Synth Site: Roland: XP-80: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.4 out of 5
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Alex Ilyin a part-time user writes:
I've had a XP80 for about a year and a half. I also have a korg 01w, Akai S5000 Alesis quadrasynth and a number of other different modules, just to let you know where I'm coming from.

The sounds on the XP80 are very good, and still sound hot even with no effects, unlike Korg keyboards. I originally bought it to replace my aging 01W sequencer, but as mentioned by other users, THERE IS A TIMING PROBLEM WITH THE SEQUENCER. I've had the latest upgrade put in and although the problem is noticabley better it is still there. I've also found that it doesn't matter whether the sounds you are using are from the board or from an external device. The problem still persists making the sequencer pretty much unusable for professional applications.

I've put some quick sequences on a disk and tryed them out at a local music store on both a XP60 and XP80 and they both have the same problem. The dealer was easily able to here what I was talking about. However, the Roland company tech support simply told me "We've never heard about this problem, and you must be doing something wrong." I've been sequencing for the past 6 years and I now very well what I am doing. I'm not some idiot that doen't know what quantize even means. Anyways, they are no help and deserve to be shot for puting out a keyboard with a unusable sequencer and refusing to fix it.

I you would like to duplicate the problem in your own board, simply program a sequence that uses lots of drums and at least 4 other tracks or so. Then quantize everything and speed it up to at least a tempo of 150 or so, and you will easily be able to pick out what I am talking about. (You may want to turn the reverb off so that you could heard the flaw better)

Anyways, exellent sounds, glichy sequencer.


posted Wednesday-Dec-15-1999 at 13:05
Jerry a part-time user from USA writes:
This is response to the comment regarding the XP80 & the D50. I have noticed that the Roland JV/XP engine is incredibly powerful. You can make sounds that are very hard hitting, and you can also make sounds that (esp when dunked in reverb) are cheesy (like a general midi module). I would not form a conclusion from what you heard live. That may just be the roles the performer has the synths play, not necessarily the capability of the synth. Based on studying the architecture, my bet is that the XP80 can so most of the things the D50 can do very well. However it may not be quite as good as the D50 at doing "D50 things". It can also do a bunch of stuff the D50 cannot do. It can be hard or sweet, strong or light. It is a versatile synth, and can sound really bad as well as really good. Try playing with the synth to form an impression. If you are looking for powerful sounds, try turning off the effects, and use different structures (ring modulator, booster). Once you have found some unique sounds, you can bring the effects back in. This synth is not wimpy. It is not for the faint hearted. Its filters are strong and they oscillate. If you, want you can create tones using just the filters themselves. The presets are good but they don't do the synth justice, in the sense that they exploit the samples (which are decent) but they don't exploit the architecture. As a result, most users, treat like a S&S machine. This is a good S&S machine ( as shown by the presets) but it is also a beast of a synth. If you want proof, play with it, or.... Get a friend to loan you one if you can. Get on the web and download some of the freaky patches created by users. Put them in the machine and stand back! Your ears are going to hurt, but they will love you for it. My $0.02. BTW, I have had an XP50 (older sibling) for three years, and it continues to delight me. Hope this helps, Jerry

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Nov-15-1999 at 16:15
Gus Montalvo a part-time user from Burlington, WA. USA writes:
I own and have owned a variety of synths throughout my part time career, including the new Korg Triton, and I have to say that it is hard to beat the quality of Roland synths period. The XP-80 takes their committment to quality to a highr level and places it in a category by which others will be judged. The XP-80 is a keyboardists dream come true and here is why: Want to sequence? put the super-hot sequencer to the test with its sixteen traks and play from disk features it will be hard to beat. Need an arpegiator? you got it and not a cheesy bottom of the line toy special. This arpegiator is so powerful that talking about it would only make one wonder if so much can come from a keyboard arpegiator; check it out.Want more sounds? four expansion bays come to the rescue and you can pick from now seventeen different expansion boards. Seldom do companies put so much in to a synth that leaves few questions unanswered; Roland has done it and it will be a looooooong time before anyone can come close to matching these synth' performance for the price. My sincere thanks to the Roland engineer group.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Nov-15-1999 at 02:21
B.Crump a part-time user from US writes:
I have owned many synth workstations (yamaha sy55,Korg m1,o1w,Alesis qs8 with pc)and the xp80 is by far the best. The sequencer is better than many software sequencers I have used. With options like percentage and groove quantizing, complete event editing, on the fly loop and pattern recording along with the large display there really isn't much more pc sequencing can offer except intergraded audio. I urge every one who is having trouble using the sequencer to take whatever time it takes to learn how to use it. It really isn't that hard once you figure out the layout. You will find it fast and intuitve. As far as the timing problems mentioned by others there is an upgrade for this,new models should be ok.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Nov-14-1999 at 21:36
John Bennett a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Great synth. Sometimes I've had problems with the timing of the sequencer. Sent it into Roland and they upgraded it for free. That helped quite a bit. But it still has a bit of a problem

Right now the greatest problem that I have is a distorted decay that trails the reverb. If you listen closely at least to my box you can hear it.

When I record it I just turn off the reverb and record with outboard reverb and that takes care of it.

Some people don't like the drum sounds --- hint get the drums and bass card that will give you a lot to work with and then tweak like crazy.

Other cards that I've installed--Orchestra, Session, Keyboards of 60's-70's. It's a nice combination. But you've always got to remember it's not really a violin, a B3, a grand piano, a sax. But still it does sound good.

It's a pretty deep machine and there's lots of areas that I've never taken time to discover.

I'm sure that eventually that I'll wish that I had waited to get a newer or better machine. They all sound great, and they all have cool features, but I've been using the xp series since '95 and considering costs and everything I'm pretty pleased.

God bless you guys and happy music making!

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-25-1999 at 00:17
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