The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Incorrect working poly chain mode on Roland Boutiques
Old 19th February 2020
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Incorrect working poly chain mode on Roland Boutiques

I've just tested "poly chain" mode on my brandnew Roland JU-06A, and it is still crippled as it only works as an OVERFLOW mode. Subsequent notes are only passed to the slave if more than 4 notes are held down. If not, the synth behaves like having only 4 voices.

Nobody scratched their heads why Roland has not fixed this yet with a little update? Just route every 2nd or every 5th to 8th Note via MIDI Out to the slave and voice allocation works as it should do on any other (vintage) synth. This is absolutely no mystery to implement. But the way Roland still handles it, the release notes cut each other off like there would only be a single unit.

As we all know, having only 4 notes of polyphony is the biggest point of criticism on these boxes, and if it would work correctly, I can guarantee you, I would buy more of the same units for sure.

Any way to make Roland more aware of this problem?
Old 19th February 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Rob Ocelot's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Most 'expander' type arrangements I've encountered work in overflow mode, which in inself is an expansion of a round robin type of note assignment.

I've not used the Roland Boutique polychain mode though... is this a feature that you have to turn on? (ie tell the 'master' that a 'slave' unit is present?)

Are you saying the master unit is still trying to steal voices from itself even though there's a slave present? That's definitely a problem.
Old 19th February 2020
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
This is so weird as it makes the overall polyphonic impression, espcially for the vintage synths the boutiques try to emulate, really poor.

Yes, you have to turn poly chain in the system settings on, but if you connect no slave, you don't hear any difference to poly chain off, as all 4 notes rotate on the master unit unless you press more than 4 at once. Regular would be, every 5th to 8th notes is routed consequentely to the slave.... so in reality I should have great 8 voices of polyphony with the slave, but it never sounds that way because the releasing notes are always no more than 4 maximum. When I press 5 or 6 notes, let them release and strike new notes, all notes are cut off - even if there should be 7th and 8th notes available.

Last edited by Jauly; 19th February 2020 at 10:52 PM..
Old 19th February 2020 | Show parent
  #4
Deleted d6ffc70
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Ocelot ➑️

Are you saying the master unit is still trying to steal voices from itself even though there's a slave present? That's definitely a problem.
Yes that has been an ongoing issue with these. Play a 4 note chord with a nice sustain go play another and it will steal all 4 voices and the second unit will just sit there.

Yamaha had this figured out in 1986 with the FB-01 when you polychained two together you would think it would be even easier close to 35 years later
Old 19th February 2020
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
But wouldn't this be an easy fix for Roland? Overflow is much more complicated to handle than simple ration of every 2nd voice?

As so many people bash the boutiques for being only 4 voices, a fix could at least satisfy those who buy 2? And wouldn't it improve sales as well?

I just don't get the logic behind this.

Last edited by Jauly; 19th February 2020 at 11:31 PM..
Old 20th February 2020
  #6
Lives for gear
 
asynchro_nous's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Polychaining must be really complicated for a lot of manufacturers for some reason. A kind of overflow with round robin should be standard for all synths.
Old 20th February 2020
  #7
Lives for gear
 
kpatz's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The problem with it is it only overflows if 4 notes are currently "on" when the 5th note comes in. If you release notes, they aren't passed to the 2nd synth even if they are still in the release stage of the envelopes, but instead, voices steal.

Ideally, a smart allocator would be used, but usually with polychain it's just a simple overflow algorithm. But a Boutique "knows" internally if a voice is still in the release stage of its envelope and the firmware could treat these voices as still in use and overflowing to the next synth in the chain instead of stealing.

Maybe I need to develop my own synth with a polychain algorithm that works the way we want.
Old 20th February 2020 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by asynchro_nous
A kind of overflow with round robin should be standard for all synths.
This is exactly the way it should not be done, because of reasons described above. I think there is a misleading understandung of "round robin". As far as I know, round robin is not a simple daisy chain of voice rotation, it's more a systematic approach of handling the order/priority of voices. But correct me if I'm wrong.

After all, an "overflow" based voice allocation has more in common with paraphony instead of true polyphony. That's because the additional voices start only to play on the slave as long as you press all the additional notes the same time together, and all voices are cut again if you grab a new chord, just if you'd had only a 4 voice synth. Solution: Just rotate every 2nd note to the slave and all are happy. This also consumes much less processing power than any kind of more complex voice order handling mode.
Old 20th February 2020 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpatz ➑️
Ideally, a smart allocator would be used, but usually with polychain it's just a simple overflow algorithm. But a Boutique "knows" internally if a voice is still in the release stage of its envelope and the firmware could treat these voices as still in use and overflowing to the next synth in the chain instead of stealing.

