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Updates: Many topics are permanent, so may be updated to any material, for add or correct info.
Get more info: Since the beginning this site tryes to be a compilation center of the best sources for the JD800. Not a copy.
So please, visit the sites at the Links section for lots of much more very good information.

terça-feira, 24 de agosto de 2010

An user Roland JD800 experience

Here a interesting testimony from a Roland JD-800 owner, posted recently at JD-800 Tech group relating some troubles and happiness with the JD:

Hi to the tech board. I have had the pleasure of owning a JD800 for several
months now and am totally obsessed over it. The JD800 is one gorgeous keyboard
all around.

Keys I have used extensively for projects in the past included: Korg Microkorg

(went through 2 of these before the tiny keys got to me this year), Korg Karma,
Korg Triton, Yamaha S03 (stolen one night), FM7 softsynth and Sampletank

I have moved on from my band days, and now only have the JD800. It can make up

for all of the prelisted synths, although these days a good VA like Korg's
MS2000b would be essential to have too with a digital. Honestly I like the
stable sound of digital oscillators as well, it's another kind of sound tool,
that gives your monophonic lines a "Synclavier"-like feel.

That brings me to the next point - the JD800 feels alive when you are playing

it. I can't describe it, it simply feels like no other synth I have played.
Sure, first thing I remember about the Korg Karma was it having an excellent
keyboard, but to me and the way I was using my tools back then, it was down to
being a killer preset machine. Whereas the JD800, you start playing on sounds
you normally would shun because they just sound like something from the outer
limits! I got the JD800 to finally own a "true synth". I have no regrets, the
JD800 is a very expressive and touching keyboard. The phaser reminds me of the
phaser from the ARP Quadra.

I really want to get deeper into it but I don't have that much time to practice

synth programming. I was always a preset hound but this board is making me want
to get that aspet of it together. I will be trying out the often mentioned
patches on the internet this week.

When I got it of course it needed some good TLC, it was kinda filthy. Contact

cleaner, compressed air and all that. One of the waveforms for the parts in
multi-mode, #4, was wildly going in and out of tune. Sometimes, some patches
using that waveform would sound horrible because of the detuning. A factory
reset was needed to fix that! Never read about this happening to anyone so I
thought I should mention it.
Next I saw the sliders start changing values on their own, though not full-on
possesed mode. Thanks to all the sources on the net I was able to get it open
and clean the entire thing well. It passed all the diag tests, and the
aftertouch is the only quirk on it now.

Otherwise it plays like a dream, and it probably is, as Roland's newer gear

after the JV and XV stuff IMHO does not have the same charm, uniqueness or power
that Roland gear of the past has. One things for sure, they all are unique and
sound unique. Of the newer stuff I liked the Juno Stage, though I have not
played a Fantom yet. The guys at YouTube in the comments are always going back
and forth on Fantom vs. JD800.
V-Synth is interesting in a way since you can use the sample feature to
literally create your own oscillators and voila its a ROMpler, a JD-8000 with no
sliders lol. We'll see how they respond to the newer competition.

By: gdanielak

sexta-feira, 13 de agosto de 2010

Roland JD-800 Custom Pseudo-module

Some interesting pictures at Flickr by Ran Kirlian.

A damaged Roland JD 800

It has the deadly keyboard glue problem that could be fixed by replacing the complete keyboard set.

Roland JD-800 modded #1

Roland JD-800 with keyboard glue issue being cut and converted into a light pseudo-module version. Still needing cleaning and case closed but works wel..

Complete customization process (in spanish) at celiar.blogspot.com. This is a must see work!

Roland JD-800 modded #1

JD-801 Xpander prototype

Photoshoped prototype of my upcomming JD 800 mod project (how it should look like).

The lost bender & volume controls that uses to be placed at the left of the keyboard will be moved to a external control box.

This picture only meants to be a sketch of the mod. I will post real pictures when it's done.
JD-801 Xpander prototype

Interesting, uhm?

See also:

    terça-feira, 18 de maio de 2010

    May, 18 - Happy Birthday Rick Wakeman!

    May, 18 is the birthday of Rick Wakeman.

