Synth Site: Roland: JD-990 Synthesizer Module: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.8 out of 5
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sjmojo a professional user writes:
the best of all pcm-based synth module from roland.sound analogue.especially using it with the vintage synth exp. board.the weak point is just 24-note polyphony,most of the patches used 4 tones to form a patch,so u only get 6-note polyphony on 6 patches at multi/performance program,it's not enough,as a result,i'm gonna get the second one.cheers!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-May-12-2001 at 00:09
Devon a professional user from US writes:
This thing sounds phenominal. Great fat pads, basses and strings are outstanding. Better than any other roland synth IMHO. It kicks most VA's in the ass. Great onboard effects. Most people seem to have forgotten about this great synth so you can find em cheap. Realistic instruments are just OK. Use it for analog, strings, and FX and you'll be happy.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jan-16-2001 at 09:28
Citizen a part-time user from Holland writes:
I recently traded my JV1080 1 on 1 for a JD990...Apart from one time a hanging note[too much MIDI-signals], this thing is great!

I mean the editing is so intuitive and 10 times better than on the 1080! I made some sounds myself in 1 hour while on a 1080 it took me half an hour to make one sound due to these 'irritating' menu's,multi-function knobs and pages... Some people say that the JV-serie can do everything the JD can,but this isn't true. My ears are still pretty good, and i can hear the difference clearly,the JD990 is intended in the 1st place as a synth, and NOT as a multi-timbral soundsource!

I don't say the 1080 is bad at all, but the 990 is much better in terms of sound and interface. The ONLY thing i miss are the 64 voices of the 1080 compared to the 24 of the 990, but hey, that's quality over quantity for you...

I use my U220 for acoustic sounds like piano/bass/guitars. The JD990 isn't meant for this, but for synthetic sounds and FX...(Bytheway, the U220 is a great addition to the 990 for more poppy/'real' sounds...)

The visual editing of the filter-slopes, envelopes and FX routings are very inspiring to me.Pity it has only 64 user-memories...Well, if it's full, you just program sounds on the fly...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Dec-14-2000 at 03:54
Åsmund Mæland a professional user from Norway writes:
This baby's been my main source for synth sounds since the day I bought it. It's good at basses and leads but the pads and strings are just gorgeous. Are you guys aware of the modulation possibilities of this thing? A patch consists of up to 4 tones. Each tone has an individual resonant lowpass/bandpass/highpass filter, ring mod, pitch/filter/amp complex multistage envelopes, 2 LFOs with tons of shapes, fade-in and sync on/off functions, LFO depth applies to any combination of filter, amp and pitch. Each patch can use two controller sources (not CCs) to adjust a variety of destinations, including filter cutoff, resonance, LFO depth and LFO rate (I always use pitchbend or modwheel for cutoff on synthlines, works perfectly well). Oscillator sync is available too. And there's such a great variation in the waveforms. It can do some nice acoustic sounds which analogue beasts can't. Organs, electric pianos, ethnic instruments...It also has some good effects built in. The effects are split into two blocks, A-block and B-block. Block A consists of distortion, phaser, spectrum (multiband parametric EQ)and enhancer (adds some top end). The phaser is awesome. It's so lush and wide. Distortion is also really good, with several algorithms to choose from. Chorus, multitap stereodelay (syncable to MIDI clock of course) and reverb make up block B. All effects can be used simultaneously in a single patch, but in performance mode you only have block B (global), except for part 1 which can use block A effects too. Great thinking by Roland to let one of the parts be able to use the A effects, so you can have a bassline patch running on part 2 and a huge phasing pad or distorted blurps on part 1. Oh, and did I mention that the damn thing has EIGHT outs? It would be nice to have a higher polyphony, as each tone in a patch eats voices (meaning that a single-tone patch gives you 24 whilst a 4-tone patch leaves you with 6). I just dig the big screen. Recently, I was in a local store testing an XV-3080, but I gave up programming it after two minutes because of the tiny display. The JD gives you a great overview of the parameters, so even if it doesn't have lots of knobs you can still program it pretty quickly. After I discovered I could push the value dial while turning it to jump values of 10's instead of 1's, I've been spewing out patches. The JD sounds so polished and thick. The programming possibilities are baffling (try making a sound with different filter types for each tone or an evolving monster which utilises all 8 LFOs and 12 envelopes). It's a great studio box thanks to the 3 individial stereo outputs. It's unique (only the JD-800 comes close to the 990's character, but doesn't sound quite as good), and I seriously recommend buying one if you can find one. I paid a mere $550 - was that a steal or what! If you can get one for less than $750 you should (you should get it anyway, if you have the money). For the truly fat analogue sounds I suggest you get a VA though, but if you're a little more experimental then this is the one to get. Check out my tunes - the JD is used in all of them - at www.mp3.com/thermal Cheers!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Nov-27-2000 at 13:16
JMO@HOME.COM a hobbyist user from usa writes:
I can go on and on about this unit but to make a long story short this unit sounds so analogish it makes me wonder to sell my analog clunkers(NOT)Anyway The JD990 is very warm and has tons of analog and digital character!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Nov-09-2000 at 19:10
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