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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Roland JD-XA, 4 voices Analogue, 4 voices SuperNatural
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Author Roland JD-XA, 4 voices Analogue, 4 voices SuperNatural
carlosnyb
http://www.rolandus.com/products/jd-xa/



Of course the 500 series modules and the effects boxes/modules have captured our interest -- but wow, great to have a poly ANALOGUE synth from Roland!

Pre-order shown at Kraft Music for $2200 (list: $2500), expected arrival: April 30
DiscoDevil
This is pretty impressive. It's ugly but I dig the sound.
Hi5
For the $$ though I'd just get a P12. More waveshapes, more vco per voice, the character section, etc...
carlosnyb
I'm interested to get my hands on one to see how it feels when tweaking it, and to get a better sense of the sound.

It looks much better than other recent Roland keyboards, IMO.
digitalganesha
The best thing is that Roland has incorporated traditional wheels along with their pitch/mod stick thing. The layout is a little dumb though because it would be awesome to use your thumb to control the stick while using the wheels with your other fingers...
LeFreq
It's out! I started filming it yesterday and will continue filming sessions over the next week to put out more videos. This one is just the first few factory patches that I liked. I will do more in-depth stuff later.

My personal opinion: The haters can hate, but I really like this thing. It reminds me of the JD-800 (I'm sure it's supposed to, since it's carrying the JD name). Sure, it's like an MS2000 or a Waldorf Q - super Trance-y and digital, but just a lovely synth to play. Then, you add in the analog oscs AND the sample layer things and it really is powerful.

I think the factory patches are a bit weak and that's the problem. Having actually played with it, I can say it's a beast - FOR WHAT IT IS. It's obviously not a Jupiter 8 people, lol. Anyways, I'm mostly just referring to the haters here, but you get the idea. Don't knock it til' you've actually put your hands on one.

Anyways, on with the video! Subscribe to get notified when the new ones are uploaded!

h4ndcrafted
Thanks for your opinions Freq!

I was hoping there would be a sample based element. What's the quality like, are there many layers to the samples ?

What's your opinion on the VA side next to something like the jp8000.
Is the va sample based like the newer sh series and the new jupiters/integra ?
Does it have chord memory?

Also is that haters in general, can't see any in this thread.
ablearcher
I was interested in this and the JD-Xi and thought demos for each looked interesting, until I played the JD-Xi.

I thought JD-Xi sounded like complete garbage. The analog synth part seemed incredibly weak and limited compared to the Bass Station II sitting next to it, didn't too far with the digital part, seemed fine I guess. On par with a microkorg.

Unless the JD-Xa is any better... Just seems like a do-it-all marketing gimmick. "analog" does not mean anything by itself, there are plenty of bad sounding analog synths out there, a good one involves some serious circuit design and digital control of every parameter (as this synth has) is a very expensive and non-trivial task.
carlosnyb
I have yet to hear it in person. I know what you mean, in person things can feel so different.
h4ndcrafted
I didn't realise it was £1600, wow not sure I would part with that for it. I'm likely to pick a Modulas 001 or something right now if I had that money spare.
LeFreq
I got deeper into it today... no filming, just spent a few hours learning it inside and out.

It's reallllly deep. There are 4 digital parts - each one with 3 digital oscs in it. So, you have 12 digital/sample layers. Then, you have the analog stacking.

Quality of the digital oscs/samples is standard Roland with a little bit of a modern update.

It took me a while to really get it figured out, but I eventually got the analog section to "open up" and blaze like a real analog poly. It's all in the filter types (3 different LPFs for example) with some overdrive. Then you have lots of FX and you can really get crazy with them.

I'm even more impressed with it now. It is a little expensive, but when you look at just these things I've mentioned, it's way more bang-for-the-buck than any hybrid synth in that price range.

The sound will, of course, be a deciding factor for lots of people. Unfortunately, nobody is going to show what it can really do until I do a demo (not trying to sound like a douche, but people tell me that all the time). I did the same thing with the JD-Xi. People hated on the basic demos and factory patches, then I took a bass guitar sample and mangled it into 50 different sounds and many realized the power of it's engine.

The patches just do not do it justice at all. So, stay tuned and I'll show you what it's really like and how it can really sound. Then you can make a proper decision.
LeFreq
^^^

I should also mention that each part has it's own FX and everything. Then, each "partial" (what they're calling the layers) has it's own filters and everything else. So, you can make gigantic patches like on a Virus or other multi-timbral synth.

