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Syntheziser Roland Jd-800 & jd-990 rack - Printable Version

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Roland Jd-800 & jd-990 rack - Bam - 02-07-2020

Roland Jd-800 & jd-990 rack

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Polyphony - 24 voices
Oscillators - ROM based digital synthesizer
Instruments - 6 part multitimbral
Keyboard - 61 key keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
Arpeg/Seq - NO
Control - MIDI
Date Produced - 1991-93
The JD-800 is Roland's answer to half a decade of hard-to-program synthesizers. Covered in sliders that act as dedicated editors just like a classic analog synth, the JD-800 is an extremely programmable and hands-on digital synthesizer. It is also an interesting and great sounding digital synth with incredible flexibility and control. Internal ROM based waveforms are combined to build your sounds. The sounds are based on Roland's D-50, but updated for the nineties with multimode filters - uncommon but welcome at the time.
The JD-800 came in a tough metal case capped off on the sides with large plastic covers. Programming may be a little too flexible for some users, but once you know what you're doing with it, almost any sound you can dream up can be dialed in and stored.
The JD-800 became very popular with musicians who wished to take a 'hands on' approach to patch programming.
In the introduction to the manual, it is stated that with this synthesizer, Roland intended to 'return to the roots of synthesis':
The JD-800 combines sample playback with digital synthesis, a process that Roland calls Linear Arithmetic synthesis, a technique Roland had been using to great effect in the Roland D-50. The JD-800 has 108 waveforms built-in, but these can be expanded via PCM-cards. There are waveforms in a variety of categories, like; analog synth, acoustic instruments, like guitars, woodwind, brass and voices. Most of these waveforms are very short and are designed to give character to the attack portion of a sound, while some longer ones are designed for creating pads, or the sustained part of a patch. The JD-800 was the first instrument from Roland to have its core sound set of waveforms developed entirely in the United States, under a short-lived branch of Roland's R&D-LA office in Culver City, California. The core sampled waveforms and Factory presets of the JD-800 were created by Eric Persing.
A patch, or single sound, in the JD-800 consists of up to 4 tones. As every tone consists of an almost completely independent synthesizer voice a patch could be considered a layer of up to 4 different synthesizers. In single mode the JD-800 plays one patch at a time, but in multi mode it is possible to play 5 different patches, over MIDI, plus an extra "special" patch. The special patch has different waveforms assigned to the 61 different key on the keyboard, so is used for drums and percussion sounds. The JD-800 has one effects section. In single mode 7 effects can be used simultaneously, in series, so all tones in a patch go through the same effects. In multi mode 3 effects can be used at the same time, all patches sharing the same effects, though a patch can be routed to bypass the effects.
Roland released the JD-990 Super JD in 1993. This is an enhanced rackmountable sound module version of the JD-800, without sliders, a larger display, and the ability to expand the device with PCM cards for extra sounds.
The synth was expandable by the inclusion of slots for PCM and RAM cards. The former increased the number of waveforms available to the user, the latter increased the number of patches that could be used. Roland produced a number of expansion kits for the synth (and other compatible models) comprising a pair of cards - a PCM card containing new samples, and a RAM card containing a bank of new presets.
PCM add on cards:
Roland later released 8 add on cards for the JD 800:
SL-JD80-01 Drums & Percussion STANDARD
SL-JD80-02 Drums & Percussion DANCE
SL-JD80-03 Rock Drums
SL-JD80-04 Strings Ensemble
SL-JD80-05 Brass Section
SL-JD80-06 Grand Piano
SL-JD80-07 Guitar Collection
SL-JD80-08 Accordion
Notable Users
Duran Duran
Teddy Riley
New Order
Clarence Jey
George Duke
Gustavo Cerati of Soda Stereo
Tony Banks of Genesis
Martin L. Gore of Depeche Mode
Akira Yamaoka
Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Jean-Michel Jarre
Rick Wakeman
Jonathan Cain of Journey
Bradley Joseph
Kenny Loggins
Mercury Rev
Steve Hillier of Dubstar
William Orbit
Robert Miles
Kevin Moore of Dream Theater
Derek Sherinian of Dream Theater
Pet Shop Boys
The Prodigy
David Rosenthal keyboardist for Billy Joel
Paul Shaffer of Late Night with David Letterman
Klaus Schulze
Luca Anzilotti of Snap!
Tangerine Dream
Matt Guillory
Laurent Garnier
Deep Forest
Ken Ishii
Susumu Hirasawa
Anthony Rother
Argonaut Games
E.P. Bergen of BV3
Dennis Provisor
The Time Frequency

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