Synth Site: Roland: JP-8080: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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"turn off the fx.. then start making sounds from scratch, you will soon see why its not so great and the fx heavily doctor the sounds.. "

Not true, I've spent hours programming the jp8080, while perhaps it isn't as good as a real analogue- jp8080 is quite good at making Juno106 DCO type bass sounds (one oscillator, noise, portamento -no fx). The filter is not great for acid basslines ala TB303 or SH101- too rough and coarse and with high resonance (self oscillation?) it sounds awful- doesn't rumble like a real filter should. The resonance just doesn't seem "married" to the sound- it sounds like a "ghost" - very transparent, thin. The 24dB LP stinks, this filter just seems to kill most of the sound and I rarely use it. To sum it up: the JP8080's digital, polyphonic nature lends itself best to brass, strings, pads , and dco type bass lines (ala Juno series) with minimal to moderate levels of resonance. Despite it's shortcomings the JP8080 can still create almost all of your favorite, cliche, dance music sounds.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Oct-28-2003 at 14:47
hexfix a professional user writes:
yeah its pretty decent..

turn off the fx.. then start making sounds from scratch, you will soon see why its not so great and the fx heavily doctor the sounds..

still is a good synth tho, good pads..

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Apr-03-2003 at 13:44
Wow, what an illuminating review!

There are things you like and things you hate about it, hmm... deep man, is that zen?

"It comes across as a flawed instrument ...but fair enough for the price." The sage, he speaketh.

I will add this to make this review legit- any "dance" synth sound you have ever heard can be reproduced on the jp8080.

The sounds produced by the 8080 are virtually endless, basses, noises, strings, drones. If you are into trance, house, drum n' bass, ambient,dub, progressive rock, scoring, whatever- the 8080 will deliver...eventually.

The OS is stable and complete- the unit has never (in the 5 years that I've owned it) locked up on me or failed in any way. Sure there are some quirky midi issues here and there, big whoop.

My favorite things to do with the 8080 is to link the various parameters to controller assignments on my keyboard and tweak remotely.

for those of you who haven't used this synth for a year at least- please shut the hell up.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Apr-02-2003 at 20:34
Wacko Jacko from Pleasantville writes:
The jp8080 is still a sweet synthesizer after all these years. True, the memory card is overpriced and hard to find but the jp has the ability to send and receive bulk midi data dumps so it shouldn't cripple anyone who has a sequencer. Without the memory card there are still 128 memory locations to store edits and 64 locations to store performances. How many people play a set that requires 64-128 different voice change? Don't be ridiculous! Of course having the SM card seems to give an unlimited amount of storage space and I'm glad I bought one when they were available. So much space is on one s2m-5 card that in almost 5 years I have yet to fill more than 2 complete banks on it.

Synthwise, the beauty of the JP8080 is the highly evolved fixed but flexible architecture and modelled osc's which allows the generation of an almost unlimited range of sound. One can quite easily achieve any traditional analog sound using the three standard osc's- tri, squ, and saw. But the digital feedback, super saw and triangle mod osc's open up a new realm of unexpected suprises. The feedack osc makes almost FM-like distortion guitar/synth sounds- like something you'd expect from a Yamaha VL model or DX synth.The super saw sounds like 7 detuned saw osc's playing at once- creates the often heard "hoover" gigantic synth sound so common to techno music but it also produces the most lush organic strings and drones you've ever heard. With the ring mod you can get those bell tones and hard metallic clonk. Cross-Modulating noise osc with the X-mod depth knob will create some bizarre spacey cicada sounds, creaks,warbles, groans and jet swooshes. The architecture scheme harkens back to the days of the Juno, Jupiter and SH days and looks quite similar to the MKS80 programmer. The voice modulator is the "secret weapon" of the jp8080- this synth has >2< external inputs, for stereo filter banking or modulating one input sound with another. Formant synthesis and FM can be achieved using the formant filter with internal or external sounds. This synth is one of the classic VA's of the last 20 years and is engineered and built to stand the test of time. In unison mode the thing sounds fat and thick and while it undoubtedly lacks the "huevos" of a true analog monosynth for bass, it excels at those mid to upper range polyphonic sounds. The Jp8080 is not perfect and will not satisfy everyone but it has that certain combination of characteristics that makes it extremely *unique*.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-16-2002 at 04:40
No, unfortunately only the unavailable "ancient" 5volt cards work with this machine. Regular smartmedia (3.3v) wont work. Ask Roland if you like. And Roland will also tell you that they do not have ANY cards that will work and neither does anybody else. Call the Roland SuperStore and get the word straight from them 1-800-386-7575. Why sellers dont make this clear is a simple answer....duh..they know that you would not buy the device if you know about the unavailable smartmedia cards glitch. This is a major problem, and has been well-hidden & concealed so the buyer gets stuck. I found out back in 1999 that these cards were no longer going to be in production due to the new 3.3v smartmedia cards becoming the new standard and the fact that the chip needed for the 5volt card manufactoring is long extinct. It was clear then that this was the direction smartmedia was heading...from the early 5v to the new 3.3v AND here is what really sucks bigtime!! The stores (& individuals) have been selling this JP-8080, the JP-8000, XP-30, the MC-505, and JX-305, as well as the Boss SP-202 for a long time without revealing this bit of info! AND they are still at it today!! just open your favorite gear catalog and you will probably find at least one of the above machines being tauted as using the "widely available" smartmedia. Beware!! They are lying to us! Its not true and guess who ends up being burned? THE MUSICIAN!! Help get the word out to anyone who is looking at one of these devices, so more of us dont get stuck with a machine that is not memory expandable! Dont you wish somebody had told you? I sure do!! Every time I see the adds still in catalogs for some of the above-mentioned devices and the ad says "uses widely available smartmedia" I just want to puke!! The good news is that I just found 2 cards on eBay for $40 each and I grabbed em!! Whew!

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Dec-08-2002 at 00:09
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