It's kinda nuts how much you can stack and how much processing it's doing.
carlosnyb
Your demo is great. Looking forward to more!
ahmo
Nice to hear more about it. Does the analog section have Filter FM from the Osillators?
h4ndcrafted
Sound like they have the va section from the integra then and put it with four voices of the xi.

Great that you put it all through an analogue filter, I think the price is the hurdle at this point for me, not saying it isn't worth it's money, but I still find that vs engine sounds a bit dated, be interesting to hear your demos.

Maybe it's Roland/ boss's fxs that are the dating element for me ? They tend to sound very specific.
a100user
Is it VA with analogue filter or all analogue (DCO probably)?
LeFreq
ahmo, There is cross-mod on the analog section, but I have not found any filter FM yet. It may be in the menus or just something I missed (it's like an airplane cockpit using this thing!).

h4ndcrafted, the FX don't sound like any other Roland/Boss units I've had or demoed. But, maybe that is it - because I've been pretty anti-new-Roland-stuff (personally) up until their recent direction change. I haven't used the Integra or any of that stuff other than just in quick passing at NAMM or other situations.

As far as Boss, I only use their guitar pedals, CE-300 rack chorus and drum machines, so I'm not sure what their standard digital FX are like.

It is the SuperNATURAL system, for sure, they say it on the website.

a100user, it's a hybrid. Analog oscillators (DCO, of course) section + digital oscillators section (see my earlier description for more info). Analog filters.
3vcos
So if you patch up a very standard VA patch on the digital side and a basic patch on the analog side, how different do the 2 sides sound?
h4ndcrafted
Yeah fx wise I'm talking about the algorithms you got in things like the sh-32 sp samplers , mV8000 etc.

A lot are emulations of past Roland / boss gear. They are good however.

Lots of demos have the super saw stuff which makes me think of old cheesy trance and paint by numbers hip hop, so I tend to cringe whenever I hear that.

What stuck out for me as sounding great from the demos so far , are the brass sounds and pads. I bet people will get some cool original stuff out of this and it is way more accessible interface wise.
I think that will really be the selling point here, complex sounds, but being able to program them quickly.
LeFreq
h4ndcrafted wrote:
Yeah fx wise I'm talking about the algorithms you got in things like the sh-32 sp samplers , mV8000 etc.

A lot are emulations of past Roland / boss gear. They are good however.

Lots of demos have the super saw stuff which makes me think of old cheesy trance and paint by numbers hip hop, so I tend to cringe whenever I hear that.

What stuck out for me as sounding great from the demos so far , are the brass sounds and pads. I bet people will get some cool original stuff out of this and it is way more accessible interface wise.
I think that will really be the selling point here, complex sounds, but being able to program them quickly.



I love the brass sounds in it. The combination of the digital brass layers + the old school analog brass patches does some really cool stuff.

Got ya on the FX. I have not been into those units, so I can't comment, but I'm sure you're right. I mean, that's what they have to do otherwise the synth costs way more and takes years more to develop, so it is what it is.
LeFreq
3vcos wrote:
So if you patch up a very standard VA patch on the digital side and a basic patch on the analog side, how different do the 2 sides sound?


Depends on what you do with it. If you're doing weird spectral stuff or using formants on the digital side, obviously it's way different. For more normal stuff, they compliment each other. The analog doesn't sound as raw as other analogs and the digital sounds decent, so I think they mesh well, but it's all up to you, really.
LeFreq
Longer patches demo covering some other patches I liked. In-depth demos still on hold for the holidays, but will be up by end of next week.

carlosnyb
h4ndcrafted wrote:
I think that will really be the selling point here, complex sounds, but being able to program them quickly.


I agree. Having sliders for the envelopes, having lots of knobs, makes things so much more fun/quick to program, and add complex layering to that, definitely appealing provided that a hands-on experience tweaking in the store feels nice and the sound satisfies in person.
h4ndcrafted
I found this review, nice audio examples of Osc and filters etc. Need to use google translate, audio examples on page 2 and 3 i think.
http://www.bonedo.de/artikel/einzelansicht/roland-jd-xa-test.html

Is it me or do the filters sound a bit steppy on the pads ? Maybe be there is some dodgy aftertouch values in the patch ?

I'm really in two minds about this synth.
carlosnyb
I'm wondering if aftertouch was modifying the filter, especially on pad 2
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