    Master Rick used a JD800, sadly I´ve not yet found a picture using it.

    Thanks for the music Rick!


    Reply received:

    Thank you for taking the trouble to email me with birthday wishes! I have been so inundated with such an astonishing amount of wonderful e-mails from people like yourself, that it is just not possible to reply to them all, but rest assured that I read each and every one. I hope you understand and thank you once again.

    Rick Wakeman

    terça-feira, 9 de março de 2010

    Roland JD-800 guitar solo with Wah-wah and Distortion pedals

    The Roland JD-800 have some famous distorted guitar sounds.

    Here another good video showing the Guitar patches of the Roland JD-800 with Wah-wah effect pedals.

    The videos was performed by Leonardo (Space4Keys)  with MXR pedals.

    The Nord Lead is used as controller for the JD-800 because the JD keys was broken.
    In this previous post of the same player this can be seen.

    Part II: In this part, at 1.09s the player show the pedals being added to the resulting efect.

    sexta-feira, 26 de fevereiro de 2010

    Some frequently serviced parts

    The Roland JD-800 and JD-990 sometimes will need repair and new parts.
    Most often keybed and painel parts need replacement. 

    Here the service manual pages with part numbers and the how-to´s.

    Front Panel Switches Parts list

     (Click to enlarge image)
    Image by mike.partington

    How to remove individual keys

     (Click to enlarge image)  
    Image by sensitivedragon

    How to install individual keys

    (Click to enlarge image) 
    Image by sensitivedragon

    Parts list and diagram of individual keyboard keys  

    (Click to enlarge image) 
    Image by sensitivedragon

    The complete manual, with all part numbers are here: Manuals: Owner and Service - JD800 and JD990


    segunda-feira, 22 de fevereiro de 2010

    From MATRIXSYNTH: Roland JD-800 in Fancy Dress

    Another beautifull modified JD like a SCI Prophet-VS.

    I found this at MATRIXSYNTH: Roland JD-800 in Fancy Dress. That´s a nice blog to everyone who love synths or are ready fall in love.

    This was done by Customsynth.co.uk, the same company who made the "Gandalf , The White".

    Edited:  More from this nice machine!

    The nice people from Customsynth have more pics at flickr too.

    See this and the Yellow one! It's a Waldorf and Lamborghini style!

     Click the link to the Flick album with all pics:

    Customsynth at Flickr

    Thanks for the great work! 


    Great demo. Pressures, waves, tecno, the monster breath.

    A very nice Roland JD-800 demo by Fischek.

    Roland JD-800 and JD-990 Factory Reset

    The factory reset function will clean all your editings and restore original internal memory.

    Use with caution. If you do this by mistake, there´s no way to undo this action.

    • Press data transfer.
    • Page up to select factory preset.
    • Press yes

    • Hold exit and press utility.
    • Press F6.
    • Press F5. 

    sexta-feira, 19 de fevereiro de 2010

    A short demo adjusting the cutoff frequency and resonance

    Adjusting the cutoff freq and reso on the Roland JD-800 to create the background.

    See more Youtube Synthspassed videos.

    Roland JD-800: Some factory sounds

    Another video from Retrosound.de with nice sound quality.
    Someone told you Roland JD-800 and JD-990 are great for pads? Yes, but there are more than pads there.

    Meanwhile, enjoy this samples from the factory sounds.

    Gandalf - The Roland JD-800 Custom White Synth

    This is a very nice customization.

    Jeff Toman of Customsynth.co.uk artistically created a beautiful new all-white look for Dave´s Roland JD-800, in the style of a classic '80s SH-101 synth.

    You can see it at Dave´s site.

    Also see the 29-image Flickr set showing Randel's synth barn in Essex, CT, adding custom parts onto an otherwise stock synth..

    There´s a video of the Gandalf in action: a must see!

    And here is Gandalf, The White:


    And the studio:

    quarta-feira, 17 de fevereiro de 2010

    A Roland JD-800 Synth Repair Video

    This guy diagnosed and discussed these common issues: 
    • Battery replacement 
    • Dead keys 
    • Clanking keys 
    • Missing weights 
    • Glue 
    • Velocity stuck at max value 
    • Bad buttons 
    • Jumpy sliders 
    • Part numbers included
    Remember: If you try it is at your own risk.

