Roland JX-8P
Polyphonic Synthesizer

The Roland JX-8P is a six-voice polyphonic synthesizer that came out in 1985.  It is a typical "hybrid" synth of that era, featuring DCOs but VCFs and VCAs.

The sound is - like its relatives JX-10 and MKS-70, very "lush", classy and full.

The keyboard is dynamic and has aftertouch.

There are many editing parameters available, and also they typical Roland on-board chorus, and portamento.

Since the synth was built at a time when digital technology had exploded and all synths started looking like the DX7, the JX-8P has no knobs - but relies on multi-functions, buttons and a slider to edit the sounds.

The PG-800 programmer can be used to program the synth with a more traditional "analog style" interface.

The Roland JX-8P features full MIDI, and also accepts a cartridge to store 32 additional patches.

Roland JX-8P audio demos

Factory patches I


Audio demo My comments
01 Piano 1 Beautiful, expressive electric piano of the 1980s, probably inspired by the popular DX7 E.PIANO sound
02 Piano 2 Great emulation of an acoustic piano
03 Piano 3 Gorgeous "ballad" electric piano, again in '80s / DX7 vein
04 Cello Sect Very nice emulation of a cello section playing
05 ArcoString Strings with a marked attack
06 Lo Strings Marvelous, lush, elegant string ensemble, most representative (and probably best in my opinion) of the JX-8P / JX-10 / MKS-70 line of synths.
07 Hi Strings Cool "moving" strings, in their upper registers
08 Voices Wonderful, hypnotic syn vox sound, also very typical of the sonic signature of this line of synths.
09 Organ 1 A quite realistic Hammond
10 Organ 2 Cool sounding organ with percussion
11 Pipe Organ Nice emulation
12 Timbales Great programming of velocity, filter, envelopes to simulate the classic Latin percussion sound.
13 Music Box Yep
14 WindChimes Add reverb / delay, and you have a very cool effect.
15 E Bass Great programming - it can sound like a vintage electric bass from the '60s / '70s.
16 Synth Bass Classic Minimoog-style synth bass.
17 Soundtrack One of the most famous presets on this synth - a gorgeous, evolving, quintessentially '80s string/synth pad.
18 Fat Fifth The F A T sound of the JX
19 Res Bell Great filters
20 WaveAura Another classic JX sound, the "hollow" synth
21 Toms Awesome programming and emulation of tom toms.
22 Clav Accurate and funky emulation of the classic Hohner.
23 Res Lead Expressive solo synth
24 SquareLead Great solo sound utilizing square waveforms.
25 Sync Lead The classic Prophet-5 sound
26 Poly Brass Beautiful synth brass ensemble
27 Soft Brass Yup
28 Stab Brass Classic synth brass of the 1980s
29 Agogo Bell Nice emulation
30 ChurchBell Yep
31 Bubbles Cool sound FX
32 PsychMello Weird but cool Sci-Fi FX


Factory patches II


Audio demo My comments

01 Piano 4


02 Piano 5


03 Piano 6


04 StrngBrass


05 Bright Bow


06 Strings 1


07 Strings 2


08 Choir


09 May's Wind


10 Marimba


11 Harpsich


12 Kalimba


13 Xmas Bells


14 Vibes


15 UpriteBass


16 Synth Clav


Roland JX-8 specs
Year of release: 1985
Polyphony: 6-voice
Sound generation method: analog
Preset memories 64 ROM + 32 RAM + 32 cassette
MIDI: in, out, thru
Sound expansion capabilities: no
Sequencer no
Arpeggiator no
Velocity yes
Aftertouch yes

Roland JX-8P photographs (click on thumbnails to enlarge)


Roland JX-8P manual

 Freely available at Roland's website



SITE Type of resource DESCRIPTION
Manufacturer site home page

Roland JX-8P review with audio demo - June 3, 2012