Maybe I need to develop my own synth with a polychain algorithm that works the way we want.
Ok, now if everybody thinks so complicated, maybe it's no wonder a big manufacturer like Roland gets this wrong as well.

No allocation algorithm is necessary, just send every 2nd note (or every 5th to 8th, if you prefer) to the slave, just as you would rotate voice boards in a polysynth, and voila, what a magic, true 8 voice polyphony without voice stealing or release problems.

Last edited by Jauly; 20th February 2020 at 02:12 AM..
Old 25th April 2020
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Hi,

I uploaded a firmware for the RK002 cable of Retrokits called Polychain, which can be found on the DUY exchange page of the RK002.

I made it to get rid of the Midi overspill polychain of the Roland Boutiques.
When you installed it, it shows three parameters you can set, VOICES (max polyphone, 8 for two Boutiques) DEVICES (2 for two Boutiques) and Midi in channel.

The cable will forward all Midi note on/off messages to the first two channels (if you choose 2 devices) keeping track of how long a note was released and what notes are on, so no overspill. All pitch bend, clock, and controller messages are forward to both channels.

Since the cable parameters can be changed (using sysex messages), it can be configured e.g. to 2 devices with 3 voices each (so VOICES=6, DEVICES=2). So you can use it with two Volca FM modules.

It started off as a project on an Arduino Uno with Midi shield and was ported to the RK002 cable. So I have an Arduino sketch for this as well, if anybody is interested. For that, the parameters are only configurable at compile time.

Regards,
Albert
Old 26th April 2020
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Jpro600k's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years


There may be something in the video that may be a hint.
Old 27th April 2020 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpro600k ➑️


There may be something in the video that may be a hint.
Could you please explain?
I'm old and stupid (and non-Japanese-speaking) - I don't get it.

Cheers,
Bert
Old 27th April 2020 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Jpro600k's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feinstrom ➑️
Could you please explain?
I'm old and stupid (and non-Japanese-speaking) - I don't get it.

Cheers,
Bert

[MIDI]
[MASTER KEYBOARD MIDI OUT]>[MIDI IN BOUTIQUE-1 MIDI OUT]>[MIDI IN BOUTIQUE-2 MIDI OUT]>[MIDI IN BOUTIQUE-3]

[AUDIO]
BOUTIQUE-3 AUDIO OUT >AUDIO IN BOUTIQUE-2 AUDIO OUT >AUDIO IN BOUTIQUE-1 AUDIO OUT > MIXER

[BOUTIQUE-1] CAHIN ON /MIDI channel=1
[BOUTIQUE-2] CAHIN ON /MIDI channel=1
[BOUTIQUE-3] CAHIN ON /MIDI channel=1


Turn chain mode on with Push MANUAL+9(PATCH 1) and Push MANUAL+2

The fourth and subsequent sounds are sent to the next boutique for each unit.

Set the slave unit at 11 o'clock to balance the volume.

Patch and knob information is automatically output from MIDI.
Old 27th April 2020 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpro600k ➑️
[MIDI]
[MASTER KEYBOARD MIDI OUT]>[MIDI IN BOUTIQUE-1 MIDI OUT]>[MIDI IN BOUTIQUE-2 MIDI OUT]>[MIDI IN BOUTIQUE-3]

[AUDIO]
BOUTIQUE-3 AUDIO OUT >AUDIO IN BOUTIQUE-2 AUDIO OUT >AUDIO IN BOUTIQUE-1 AUDIO OUT > MIXER

[BOUTIQUE-1] CAHIN ON /MIDI channel=1
[BOUTIQUE-2] CAHIN ON /MIDI channel=1
[BOUTIQUE-3] CAHIN ON /MIDI channel=1


Turn chain mode on with Push MANUAL+9(PATCH 1) and Push MANUAL+2

The fourth and subsequent sounds are sent to the next boutique for each unit.

Set the slave unit at 11 o'clock to balance the volume.

Patch and knob information is automatically output from MIDI.
Thanks a lot, so that's basically the way it's supposed to be connected right?
I know that, but what is it that's "hinted" in the video?
It seems to work, but there might be a sustain pedal involved.

I will check with my polychained JX-03s for proper function - if it doesn't work properly I'll go back to my trusty old MKS-50/PG-200 combo. Haven't sold them yet...

