The Roland Boutique range of dinky synths and drum boxes based on their 1980s classics have been a big hit for the synth company. But what about all the classic machines from the 1990s? Wait, what?
Synth giant Roland have announced that they have no plans whatsoever to release any sexy little versions of any of their 90s synths. This is in response to the overwhelmingly positive reaction to their range of Boutique range of 80s inspired synths based on classics like the TB 303, SH101 and the TRs 808 and 909.
The Boutique range has been praised as a marketing triumph for Roland who have cleverly utilised the ‘Cadbury Heroes’ approach to rebranding. This means that they’ve changed the size of a product and the novelty value of something now being smaller than it was previously has worked wonders for their bank balance.
They have also given people the opportunity to misuse the term ‘analogue’ to describe wholly digital products as well as reigniting long dead arguments about digital V analogue, which is just as well because we had really missed all that.
The quest to reach the final sub menu
However, the success of the Boutique range has also created something of a problem for Roland as they have no equivalent 90s kit with which to perform a similar marketing trick. Using words like legendary and classic in your marketing just isn’t going to cut it if you’re talking about the forgettable Roland romplers and workstations of the 90s. Except of course for that rare and near-forgotten JV module that only collectors know about: it had a one-inch editing screen and possessed so many menus and sub menus that when you got to the very end you won a mystical purple crystal which gave you instant power ups and upgraded you to Mage.
The next step for Roland will be to turn to the ‘Chunky Kit Kat’ Marketing and Rebranding process, where you essentially keep a thing the same mass but redistribute its parts so it’s a different shape. Huge consumer joy ensues and the wheels of capitalism continue to turn. Happy days.