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
October 6, 2009 @ 8:00 am
Yup. In issue 1 of Future Music, Gary Numan stated that the JD800 could do anything his minimoogs could do !
October 2, 2009 @ 9:00 pm
good synth. cant touch the roland d 50 . the d 50 is so much more organic. the jd 800 has got lots more features than the d 50 if you need them. vse rates the d50 (5/5 stars) and only gives (4/5 stars) to the jd 800.the reason being that the d 50 is classier looking and sounding than the jd 800 .
von kronos krakuhla
October 1, 2009 @ 3:45 pm
anyone who really think the d-50 is better than the jd-800 is myopic at best. ive played the d-50 but the jd had me frothing at the mouth at some of the tonal envelopes i came up with. wicked filters and the capability to come very close to sounding analogue should keep you occupied for quite some time. the d-50 could not sound that warm i don't care who says it does. definitely one of the best digital synths ever and a pleasure to program.
September 29, 2009 @ 9:43 am
The JD-800 seems superior in every way to the D-50. The d-series in general was quite limited for sound sculpting. As for the sound of the D-50: presumably to be compatible with its pcm samples, the D-50 had a kind of 'vocal' quality to its oscillators (not ideal for everything) which had limited waveforms available as compared to, say, a Korg Dw-8000.
September 23, 2009 @ 10:19 am
i desire it a lot, actually i looove this thing, used 2 play on it for hours at my local synth-shop back when it was new...great for choirs and glassy and metallic stuff, also great icey pads...ANTHONY ROTHER's backbone unit in his great electro-phase during day i'll snatch one for sure...!
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VSE Rating


User Rating

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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