New JX-10 Pros/cons/tips?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
P.berry
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 2:17 am

New JX-10 Pros/cons/tips?

Post by P.berry » Mon May 21, 2012 2:22 am

So I just picked a JX-10 and It is way more of a monster than I am used to dealing with. Up until now I have been elusively using a piece of s**t Alesis Micron.

So what are your experiences with the JX-10? Anything you think a new user should know?
Also if you could tell me how to start a tone from scratch that would be great.

Thanks

SSquirrel
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:59 am

Re: New JX-10 Pros/cons/tips?

Post by SSquirrel » Mon May 21, 2012 5:34 am

I own an 8P not the 10, but I also have the programmer, so I honestly have never bothered messing w/just the front panel to tweak sounds for it. The Behringer BCR2000 (set it to transmit as sysex) or the KiwiTechnics Patch Editor http://www.kiwitechnics.com/patcheditor.htm are both alternatives, altho that patch editor is about as expensive as the PG 800 sells for these days. There is also free editing software available for computers.

User avatar
nathanscribe
VSE Review Contributor
VSE Review Contributor
Posts: 2889
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:03 pm
Location: The right side of the Pennines
Contact:

Re: New JX-10 Pros/cons/tips?

Post by nathanscribe » Mon May 21, 2012 11:10 am

I seem to recall something about the JX-10 not responding well to parameter changes over Sysex, but I have never dabbled with that so perhaps someone else can clear that one up. There was a replacement EPROM available from Colin Fraser that fixed a few issues too. Again, something I have never tried.

I use my JX-10 with the PG-800 and would not like to be without it. The thing with the JX-10 is that it's basically two JX-8Ps that can be split/layered (8 voices) or used as one 16-voice. To get used to programming it, I found the best way to be to set up a patch using just one tone - the tone is one of those 8-voice modules - and use the PG-800 in manual mode to get the sound I want. I save that tone to a memory cart, and work on each individually. Once you get the hang of the fact that your sound is a patch made of two tones, and those tones can be the same, or different, it makes more sense. The JX is not the most fun thing to edit, even with the PG-800, as the Alpha Dial is less than wonderful.

Patches are memories containing your choice of tones and details about detuning and whatnot. Changes made to a Tone affect all Patches using that tone - so if you make a nice string patch using tones 1 and 2, and then change tone 2 to a sub-bass, your string patch will be different as a result.

It does sound good though - great for lush, epic things - I made a nice big brass patch the other day by using two identical tones layered and detuned - stick it through a big long reverb and you're away.

The tones are nicely flexible - two oscs, independent LFO for pitch, cross mod, two ADSRs, variable routing on velocity and AT, envelope control of mix level... good stuff. It's easy to make it sound pretty static and dull, but a little work can reveal lovely rich sounds that can be spread over four outputs. ANd you get lots of keyboard real-estate.

There are some tutorials based on the JX-10 at Sound on Sound:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov02/a ... ts1102.asp

and its subsequent two months, and

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar03/a ... rets47.asp

georgemarauder
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:47 pm

Re: New JX-10 Pros/cons/tips?

Post by georgemarauder » Mon May 21, 2012 6:51 pm

My tip would be, to make really huge sounding patches, make sure to use the....umm....errr....s**t, I don't remember the setting, I haven't had my JX-10 in so long. Umm, something like the Dual effect, or something. It allows you mix 2 separate patches together for one massive patch. It's amazing for strings and soundtrack effects. If you dual detune the patches, it sounds even more massive.

User avatar
ApolloBoy
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 5:25 pm
Gear: Korg ARP Odyssey
Korg Minilogue
Korg Monotron
Korg Volca Beats
Roland Jupiter-4
Roland JX-10
Squier P-Bass
Yamaha CS01
Yamaha CS-10
Location: Campbell, CA

Re: New JX-10 Pros/cons/tips?