    Video at Youtube by Moretacos1

    Software and Patches for the JD-800 and JD-990

    There are very good professional software supporting  the Roland JD-800 and JD-990, but if you want a non-pay choice, this are the best.

    The JD-800 Patch Organizer created by Laurent Lecatelier-Dudec (France), was released as freeware in 24/04/1999 (date in original author´s site) and is no more available from the programmer´s site.

    In more recent years, Gwydion Elderwin (Australia) created a JD-800 Randon Bank Creator and a Jd-800 to JD-990 Bank Converter.

    About the patch banks here.

    The first I found many years ago, was compiled by Stephen Drake, the guy who kept most of JD material available for years. This site is proud to pay him our tribute. Thanks Stephen!
    The first internet banks are so-so grouped, thus makes some sense.

    Gwydion also have done a strong work removing duplicates from hundreds of patches, adding lots more and creating a library for each synth. Still is missing time to classify all that stuff into categories.

    Missing all you my friends, I know business and daily life take time, but I would be happy to receive some news. 

    The bank files are in .rar format. You need Winrar or compatible to extract it.


    Christian Morency released a Beta version of a VST Patch Editor for the Roland JD-800 and JD-990.
    See the following post with some info, links and video tutorials:
    JD-800 JD-990 VST Patch Editor VST for CTRLR


    A new post is add with a user creation for the Logic Studio platform on Mac:

    Mac Logic Studio: a little Roland JD800 Environment



    JD800 Patch Organizer                                                     230 Kb
    JD800 pach banks organized by Gwydion Elderwin           499 Kb
    JD800 Path banks internet colletion                                   407 Kb
    JD800 randon bank creator                                              512 Kb

    JD800 to JD990 Bank Converter                                      177 Kb

    JD990 Patch Organizer                                                      230 Kb
    JD990 Pach banks organized by Gwydion Elderwin           544 Kb


    Keep Your JD-800 Clean

    Just be careful with the Roland JD-800, clean it very often. 

    Dust in the sliders, button and circuits can provoke a typical JD-800 berzerk (auto-programming...). 

    This effect is like a ghost acting in the synth. If you don´t use to change program while playing, turn off the banks edit mode. (just press bank A-b-C-D to light off and then save the patch.

    You will also note, when some parameter is changed because dust, a "point" will light in the painel, like if you have done it.


    Differences between JD-800 and JD-990

    The Roland JD-990 is the Supermodule of the JD-800. 
    It have extended capabilities and is a "big plus" to any setup.
    I have seen many setups with more than one JD-990 in the rack. 
    1. Expanded wave ROM (6MB vs. 4MB)
    2. Ability to use a 8MB expansion board
    3. 4 additional outs
    4. True stereo engine
    5. Osc sync
    6. Cross-mod (FXM)
    7. Osc structures that allow ring mod and serial dual filters
    8. Additional LFO waveforms
    9. MIDI CC control of parameters
    10. Tempo-sync delay
    11. Polyphonic portamento
    12. Performance memories
    13. Additional multi-timbral slots
    14. One patch can keep full effects in multi mode
    For the complete comments by Don Solaris and some DEMOS of the JD-990 visit: 
    Don Solaris - Roland JD-990 info and synthesis examples
    Thanks to Ian and Don Solaris for this part.
    Be up to date with your JD-990: The nice people at the Roland_JD-990 Yahoo Group have very good material about it.

    The Original Internal Sound Demos

    The sound files here are recording from the Roland JD-800 internal sound demos. Copyright  by Roland Co.

    The JD-800 have two good internal demos, one for each mode (single or multi-timbral).