Cheers,
Bert

Cheers,
Bert
Old 28th April 2020 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpro600k ➑️
[MIDI]
[MASTER KEYBOARD MIDI OUT]>[MIDI IN BOUTIQUE-1 MIDI OUT]>[MIDI IN BOUTIQUE-2 MIDI OUT]>[MIDI IN BOUTIQUE-3]

[AUDIO]
BOUTIQUE-3 AUDIO OUT >AUDIO IN BOUTIQUE-2 AUDIO OUT >AUDIO IN BOUTIQUE-1 AUDIO OUT > MIXER

[BOUTIQUE-1] CAHIN ON /MIDI channel=1
[BOUTIQUE-2] CAHIN ON /MIDI channel=1
[BOUTIQUE-3] CAHIN ON /MIDI channel=1


Turn chain mode on with Push MANUAL+9(PATCH 1) and Push MANUAL+2

The fourth and subsequent sounds are sent to the next boutique for each unit.

Set the slave unit at 11 o'clock to balance the volume.

Patch and knob information is automatically output from MIDI.
It's still so wrong. Subsequent notes are only played while the ones before being still held. Seems there is a sustain pedal working on it.

So fake. Come on Roland, why fake a working polyphony? Just rotate subsequent 5-8 and 9-12, and it works how it worked in your vintage machines.
Old 28th April 2020
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Jpro600k's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years


Old 29th April 2020 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpro600k ➑️


Did you went through this thread? Still does not work how a proper poly chain should work.
Old 29th April 2020
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Jpro600k's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I think there is no need to stick to poly chains because the characteristics of the sound tend to come out when the number of notes is small.
I personally think that poly chains are a part of business.
It absorbs double or triple the cost.
It's more interesting to layer two different sounds.
The depth and breadth of the sound also widen.
I think it's better to buy two completely different instruments.
Sampling is also an effective method.
Old 29th April 2020
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Well. Poly chain feature is advertised and these boutqiues are vintage editions of roland classics that should come as close to the originals as much as possible. So why messing up with MIDI overflow mode when you could rotate voices for a much more realistic vintage behaviour at much lesser operating power?
Old 30th April 2020
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Jpro600k's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I think that the fact that the formats are standardized helps in making a series. Four tones are a standard in the world of electronic musical instruments these days.
The four tones are probably because you can make fashionable music with 7th Chord.Are the four tones fashionable?
Well, if you're playing a complex chord, it may be better to have multiple instruments.

If I want, I want about 12 tones.

I am also happy with the two-tone paraphonic moog SubSequent37|CV.
Old 30th April 2020
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I think you misread this thread. It's not bitching about boutiques only having four notes, because I just would buy a second for 8 notes. It's about the wrong voice behavior if you poly chain 2 units.
Old 2nd May 2020
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Jpro600k's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
All note signals have been sent to the next boutique and the four notes before overflow have a velocity of 0.
When released, the notes sent to the second suddenly take over to velocity 0, so it sounds like it suddenly disappears?
Is this the reason for your worries?
Old 2nd May 2020
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jauly ➑️
I've just tested "poly chain" mode on my brandnew Roland JU-06A, and it is still crippled as it only works as an OVERFLOW mode. Subsequent notes are only passed to the slave if more than 4 notes are held down. If not, the synth behaves like having only 4 voices.

Nobody scratched their heads why Roland has not fixed this yet with a little update? Just route every 2nd or every 5th to 8th Note via MIDI Out to the slave and voice allocation works as it should do on any other (vintage) synth. This is absolutely no mystery to implement. But the way Roland still handles it, the release notes cut each other off like there would only be a single unit.

As we all know, having only 4 notes of polyphony is the biggest point of criticism on these boxes, and if it would work correctly, I can guarantee you, I would buy more of the same units for sure.

Any way to make Roland more aware of this problem?
It's a budget digital-mini synth.

What difference does it make whether it pulls the 5th note from unit 2, or goes "either-or" per voice?

It's the same thing, doing the same thing...I think you are critiquing its voice allocation in a way that is more suited to a real synth. Which is what you should be using if you care this much about it.
Old 2nd May 2020 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jauly ➑️
Well. Poly chain feature is advertised and these boutqiues are vintage editions of roland classics that should come as close to the originals as much as possible. So why messing up with MIDI overflow mode when you could rotate voices for a much more realistic vintage behaviour at much lesser operating power?
My Juno can Poly-Chain?

