Roland JX-8P

Roland JX-8P Image

The JX-8P is a decent analog polysynth. It has 6 voices of polyphony, great MIDI implementation and patch storage as well as an external memory cartridge slot. Though it is far more advanced than its predecessor, the JX-3P, the JX-8P has its drawbacks. Hands-on programming is sacrificed and reduced to assigning the parameter you want to tweak to a data-slider near the pitch/mod bender. Enter the PG-800 controller which gives you total control of all the JX-8P's editable parameters with hands-on traditional slider control. Membrane buttons dominate the front panel of the JX-8P providing access to the various preset and user patches and to page through and assign editable parameters.

Professional features can still be found under the hood of the JX-8P. Its 61 note keyboard is velocity and aftertouch sensitive. Just like the Juno synthesizers it uses DCO's for a very stable system, however its sounds are a little thin and bright. It also features portamento, unsion and solo (monosynth) performance modes. It is used by Biosphere, 808 State, Tangerine Dream, The Shamen, Depeche Mode, Überzone, the Cure, Go West, Ozric Tentacles, Future Sound of London, Jean-Michel Jarre, Europe, and Jimmy Jam.

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141 Visitor comments
March 23, 2012 @ 6:08 am
Never been keen! It was Roland's answer to the DX7. It is all over Stock, Aiken and Waterman stuff. Typical Roland jack of all trades. Strangely, think Roland have always tried to make gear for the club singer and had serendipity moments that changed the course of music... 808, 909, 303 and Junos. The JX8P is not a serendipity moment more Jason than Kylie I think...
February 8, 2012 @ 1:47 am
There's some great controller software for this synth (and many other) at ... just installed the JX8P panel for it on my mac and it's working a treat!
January 29, 2012 @ 3:08 pm
Im on a mac OSX, and cant find any controller! The soundpac does not work. The others are ps or os 9. any software controller for OSX that works?
January 24, 2012 @ 8:00 am
Actually its NOT 2 JX8Ps in a one if to listen. JX10/MKS70 can load JX8P sounds, but thats all. Sonically they are like 2 different synths! The big difference comes from chorus. The chorus schematic is different in JX8P and JX10. JX10 chorus is like copy of Roland Alpha Juno chorus (it has "cleaner" and grainy chorus and lush pad sound). JX8P chorus is more similar to Juno-106 chorus (so its also more noisy and sounds fatter than JX10). So, JX10 has not 2 identical JX8P boards inside.
And yes, a MIDI/Sysex hack is available for JX10 too. So it has sysex functionality now as MKS70.
January 12, 2012 @ 7:25 am
Sounds good, and it's a pleasure to play. Filter is nice enough (still miles ahead of anything digital in depth) and its resonance at moderate settings is ear-candy. Amazing strings and similar. Though rich in features, it lacks some basic things for me: no LFO2VCA, you can't disable velocity sensing for VCF properly (the filter will stay fully open), *unison* mode is polyphonic (but there's also a different *solo* mode). The biggest drawback are its poor envelopes. The attack can be reasonably fast, but they simply sound cheap, and make most things sound *retro*. Still, a rewarding synth.
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User Rating

Rated 4.3 (997 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 - 6 voices
  • Oscillators - 2 DCO's per voice (12 oscillators)
  • Memory - 64 patches + External memory cartridges
  • Effects - Portamento
  • VCF - standard VCF
  • VCA - ADSR envelope
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Keyboard - 61 note keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
  • Control - MIDI In/Out/thru
  • Date Produced - 1985
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