATE-JULY
"Designer Series" Patch Collection: System-8 Modern System Alin Dimitriu
ZEN-Core Sound Pack: SDZ023 Pangaea Heartbeat
ZEN-Core Sound Pack: SDZ024 Electro Zaps and Hits
ZEN-Core Sound Pack: SDZ025 Vapor Dance
ZEN-Core Sound Pack: SDZ026 Analog Pianos and Eps
ZEN-Core Sound Pack: SDZ027 Nu Sunset
ZEN-Core Sound Pack: SDZ028 Digital Leads
ZEN-Core Sound Pack: SDZ029 Shifting Visions
ZEN-Core Sound Pack: SDZ030 Hybrid Plucks

All new Model Expansions, Patch Collections, and ZEN-Core Sound Packs are offered with Roland Cloud Core, Ultimate and Pro memberships and can also be purchased individually as a Lifetime Key for $.99.”


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3053223 07/08/20 04:20 PM
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What good is a "lifetime key" for a model expansion - like the new Jx-8p for zencore - if you still have to pay the monthly subscription to access the zencore program?
I'm not following that one.


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3053230 07/08/20 04:43 PM
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I'm getting my bearings straight here, but it looks like I can install the ZEN-Core Sound Packs into both my Fantom 7 and my Jupiter-X. I'm not sure if I have to license it twice but they are like 99 cents.

I cannot load model expansions like JX-8P or SH-101 into my Fantom, but they are already in my Jupiter X.

If I have a paid subscription to Roland Cloud I will be able to edit tones on my computer and export them to import them into my ZEN-Core hardware instruments.


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3053240 07/08/20 05:43 PM
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Haha. I posted it because I knew someone would figure out how the business model is working and explain to us how it’s supposed to work. wink

Nord seems to have finally pushed other devs like Roland to more seriously explore their hardware getting an expanding library of sounds that aren’t attached to a purchase of hardware (like expansion cards). So its success is going to dictate what the cost is and how much they develop for it, how long it sticks around.


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3054615 07/17/20 08:26 AM
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Another Zen Core Model Expansion released today - SH101. Roland seem to be keeping to their release dates. Juno 106 should be along presently.

So that's the JX8P and the SH101. Fantom users should be liking this. Will give the 101 a run out and see how it sounds....

Attached Files
Screenshot 2020-07-17 at 09.21.37.png (432.14 KB, 203 downloads)
Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3054645 07/17/20 02:39 PM
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If you already own the SH-101 plug-out (VST)... it seems a bit frustrating to have to buy it again for your zenology. There should be some bundle pricing.


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Tom Fiala #3054647 07/17/20 03:00 PM
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The Zen Code Model Expansion are not exactly the same as the plug-outs. ABM has less features than ACB and uses less power so the emulation is not as accurate. Also missing the Tone control and 3 separate effects - though didn't exist on the hardware synth either. I have compared the 101 Zen Core model to the ACB and it's not quite as good. Lacks a bit of bass end and the envelope isn't as snappy. It's also missing some of the features of the original eg inverted envelope and the controls are not as intuitive as the plug-out ACB version: the graphical interface is nothing like the original synth - so no attempt at skeuomorphism. But uses a lot less CPU and if the Juno 106 model is as light on CPU it's a win for me - I don't mind losing a bit of detail if I can run more synths at lower latency.

Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3054697 07/17/20 06:53 PM
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Hmm, so maybe live performance is the real focus of ZenCore, and they won't abandon the ACB stuff down the road.


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3055314 07/22/20 09:12 PM
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I just received the "upgrade" announcement for the AX-Edge today. Went to the Roland site. Was dazzled by pictures that come in from the side when I scroll down. Saw buzzwords like Zen, Cloud, and other words (like compatibility and VST) that I understand but can't quite fit in the context.

What I am trying to figger out is:
  • Does the "upgrade" add any waves or modulators to my Ax-Edge?
  • Can I edit sounds on the VST with a non-crappy editor and export them to the AX-Edge hardware?
  • Has Roland ported any of the SuperNatural voices to Zen, particularly the violin?
  • If I buy something off their cloud, and then export it to the AX-Edge, can I use the AX-Edge offline as just a flicking musical instrument?


