Europa Frequently Asked Questions and product
Last updated on January 1st, 2008.
Synthcom Systems, Inc. reserves the right to change
the contents of this FAQ
Europa is a
hardware and firmware upgrade for the
Roland Jupiter 6 which enhances its MIDI implementation and adds new
features to its operation.
- What features does Europa
- Summarized feature list:
- Additional arpeggiator modes
In addition to regular Roland Jupiter 6
arpeggiator operation, Europa adds many new arpeggiator modes, some
exclusive to Europa!
- Additional arpeggiator synchronization sources
The arpeggiator can now be synchronized from
external clock trigger, MIDI clock or the improved internal clock.
Europa's internal clock is extremely steady and can now be used to
trigger and clock external MIDI equipment.
- Send and receive MIDI continuous controllers
Almost all (excluding master volume and bender
board controls) sliders, knobs, and soft switches have the ability to
be changed via standard MIDI continuous controllers. This is great for
modifying board parameters in real time.
- Send and receive presets/patches via MIDI
One of Europa's primary new functions! Europa
includes the ability to save and load patches/presets via MIDI. Never
use that unreliable tape interface again! Trade patches with other
Europa upgraded Jupiter 6 owners!
- Europa firmware updates via MIDI
The Europa operating system can be updated by
way of the MIDI interface from any Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh
based personal computers. No need to open the board! Source code for
the update utility is available so it may be ported to any platform.
- Patches/presets stored in flash
Europa stores all patches and presets in its
onboard flash. This means no more lost patches or presets when the
controller board battery goes bad!
- Additional voice assignment modes
Europa includes 4 additional voice assignment
modes over the factory Roland code.
- Board state retention
Europa remembers the state of all of the
Jupiter 6's settings even after power down. If you're in the middle of
editing a patch and you power down, the board will be in the same state
when it was powered off! This, of course, is only possible if the
memory protect switch is not on, as the board's current settings are
stored in the onboard controller's NVRAM.
- Configurable MIDI channel
Most versions of Roland's firmware for the
Jupiter 6 did not allow changing of the MIDI channel. Europa allows
this and retains this setting even after power off.
- Random patch generator
Europa can generate a random patch! It's great
when you're looking for inspiration or just want to make strange noises.
- Improved user interface
VCO 1 And VCO 2 's waveforms can be enabled and
disabled individually without having to hold down multiple buttons.
Many people didn't know that more than one waveform could be enabled
because Roland's interface wasn't set up this way!
- Circular oscillator sync
VCO 1 And VCO 2 can be synchronized to each
other. Good for making interesting sounds.
- Oscillators independently disableable
VCO 1 And VCO 2 oscillators can be completely
disabled. This is to allow the creation of patches that use the
resonant filter as the oscillator or for single oscillator patches -
something not possible with the original Roland code even with the
oscillator balance set to either extreme.
- Additional hardware diagnostics
Europa includes additional hardware diagnostics
on boot up that are valuable to both the Jupiter 6 owner and the repair
- Voice watch
Voice allocation can be monitored on the front
panel. This is useful for gauging voice utilization during performance
as well as assisting in debugging a malfunctioning Jupiter 6.
- MIDI Activity monitor
Europa blinks the TUNE LED when MIDI data is
being received. Great for debugging and knowing when activity is
- Glide time and Unison detune stored separately
for split modes
Europa's preset format stores glide time and
unison detune values - one for each SPLIT. The Roland code only allows
a single detune and glide time in SPLIT mode.
- Foot pedal adaptation
Europa allows either normally closed or
normally open foot pedals to be used.
- Patch edit compare
Search through the stored patches and listen to
them without destroying the contents of the currently edited patch!
Useful for finding a home for a newly created patch.
- Assignable MIDI messages
Europa can assign incoming pitch bend,
modulation wheel, channel aftertouch, and note velocity to any
continuous controller. It responds to incoming pitch bend messages as
an assignable controller but will not alter the pitch of the notes
played as a traditional pitch bend would. Incoming note velocity is
changed on a per voice board basis and affects all held notes on a
given SPLIT. Europa does not transmit pitch bend, key press velocity,
- Factory settings restoration
Europa can restore factory patches and presets,
and will not malfunction if NVRAM becomes corrupt.