    Server 2 
    (Ok, at Google Docs)
    Size Time
    Single Mode 
    Part 0 977 Kb 1:02
    Single Mode 

    Part 1 707 Kb 0:45
    Single Mode 

    Part 2 1097 Kb 1:10
    Single Mode 

    Part 3 641 Kb 0:40
    Single Mode 

    Part 4 566 Kb 0:36
    Single Mode 

    Part 5 533 Kb 0:33

    Multi Mode 

    Multi Demo 660 Kb 1:36

    Note: This are 128kbps mp3 files, so I reduced the overall quality. I want upload better quality sound files, but have been short in time. Anyways, the sounds are great.

    See the movies in the other posts. They have great samples of what great sounds this synth is capable.


    SynthMania posted a nice video with the the 64 classic factory patches! Thanks!


    sexta-feira, 12 de fevereiro de 2010

    Links for other JD sites, stuff and foruns. Permanent list

    The links are unordered. Some sites may requires translation like translate.google.com

    1-Some sites may be no more available, so please notify me as my time is limited.
    2-If you own a website with technical material (no sales promotion please) send me a message so I can add it here.

    The two best foruns for the Roland JD-800 and JD-990:

    • JD-800_Tech Yahoo Group. This is a group covering technical, repair, performance, and programming aspects of the Roland JD-800 synthesizer. The group is active and the spammers removed.
    • Roland_JD-990 Yahoo Group. For all users of the Roland JD-990. This group is intended for the sharing of links, Useage info, Tips/tricks, & user patches.

    Tact Switch Black - up/down, decr./incr
    (replacement for 13169696)
    vintageplanet.nl  - Parts Service for Vintage Synthesizer - They have parts for JD-800 and JD-990.

    VintageSynth One of the most famous reference for every synth.

    Harmony Central  This is one of the best site and foruns for musicians.

    Polynominal JD-800 This guy have good tech specifications material and some JD800 stuff.

    www.bluesynths.com A detailed guide to keyboards and their musical aspects by synth lovers. good stuff, very nice pictures and great sound demos (not the internals) of the JD-800!
    They also have very interesting sound at their Myspace profile: Roland JD800 Long Mix.

    SynthMania.com Information and Demos of Synthesizers. Great material or the Jd-990, sound demos for original and card patches . Must see and listen!

    retrosound.de  Vintage Synthesizers Page.

    synrise.de This site turned to pay mode, but have some o the best material about synths I have seen.

    Don Solaris  A great musician and a JD-master with the JD-800 and JD-990. His site have some interesting and very usefull technical material.

    Midiox Sysex utility program for sending/receiving bulk dumps from your synth (Win 9X.. and later.

    Pro-Rec's JD-800 & jd-990 page  3rd party patches for your JD-990.

    Sonicstate.com  Great synth site!

    MatrixSynth Great everything synths blog!

    Sonic Plug- Roland JD-990 Great tribute page to the JD-990.

    http://www.synthzone.com Great synth tech info.

    MEMI-Makers-Soundpool Free JD-990 Sounds.

    Kid Nepro's Home page 3rd party patch creator/reseller. Good stuff, I have their demo for the 990 in the file section.

    Dancetech.com  Good review.

    JarreLook  Great Jean Michel Jarre Tribute Band from the UK.
    If you want Jarre patches, see their download page for JD800 patches and other synths

    JD-800.tripod.com  - Good info and description of the JD-800 Sound Libraries cards and waveforms.

    Mark Smart have great material:

    Bobby Blues JD800/JD990 page A vintage 80's-90's synthesizers site with a good JD area with synthesis description, collection of patches, links to the comercial patch sites, some examples of famous artists, etc.

    Synthony Music´s Synth & Amp; Midi Museum

    Dragonkiller  Good japanese page with links for more stuff, movies, etc.

    Sysex Database Sysex messages for the JD and other synths.


    quarta-feira, 27 de janeiro de 2010

    Roland JD-800 Filters and Aftertouch

    Two videos by moretacos1. Visit is page at Youtube, there are lots of good material.

    Mean while, I selected two:

    Great Filters. Program or just move the sliders as you want.


    Much more than the demo, much more than pads

    If you want to listen some other uses of this synth, like playing some guitar leads and stuff like that then watch this until the end.

    Roland JD-800 Synth Demostration, performed by S4K (Space4Keys)
    Note: The the keys of his JD are broken, so he uses other keyboard as master controller.

