The Roland JD-800 was a favourite for top electronic music producers through the ’90s. Combining the original JD-800 waveforms with advanced modelling techniques, the new JD-08 packs much of the sound design features of the original, along with expanded polyphony and a new two-part polyphonic sequencer, not available on the original.
In this video, I go through some of my favourite features of the new JD-08 and explore the two-part polyphonic sequencer. We also pair the JD-08 with the drums from Roland TR-08.
Here’s what Roland is saying about their new Boutique Sound Module:
By the early ’90s, preset-driven digital synths with limited hands-on controls dominated the landscape. The JD-800 changed all that in 1991, bringing the synthesizer world back to its roots with a control-laden panel and an aggressively electronic sound palette. The JD-08 includes 64 presets from the original hardware and perfectly recreates the four-tone structure, 108 waveforms, and unique two-part multi-effects that are at the core of the JD-800’s intricate, evolving sound.
While the original design of the JD-800 is retained in this modern version, there is a range of updates that take the experience to another level. New patches plus 256 memory locations let you dive deep into the huge array of controls to create new sounds for your music. And with expanded polyphony and two-part multitimbral capability, there’s even more room to stretch out your sonic ideas.
Once you’ve locked in your patches, fire up the two-part polyphonic sequencer and start programming leads, basslines, or basic chords to sync with other pieces in your electronic ensemble. And to bring some animated movement to your sounds, tap into motion recording and the onboard arpeggiator to make your musical lines dance.
The JD-08 features a built-in USB-C audio/MIDI interface, so you can play, record, and synchronize with all types of computer production software. Full-size MIDI I/O is also available for interfacing with other MIDI hardware. There’s even an external clock input for driving the JD-08’s onboard sequencer and arpeggiator from vintage analog instruments and modern Eurorack systems.
Sound Patch: 256 Pattern: 128
The JD-08 has a maximum polyphony of 128 voices. *Please note, this can vary depending on patch load
Distortion Phaser Spectrum Enhancer Delay Chorus Reverb
2 part 64 steps 8 notes per part (Polyphonic)
EXT CLOCK IN jack: Mono miniature phone type PHONES jack: Stereo miniature phone type OUTPUT jack: Stereo miniature phone type MIX IN jack: Stereo miniature phone type MIDI (IN, OUT) connectors USB port: USB Type-C(R) (Audio, MIDI)
Ni-MH battery (AA, HR6) x 4 or Alkaline battery (AA, LR6) x 4 USB bus power
500 mA (USB bus power)
Options (sold separately)
Keyboard unit: K-25m Boutique Dock: DK-01
More info via the Roland website: