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
September 3, 2010 @ 8:12 am
Used live by New Order before they broke up.
October 19, 2009 @ 10:36 pm
My first synth was a Roland JV-30 also. I later had an opportunity to purchase a XP 80 which I loved but it wasn't mine to keep. I later picked up a Roland JV-880 Module thinking I could capture the same sounds but was disappointed. I now have a Kurzweil PC2 and Yamaha S90 Great boards but I miss my XP80. Looking for one now. I wondered if the new rolands have those classic sounds.
September 26, 2009 @ 4:10 pm
my first synth was a roland JV-30. Then i saved my money and got the Korg Triton. I HATED THE TRITON SOUNDS FOR JAZZ! Then i got a used Roland XP-80 in '01 and I LOVE IT! i just wish i could read the little green display easier. I just wonder what the subsequent 3 generations of newer Roland synths offer that I'm missing out on. Anybody?
Gary A.
July 11, 2009 @ 11:41 pm
Just picked up an "Expanded" Roland XP-80 (in 9.99/10 perfect/brand new condition not the slightest scratch) for $150.00, happened to come across it by chance today at the local Guitar Center, some guy was tring to sell it to GC, and I got to him first.
Dumeril Seven
March 24, 2009 @ 3:08 pm
One caution about using the XP-80 as a master controller: The XP-80 won't allow you to setup zones so that a realtime controller (such as mod wheel, a front-panel slider, an external pedal, etc) will transmit to some zones and not others, without also affecting whether the keyboard transmits to the zones. In other words you can't, for example, set up two zones on the keyboard, with the mod wheel only transmitting to one zone and not the other. There are workarounds (for example, you can change the sound patch on one of the zones to ignore the modwheel) but setting this up at the controller would be a much more elegant solution than having to create customized versions of perfectly good patches to get around a limitation with the controller. Not a deal killer limitation, but a pain to deal with if you're using zones a lot like I do for live playing.
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Rated 3.97 (553 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.
  • 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
  • Resources & Credits
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