- Local mode control
The Jupiter 6's local keyboard can be enabled
- What features are new to
- Expanded Patch Memory
Version 2.0 increases
the internal patch and preset storage by 6 times, to a total of 288
patches and 192 presets. Each bank of 48 patches and 32 presets
is accessible via the front panel or a standard MIDI Bank Select
message. The upper and lower splits can use patches from
different banks if desired.
- Multiple Undo function for Patch Editing
Unwanted changes to
patches can be undone at the push of a button. Up to 127 button
presses, 84 slider moves, or some intermediate combination of the two
can be undone or redone, until a patch is saved or a new patch is
- Layer Mode
Layer mode allows the upper and lower patches to be
played from the keyboard at the same time, while being edited
individually or simultaneously. In Layer mode, the lower synth has 2
voices,and the upper 4 voices.
- Keyboard Transpose
Version 2.0 allows the upper & lower splits to be
transposed independently. Held arpeggios can be transposed on the
fly for many creative performance possibilities.
- Support for Midi Song Position Pointer
The arpeggiator will start at the beginning of the
next measure when a song position pointer message is received.
pitch bend or MIDI syncable LFOs? Why not?
cause a great increase in price to Europa.
The LFOs are software generated on the voice boards, and syncing them
would require modification to that firmware as well. Pitch bend is also
not included because it would require additional hardware hacking. Part
of Europa's attraction is the simplicity of upgrade. The simpler the
hardware modification, the more reliable it is.
continuous controller support for
almost all sliders/knobs (excluding bender board and master volume).
Some LFO behavior can be simulated by your computer's sequencer to the
filter, for example.
When will Version
2.0 be available?
release V2.0 just as soon as we feel is has been adequately
tested. The good news is, it's in public beta!
- How can I get
a copy of Version 2.0?
- If you are
current Europa owner, click here
for details on how to become a beta tester.
purchasing Europa, you can either go ahead and order one now, and
install the free upgrade when it's available, or you can wait until
it's available to order.
either case, please subscribe to our
mailing list to receive release news.
- What is
the cost of the Europa upgrade?
US$199 + shipping and
board's battery. Do you have them available?
US$10. However, due to shipping
regulations, we cannot ship them outside the United States unless they
are installed on the controller board.
the cost of
Synthcom doing the Europa upgrade to my Jupiter 6's controller board?
shipping. This includes battery
installation if one is ordered.
upgrade for someone with $20
in return shipping charges would cost $199 for Europa, $60 for the
installation, and $20 for shipping - a total of $279.
do you accept?
We accept the following forms of
- VISA and Mastercard
- Cashier's/Bank drawn
- Money orders in United
we cannot accept personal checks, wire transfers, or Western
for ordering a Europa?
electronics a bit before, but I'm unsure of whether or
not I can actually do the
upgrade. Is the installation guide available online so I can see what's
you are experienced with soldering and desoldering electronics, then
you should have no trouble installing the Europa upgrade. If you
don't know the difference between a shiny and dull solder joint, then
you should have a technician install it.
can be downloaded here. Be forewarned - it contains high
photos and is large (about 10 megabytes). Alternately, the
bandwidth-friendly 360kb version can be downloaded here.
master generic continuous controller module or as a master controller?
controller values for each of the various sliders and knobs on the
Jupiter 6. However, it does not add pitch bend, mod wheel, velocity, or
aftertouch to the existing keyboard, which makes it not well suited for
a generic controller. It's currently beyond the scope of Europa to make
the continuous controllers programmable.
work on my older (or newer) Jupiter 6?
We own all 3 types of JP-6 controller boards, and have tested Europa on
hundreds of Jupiter 6s. We've yet to encounter an incompatible
latest Roland version 6 ROMs that allow MIDI channel
changing. Will Europa coexist with it?
the Roland code's functionality, but you can leave the old EPROM in
place. You'll be
pleased to know that the MIDI channel is still selectable (and is
memorized) with Europa, so there is no need to use the Roland code once
Europa is installed.
coexist with my Kenton upgrade?
