Synth Site: Roland: XP-80: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.4 out of 5
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FIZMO100 a hobbyist user from Liverpool, UK writes:
Well, I've had this board for about 5 years now, and I feel I know it well enough now to write a review.

Overall, I really like this synth. It has a great sound to it, and can cover many types of sound, unlike many synths that retain the same character whatever sound you are using. The synthesis engine is very deep, although there are more complex (and complicated) synths out there. There are more than enough ways to tweak or mangle a sound to keep most users happy, and thanks to the intuitive user interface, editing is a breeze. The screen in particular is fantastic, as it shows graphs and sliders where appropriate, instead of just numeric values. It's no Trinity or Triton screen, but it works just fine.

The unit is built like a tank. I've never had a single problem with it. The key feel is quite shallow, which makes it fantastic for synth sounds and pads, however, I plan to get and 88 note weighted controller to improve the results I get when playing piano sounds.

The sequencer is the main area this beasty struggles. It's a brilliant sequencer, and using it is a doddle. It has great depth, and lots of advanced features. However, on my board it is quite glitchy, and I've heard this complaint made many times by others. Ghost notes sometimes crop up at the start of a track, and sometimes the timing can be a bit suspect. It's still great as a sketch pad, but as a standalone workstation you may struggle. This is also compunded by the implementation of the effects in the sequencer. Like most workstations of the day, only one set of effects can be used in performance mode (or multi mode in Korg speak). This is a pain, as many patches are enhanced by effects, and these are lost in performnace. Couple this with a lack of individual outs (there are 4) and you see the snag.

My other gripe is the outputs. They are grungy. Not excessively, and in a mix you won't notice, but if you play certain sounds on their own and allow them to decay naturally (eg Nice Piano with a sustain pedal) you hear the noise. A pain, but not a problem in a mix or live.

Overall, I am very happy with this board. I have highlighted the bad points, but believe me, compared to the good points they are not such a problem, and if you combine the XP80 with a PC/Mac sequencing package, you are looking at a great sound source with very high end features. The main advantage to this board is THE SOUND. Mmmmmmmmm, sound (Homer style).

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Mar-19-2004 at 08:03
bunch a part-time user from nyc writes:
was planning to replace my xp-80 with the fantom 76....after reviewing the interface of the fantom....i`ll NEVER give my xp-80 away !!!

If anyone looks for a professional sounding & excellent masterkeyboard: XP-80 is the answer... (76 keys, 7 sliders, great display, 16 part performances, VERY LIGHT !!!(only 12 kg) I used this monster on so many gigs...don`t understand why roland did not make a worthy follow up....

To get the maximum out of it use the expansion slots !!! (I`m using the orchestra1,session & 60&70 board)

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jan-27-2004 at 10:34
Danos a professional user from St. Lucia writes:
I love the XP-80 for live performance than for sequencing. If you're an R&B/pop or pop-reggae keyboardist, you'll love this board! a little bit advice though; if you really want the full performance potential of this XP,(for the above music genres)get the SR-JV80-03 expansion board. Trust me!! Another thing is; the XP-80 only sounds so professional when your sound system is kinda professional too. A direct box is needed especially for that quality. The semi-weighted keys are great.

The only thing I don't like about it is, The variety of nice ballad ep's is not good. The only useful ep's you might find are rhodes and other classical electrical pianos. AS I SAID GET THE EXPANSION!! PROBLEM SOLVED.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Dec-09-2003 at 09:44
Agnieszka Szuba a professional user from Poland writes:
Roland XP 80: the most fantastic workstation I have ever used! Perfect.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-01-2003 at 11:00
Myra a hobbyist user from Orange County, CA USA writes:
I love my Roland's wonderful. Only one problem though -- I don't know how to play my songs in sync! I don't know how to keep a beat constant. :( Does anyone know how to record all the sounds and beats in sync?? If anyone could help, I would greatly appreciate it. My email is

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Nov-22-2003 at 02:37
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