Mercury-4 is a detailed emulation of one of the best-sounding and quirkiest polyphonic synthesizers of the late 1970's, the Roland Jupiter-4.
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Cherry Audio is delighted to announce the release of Mercury-4, a detailed emulation of one of the best-sounding and quirkiest polyphonic synthesizers of the late 1970's, the Roland Jupiter-4.
Things That Dreams Are Made Of
The Roland Jupiter-4 is the rarest and most sonically unique of the fabled Jupiter series. Originally released in 1978, the Jupiter-4 was one of the earliest instruments to combine voice-assign polyphony with digital patch storage - that is, the ability to store and recall sounds to a digital memory and recall them at the touch of a button.
The Jupiter-4 rapidly became the go-to polysynth for numerous English and European acts in the 80's, including Duran Duran, Thomas Dolby, The Human League, Simple Minds, and more, and for good reason: the Jupiter-4 sounded fantastic, with a raw, raunchy tone not found in any of the other beloved Juno and Jupiter synths. Its analog oscillators have a uniquely aggressive tone quality, the built-in sub oscillator adds girth, its oddly fast and deep LFO modulation capabilities allow it to create uniquely whacked out modular synth-like tones, and Roland's famous stereo chorus "ensemble" circuit is beautifully implemented, adding a boatload of width and dimension.
Her Name Is Rio
The original instrument had its share of disadvantages, including limited patch storage, just four voices of polyphony, and boat-anchor weight. Cherry Audio's Mercury-4 addresses all of the original instrument's issues, with up to 16-voice polyphony, infinite patch storage, easy patch editing, and much more. Mercury-4 lovingly recreates Jupiter-4's bold analog oscillators, powerful filter tonality, and easily overdriveable VCA section. Cherry Audio went to great lengths to perfectly replicate the unique arpeggiator section, heard on tons of classic new wave tracks. The renowned stereo ensemble effect has been beautifully modeled, and Mercury-4 also adds a truly other-worldly "Space Echo"-style tape echo with multiple reverb modes. The tape echo perfectly recreates the warm tonality and subtle speed variations that make the original Space Echo units so desirable, and the reverb section expands upon the original spring reverb with plate and hall modes for enhanced spatial depth.
Mercury-4 is packed with over 400 killer presets, including the legendary front-panel factory presets, plus 75 presets from renowned sound designer Huston Singletary.
This Could Be Love
Mercury-4 has been expertly modeled upon a vintage Jupiter-4 originally owned by Greg Hawkes of the legendary 80’s new wave band The Cars, and played on their double-platinum 1981 album Shake It Up.
"Mercury-4 sounds just like my old Jupiter!" Greg Hawkes raves. "It’s nice to have it back." He explains, "the sound is really fat, and having the space echo there is a nice touch. I used to spend hours in the pre-MIDI days with just such a setup, playing along with the arpeggiator synced to a CR-78 drum machine, and of course I had a Space Echo too."
Greg Hawkes’s Jupiter-4, atop the Prophet-5 in the center, at The Cars’ Syncro Sound Studio, during the Shake It Up sessions, 1981. (Photo courtesy of Greg Hawkes)
Adrian Lee, former keyboardist for Mike and the Mechanics, recalls, "between 1978 and 1981, the Jupiter 4 was at the center of my rig. With no onboard effects other than the chorus 'ensemble,' the RE-201 Space Echo was a vital part of its sound. Cherry Audio have convincingly packaged tributes to both of these classics and I’m transported back to that time."
Jezz Woodroffe, former keyboardist for Robert Plant and Black Sabbath tells us, "Roland gave me one of the very first Jupiter 4's. This is such a real recreation, its so captivating and convincing, I forget it’s not the actual physical thing! It sounds just tremendous, looks fabulous, and is a breeze to edit, end of story. This one is extraordinary!"
Just Can't Get Enough
These days, a vintage Jupiter-4 in good working condition can cost as much as $7,000 or more - that's $1,750 per voice! These 40-year-old classics are fragile, heavy, and expensive to maintain - if you can even find one. Now, for the first time, it's possible for everyone to discover why so many artists, from Devo to Duran Duran, from Michael Jackson to Tangerine Dream, from Vince Clarke to Vangelis, have crafted unforgettable tracks with this very special vintage keyboard.
Cherry Audio continues to shatter expectations by offering incredible vintage synthesizer reproductions for unbelievably low prices, and Mercury-4 is no exception. Cherry Audio’s Mercury-4 synthesizer is available now at cherryaudio.com, for the unbelievably low price of only $39 (List $59). It’s available for both Windows and macOS, in AU, VST, VST3, AAX, and standalone formats, with a free 30-day demo available.