MATRIXSYNTH: Digital Waves Roland JD 800

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Digital Waves Roland JD 800

Published on Aug 19, 2017 100 Things I Do

"This week I thought it was time to take a look at the Roland JD-800 again. One of the most unique synths Roland has made to date. With an original list price of around $3000 back in 1991 when it came out it was the first sign that people were getting sick of presets and the pain of menu diving to create new sounds!

The JD 800 suffers from a few unique gremlins such as the 'Red Keys of Death" (The glue used to secure the key weights degrades over time and leaves a nasty trail of sticky goop and lost key weights!).

Delamination of the keybed connector is also quite common and then with so many digitally scanned sliders they get dirty and the machine can get quiet glitchy.

I have had to deal with each of the above problems over the years to keep this synth alive... which has surprised me due to me not actually using the synth much. The sound is like a Wavestation mashed with a D-50 , no real wave sequencing but you get 108 waves... saw, sine all the way to attack samples of various instruments. The Digital resonant filter adds even more unique flavour. The filter can be quite hard to dial in for the sound you want.

As I have said before I hardly ever use this synth and it is always on the potential chopping block to be sold when I find a new synth of interest :D"

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