Roland XP-80

Roland XP-80 Image

The XP-80 was one of Roland's flagship digital Workstation Synthesizers. With extensive professional features, superb quality PCM sounds, sequencing, effects and more, the XP-80 could be the only synth you may ever need! Compared with earlier XP-series synths, the XP-80 adds a great 76-note semi-weighted keyboard for a realistic playing experience. A bright and large 320 by 80 pixel backlit display gives easy readability to any programming and sequencing you may do on the XP-80.

The XP-80 offers up 64 voices of polyphony and can send on up to 16 MIDI channels simultaneously. The sounds are all digital in nature and sound pretty good too! Though its strengths are the emulation of acoustic instruments, it can create synth-type sounds too. It comes with 16MB of ROM sounds, but there's room for up to four 8MB expansion boards that add Orchestral, Techno, Vintage Synths, World, Bass & Drums and other instrument sets (from the SR-JV80 expansion series).

Bringing up the 'Workstation' end of the XP-80 is a full-fledged on-board MRC Pro sequencer. With a 60,000 note capacity, 100 patterns, and 1 song position - you can create songs, patterns, loops or phrases with relative ease. Other features of the sequencer include Grid, Groove or Shuffle quantization and a built-in disk-drive. The XP-80 also excels as a Master Keyboard controller used to control other synthesizers and MIDI gear. A great Arpeggiator is also available. High quality internal effects are provided such as Reverbs, Chorus, Delays and Roland's EFX multi-effects technology. There are also digital filters (4-pole, 12dB/oct, HP, LP, BP, Peak) and a ring-modulator for analog-synth type effects, perfect for dance and techno music! A Modulation-Matrix provides up to two LFO-effects for adding motion and life to the sounds. In addition, there are 6 sliders for real-time control.

In a nutshell, the XP-80 is a pure digital synth. Its sounds are virtually the same as the JV-1080, JV-2080, XP-60 and XP-50 synthesizers. And the XP-80 makes a great all-in-one Workstation or Master Keyboard controller for any musical application. For a digital instrument, the sounds can be surprisingly expressive and the XP-80 is not reserved for any particular musical genre, other than top-quality music! From Carnegie Hall to warehouse Raves, the XP-80 has been used. If you don't require such an elegant keyboard, the XP-60 is the next best alternative. And if you don't need any keyboard, the JV-2080 or JV-1080 make the next best alternatives to this flagship workstation.

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34 Visitor comments
nick
March 19, 2009 @ 9:33 am
Wow I'd never believe I'd see the day when the XP80 would be considered an antique! I got it in 97 and it really was great fun playing on the new sounds back then, I added 3 expansion boards and still use it as my main sound source today. My keys are dead, so I use another MIDI keyboard or my DAW to play the patches. First time I arranged convincing guitar strum patterns on an on-board sequencer. Compared with the newer stuff from Roland, I still prefer this keyboard.
David
March 18, 2009 @ 12:27 am
I have an XP-80 that I bought back in 1997 and I've been happy with it all this time. It's an excellent stand-alone keyboard with a variety of quality sounds (especially if you add expansion card/s) and a good controller.

In response to an earlier comment here: This is just my personal opinion, but I have used several keyboards over the years and this is still one of my favourites. I have used the Korg 01W/FD as well, and it's a decent keyboard, but to my ears the XP-80 is just better-sounding and more flexible. And to my way of thinking the XP-80 is much easier to use; programming is more logical. I think the XP-80 has also "archived" much better. To me the 01W/FD sounds dated.
Todd Ague
January 6, 2009 @ 9:20 am
I bought my XP80 in 1997, and have never felt I needed another workstation synth. This is a fantastic, reliable board with highly advanced sequencing and production capabilities built in. Twelve years after purchase, I have never needed to pay for any maintenance or even replace a battery -- and my XP80 works hard in the studio and on the road (local and air travel gigs). Generally, I like most of the sounds in the XP80, but it is true that the best sounds for this board come from the wide variety of expansion sound cards that are available for it.
Jo
December 4, 2008 @ 5:56 pm
XP-80 came loaded with quite low quality samples. It was designed to make you desire expansion boards. I was not pleased to realize that the factory sound was worse than Korg 01W/fd that was played by a colleague - keyboard that was 5 years older, and out of production in 1996. The other things on it are not bad, excluding the keyboard which, although good in quality, features shorter keys than normal.
Both things are not a good thing for a flagship. Yet, expansion boards will make it up even in 2009 and further.
 
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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.
  • Demos & Media
  • YouTube Thumbnail
    Roland XP-80 demo
    by StudioF

    Manual - Roland has made manuals for most of their products available as free PDF downloads.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 64 Voices
  • Oscillators - 4 osc. per voice; Digital PCM subtractive with 16MB of ROM (expandable to 80MB)
  • Sequencer - 60,000 notes, 100 patterns, 1 song
  • Filter - Resonant 4-pole, 12dB/oct, High pass, LowPass, BandPass, Peak filtering
  • Effects - 3 processors: EFX (w/ 40 effects), reverb, chorus, delay, ring modulation, distortion, etc.
  • Memory - 512 Preset, 128 User patches; 64 Preset, 32 User performances; 8 Preset, 2 User Drumkits
  • Keyboard - 76 semi-weighted keys (responds to velocity and aftertouch)
  • Control - MIDI (16-parts)
  • Date Produced - 1996

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