Synth Site: Roland: JX-305: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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Tiff a part-time user from Canada writes:
I recently sold by JX-305 (I have a D2 and will echo a recent review...the thing's being blown out and is indeed an amazing little box) and began to miss it a few weeks later. Couldn't find a replacement, so I purchased an XP-30. In my opinion the JX is not as versatile as the XP.

HOWEVER- except for the smaller LCD, I think Roland did a much better job on the user interface for the JX. Once you learn the layout and multi-function aspects of the knobs and buttons, you'll see that they are very well thought out. Tweaking is extraordinarily simple.

Speaking of which, the JX is a very deep instrument. Upto 4 wavesample "oscillators", 2 LFOs than can be routed simultaneously to pitch, amp, filter, AND panning, excellent filters (each oscillator can have a different filter) can do some incredible things, from decent orchestral mimics to strange and ethereal sounds. I'll echo other reviews: you can use the JX-305 for any type of music. Think of the outdated presets as a snapshot in time and just move on...

This is an excellent controller as well for softsynths and modules. I've not even mentioned the sequencer! Don't worry about finding the 5v smartmedia cards; there are great (and FREE) editors out there (you can use the excellent MC505 editor found on the net) to store your unique sounds. If you're playing live, simply transfer your sounds to some of the 128 spaces available in the USER bank.

Do not judge this synth by its label.


p.s. if you have a D2, you can edit it directly using the JX-305...same engine...just a few less sounds. D2 has the soundset of the MC-505; JX-305 has more sounds and raw waveforms (mostly acoustic-type instruments if I recall).

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-May-23-2003 at 18:37
a professional user writes:
Yep, it dosen't matter what gear you use at all. I disagree with so many people who think its all about gear. A universal musician can adapt to whatever. As like all synth lovers, I appreciate anything I use, and the JX is one of them. Its not bad if you know how to use it correctly. Personally,I think the day products ship without presets is the day all these fights and arguments will stop about what gears better, that day I will also have died and gone to heaven. Im starting up a website soon with my albums on there, so check the links section I think it is, and come check soon! ;)

By the way....

(sorry admin for going on but heres the fun bit)

the presets do suck on the JX. Anything preset sucks. I wouldent at all call the JX-305 useless when it comes down to creating your own idea's, but funny enough, it's worser than an up-to-date preset groovebox in someways. Considering I know the JX-305 inside out, the presets are way outdated and kinda remind me of the 1996 period, so if your an "instant" or "lets smash hit" deejay on the spot kind of thing, don't bother. But like I said, anyone who's wanting to become serious should weene themselfs away from preset stuff and rely correctly on sequencing.

good points: Awesome for creating any type of music (up to date) - using original method

bad points: Wack off small screen, the presets are way to over crowding and edge slightly out of this decade.

They always said Roland products have 2 sides to use.


Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-May-21-2003 at 11:41
Bob a part-time user from CA writes:
hey guys, if you dig the JX305 and you dont need keys, you can grab a D2 pretty cheap right now. They are really cool. Pretty much the same engine as the JX305, but really small footprint and the D-Field is out of sight! I sold my JX305 in 99 and just last year I got the D2. Im happy. And no, its certainly not all about the gear only, but cool gear sure helps. peace.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-May-01-2003 at 18:40
M a hobbyist user from EK writes:
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Why put up with this nonsence? Do not let the words 'Groove X' decieve you. The JX-305 uses the exact same sound engine as the studio standard JV1080. And shares many features with a XP-80. And some sounds seem like cheeze, because they are raw waveforms not sequenced correctly. And the fellow who tells us that it does not take talent or creativaty to make trance music, I beg to differ. Yes it is easy to make 4/4 whatever, but to create syncopated incorporations and shifting from dorian to minor modes to set that mood, well son, that does take a little talent and creativity. Take your time with the synth, and work on it. You can make some beutiful acoustic guitar patches. A fellow of mine who goes to my campus played classical guitar for 8 years. He is the best damn classical player in the world, mind you, and we got togeather and I recorded him allong side a female singer. The outcome was very beutiful and with excitment, I began production on a new track. I used a Beta 57 and a AKG with no compression to record the guitar and a SM58 with compression for the vocal part. With this in mind I painted a picture to incorporate strings and beats.

While listening to the dry guitar part I managed to stumble accross Preset Patchs I:11-88, and in there was a steel guitar patch. When you play that patch like you would a piano, or synthline, it would sound like crap. Why? Well its not being played like a guitar. The patch is velocity maped and KB tracked so you can get those guitar board nicks in there. I tried to record edit back 'on the JX305' the same notes on the origonal recording, and evin though It did not sound exact, it was most alike, however, without realism. This here might also throw some poeple off. To make things clearer, I had to make the sequence dynamicly allocated with the guitar players hands. The bass (top 2 strings) are played mostly Legatto, so what more than to add to gate time a little bit, while the Saprano and Alto Parts were mostly sticcato, so I took off the gate time. To add to the bit of realism is to add the dynamics of the guitar played. Usillay on new bars, he would strum it with force a coulpe times, while going back on the melody thats not as hard strumed. So in order to make this impression in a sequence, I had to make the sequence with velocity allocation. Usually bass at FF(Velo 110-120) to last string MP (Velo 90-100) on strimming parts, and bass F (Velo 95-105) and Top string Pi (velo 80-95). This made a huge diffence in the midi recording!

It was soon dificult to tell the differance between the two, however, the sequenced guitar part still sounded mechanical. Well dequantizing should help that. On strimming parts I rushed the bass notes a few clocks behind time while I shifted the higher note a few clocks ahead of time. Wow what a differnce! And afew clock and velocity shifts here and there.

