Synth Site: Roland: JX-305: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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John Thomas a professional user from USA writes:
Completely non-user friendly as far as creating-on the-fly during live performances goes - many cryptic button pushes/menus and a non detailed 0.5 x 3 cm screen to boot, but if you have a plan and a little pre programming the thing is fun. Very light weight and portable. The RPS is great but is dependent on the current rhythm track so you can't change the rps without stopping the sequencer. I like being able to mute tracks and bring them back as you need them, pedals can be assigned to just about any function. This thing is small but deep. One MAJOR dissatisfaction though...THE SOUNDS ARE SO CHEESY and flat and to me this completely destroys the instrument. No quality whatsoever especially in the organic sounds such as the piano, organ, clav, rhodes, flute, sax, brass, oboe... However, this sampling shortcoming inadvertently makes for a nice signature frequency and cutoff knob twists and for this reason I've kept the 305 alive.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jan-24-2002 at 20:10
brody albert a hobbyist user from africa writes:
its easy to use. great for drums and bass. the effects are limiting and the sounds can be kinda cheese when compared with top notch synths.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Dec-16-2001 at 20:15
MieK a hobbyist user from Dallas Tx writes:
I just thought I'd throw in my two cents and share my opinions on this Synth. Before I begin I must tell you I have had the pleasure to play and get in depth with my friends, Minimoog, JP8000, MC 505, MS2000 and Microwave and other goodies. I also own a pair of electribes and some effects units, among other things, and Blablabla. Now lets start.

If you are like me and wondering "How the hell can I make my 305 sound and play better?" Well you must think outside the box. Read the manual a few times then put it somewhere so it can collect dust. By now you know all the 305 functions and comfortable sequencing and patch editing.


The JX 305 is a VA' in its own right. You can use any combination of over 400 8-Bit samples as your starting point. These waveforms are like oscillators. Now the JX-305 has 4 oscillators. There are Saw tooth, Square, Triangle waveforms available. Each waveform can have pulcewidth control. 4 Oscillators can be cross modulated with a sine wave (think Yamaha DX7). You are free to Ring Modulate any pair of these 4 oscillators (8-op FM). You are free to send any Pair of oscillators to overdrive into the filter(s).

There are 4 filters per Patch. There are 4 filter types (12 Db, LPF, BPF, HPF, PKG) You may combine these filters to create 'Notch' Filter, 24Db Moog Type Filter, Classic 303 type filter 18Db, Distorted 303 Typ3 Filter 18Db, Oberheim classic filter 12 Db, and even an 2 band EQ filter. The filtered Signal goes into the Amp.

The amp offers 4-7-stage envelope with 7 different velocity Curves. The amp Offers Auto Pan for each 'Oscillator'.

There are over 10 Modulation Sources and destinations per Oscillator routings.

You have 2 8-Stage Envelope Generators, 1 7-Stage Envelope Generator, 2 Free LFO's, Velocity, Keyboard Tracking, Aftertouch, X-Pitch bend, Y-Pitch bend, Control Pedal, Pitch, and SW-Pedal

These Modulators can be assigned to 'Osc' Pitch, PWM*, Filter Cut-off, Resonance, Amp Level, Pan The Destination and Modulators can also Modulate Other Modulators!!! Lfo rate, Filter Depth, Pitch Depth, Amp Depth. Pitch.

All in all, there are over 100 Modulator Sources and Destinations using 4 Oscillators.

EFFECTS STUFF: Next Id Like to Talk about the effects. You are free to route any patch into 'Insert effect--->Delay--->Reverb. The Delay and Reverbs are Very excellent! Don’t worry about One Insert effect. All the effects that you would want to use as an insert effect can be reproduced using patch combination methods I discussed above. Like Phasor For instance. Phase is an effect in witch the original signal is mixed between about 90-270 degrees from itself. Making a path with the exact two same Tone Structures and Parameters can easily reproduce this. You change the Pitch depth on the second one to a small value, and alternate the attack time from 1-9. The change in pitch is in audible, and a phase shift is the resultant waveform, Wicked!