Post by ApolloBoy » Mon May 21, 2012 7:16 pm

nathanscribe wrote:I seem to recall something about the JX-10 not responding well to parameter changes over Sysex, but I have never dabbled with that so perhaps someone else can clear that one up. There was a replacement EPROM available from Colin Fraser that fixed a few issues too. Again, something I have never tried.
The stock JX-10 won't let you edit tones over MIDI at all, so unless you upgrade the firmware you're stuck between using the alpha dial (which is slow and tedious) or shelling out big bucks for a PG-800. It won't even let you do a bulk patch dump or upload unless you have a memory cartridge. Mine's been upgraded to the special Colin Fraser firmware which allows you to edit both patches and tones over MIDI. I had mine upgraded by synthparts on here (who traded it to me) but it's a fairly easy procedure, just pop out the EPROM with the original firmware and pop in the new one. Since there aren't editors specifically for the JX you'll need to look for MKS-70 editors (the MKS-70 is the rackmount version of the JX-10).
nathanscribe wrote:The thing with the JX-10 is that it's basically two JX-8Ps that can be split/layered (8 voices) or used as one 16-voice.
Actually it's 6/12, not 8/16.

Anyway, the JX was my first analog synth years ago and I traded off my first one three years ago, mainly because I got tired of using the alpha dial and PG-800 prices kept going up. Recently I started missing mine so I managed to trade my MG-1 for another JX. It's a wonderful synth and it's a case where the presets can be deceptive. Most of the presets make it sound fairly sterile but once you get past those, you have an extremely versatile and rich-sounding synth on your hands. It goes without saying that it's one of the better bargains when it comes to analogs, poor MIDI implementation notwithstanding.
Had: DX7, AX-60, SR-16, Yamaha TQ5, 01/WFD, Juno-106, MG-1, JX-03
Want: OB-6, Prophet 6, Jupiter-6

User avatar
rhino
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 2607
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:00 pm
Real name: bill
Gear: keepers:
Kurzweil K2500x
Ensoniq TS-12
Yamaha SY-99
Alesis QS-8
Roland JD-800
Roland JX-10
Akai AX-80
Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DSS-1
Moog Mini
Fizmo
Location: kentucky hills

Re: New JX-10 Pros/cons/tips?

Post by rhino » Mon May 21, 2012 7:35 pm

Just installed C.Frasiers chip in both my own JX and one for sale. Not tried them yet. BUT AFAIK, even then, you cannot edit the PATCHES via sysex. The TONES, yes but you have to do balance, split-points, chase-play, etc. by hand.
When the wise man points to the stars, the fool looks at the finger.
- Confucius

User avatar
ApolloBoy
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 5:25 pm
Gear: Korg ARP Odyssey
Korg Minilogue
Korg Monotron
Korg Volca Beats
Roland Jupiter-4
Roland JX-10
Squier P-Bass
Yamaha CS01
Yamaha CS-10
Location: Campbell, CA

Re: New JX-10 Pros/cons/tips?

Post by ApolloBoy » Mon May 21, 2012 7:54 pm

rhino wrote:Just installed C.Frasiers chip in both my own JX and one for sale. Not tried them yet. BUT AFAIK, even then, you cannot edit the PATCHES via sysex. The TONES, yes but you have to do balance, split-points, chase-play, etc. by hand.
You're right, I guess using an MKS-70 editor threw me off. Just looked at Colin Fraser's site and it doesn't support editing patches over Sysex.
Had: DX7, AX-60, SR-16, Yamaha TQ5, 01/WFD, Juno-106, MG-1, JX-03
Want: OB-6, Prophet 6, Jupiter-6

User avatar
nathanscribe
VSE Review Contributor
VSE Review Contributor
Posts: 2889
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:03 pm
Location: The right side of the Pennines
Contact:

Re: New JX-10 Pros/cons/tips?

Post by nathanscribe » Mon May 21, 2012 9:05 pm

ApolloBoy wrote:Actually it's 6/12, not 8/16.
Haha, yes, whooops. :mrgreen:

I was lucky to get mine with a PG-800 and two carts, so no trouble getting used to the tone tweaking. You're right about the presets being a bit less than exciting, but this was the latter half of the 80s, and I think a lot of competition from earlier FM and then S&S was putting analogue under pressure - I think I read somewhere this was Roland's last analogue synth. Silly not to grab one at today's low prices though, they never seem to go for much, despite being really nice kit.

User avatar
EmptySet
VSE Review Contributor
VSE Review Contributor
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:33 am
Gear: MS20, x0xb0x, JV-1080, JX-3P, JX-8P(PG800), Juno Stage, VFX-SD, VL-1, ARP Omni I, D-50, DW6000
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: New JX-10 Pros/cons/tips?

