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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72 Visitor comments
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with a few 90s, 00s and current synths recently in the studio, and while it was of course by 15000 miles the most outdated piece around ("you can store up to 8 sounds!"-"woooow...thats what I call progress!"), everyone ended up being just struck by its charisma and sonic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!
January 14, 2012 @ 8:50 pm
@stuart: i don't own a jup4 on my own but a promars which is very similiar. perhaps this is the solution for your problem: on the promars you can't edit the presets and the sounds that have been stored. editing is just possible in manual mode (do you have a button called like this on your jup4?) ... so you can't modify a stored patch what makes patch-storing having less or no sense ....
Thomas Faurby
January 8, 2012 @ 10:04 am
A demo of this great synth:
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Rated 4.2 (563 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay 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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