Not that I'd really care, 6 voices are enough

Just googled it and apparently you'd use a "Max4live" Abelton unit to Polychain Junos.

Don't think they had that in the 80's
Old 2nd May 2020
  #25
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Higher polyphony is not only about bigger chords - it's about voice-stealing. And voice stealing could be avoided (or at least made less obvious) with a different polychain system of assigning notes to the two (or more) synths in a ping-pong style.

Sampling, layering different synths, buying higher-polyphony synths or being content with lower polyphony are great things (and most of us have been aware of those I think, thanks so much), but they have nothing to do with the problem in discussion.
Plus I don't care (and have never cared) which chords might be "fashionable" - are there any?

Roland has been advertizing a working polychain system, and it should be perfectly possible for them to change the current 8not-perfectly-working system to a different one by firmware update.

It might be possible to achieve a ping-pong style assignment system with units like MIDIpal or similar MIDI event processors, but I'm not sure - and I still think Roland should be the one to solve the problem.

I have just purchased a second JX-03 for eight-note polyphony, but if it doesn't work, I'll happily install my old MKS-30 back into the rack (good thing I haven't sold it yet).
And I might even keep those JX-03s for other purposes (the sound is great, and they can do a few more things than the MKS-30)...

Cheers,
Bert
Old 2nd May 2020 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee ➑️
It's a budget digital-mini synth.

What difference does it make whether it pulls the 5th note from unit 2, or goes "either-or" per voice?

It's the same thing, doing the same thing...
If you buy 2 of them just to get 8 voice polyphony the budget argument does not count. Did you buy 2 of the same models to increase polyphony?

Furthermore, if you don't get or understand why overflow sounds crap, why are you arguing?

I'm even not talking about only a vintage "feature". If Dave Smith would have implemented Poly Chain on Ob6 or P6 only with overflow, people would scratch their heads and he would have been heavily criticized as well. How about leave the discussion to the people who know what I am talking about and appreciate when products that have been advertised to simulate vintage machines also work simply that way in the poly chain? Nobody said an original Juno needs to poly chained you just pick something out of the discussion and claim that to be something wrong. There are plenty of other threads where you can troll around. Feel free to do so, but don't wonder when you don't get a so friendly answer there.
Old 3rd May 2020
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Jpro600k's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Doesn't it become an infinite loop even if it connects in both directions?
What kind of phenomenon occurs?
Is it possible to operate from either?
Old 16th July 2020
  #28
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Check that : https://github.com/TheKikGen/BoutKlik about the JP-08 (and other Boutique) chain mode.
Old 24th December 2020 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKikGen ➑️
Check that : https://github.com/TheKikGen/BoutKlik about the JP-08 (and other Boutique) chain mode.
Thanks, that looked good, but still no fix. Just a MIDI thru added in poly chain mode.
Old 5th March 2022 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jauly ➑️
Thanks, that looked good, but still no fix. Just a MIDI thru added in poly chain mode.
I have the fix, and it's working perfectly with two JP-08 units!

You need:

- Two JP-08s
- One MIDI Tools PolyChainer (https://stereoping-shop.com/themes/k...4&languageid=2)
- One MIDI Solutions Merger

Connect it like this:

- Keyboard/DAW/whatever => PolyChainer MIDI In
- PolyChainer MIDI Out 1 => Master JP-08 MIDI In
- PolyChainer MIDI Out 2 => MIDI Merger MIDI In 1
- Master JP-08 MIDI Out => MIDI Merger MIDI In 2
- MIDI Merger MIDI Out => Slave JP-08 MIDI In

Set Master JP-08 to Poly Chain mode so it sends out CCs when moving faders and knobs as well as changing patches. The Slave JP-08 receives these just like with "Roland fashion" poly chaining.

PolyChainer ping-pongs notes between both units (the way it should have been with the Roland Boutiques), giving you the full 8-note polyphony for held *and* released notes!

The Master JP-08 is used for programming and saving patches, like on the Roland poly chain mode.

The only problem that *could* occur with this setup is when you press more than 8 notes simultaneously (which should be quite a rare case), because that would mean that the master JP-08 would send these additional notes to the slave.

But all in all it works perfectly!
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 6765 views: 839757
Avatar for vitocorleone123
vitocorleone123 23rd January 2022
replies: 30 views: 11055
Avatar for elambo
elambo 15th April 2017
replies: 548 views: 83600
Avatar for cr73645
cr73645 19th December 2021
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump