An 808, 303 and 101 running in my browser? Say goodbye to your productivity because the Roland50 Studio is going to keep you busy and entertained all day.
You can’t fool us, we’ve seen this before! Yes, indeed we lost a day to the 808303.Studio back in October 2020 when it was just a TR-808 and TB-303 browser-run combo developed for Roland by Yuri Suzuki. Now, as part of the 50th-anniversary celebrations, Roland has taken over the site, added the SH-101, and renamed it Roland50.Studio.
These are not faithful recreations of the hardware like you find with the plugin versions, these are simplified pattern players that give you the most important controls while looking and sounding flippin’ fantastic. It’s an instant acid party right in your browser. You can paint in your own patterns or hit Random for some instantly fabulous rhythms and basslines.
The SH-101 is a new addition to the lineup and gives you a simple set of oscillator mix controls, filter and modulation. There’s no MIDI as far as I can tell so you have to play in a similar pattern grid to the 303. This time you get an Arpeggio button that throws in a new arpeggio with every press. You also get pitch bend, portamento and a choice of three colours. The app only lets you have two instruments on the screen at one time which is a shame, but they shuffle around for you easy enough.
Perhaps even more interesting is along the top where you select instruments are four locked spaces. When you click on them you are taken to a countdown page. It looks like we’re going to be treated to four new instruments in 24, 87, 118, and 182 days (at the time of writing). That’s pretty exciting.
While the synths aren’t fully there they are immensely fun to play with and you can even record your fiddling and export it as a wave file. I’m looking forward to the next releases.
- To play go here.
- Roland50 Studio: Robin Vincent