Roland Jupiter-4

Roland Jupiter-4 Image

The first Jupiter synth. It was among one of the first poly synthesizers (4 individual voices which could be synced together for one fat monophonic lead), it had a pitch wheel that could be assigned to the VCA, VCF, VCO or all together, there are 8 memory locations and a cool arpeggiator - the arpeggiator can be heard in the Duran Duran classic, "Rio". It also has a very slow LFO for those ever-so-long filter sweeps. Pretty good for 1978!

Not so cool however, are the 10 preset sounds which sound nothing like the piano, brass or strings they claim to be. The placement of all the preset buttons below the keyboard can be inconvenient, especially while playing it. And as with most old analog synths, the Jupiter-4's tuning can go out often. Still it is a nice analog synth for creating weird trippy analog sounds. It's used by Meat Beat Manifesto, Gary Numan, Thomas Dolby, Saint Etienne, the Cars, BT, Simple Minds, Moog Cookbook, Vangelis, The Human League, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Heaven 17, and film-maker Satyajit Ray.

Check Roland Jupiter-4 Prices on eBay

The link above will take you to a search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a Roland Jupiter-4? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

69 Visitor comments
May 25, 2009 @ 11:16 am
The Jupiter 4 specifications are wrong - in addition to the ten presets there are eight user programmable presets (the so called "Compu-memory").

Compared to other analogue polysynths I've owned or had extended access to, the Jupiter 4 is particularly thick sounding even in poly mode, which comes as a bit of a surprise seeing as it only has one oscillator per voice. The high pass filter is nice for thinning out pad sounds, while the LFO is very fast. not having used a synth with such a fast LFO before I hadn't realised how useful it is!

Overall, the Jupiter 4 is my favourite analogue synth, far better than the JX and Juno's that I've used before. It even puts my Korg Mono/Poly into second place, which is something I never thought I'd say.

As for the look - it's cool in an retro, 1970s way.
March 5, 2009 @ 2:53 am
Jim Morrison
March 3, 2009 @ 7:53 pm
The Unicorns also used it.
February 13, 2009 @ 2:02 pm
To Treldon: This is indeed the machine that provided the haunting pads on Sister Feelings Call and Sons and Fascination.
January 28, 2009 @ 9:02 am
The JP-4 is pure fun!
The sound is different to all other analog synths. Very dirty, very dark and really great. A beautiful synth and of my fav synths ever!
Post Comment!
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 4.19 (551 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 - 4 voices
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO per voice (triangle, square, square with PWM) and a switchable on\off sub osc
  • LFO - 1 LFO (sine, square, ramp up and ramp down)
  • Filter - HP filter, LP rez filter
  • VCA - 2 env (ADSR) one for the filter which you can invert, one for the VCA
  • Effects - Ensemble/Chorus
  • Arpeg/Seq - Arpeggiator
  • Keyboard - 49 keys
  • Memory - None
  • Control - TRIG IN to control the arpeggiator
  • Date Produced - 1978/79

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.