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.

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69 Visitor comments
April 16, 2012 @ 1:47 pm
Jupiter-4 is actually on the cover of the first album by The Twins, "Passion Factory", and appears in the video for the single "Desert Place".
April 16, 2012 @ 1:33 am
I have owned all three Jupiters..8,6,4. The Jupiter 4 has the best bass of them all. It is a beautiful sounding synth...
April 11, 2012 @ 9:32 am
ahh..the jp4...we put it together with a few 90s, 00s and current synths recently in the studio, and while it was of course by 15000 miles the most outdated piece around ("you can store up to 8 sounds!"-"woooow...thats what I call progress!"), everyone ended up being just struck by its charisma and sonic complexity.

it won't do a piano. but it will pull off an evolving, 10-minute lfo/vcf-sweep that might be entirely useless to some musicians, but pure, solid gold to others. wonderful instrument, just wonderful.
March 2, 2012 @ 11:36 am
Marshall Penn
January 19, 2012 @ 5:52 am
I had one of these in the late nineties. It cost £1100 or so. God i wish i still had it, i just dialed in a sound and went. It was so simple it never let the music get in the way!
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  • 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

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