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
Art Cool
December 2, 2009 @ 5:05 pm
great synth...i used one back in the 80's and still remember it's sound and particular keyboard feel with those piano like keys...and i used it allways in manual/panel mode...forgeting the presets :)
Big Chris
December 1, 2009 @ 8:38 am
AnalogRenaissance1: The chorus on the Jupiter 4 is stereo. It has no controls for rate or depth, but seems to sound great on anything. Hmm, I wonder if custom controls for the chorus could be added ...
September 2, 2009 @ 6:05 am
Also used by Tears for Fears on their first album
I know because I still own the actual one bought from Ian Stanley (Their co-writer) and includes the operation manual with a couple of their songs mapped out
August 4, 2009 @ 11:03 pm
I love the Jupiter 4. I've had 2 and a Jupiter 6 which I liked less. I had a OBXa and a Jupiter 4 at the same time in the early 90's - The JP4 got 10x more use. The arpeggio, LFO and Unison are best. Using the closed hi hat from an Alesis HR16B as a clock input for the argeggiator I got many cool and sometimes unpredictable results.

My main synths now are Kenton Pro 2000MKII x2, Roland Jupiter 4, System 100, TR909 - Korg MS20 x2, SQ10, VC10, WavestationA/D - Waldorf Blofeld and the great U-He Zebra2
July 15, 2009 @ 10:18 am
Also used by Vince Clarke/Depeche Mode/Yazoo, The Twins (German synth-duo), Front 242, BBC Radiophonic workshop, Kirlian Camera, Hideki Matsutake/Logic System, YMO, Tomita, Church Of Hawkwind, Patrick Moraz, Trans-X, Masterworks, Ruediger Lorenz, Carlos Guirao/Neuronium, Oscar Petersen, James Newton Howard/Elton John band, Steve Porcaro & David Paich/Toto, Michael Bod [beep] er, Kitaro, 808 state, Fabrice Quagliotti/Les Rockets and Stevie Wonder.
Post Comment!
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 4.19 (550 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.