We think so, based on
reading the installation instructions. But we won't know for
certain until someone tries it!
Europa crash? I'm a performing musician,
and I need my instruments to just work.
I can't use flaky software!
never received a
report of a properly installed Europa upgrade crashing while in
use. We took great pains to make sure that the firmware is
crash-resistant. Unlike the original Roland firmware, Europa
finds and corrects memory errors.
Europa fix my broken JP-6?
guarantee anything, but customers have told us that it fixed
their "broken" Jupes, which were probably just suffering from corrupted
I have to do any hardware hacking to get Europa to work?
cuts, two jumper wires, a
resistor, and most likely a CPU socket replacement. Europa Installation
be downloaded here.
installed, Europa is as reliable as
the original unmodified Jupiter 6 - if not more so!
upgrades to the controller board?
Inc. We will upgrade the
controller board and send it back to you. Contact us for further
Europa upgrade along with
installation instructions. Again, please contact Synthcom Systems, Inc.
so that postage can be figured. Most controller boards have soldered
8031 microprocessors, and it will have to be removed and a new socket
put down in its place. Installation is documented in the
Europa install guide:
install a switch to toggle between the Roland code and Europa?
Europa can still
execute the Roland firmware by holding TAPE and turning the power on.
be able to get firmware fixes if bugs in Europa are fixed or new
features are added?
Any future images
will be available on Synthcom System's web site. Bug fixes will always
be free upgrades. Additional
features may or may not have additional fees associated with them.
about Europa's manual and other documentation? Is it available?
Yes, it's available for
download from Synthcom's web site - whether or not you own the product.
in the Europa
support section under
is a utility needed to update the Europa flash? Why can't I just
stick the firmware in my
Sysex utility and blast it down to the board?
The Jupiter 6 doesn't have
enough memory to take a full Europa image and program it, so it must be
done in pieces. In
addition, the actual progamming process puts the chip to sleep long
enough that it would drop a good amount of system exclusive data. That,
and there is no generic feedback mechanism built in to Sysex to
indicate programming progress or specific programming faults -
something that Europa indicates.
platform/operating systems does the update utility run on?
It runs on Windows
and Mac OS-9 based Macintosh systems. We are currently looking for
someone to adapt it to OS-X.
- I have platform x running operating system y. Will it
has no plans in supporting operating
systems or platforms beyond what's listed in the prior question.
However, source code for the update utility is available on Synthcom's
web site and on the provided CDROM for those who wish to port it to
other platforms/operating systems.
- Couldn't I just take the Europa firmware and download
it to my own
The firmware is both compressed and encrypted and
cannot be directly placed into a blank part. Europa comes with a
decryption key and support routines built in are required to be present
before upgrades can be performed.
The read protect bit in the Europa chip
has been blown to prevent it
being read or copied in an unauthorized
if my Europa chip goes bad? How are replacements be handled?
Systems will replace a Europa chip within 6
months of purchase. It will require the
old chip being sent back to Synthcom Systems first, at which time a
replacement will be sent. Full
disclosure of Europa's warranty is present in the
Europa User Guide .
do I lose by getting a Europa?
operation and functionality is not present in
Europa. That's ok, though, keep reading...
how do I transfer my old tapes into my Jupiter 6?
the Roland code (by holding the TAPE button on power up)
and load the patches from tape. Once the load is complete, shut off the
Jupiter 6 and turn it back on to execute the Europa code. It will
complain that the NVRAM has been corrupted (that will happen!) - hit
any button to continue. Those patches and presets (with the exception
of bank D) will be available to you. Now you can save them to MIDI. We
think you'll agree that once the patches are transferred, the need for
tape functionality is superceded by Europa's feature set.
- Can I get a look at the manual before purchase?
The Europa User Guide is a 3.5 Mb download.
- How can I stay informed of updates
to the JP-6 list on Synthcom for
news of further updates. Send a message with "subscribe" in the message
"email@example.com". It's a fairly low-traffic list, so
don't expect a lot of messages.
Synthcom Systems, Inc.