    Roland JD-800 and JD-990 Movies and great sounds at Youtube

    Youtube have many movies with the Roland JD-800. Some have best sound qualiy, others not.

    Remember, the JD-800 is a massive sound machine so don´t be cheated if some video have not all that quality we expect. Go after the best demos you can and use the best audio players, like headphones or good speakers.

    Of course, the JD-800 is a fine top level synthesizer. You can listen to other machines, like the JD-990 module, or similar quality machines, like the Roland V-Synth and Phantom, the Korg Triton, the Nords, etc.

    I will start with a good movie from that great people from Retrosound.de.

    Vintage Roland JD-800 synth demo by RetroSound. See the machine in action. Some typical sounds from the Roland JD-800 Synthesizer. Not so good audio quality, but very impressive.

    See more Youtube synth videos from Retrosound.

    Next, two better audio demos:

    Audio part I - Analog and digital type pad sounds:

    Audio part II - Wow! Some of the JD like pads!:

    segunda-feira, 25 de janeiro de 2010

    Manuals: JD800 and JD990 (Updated)

    The Roland JD-800 and the JD-990 have strong sound features and the user manuals are a "must have" to anyone who wants to use in depth all resources and to learn about sound synthesis.

    Roland has made manuals for most of their products available as free PDF downloads.
    This material is @ Roland Corp.

    English Language Manuals



    JD-800 Owner´s Manual 

    8.982 Kb

    Roland US 

    Roland FTP - UK 

    Google Docs.

    JD-800 User´s Guide

    Roland US 

    Google Docs

    JD-800 Midi Implementation 

    424 Kb

    Roland FTP - UK 

    JD-800 Turbo Start Guide

    62 Kb

    Roland FTP - UK 

    JD-800 Service Manual

    39.2 Mb

    Google Docs

    JD-990 Reference

    28,5 Mb

    Google Docs

    JD-990 Owner´s Manual 

    7.675 Kb

    Roland US 

    Roland FTP - UK

    Google Docs

    JD-990 User Guide

    6.333 Kb

    Roland US

    Google Docs
    JD-990 Turbo Start Guide
    Roland FTP - UK 

    JD-990 Patch/Waveform/Rythm List

    1.348 Kb

    Roland US

    Google Docs

    The Original Japanese manuals:

    Japanese Language Manuals



    JD800 User´s Guide


    Google Docs

    Here the 3 manuals from Roland.jp site

    JD800 Reference Part 1-4


    Google Docs

    JD800 Reference Part 5


    Google Docs

    JD990 User´s Guide


    Google Docs

    Here the 2 manuals from Roland.jp site

    JD990 Reference


    Google Docs

    From www.bluesynths.com:
    "We HAVE TO add this user manual to the literature list. It's simply a
    great piece of synthesizer literature. Contains not only detailled
    explanations, drawings and graphics about each part of the JD-800, but
    also lots of background information (music theory, how to create
    realistic string sounds, about using effects, etc). 200 pages."

    sexta-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2010

    RIP Geocities

    Geocities has gone and all material the original we had collected.

    Has I´m really short in time, I will be posting here almost as possible.

    Thanks for visiting and support this great synth!

    quarta-feira, 20 de janeiro de 2010

    The Roland JD-800: A Great Synth - Short History and Specifications

    Year 1991

    Roland JD-800 Programmable synthesizer

    "Combining stunning digital sound and sophisticated digital technology with a natural feel and warmth reminiscent of analog instruments, the JD-800 was an instant sensation."

    When the JD-800 appeared in 1991, Roland was the first to announce a new trend in the 90's: editability and overview.

    The JD-800 become instantly a mega-classical keyboard.

    All sliders are dedicated editors just like the original analog synths.

    Based on sampling technology, it's a great synthesizer for guitar-like, analog bass or string/pad sounds.

    Internal ROM based with CD quality waveforms are combined to build sounds.

    Almost patches was created by Eric Persing.

    This synth become the synth of choice in just about every studio around the world.

    It also can be used to control the JD-990 module.

    This keyboard is an extremely programmable digital synthesizer that retailed for $3000 when it was first introduced.