Now for the solo part. How do you make the same note sound differante on two stings on the synth? Well I customized the patch with lopass filter with a toutch of resonance KB Tracked on 2 waves (Bass Strings) and APF KB Tracked on the other two waves(Top), to cross between the 4 waveforms I used velocity mapping and keyboard range respectfully.

Well in the end, I ended up making a JX-305 recording just as good if not better than the origonal micked recording.

I'v had a similar experience with the drum kir, errr... you get the picture already.

"WHY THE HELL ARE IS THIS GUY WRITING THIS REVIEW???!!?" some of you slugs may ask. Well I will be blantly honest with you. A lot of negative post I have read on this board are plain out ignorant. Take for example, "Every thing thats Groovbox or groove box related are toys, and for little rave kids", "Not serious products, it a joke!". Now this is the real nut kicker... "I played with the sounds and they suck, the sounds suck, The patterns are horrible, this thing sucks!"

Here are some few Priases that do not help much eather. "This king kicks ass, too bad you dont know how to make music" or better yet "With the groove box its soo easy to make music and I make songs in 15 minute now!"

Now these statements, which you will see at least a hundred times, are mostly uninformed, ignorant and quick jumped comclusions.

How can the 305 sound horrible at synth sounds when I created MOOG patches with it. 'I A/B' Memory Moog and Mini Moog with 305.

(Before I continue correct me if I am wrong, the JX-305 soundbank is a collection of JV Series-Preset wave Vinage Synrhesizers Card, Techno Synth Card, Hip Hop Card, and Orchestra Volume 1 Card" For a total of 12 Megs of ROM.

They are not %100 the same put when you switch them out in the mix you cant even tell the diffenece. For example, unison on the 305 can be emulated by creating a four tone layer with one or two differnt waveforms and detune 2 of them including a toutch of white noise wavform with no KBt, and re-trigger the same MIDI event about 1 or 2 clicks ahead of time and you got yourself a unison patch. Even though I still prefer the Moog for fresh analog sounds, you can get away with a few on the JX-305. Dont let any one tell you otherwise.

303'sh patches. To make a 303 patch, just get a 'Cheesy' raw Square or Sawtooth waveform with one LPF with medium resonance. Use Filter Eg Depth and Decay only, use legato potamento with note time, not rate. and Bust out a 1/16 sequence on your FR-777. Wow, you just made a badass 303 sound, can always make it sound better with more editing.

Yes the JX-305 can do very good 303ish sounds, Good analog sounds and good acouctic sounds. In order for them to 'sound good', however is to understant the dynamic conditions of witch they are physicly played/ modeled.

Now is a sound is a static wave that goes through filters and is modified by EG Physical Controls such as velocity, and pich and amplifiar. In other words a 'Programed Sound' for your sequence. Sound is dry no effects

A sequence is well, a squence, for whatever your tring to emulate, you have to have a sequence manipulate it properly or elce. A sequnce can eather be Physicly playing the keyboard or just playing the sequencer.

Sequence + Sound = XSound MFX + Bad Sound + Good Sequence = Good Sound Bad Seq + Good Sound = Bad Sound MFX + Bad Seq + Bad Sound = Crap Bad Seq + Bad Sound = Bad Crap Good Sequence + Good Sound + No MFX = Badass As you can see, not everyone utilized their need for their style of music. I will debate the sound qualaty of the 305 vs a korg triton, music the minus the EFFECTS. PCM is PCM, roland did an excelent job for their raw sound bank/ recordings and Mapping.

Take your time with what you got, and make sure you got it down. Don't be so negative....

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-May-01-2003 at 11:47
breakstyles a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Well, with all the nonsense below, and memory card requests, I thought I would leave my honest opinion of THE SYNTH..... I have had it for about 3 years, so I feel I know it fairly well. I may have even reviewed it earlier on these pages.....Sounds are not bad, not the best or freshest i have ever heard, but there are definatley some winners. Editing them helps, but to do anything besides basic ASDR stuff you have to dig through menu's. The percussion and drums are great, but only 2 outputs really hampers it in that department. Overall I like the sound of this synth, but it is getting a bit dated. The fact that it is not expandable is also a minus. Sometimes i think roland try to cover to many bases with the soundest, focusing on quantity instead of quality. The best sounds on it, in my opinion, are the 'acid 303 bass' emulation sounds. Turn on the arpeggiator and its acid bass myhem!!!! (if you like that sort of thing). There are a few interesting SFX type things that are interesting as well. The 'acoustic' sounds, especially strings, aren't that useful. Arpeggiator - Kicks Butt - anything you can dream up, plus more can be tempo synched easily,very cool feature. Sequencer - I love roland step style sequencing, so i think it is great. Excellent scratch pad for making 8, 16, etc bar loops of acid, percussion, synth squiggles, bells, taps, or whatever else you need, and recording or importing into them into your songs. The RPS sets are OK, I found a few 'standard' sounds such as horn blasts, crashes, and chicka-chicka's that will always be useful and never really go out of style. This synth has a lot of effects, but I never really dug into that aspect of it. I like my external effects and plug ins.

Overall, this is a decent synth, I would give it a 3.25 out of 5. It really depends on what you expect from this synth. For someone who is newer to electronic music gear and wants to make trance, hard house, or techno I would highly reccomend this synth. If you enjoy more analogue-ish sounds, or want to create your own new sound, then this may not be the synth for you. I am considering selling or trading mine for that very reason. I feel I have learned a good deal from owning this synth, and will sample it heavily before I sell it and move on. The cult like following this synth has will keep it alive for quite some time, and I am curious as to wether or not I will miss it when i get rid of it...

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Apr-30-2003 at 18:44
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