Roland JV vs Roland JX

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.

Roland JV vs Roland JX

Postby max badwan » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:43 am

Is the JV a poor mans' Super JX?
This came up on the JV 880 review page, so I thought it would be better here than clog up the review page with what in essence is a classic synth shoot-out - analog v digital.
I've owned and/or played most of the JV/XP (JV880/2080, XP30/50/60) line and the JX (3P/8P/10, MKS70) line.
So I decided to bench test a JV engine (2080) against a JX engine (MKS 70), mainly for fun, but I was curious, just how close can it come to the super big analog sound the Super JX is rightly famous for?
The obvious similarities are they're both Roland, they both generate sound and respond musically to performance controls, and they can both throw 4 sound sources per voice into the mix - other than that, well, one's analog (technically a digital/analog hybrid - (refer to the SCI Prophet 5 manual for that definition)) , the other is completely digital. Another similarity is they are both known for great pads. Also, they can both use MIDI velocity to mix sound sources, in which I think the Super JX is unique as an analog - to my knowledge there is no other vintage analog that can use velocity to mix or switch sound blocks.
For the test I used a JV 2080 and the SR-JV80-04, and an MKS 70 with PG 800. I initialised patches both machines, defeated internal effects, and ran them into channel strips with gates, comps and limiters only. I ran test tones to balance the inputs to minimise any psycho-accoustic effects. Testing was three fold - 1: oscillators and basic timbres (static test), 2: VCF vs TVF (static test), and 3: patch mimicking from JX to JV (dynamic test). I'll probably do some more testing, and If anyone has any ideas they want to check out, let me know.

Oscillator overview: JX uses DCOs with four wave forms; Saw, Pulse (fixed duty cycle), Square (fixed duty cycle) and white noise. The JV uses word oscillators with basic wave ROM of (880=4Meg/2080=8meg) with over 150 meg of ROM on various cards. JX DCOs can modulate each other in pairs, (hard sync, x-mod and fm). 880 has no ring mod, but 1080 and above have ring modulators, but only the JD 990 has hard sync amongst Roland digitals.
Sawtooth waves from the stock JV are essentially brighter than the JX, however, SR-JV80-04/22 (ARP Saw) is a tonal match for the JX saw. Subjectively, the JX is, well, fatter, but nothing EQ wouldn't fix. I suspect that the JX has a lower frequency response - it certainly is much noisier than the JV.
Pulse waves - this was a bit harder to match - both machines have fixed duty cycle pulses, none of which are the same, but SR-JV80-04/63 (ARP Pulse 2) is very close.
Square waves - well, I really couldn't tell any difference between either machine using the internal Synth Square wave, and the same went for noise, really couldn't pick between them.
I've been asked about sync waves, I haven't tested that yet, but there is no JV stock wave, so I'm looking at 04/131 (P5 Unisync), 04/157 (P5 X Mod) and 04/170 to 174 (MKS80 Xmod 1-5). The best hard sync waveform in the library is on SR-JV80-06/146 (Acid Sync).
So on basic synth timbres, the JV can mimic the JX pretty closely, to darn near perfectly.

Filter overview: The SuperJX has the same low pass filters as a Rev5 MKS80, so they are pretty sweet, and they are the only unmodified JX filters that will run to self-osscilation. The 16bit TVFs of the JV aremulti-modal digital filters, so quite a different technology, but are they sweet?
Starting with filters fully open, so at 100/90/75/50/25/10/0 percentiles, in terms of the timbral and dynamic changes to the sound, I could really not pick it. The changes to both tone and volume were consistent on both platforms. Next I tested filter resonance. The percentiles were reversed, so 0/10/25/50/75/90/100. From 0% to 90% resonance, the TVFs actually responded more or less exactly as the VCFs. At 100%, there were differences. I had to dial back the TVF to around 118 (out of 127) to get the same timbre as the VCF at 100%. Over 120, the TVF self oscillates like crazy, some fundamentals were generating multiple partials.
At this point I'm surprised. I shouldn't be, I mean Roland software developers probably went to great lengths to get the TVF to mimic the characteristics of a Roland VCF, but I'm still surprised. I was expecting there to be a significant difference - I mean, it's digital.....but.....it can't be better, can it?
Well, I suppose the answer is yes and no - it's a well modelled filter, it's clean, and it's accurate, it doesn't have a ton of character, but it's actually quite good. So tonally, and in theory, building a Super JX sound isn't beyond the realms.

