Roland Jupiter-8

Roland Jupiter-8 Image

The Jupiter-8 was Roland's first truly professional analog synthesizer. The Jupiter-8 features 16 rich analog oscillators at 2 per voice, eight voice polyphony and easy programming! At eight voices you can get some pretty thick analog sounds. Easy and intuitive programming via front panel sliders, knobs and buttons for all your tweaking needs. The legacy of the Jupiter synthesizers is due to their unique voice architecture and design, creating sounds that were so unreal and amazing that they have to be heard! No other synths in the world can create analog sounds as cool and authentic as these.

The Jupiter-8 was the biggest and fattest of them all (Jupiters and Junos)! It was one of the first synths to allow its keyboard to be split and layered - it's eight voices of trance heaven! Cross-mod, oscillator sync, a great LFO and a classic arpeggiator are also on-board. There's also a killer resonant analog low pass filter, same as the Juno-6 / 60, with the added option of choosing 2-pole (12 dB/oct) or 4-pole (24 dB/oct) modes as well as a separate high-pass filter. Unfortunately for the earlier models, tuning was very unstable but that seemed to be resolved in later models. Unlike its smaller counterpart, the Jupiter-6, the Jup 8 does not feature MIDI, only Roland's DCB sync can be found on some models. However, MIDI retro-kit's are available from various companies. Patch presets can store keyboard splits, arpeggiator settings, voice assign mode, hold, portamento and modulation settings.

Roland Jupiter-8 Image

The Jupiter-8 has been used by Tangerine Dream, Orbital, Future Sound of London, Moby, Duran Duran, Underworld, Vince Clarke, Überzone, Jean Michel Jarre, Roxy Music, OMD, A Flock Of Seagulls, Depeche Mode, Rush, Meat Beat Manifesto, Banco De Gaia, Josh Wink, Thomas Dolby, Howard Jones, The Cars, Prince, Gary Wright, Jan Hammer, BT, Adrian Lee, Heaven 17, Kitaro, Elvis Costello, Tears for Fears, Huey Lewis and the News, Journey, Moog Cookbook, Toto, Yes, Devo, Freddy Fresh, George Duke, Greg Phillanganes, Jonathan Cain of Journey, Greg Johnson & Kevin Kendrick of Cameo, Stevie Wonder and Simple Minds.

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101 Visitor comments
December 10, 2011 @ 3:13 am
The JP80 is a great modern synth, but it WAS marketed as a modern revamp of a JP8, and it just ain't. Not even close. I'm not buying into the argument here about whether or not the JP8 is a classic or not, but in response to certain comments here, Roland sold HEAPS of them, lots of very influential artists used it, and it sounds great. This is one of those synths that seems to defy modelling - the Arturia model comes close, but it's not quite right.
Incidentally, I reckon the JP6 sounds just a bit better...
December 8, 2011 @ 2:13 pm
you mean you are comparing the Jupiter 8 with the Jupiter 80? you have to be kidding!!!
JP8 is an analog synth and JP80 is a crappy digital Workstation/Rompler. At least is good to know that marketing strategies are capable to fool some people.
December 1, 2011 @ 10:27 pm
I used to own an JP-8. It died on me. I bought it for 5500 dollars and it was only working for a year. Then lo and behold, the ancient machine couldn't turn on anymore. I found out the hard way that a JP-8 isn't worth being nostalgic over, since that money I initially spent could have went to a newer and more reliable synth. Let's not forget all of it's 8 poly capabilities, no after touch, and hardly any good midi control. I saw the JP80 in GC and I was in heaven - in fact, I bought it.
November 29, 2011 @ 11:03 pm
@ Tetris... You know, the Jupiter 80 is probably a wonderful synth. However, for a certain kind of sound, which properly used is actually timeless, the analog machines from the late 70's and early 80's really can not be underestimated. I was just like you a few years ago with all of the latest beasts, and then I started investing in vintage machines... ARP, Prophet 5, Moog. Dude, they completely blow the newer synths away... especially if you run them through quality effects. In a band setting, there is simply no comparison. I'd love to have a Jup 8! are you kidding?
November 28, 2011 @ 6:05 am
@ cory cudney. You cannot get the JX10 to sound like a Jp-8. I have them both and if you're ignoring your Jp-8 over your 6 then I reckon there's something wrong with it. @ Tetris, if the JP-8 is a thing of the past then I'm guessing my 1176 limiter and C12 mic are too. Own one or borrow one for a while and you'll see. I felt the same as you b4 I lived with one. It is limited IMO, but what it does do it does with an elegance that you won't hear elsewhere.
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Rated 4.4 (1366 Votes)

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  • 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 - 8 voices
  • Oscillators - 2 VCO's per voice (16 oscillators's!) switchable between triangle, sawtooth, pulse, and square waves plus noise on OSC 2
  • LFO - 4-waveform (sine, tri, ramp, random) LFO
  • Filter - Low pass filter with 2-pole (12 dB/oct) and 4-pole (24 dB/oct) modes, Env Mod, LFO MOd, Key Follow. Separate 6 dB/oct high pass filter.
  • VCA - Standard ADSR and mixer to balance oscillator levels
  • Memory - 64 patches and 8 patch presets
  • Keyboard - 61 note keyboard
  • Control - DCB Roland to Roland sync/interface on some models
  • Date Produced - 1981 - 1984

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