I remain confused. And I do technology and networks for a living....


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3055327 07/22/20 09:54 PM
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Tom,

If you want to message me privately, we can talk on the phone. I just purchased an AX-Edge keytar used today and it should be here by Friday. I have been navigating a lot of your topics with Roland Cloud, and Fantom and Jupiter X hardware. There’s a lot to unpack from your questions and I will tell you what I know and don’t know so far.

Jeff


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Tom Williams #3055332 07/22/20 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Williams
I remain confused. And I do technology and networks for a living....
I'm glad it's not just me. I have tried numerous times since Roland started doing cloud stuff to figure out just what they were offering and how it worked, and it leaves me confused every time. I just assumed I was too old. (And maybe that is, indeed, the case.)

Originally Posted by Tom Williams
What I am trying to figger out is:
  • Does the "upgrade" add any waves or modulators to my Ax-Edge?
    ...
  • If I buy something off their cloud, and then export it to the AX-Edge, can I use the AX-Edge offline as just a flicking musical instrument?

The AX-Edge update says "EXZ and SDZ Download Content is now supported" - EXZ are the SRX-based wave expansions, so I guess you'll be able to load at least one of those additional wave sets. The relevant manual says you will get a memory error if you try to load more than you have memory for, but it doesn't say how much memory that is. The fact that you *can* run out of memory for an install makes me think the sounds will be available resident in the Ax-Edge.

Last edited by AnotherScott; 07/22/20 10:44 PM.

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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Tom Williams #3055342 07/22/20 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Williams
What I am trying to figger out is:
  • Does the "upgrade" add any waves or modulators to my Ax-Edge?
  • Can I edit sounds on the VST with a non-crappy editor and export them to the AX-Edge hardware?
  • Has Roland ported any of the SuperNatural voices to Zen, particularly the violin?
  • If I buy something off their cloud, and then export it to the AX-Edge, can I use the AX-Edge offline as just a flicking musical instrument?

Not currently
Yes but the crappiness factor yet TBD...editor has yet to be released
No
Yes, if it's a zen core sound pack

Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3055821 07/26/20 05:45 PM
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I'm currently subscribing to the 'Ultimate' tier but I'm wondering if I could drop to the 'Pro' tier and basically just use Zenology and its model expansions. I've got a real XV-5080 and Jupiter-8 in Arturia format so it might work.

Can someone confirm if this is how it works? That 'Pro' includes Zenology and all current and upcoming model expansions? Or do you need to buy them still? Where can you see the release schedule? Are the prices available somewhere?

(Frankly, the whole Roland Cloud thing - including the Manager and their friggin' website - are so infuriatingly bad I'd rather not subscribe to anything...but they do sound good so whatcha gonna do.)

Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Mark Schmieder #3055872 07/26/20 10:26 PM
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I wish I understood. I got a large discount by paying two years in advance, so my subscription isn't up for another year, and by then it might have changed again anyway. :-)

I noticed last night that there were a bunch of modules I hadn't installed because I hadn't nited that they had two versions, one of which was for hardware (maybe the Fantom; I forget) and the other for Zenology. So that was something like 25+ installations. And I'll probably never have time to use any of it anyway. Less is more, and I prefer more focused offerings. It's why I finally sold my AAS stuff.


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Re: Roland announces new ZEN-core synthesis engine and system
Tom Williams #3056215 07/28/20 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Williams
What I am trying to figger out is:
  • Does the "upgrade" add any waves or modulators to my Ax-Edge?
The compatibility grid has been updated, you can more clearly see what is and is not compatible with the Edge

https://www.roland.com/us/support/b...ts/319ed642-8e1d-4b0b-a6ec-5d730f30cd8d/

According to a post on facebook, the Edge can hold two of the EXZ (SRX) wave expanions. I don't know what you mean by modulators, though...?
Originally Posted by Tom Williams
[*]Has Roland ported any of the SuperNatural voices to Zen, particularly the violin?
So far, only two SN sounds are part of Zenology (the piano and EP), and they are only available for the Fantom, which does not bode well for other SN sounds becoming available for anything other than the Fantom.


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