The musical storm which is the Roland Cloud continues to build with great pace. It’s reached version 4.4 and hidden behind the D-50 Linear Synthesizer plug-in was a rather nice Anthology Orchestra drawn from the classic JV-80 orchestral board.
Roland only say that this is a reissue of a 25-year-old, well-regarded orchestral library which, after a little bit of research can only be the classic JV-80 orchestral expansion board. The SR-JV80-02 was the second expansion card for the Roland JV-80 digital synthesizer after the “Pop” expansion. They were more like PCB’s and fitted internally via an access hatch on the back. They were also supported by the JV-90, JV-1080 and the JV-2080 which could house up to 8 of these cards.
The orchestral expansion card squeezed 174 waveforms with 255 patches onto 8MB of storage and yet these sounds still manage to hold their own. Roland say it was their most requested sound library. For the Anthology there would be no need for the compression or cutting any corners. This is described as an “Ultra-Deep Sampled replica of its legendary counterpart”. So does that mean they sampled the samples, or have they gone back to the original source material?
In any case, the Anthology wrapping brings 4 velocity layers per note, ADSR resonant filter, multitimbrality, adjustable keyboard sensitivity and a big, fat convolution reverb.
How does it sound?
According to a thread on Facebook, poster David Conley, who has compared the Anthology to his original expansion card:
I can tell you the patch name and lineup is the same as the card, but they seem to have just a bit more presence and fidelity than the card. If I recall the JV-90 was an 18 bit keyboard. To my ear these sound 24 bit (I could be mistaken). Thats not going to account for the bulk of the file size difference, but this is essentially the Roland SR-JV80-02 Orchestral Expansion Card.
As ever the Roland Cloud is only accessible via a subscription, but the number of sounds and range of synthesis that’s on offer is making the $19.95 a month more attractive all the time.