Patch Creation: once I had the waves sorted and I was convinced the filter essentially sounded the same (even writing that I'm shaking my head) I grabbed a fairly typical Super JX patch - high stringish on B, Polybrassish on A, slow attack and release times, think Bladerunner soundtrack kinda sound. I assigned JV tones 1 & 2 to JX tone B and tones 3 & 4 to JX tone A (so read the same way). Five minutes later and I had a working facsimile, both tones used saw waves. Very little movement in the sound, but the tones were close enough, so another ten minutes or so, using both JV LFOs (so 8 in total) to introduce little variations on pitch, volume, filter and pan, very mild pitch EGs on tones 2 & 4, I had something close. Still no cigar though, so I left the bench, and returned one half hour later aftre refreshing my ears. I'd created a patch based on a JX patch, which didn't sound quite right, the stringish bit sounded more like an Alpha Juno than a JX, and the brass still needed some tweaking, but it worked as a tech demonstrator, and was actually not bad in it's own right.

So at a pinch, I'd say definitely very close to a Super JX in capability, and if not exactly the same sound, the JV has enough of the Roland character to pull it off in the mix.
max badwan
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:34 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Real name: Max
Gear: T1, XV 5080, JV 2080, VariOS (VC1), S 760, MKS 7/50/70, EX 8000, Poly 800, K 5000s, K 1000PX, K 1000GX, Mirage
Logic, Cubase, Reason

Advertisement:

Re: Roland JV vs Roland JX

Postby synthroom » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:53 pm

Nice write-up! Thanks for doing it.
Fairlight IIx (Mid-Life Crisis - cheaper than a Corvette!)
Roland JP-8, D-50, S-50, S-550(2x), S-760(2x), JX-3P, JD-800
EII, Emax II, Minimoog, ARP 2600, P-5 Rev.1 (broken...), Pro-One, Crumar Performer, K1m, K5m, MS-2000B, Virus KC, a few other things.
User avatar
synthroom
Active Member
Active Member
 
Posts: 592
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:16 pm
Location: pdx
Real name: Kirk
Gear: Fairlight IIx(!), JP-8, D-50, S-50+550, S-760, JX-3P, JD-800, EII, Emax II, Mini, ARP 2600, P-5 Rev.1, Pro-One, Performer, K1m, K5m, few other things.

Re: Roland JV vs Roland JX

Postby ryryoftokyo » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:29 pm

In regards to the digital Roland filters, I've always been very pleased with how they sound. A lot of the other bigger companies seem to have lost how to do filters in the jump from analog to digital and are only recently correcting this thanks to the big resurgence in analog gear use. Even the lowly Roland XP-10 boasts a very warm and musical filter. Everything else about it can be forgotten. Either way, this was very well written. Cheers for taking the time to do this!
32 MU modular system, Electribe (EA-1 and EMX), Microbrute, Nord Lead 2x, Blofeld, MS20, AN1x, Poly 61 (x2), JX8P, Split-8, DX7, Alpha Juno 2, microkorg, Conn Electric Band, TR-505, Ace Tone FR-3, Monotron Delay, Beatstep
User avatar
ryryoftokyo
Active Member
Active Member
 
Posts: 584
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 1:19 am
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Real name: Ryan
Gear: Metal, plastic, wood, and electricity.
Band: Tarot Sync

Re: Roland JV vs Roland JX

Postby madtheory » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:45 pm

I'm putting a JV-1080 back in the rack soon so pleased to see this. Could you post audio samples? And sysex? That would be very cool. :)
User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
 
Posts: 3296
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Location: Cork, Ireland
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Fabreeze, Buck Owens Moog, Korg Warlock 9000, Roland Sultan of Brunei, Moog Ribald Cat.
Band: madtheory