SEQUENCER STUFF: As you know you got 8 main parts, 16 RPS parts. You have 400 Empty Patterns to work with. Organization I key. Put your patterns in logical order and placement. For example, I put My Trance Pattern in A bank, and DrumNBass Patterns in C Bank. For Every Trance Pattern I have I make 4 more of the same pattern, Pattern A,B,C,D is the same pattern. Each Pattern is variant. Usually I make pattern A the Intro/Main sequence Pattern B The break sequences, C the Main Alt sequences and D Outro sequences. Such Organization will allow you more freestyle movement between songs. I usually use my 'C' patterns for RPS, You have 60 RPS sets, so you can Record over 120 Patterns with a keystroke! Main alts are very excellent RPS. You also get 60 Pattern sets. Witch gives you over 960 Variations of your patterns. You can Save a Single sequence Pattern to 16 Spots in a Pattern set with different pattern settings, e.g. Patch, Transpose, Delay sends and Much more. While playing you should get a 16 knob controller like Kenton Control Freek, it will fit perfictly on the left side of the keyboard above the pitchbent wheel. And you may also assign knobs to differnt settings like UPPER 8 - CUTOFF (P1-P7,PR) LOWER 8 - REZONANCE (P1-P7,PR) or Level/Pan, Coarse/Fine Tune, or Delay/Reverb Send. And such. This will make everything Fun!

COMPOSITION STUFF: Well, when constructing a song, Its Important to highlight on 2,3 or maybe, just maybe 4 Elements of the song, and have about 8 or so Sub Elements.

So what is an element? An element is what grabs the listener’s ear, heart, and arousal. Your Main Elements would be Vocals, Lead/Melody, Bass, Chords/Strings, and Bass-Snare Kicks. I strongly advise against using 3 differing Elements at the same time, unless your introducing into the next song. Your elements should be about 3-6 Db Louder than the rest of your parts, and Paned in the center. Typically, you'd have a Bass Element (E.g. Bass kick or Bassline), A Mid Element (Snare or Melody), and a HI Element (Melody/Effect or Hi Hat). Witch one takes priority? The Bass Line or Kick? The Snare or Melody?, Well depending on your style of music you can decide that. But don’t have two sounds in the same frequency region be your elements at the same time, this will cause your song or mix to sound middy and very amateurish.

What happens when you use more than 3 or 4 elements?, well your song seems to complex, and the listener gets confused (In a Bad Way).

Make sure all your parts are in the same key. And when Programming Sequences, think of music scale 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-1-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. And play simple Numeric Patterns, eg. 1-3-5 ---> 1-3-6 ---> 1-3-5 or 2-3-1 ---> 7-7-1. If you have trouble about music theory and or notation go here ' ' and here ' ‘ learn some of these chords and scales while playing the keyboard, and you'll be very thankful, you'd be making badass music in no time...

I don’t know if I'm crazy, but I 'd have to say the JX-305 is an Analog Synth, Wavetable Synth, FM Synth, Romper, (Int.) Effects Unit, and Drum machine.

The 305 is destined to be a classic! Get two of em while you can!

If you are a live performer and you need a sampler, get a 486 computer with SoundBlaster 16 for $50 on E-Bay, and Download Fasttracker II, You have unlimited sample Memory and it can run 32 Notes Poly. You have Unlimited Patterns and You can mute/solo tracks with keyboard or mouse click. You can also construct Beats on each Key of the keyboard at any desired Tempo, or Remix a song On the fly. You can also Resample your JX 305. Oh well, don’t be lazy with your instrument, remember you paid a lot of money for it, so Use it well.

I have some old JX 305 tracks on my web page ,If you want to see what I men

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Nov-22-2001 at 04:15
uriah hill a hobbyist user from us writes:
what can say? for the money you won't find anything better out there!i was told i bought the very last one in the country? if you can still find one, go for it. this may be a very collectable instrument in the near future. bigger dosen't mean it's better. in my book this blue groove synth RULES!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Oct-11-2001 at 00:00
AdditAbaba a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Excellent first synth and totally packed with features. Basically you've got all the patches and patterns of the MC-505 with a 61 key keyboard attached to the sequencer. Excellent tweakability of patches to create your own sound. Sure the patches are tired, but the manual (which is excellent) makes modifying them a breeze. The patterns are a good jumping off point as well and you can modify any aspect of them in real time to suit your needs.

47 Drums kits I believe, although some are overlaps. Sounds are excellent and it's easy to lay down rhythms on the keyboard in real time or step mode.

Sequencer takes some study to get rolling, but once you have the swing of it you can create really powerful beats. String the patterns together in songs and you are rolling. I can't say enough about this synth and how you can get creative immediately. I am not a keyboardist and have no training whatsoever and have got some very wicked progressive house/electronica grooves from this unit. (I am a guitarist & bassist primarily but wanted to branch out).

The price range is totally outstanding. Basically you buy an MC-505 w/ a keyboard for about $100-$200 less than the MC-505 box itself. BTW Arpeggiator is slick and programable too.

Now I've got an Alpha Juno 1, DR202, Zoom Sampletrak, Casio CZ-1, Alesis Midiverb and this synth is my core workhorse.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-08-2001 at 15:11
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