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
February 13, 2013 @ 6:23 pm
Absolutely beautiful. Like the Pro Soloist, it has a strange, almost acoustic quality that is very rare in electronic instruments. Warm and shimmering as well as silky smooth and lyrical. I love my Prophet 5 and OBXa/OB8 but the Jupiter 8 feels more organic, and it finds the way into my music more often. I have always felt that it is the perfect match to my OBX.
I got a 12 bit in 1989, and a 14 bit in 1993, and have never heard much difference between them.
December 30, 2012 @ 12:02 am
And about the JP-8 vs JP-80: They are two completely different things. Again, I'm an oldtimer and I stick to my 14-bit JP-8, I simply don't like the JP-80 - or the whole "supernatural" cheap-software generation of Roland synths and fx boxes. Even if Roland would be going on the right path, it'll still take a lot of time to catch up with a true replica of a vintage synth. But in the meantime, there's a lot of hype - because hype sells, my friends.
December 29, 2012 @ 11:57 pm
Interesting to read this discussion again after a year. I'm an oldtimer and I can tell you that when the Jupiter 8 came out, from my witnessing nobody felt aspiring at "true sounds" out of the machine. Back in '81 everyone wanted electronic sounds because new wave was at full steam. Everyone wanted to sound like OMD or DEVO. During those early days many didn't care about the JP-8 because Moog, ARP and Sequential were the kings and everyone wanted to get a Prophet 5. Also the Yamaha CS-80 was reigning supreme among polysynths.
November 20, 2012 @ 6:40 pm
i own and use the JP-8 professionally since the 90s. I got the JP-8080 a few months ago. I like both, many classic JP-8 sounds can be programmed on the 8080 and sound great. If you want gut wrenching bass, both instruments won't get you there. For pads, sync sounds, experimental, fm, drones, both highly recommended!
Cleo Phatra
October 23, 2012 @ 7:58 pm
(not more than 50%-- sorry!--- paying $7,000 today for a Jupiter 8 equals a 46% discount off the original price.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.4 (1373 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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