JSPASynth titans

JSPASynth titans

The Japanese Synthesizer Professional Arts (JSPA), as the name might suggest, is Japan’s premier authority on all things synths. Among its members are some of the most renowned sound designers, producers, and synth specialists in the world, many of whom played crucial roles in the development of Japan’s most iconic electronic instruments.

We had the absolute privilege of inviting some of the JSPA’s members to design presets for our V Collection sound bank library - this is what they had to say.

Sound Bank The Japanese Synthesizer Professional Arts

Established in Tokyo in 1988, the JSPA began as a platform for synth players and professionals to communicate and exchange information, manage copyrights in the days before the internet, and progress the status of musicians who use electronic instruments.

It eventually grew into one of the world’s leading advocate groups for synthesizers and their pioneers, players, and fans. Now headed by Katsunori Ujiie, JSPA promotes music production education, synthesis technology, and demonstrating the power of these instruments to a broader, younger audience.

They also specialize in designing sounds for today’s music makers, and we had the honor of inviting them to create exclusive sounds for V Collection 9’s latest instruments.

Katsunori Ujiie

Katsunori Ujiie is the head of JSPA’s board of representatives, and has a long-standing relationship with Arturia. He’s designed sounds for Arturia instruments since the release of the original Mini V, and has a soft spot for OP-Xa V and CS-80 V.

As well as working with JSPA, Ujiie regularly takes part in synthesizer demonstrations all over the world, as well as maintaining popular review channel Musictrackjp. Whether it’s producing for an upcoming event or designing sounds for software instruments, he always aims to embed his own personality into his sound - no imitation necessary.

On CS-80 V

For me, the CS-80 was the analog polyphonic synthesizer of my dreams, and I still vividly remember my first experience with the CS-80 at a Yamaha music store in Shibuya, Tokyo. The sound that came out when I played the keyboard was massive, warm, and pleasantly shimmering, and I was knocked out by the expressiveness of the polyphonic aftertouch when I pressed the keyboard further. The portamento on the polyphony was also intense. But... It was very expensive for me, I was young at the time.

But Arturia reproduced it perfectly with software. And with the upgrade to CS-80 V4, it was even more incredible. To be able to experience this sound and expressiveness in this day and age is phenomenal.

But Arturia reproduced it perfectly with software. And with the upgrade to CS-80 V4, it was even more incredible. To be able to experience this sound and expressiveness in this day and age is phenomenal.

On designing sounds

I have created many presets for the original CS-80 V and the latest CS-80 V4, and now I have created the CS-80 V4 in the JSPA banks of V Collection 9 produced by our members.

The concept of the presets I produced this time was to create different variations of the CS-80's signature sound. The CS-80 panel is equipped with two synth systems, so a wide variety of combinations are possible, and by using the expansion mode and effects, an infinite number of variations can be created from a single tone. Check it out in my bank!

Yusuke Asada

Producer, composer, and JSPA board member Yusuke Asada has a penchant for incorporating stringed instruments into his sound, but he’s a keyboardist at heart. He’s also not afraid to embrace the unpredictable nature of modular and semi-modular synthesizers, pointing out that Buchla Easel V is one of his Arturia highlights.

In 2022, he created sounds for Prophet-5 V, another personal favorite of his from V Collection. An accessible synth that can simultaneously be explored to no end, Asada notes that it’s the perfect instrument for pros and hobbyists alike, people of all ages, and music of all styles. The original was always a popular synth in Japan, so it was his first choice when it came to designing new sounds.

On Prophet-5 V

The Prophet-5 is a coveted model for our generation, especially for us in Japan. It was the favorite instrument of Ryuichi Sakamoto, a member of Yellow Magic Orchestra, and was featured in many magazines, and its sound was studied and read deeply and thoroughly.

Of course, as an amateur in the ‘80s, the machine was just too expensive for me. Later, when I bought a real Prophet-5, I was so excited that I played around with it without sleeping.

Now that the Prophet-5 has been reproduced as a software synthesizer by Arturia, and we can easily use it in our music, I really think that today's creators are very lucky.

On designing sounds

I created tones aimed at the ‘80s, in line with SynthWave and RetroWave, which remain popular genres in recent years.

Of course, in the ‘80s, a real Prophet-5 was used in many recording studios, and it is a synthesizer sound that symbolizes the decade. However, I was conscious of creating a sound that matches today's music conditions by using the many functions of the Prophet-5 V.

Junichi Watanabe

Junichi Watanabe’s main creative output is music for media; film, animation, games, and more. As a board member of JSPA, he’s well-versed in the Japanese synth scene. Two iconic instruments from this scene went on to become his personal highlights of V Collection: DX7 V and KORG MS-20 V, created with the blessing of KORG themselves.

Watanabe is a big fan of using noise in his music and sound design. When designing sounds for KORG MS-20 V, he wanted to combine its gritty oscillators and screaming filters with noise for interesting, industrial sounds. This was as much play as it was work: one of his favorite things about the instrument was its flexibility, which he notes is almost on-par with modern softsynths.


The MS-20 is a synth that I have used for a long time, and it is also a piece of equipment that I can treat like a limb. I was very much looking forward to this new version when I heard the announcement that it would be implemented in V Collection 9.

When I actually operated it, I found that I could create sounds far more flexibly than with the actual equipment, and I was able to use the skills I have cultivated so far more effectively than with the original equipment.

I was surprised to find that I could create more advanced synthesized sounds than I had previously been able to. This is amazing!

On designing sounds

I created them with the intention of exploring the limits of the MS-20 V, since it has specifications that allow for far more flexible sound creation than the actual machine.

The KORG MS-20 V has wonderful presets for synth bass, lead sounds, and sound effects, which are its forte, so I dared to avoid them and instead made full use of patching, focusing mainly on what I call ‘industrial sounds’ - metallic, noisy, and piercing to the human ear. I also tried to create a sound that can be applied to my own soundtracks. I think it would be effective to use it to add spice to dramatic accompaniment, or to apply it to pure noise music.

Takashi Morio

In his quest to balance sonic beauty with musical ‘softness’, as he puts it, composer & performer Takashi Morio found himself favoring two particular V Collection instruments: ARP 2600 V and SQ80 V.

The former, he enjoys for its free-flowing modulation and talent for creating interesting sounds from scratch. The latter’s appeal stems from familiarity for him; he used other Ensoniq instruments throughout the ‘90s, becoming familiar with their flow, but SQ80 V’s authentic approach to voice creation proved irresistible. Morio points out that he found the origin of each voice - the raw waveforms, combined - to be both inspiring and nostalgic.

On SQ80 V

In fact, I have never directly touched the SQ-80 itself, but I used Ensoniq's VFX and ASR series for live support and recording for various major Japanese artists back in the 1990s. Ensoniq's synths have an image of being loud and cool, with a sound that doesn't get buried when you get into the song track.

On designing sounds

I thought it would be a shame to simply reproduce the tone of the SQ-80, so I created a ‘modern’ sound that could have a presence in today's diversified music scene by taking the best of the time and using new parameters and effects.

As you can hear in the demo song I produced, by preparing drum tones, etc., you can create a song with just these presets, so please take advantage of them!

Sign up to our newsletter!

Get expert sound tips, exclusive offers, and endless inspiration straight to your inbox. Built for everyone - from the aspiring producer to the studio veteran - let’s take your sound to the next level.