MATRIXSYNTH: Roland MKS-80 Super Jupiter | The Prince of Analoge 80s Power!

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Roland MKS-80 Super Jupiter | The Prince of Analoge 80s Power!


video by Espen Kraft

[Clarification in case the synth police shows up: The MKS-80 is closer to the Jupiter-6 than the Jupiter-8.

Internal chips:
Jupiter-6: 12x CEM3340 VCO, 6x IR3109 VCF, 6x CEM3360 Dual VCA
MKS-80 (to serial #511799/early models): 16x CEM3340 VCO, 8x IR3109 VCF, 8x CEM3360 Dual VCA (4 for X-Mod)
MKS-80 (serial #511800 and higher/later models): 16x IR3R03 VCO, 8x IR3R05 VCF/VCA, 4x CEM3360 Dual VCA (for X-Mod)

The Jupiter-8 also used a Roland IR3109 IC for the VCF, BA662 for the VCA, and IR3R01 for Envelopes.

Via wikipedia: "The voice architecture is almost identical to the Jupiter-6 synthesizer, the service manual states that "The module board of MKS-80 features the following in addition to that of JP-6, its brother module. 1) HPF. 2) Low boost circuit in the 2nd VCA. 3) DC supply current boost circuit (IC50)." The unit is fully capable of producing most of the Jupiter-6's signature sounds, in addition to many sounds unique to the MKS-80. In February 1985, Roland started producing a new revision of MKS-80, known as "Rev 5", that had no ties with any previous Jupiter's hardware, as it used a new generation of both Roland VCO's, VCA's and filter. The Rev 5 filter was also used in JX-8P, JX-10 and MKS-70 synthesizers."

And the following which I thought intersting:

"Confusion with Jupiter 8
In 1998, UK magazine Sound on Sound published an article about MKS-80. It contained a critical typo. Instead of referring to Jupiter 6, the comment about the rack version constantly referred to Jupiter 8, leading to serious confusion and even spreading myths across various online forums. However, once we read that article and replace numbers 8 and 6, the whole part of the article suddenly makes sense: 'The MKS80 delivered the entire Jupiter 6 wish-list and more, including a much larger memory and upgraded internal electronics. Now let's get one thing clear -- despite a few commentators postulating otherwise, the MKS80 had nothing to do with the Jupiter 8. Although there were ultimately to be two versions of the instrument (one with the Jupiter 6's Curtis oscillators, the other with custom chips developed by Roland themselves) both retained the architecture of the Jupiter 6, sounded identical to the Jupiter 6 and, apart from their many enhancements, were the rackmount module versions of the Jupiter 6.'." Also see this post for The Story of the Roland JUPITER-8 & JUPITER-6.]

--- That said, here is the description for the video above:

"Roland MKS-80 - the Super Jupiter. Rolands last analog VCO synth and one that packs all the punch of the mighty Jupiter 8 and 6 into one box

With 8 voices, 16 VCOs, fast envelopes, cross modulation, sync, 2 ADSRs, a very flexible LFO and velocity and pressure sensitivity over Midi, the Super Jupiter was the professional musicians dream module in the mid 80s. Used on countless hit records.

Support this channel on Patreon:
https://www.patreon.com/espenkraft​

Through the years the MKS-80 came out in a Rev.4 and a Rev.5 and the debate over which one sounds the best never seems to stop. I don't care about that at all. The versions used in this video are both Rev.5, but as I actually compare these to a Jupiter 8 here, no one should tell me that the Rev.5 can't sound like it. It DOES sound like it, down to 99% and that's enough for me.

A big thanks to Joakim Tysseng for the loan of the Jupiter 8 and a big thanks to Brynjulf Blix for the one MKS-80 and the MPG-80 programmer. Anders Jensen has as always been very kind too and thanks for the other MKS-80 Anders, as well and for all the driving!

The other MKS-80 programmer I use here is from Retroaktiv and that's a new one. I did a demo of that just a couple of videos before this so check that out if you want to."

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