Roland JD-800

Roland JD-800 Image

The JD-800 is Roland's answer to half a decade of hard-to-program synthesizers. Covered in sliders that act as dedicated editors just like a classic analog synth, the JD-800 is an extremely programmable and hands-on digital synthesizer. It is also an interesting and great sounding digital synth with incredible flexibility and control. Internal ROM based waveforms are combined to build your sounds. The sounds are based on Roland's D-50, but updated for the nineties with multimode filters - uncommon but welcome at the time.

The JD-800 came in a tough metal case capped off on the sides with large plastic covers. Programming may be a little too flexible for some users, but once you know what you're doing with it, almost any sound you can dream up can be dialed in and stored.

Roland JD-800 Image

It has been used by William Ørbit, Emerson Lake & Palmer, 808 State, Ken Ishii, Astral Projection, Rabbit in the Moon, Depeche Mode, Underworld, Tangerine Dream, LTJ Bukem, Apollo 440, Jean Michel Jarre, ATB, Vangelis, Pet Shop Boys, Faithless, Luke Vibert, Mouse on Mars, Laurent Garnier, MC Hammer, Bushflange, Genesis, and Eat Static.

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125 Visitor comments
July 31, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

Typically it's analog fanatics who're jealous that digital synths like this one can sound in many more ways. And that they're used in bigger ways on many records than any moog/arp etc combined could replicate.
July 22, 2011 @ 5:36 pm
" plastic case and wasn't very sexy..."??? The reviewer may have the facts straight but he wouldn't know sexy if it swung around a pole and slapped him. This keyboard looks like a control panel in a Cylon base station. It's form following function. It's engineering esthetic at its finest. The JD-800 is a work of art. It's as sexy as a hollow ground lock blade pocket knife or a jet fighter. This is the SR-71 of keyboards. If that ain't sexy, then call me Mother Hubbard. This is the sexiest keyboard in the whole database, and that includes the Andromeda.
June 26, 2011 @ 11:42 pm
I have a mint JD800, its so good it almost doesn't sit well in the mix with any other of my Roland synths - that's how much it stands out. It's a great synth to explore sound creation and that pads are thick and endless. Probably best suited for new age or techno style sounds, mind you the FX certainly add to a sounds depth on this synth. but the on board wave sound quality is very good. It's the best PCM based synth Roland ever made. It shares alot of similarities with the D70, more so than the D50. It is also the best looking synth Roland has ever made. I love it so much I'm getting 2.
June 21, 2011 @ 4:28 am
Some people are judging this synth very harsh, and I think they do so because it looks like it sounds analog. Thta is however not doing justice to this amazing machine.

It's real forte is in the kind hybrid sounds, based on samples of real instruments, but combined with subtractive synthesis to produce something that is obviously synthetic, but reminiscent of real instruments at the same time.

I in particular like those sounds that combine attacks from percussion, piano's or guitar with the sustain of pads created from voices, strings or woodwind.
May 24, 2011 @ 4:21 pm
Ken Ishii composed the theme to the Winter Olympics in Nagano and was nominated for a Japanese Academy Award for one of his movie soundtracks he composed - he's not "just another DJ", surely.
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Rated 4.32 (887 Votes)

  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 24 voices
  • Oscillators - ROM based digital synthesizer
  • #Instruments - 6 part multitimbral
  • Keyboard - 61 key keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
  • Arpeg/Seq - NO
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1991-93

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