    Units produced: 24.000 (source bluesynths.com)

    Digital Programmable Synthesizer with analog user surface.

    Real-time controls

    Great overall sound.

    It´s really beautifull.


    61 keys, Velocity, Channel aftertouch, 4 velocity curves


    24 voices

    6 Parts Multitimbral (Multi mode): 5 part multitimbral + drum mode

    Sound memory:

    64 internal RAM patches storage positions plus 64 Rom-card


    ROM based digital synthesizer

    Tone generation:

    S+S (Sampling and Synthesis) with resonant filters.

    6 MegaByte ROM with 108 PCM Waves, expandable by PCM Rom Cards.

    CD Quality waveforms

    24 db Filters

    108 internal source waveforms:

    • 13 Analog waves
    • 22 digital waves
    • 10 samples
    • 16 percussion samples
    • 9 overtones
    • 4 piano's
    • 17 attack transients
    • 6 wind samples
    • 9 noise
    • 2 effect samples
    You can also add waveforms from ROM plug-in cards


    Keyboard: Good action 61 keys, fast, light, and smooth, with velocity, channel aftertouch.attachment and the weight it is attached


    • 1 2x22 characters-LCD,
    • 1 2x16-characters-LCD,
    • green or orange backlight.

    125 buttons, knobs and sliders on the front panel, being 75 dedicated for sound editing. All this send out recordable sysex! You can control the JD-990 with it.

    Tone Processing functions:


    • Pitch
    • TVF - Time Variant Filter (18 bit)
    • TVA - Time Variant Amplitude
    WG - Waveform Generator

    Dynamic filters and Amplifier,

    2 LFOs · with 5 waveforms

    Effects processor:

    2 Effect chains

    1x Mono

    1x Stereo

    • Phaser
    • Distortion
    • Spectrum
    • Enhancer
    • Chorus
    • Delay
    • Reverb
    • 3 Band EQ


    From Roland Roland JD-800 Turbo facts:
    • SL-JD80 Series:
    A diverse library of Waveforms and Patches ranging from Acoustic, Dance and Rock drums to Strings, Brass, Pianos and even Accordian. Each set contains both a Waveform card and a Data card with 64 patches which utilize the sounds on the Waveform card.
    • SO-PCM Series:
    These cards contain new Waveforms for use with either the JV or JD-series synthesizers. The JD-800 can use these Waveforms to enhance its internal library and allow users to build new Patches.


    These are the original Jd-800 sets. Each have two cards, one for patches and one with waveforms.

    • 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

    The JD can use waveform PCM cards from JV series.


    • SO-PCM-01 Piano Selection
    • SO-PCM-02 Guiter & Brass
    • SO-PCM-03 Rock Drums
    • SO-PCM-04 Grand Piano
    • SO-PCM-05 Accordion
    • SO-PCM-06 Baroque
    • SO-PCM-07 Orchestral FX
    • SO-PCM-08 Country/Folk/Bluegrass

    Memory Cards

    You can save memory data using standart M-256E cards or compatible as the M-512E. Note, using the M-512E won´t give you double memory.

    The cards save patch data, not waveforms.


    • Mix Out - Stereo (L/R)
    • Direct Out - Stereo (L/R)
    • MIDI in, Out, Thru;
    • Sustain, Control pedal
    • Headphone,
    • Card Slots for Patches and PCM data


    Power source: AC100V (50/60Hz)

    Electric power consumption: 25w

    External size: 1040 (W) ×420 (D) ×108 (H) mm

    Weight: 15 kg


    Roland M-256E Ram Card
    Roland M-512E Ram Card (only 256kb used)
    Roland DP-2 damper pedal
    Boss FS-5U momentary type footswitch
    Roland EV-5 Expression Pedal
    Roland EV-10

    Important notes and disclaimer:

    This is a fan-page.  I have no relation with Roland Corporation.

    This page was done because I found myself lost and I start to colect info around the world. All information I found is posted here.

    Please, don´t write asking how to do something. Save your time and go directly to the user foruns and sites.


    Zenta: A Informática Esotérica

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