Re: Roland JV vs Roland JX

Postby max badwan » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:08 am

madtheory wrote:I'm putting a JV-1080 back in the rack soon so pleased to see this. Could you post audio samples? And sysex? That would be very cool. :)

I'll do both in due course, I'll Soundcloud the audio and up some single file sysex for the patches. I'll post when I've done it. I didn't save the JV copy patch (Mr Pinto Guinness came a calling), but I'll do it again and log it to see how long it really takes.
max badwan
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:34 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Real name: Max
Gear: T1, XV 5080, JV 2080, VariOS (VC1), S 760, MKS 7/50/70, EX 8000, Poly 800, K 5000s, K 1000PX, K 1000GX, Mirage
Logic, Cubase, Reason

Re: Roland JV vs Roland JX

Postby adekoyote » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:36 pm

this is encouraging...I really want to expand my range/palette of tones/timbres, but some vintage gear is just not cost effective.
adekoyote
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:33 pm
Gear: YAMAHA PSR460, ROLAND MC808, EDIROL, APC20, Emu Proteus 2500 and Yamaha RS7000, Yamaha Su700, Roland VP9000, Yamaha AW4416, Desktop Evolver
Band: The Ghostz of More

Re: Roland JV vs Roland JX

Postby madtheory » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:28 pm

max badwan wrote:
madtheory wrote:I'm putting a JV-1080 back in the rack soon so pleased to see this. Could you post audio samples? And sysex? That would be very cool. :)

I'll do both in due course, I'll Soundcloud the audio and up some single file sysex for the patches. I'll post when I've done it. I didn't save the JV copy patch (Mr Pinto Guinness came a calling), but I'll do it again and log it to see how long it really takes.

Awesomeness :) Guinness eh? Try Murphys, or Beamish sometime (if you can get it). Both are a superior black stuff.
User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
 
Posts: 3296
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Location: Cork, Ireland
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Fabreeze, Buck Owens Moog, Korg Warlock 9000, Roland Sultan of Brunei, Moog Ribald Cat.
Band: madtheory

Re: Roland JV vs Roland JX

Postby max badwan » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:08 am

madtheory wrote:
max badwan wrote:
madtheory wrote:I'm putting a JV-1080 back in the rack soon so pleased to see this. Could you post audio samples? And sysex? That would be very cool. :)

I'll do both in due course, I'll Soundcloud the audio and up some single file sysex for the patches. I'll post when I've done it. I didn't save the JV copy patch (Mr Pinto Guinness came a calling), but I'll do it again and log it to see how long it really takes.

Awesomeness :) Guinness eh? Try Murphys, or Beamish sometime (if you can get it). Both are a superior black stuff.

he he. I've tried Murphys (but my memory of that particular evening is a bit hazy!)- I'll keep an eye out for Beamish, but the other black I like is Super Bock Black.
max badwan
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:34 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Real name: Max
Gear: T1, XV 5080, JV 2080, VariOS (VC1), S 760, MKS 7/50/70, EX 8000, Poly 800, K 5000s, K 1000PX, K 1000GX, Mirage
Logic, Cubase, Reason

Re: Roland JV vs Roland JX

Postby madtheory » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:02 pm

Not sure I could take a beer called super seriously. I feel the opposite about the JV ;)
User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
 
Posts: 3296
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Location: Cork, Ireland
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Fabreeze, Buck Owens Moog, Korg Warlock 9000, Roland Sultan of Brunei, Moog Ribald Cat.
Band: madtheory

Re: Roland JV vs Roland JX

Postby max badwan » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:30 am

madtheory wrote:Not sure I could take a beer called super seriously. I feel the opposite about the JV ;)

I'm pretty similar, but don't forget the Portuguese are Celts too - but a Roland Super *whatever* is a thing of joy.
max badwan
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:34 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Real name: Max
Gear: T1, XV 5080, JV 2080, VariOS (VC1), S 760, MKS 7/50/70, EX 8000, Poly 800, K 5000s, K 1000PX, K 1000GX, Mirage
Logic, Cubase, Reason


Return to Synth Shootouts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest