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Roland JD-800 Programmable Synthesizer

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Today, fewer and fewer people actually create their own sounds, and simply play presets or sounds created by programmers. However, the original purpose of the synthesizer was to "create sound". It's easy to simply select a preset you like, but that sound will always be "someone else's sound". We at Roland asked, "Why don't we return to the roots of synthesis; the enjoyment of creating original sounds?" We considered many different ways in which we could bring back the fun of creating sounds, and the result is the JD-800 before you.

"Creating sounds" may seem like a highly technical process, but it's actually just a matter of moving a slider to make the sound change! This is easy for anyone, and the sounds that you get will always be your very own. The JD-800 is designed to make it fun to create sounds. So please go ahead and move those sliders! We hope you will make lots of different sounds; original sounds with which to play your original music.

The JD-800 is a digital synthesizer that uses leading-edge digital technology in conjunction with Roland’s analog synthesizer expertise. Some of its main features are as follows. High-quality sound source The JD-800 uses a PCM sound source which contains 108 different types of PCM waveforms including sawtooth waves, pulse waves, noise waveforms, one~shot waveforms, and looped waveforms. Additional waveforms can be loaded from a WAVEFORM card (SL-JD series; separately sold).

Furthermore, these PCM waveforms can be processed by filters to provide an extremely wide variety of sound-creation possibilities. Front panel design for intuitive sound creation The JD-800 provides front panel controls for all basic Tone parameters, bringing an analog type interface to a digital synthesizer. Since parameter controls are arranged in the order of signal flow, the sound shaping process is easy to understand. You can also adjust the sound parameters in realtime as you perform.

On—board effects processor The JD-800 has an on-board DSP (Digital Signal Processor) that provides a wide variety of effects. in Single mode, you have eight different digital effects; a three-band equalizer for each Patch, and also distortion, enhancer, phaser, spectrum, delay, chorus, and reverb.

ln Multi mode, you have four different digital effects; a three-band equalizer for each Patch, and also chorus, delay, and reverb. You can specify how the effect will be applied to each of the five Parts and the Special Part. Two play modes ; Single and Multi The JD-800 has two play modes; Single and Multi. ln Single mode, the entire JD-800 plays a single Patch. This mode is appropriate when you are playing solo parts.

In Multi mode, the JD-800 functions as a multi-timbral sound source with five Synth Parts and a Special Part. When used with a sequencer or MTR, this mode allows the JD-800 to simultaneously play all the parts of an ensemble.

External expansion The JD~800 has two card slots; DATA card (M—256E, sold separately) and WAVEFORM card (SL-JD series, sold separately). When a DATA card is inserted, you can select from a total of 128 Patches, including the 64 internal Patches. If a WAVEFORM card is used, you can also create sounds using PCM waveforms from the card.

Roland later released 8 add on cards for the JD 800:

SL-JD80-01 Drums & Percussion STANDARD
SL-JD80-02 Drums & Percussion DANCE
SL-JD80-03 Rock Drums
SL-JD80-04 Strings Ensemble
SL-JD80-05 Brass Section
SL-JD80-06 Grand Piano
SL-JD80-07 Guitar Collection
SL-JD80-08 Accordion

Technical Specifications
Type: Digital
Synthesis: Linear Arithmetic, ROM, Subtractive
Oscillators: 1-4
Waveforms: ROM
ROM Size: 3MB
Osc Modulation: After Touch, Continuous Controller, Envelope, Input, Keyboard, Knob, LFO, Mod Wheel, Pitch Wheel, Sync Hard
Envelopes: 3
Evelope Paramerters: Delay, Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release, Looping, Triggered
Filters: 1
Types: 24dB Slope (4-pole), Band Pass, High Pass, Low Pass
Filter Modulation: After Touch, Envelope, Keyboard, LFO
LFO: 2
LFO Parameters: Sample & Hold, Saw Up, Saw Down, Square, Triangle
Polyphony & Tuning
Polyphony: 24
Timbrality: 6
Tuning: Standard
Modes: Polyphonic, Split
Patches RAM: 64
Patches ROM: 64
Storage: Internal, RAM Cartridge, ROM Cartridge
Editing: MIDI
Single Mode: 3 Band EQ, Distortion, Phaser, Spectrum, Enhancer, Chorus, Delay,
Reverb, Mix Out Filter
Multi Mode: 3 Band EQ, Reverb, Chorus + Reverb, Delay + Reverb, Mix Out Filter
Case: Keyboard
Keyboard: 61 keys, Non-weighted, Plastic
Controls: Aftertouch, Buttons, Sliders, Mod - Wheel, Joy Stick, Pitch - Lever
Display Type: LCD
Display Count H: 22
Display Count V: 2
Dimensions (WxDxH): 40 – 15 / 16 x 16 – 15 / 16 x 4 – 5 / 8
Weight: 33.1 lbs
Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Stereo Main, Stereo 2, Stereo Headphone
Audio Output Count: 5
Power: 25W
Year Released: 1991
Year Discontinued: 1996
Manuals & Documents
MSRP List Price: $2,895 - convert
Used Price: $500 - $1,100 - convert
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