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Roland  JX-8p 
(with PG-800)

 



 


I hated the synth for the interface and the trouble I had servicing it, but it would be unfair to say that it is a bad synth. It's good (to say the least) and I have grown to admire its hidden potential. It can kick some serious ass, squeeze some tears from eyes, and send some shivers down the spine, which translates to a wide range of inspiration opportunities. I think it's the most soundtracky cheap vintage analog synth. And maybe even the best cheap 80's Roland synth engine-wise. Soundwise... well, that's another story.

Even though the way the synth looks may be unstimulating (banish the designer!), the sound is of first quality and reigns supreme full-spectrum. You just need to like this quality - I often don't. I hate to use tech / nerd language, and I could very well use the word "not agile", but here we go: it's stiff DCO quality. The good-morning-how-can-I-help-you tone of this synth oscillates between a can of razor-blades, a glass of marbles and a medley of 80's hits (I'm sure half of its price level is generated by fans recreating the "Final Countdown" hit song). The areas where it can be relied on most are: sparkling chorused strings (when speaking about toying with the filter open), haunted or cinematic pads (best with the filter cutoff low) and some austere-but-interesting, chorus-less blips and leads. As far as bass theory is concerned, the JX-8p really delivers in low frequency (I even have to push the HPF slider up a bit sometimes), however, this is yet another area that needs to be classified as not convincing. If you're after Adamski's Killer type basses (or again: the 80's), then it's okay, but for a more snappy, versatile and effectively generic bass machine search elsewhere.

Whatever the inherent timbre, the JX-8p is one of those models inviting you to dig into parameters and create something new every couple of weeks. It has much more things beneath its hood than all those Junos, Polysiks and stuff, and that ensures more fun and wider palette of patches. However, if you don't have the programmer, the original PG or the virtual one, don't even bother to touch the synth. I'm serious. Your body's gonna produce so much frustration hormone that you will fall into a horrible, mind-wrecking agony and eventually die.

 

 

Watch the video demo part 1:

 

Watch the video demo part 2:

 

Or listen to the audio demos:
[ mp3 demo - factory patches ]
[ mp3 demo - my patches part 1 ]
[ mp3 demo - my patches part 2 ]

 


 

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