Post by EmptySet » Tue May 22, 2012 12:37 am

a. alesis microns (nor ions) are NOT pieces of s**t. :)

b. definitely go track down the pdf manual for this baby. you'll need it, because it's a little trickier than the JX8P because of the two sound modules and how they work together (or separately). the sad thing about this JX10 is that the midi is all arsed up like others have discussed above. but programming any of the JX synths by hand still isn't that horrible. i ended up selling my jx10 because i also had a jx8p and a pg800, but had i not owned a jx8p, i'd have definitely kept the jx10. yes, they have this (actually pretty major) limitation, but i think they sound so great for the nice prices they sell for. no other synths really sound quite like they do. big and fat and meaty.

c. i'd also recommend collecting cartridges. at least have a couple. if you program a lot and want to save, you're going to want them, particularly with the sysex issues preventing you from storing patches on a computer. 'tis a bummer, but it's the nature of the beast.

d. a very common failure is the output switch on the back. if you slide it and it makes all kinds of noise and static, it might need to be changed. if you don't, it can get worse. mine did. almost became unplayable because the switch made so much static and noise on the main line. cheap part. easy fix though.

e. rock on! i love the 80s JX synths (all of 'em). you picked a rock star. he just has to use crutches once in awhile. :lol:
Last edited by EmptySet on Tue May 22, 2012 5:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
gs
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 350
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 6:10 pm
Location: USA

Re: New JX-10 Pros/cons/tips?

Post by gs » Tue May 22, 2012 2:14 am

I had the JX-10 and PG-800 for about 5 years, it's definitely the king of Roland analog pads and strings for sure, although for my tastes it's been somewhat outclassed in this department once I picked up a JD-800 and thus ended up selling the JX and PG combo.

BTW I am a bit miffed by the slagging on the Ion/Micron in this thread. Apples and oranges people. The Ion is far superior for vintage analog leads over the JX. The filter on the JX is a little harsh, not at all "Moog-y" sounding and better suited toward refined analog strings and brass ensemble sounds.
Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Korg Z1, Alesis Ion, Alesis QS8.2, Kawai K3M

User avatar
EmptySet
VSE Review Contributor
VSE Review Contributor
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:33 am
Gear: MS20, x0xb0x, JV-1080, JX-3P, JX-8P(PG800), Juno Stage, VFX-SD, VL-1, ARP Omni I, D-50, DW6000
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: New JX-10 Pros/cons/tips?

Post by EmptySet » Tue May 22, 2012 5:40 am

gs wrote:BTW I am a bit miffed by the slagging on the Ion/Micron in this thread.
Oh man, I totally messed up my post. I've edited it now. I meant to say that they are NOT bad. I somehow mistyped and forgot the NOT. I thought my Ion was awesome.

User avatar
Pro5
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1000
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:30 pm
Gear: OB-6 | SH-2 | JX-3P | JD-800 | Performer
Location: U.K

Re: New JX-10 Pros/cons/tips?

Post by Pro5 » Thu May 24, 2012 2:15 pm

had a jx-8p and still have a 3P - the 3P is my absolute FAVOURITE of the JXs by a mile - don't care about it having less features it sounds great, ANALOG synth great. The 8P (and 10) are nice for pads/strings but verge towards very warm digital sounding. For MY money (and only mine) i prefer the D-50 which is closer to cold analog (very warm digital). It's swings around roundabouts in a mix using either D-50 or JX-8p/10 but the D-50 has some kind of 'edge' that is more unique, characterful. I found the filters on the 8P (and alpha junos - IR3R05) to be some of my least favourite sounding. And the oscilators are abit 'wodgy' for want of a better word. Still like the 8P wouldn't turn down a 10, but a JX-3p and D-50 combo for around the same price is the way I prefer to roll these days :)

Pads on the D-50 sound just as nice but more interesting due to more synthesis possibilities and am talking about 'virtual synth' struct modes here NOT USING PCM AT ALL!!! :)

User avatar
Sir Ruff
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3519
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 11:55 pm
Gear: Two persimmon modulators and a frequency adjudicator.
Band: Ruff in the jungle
Location: Philadelphia

Re: New JX-10 Pros/cons/tips?

Post by Sir Ruff » Thu May 24, 2012 7:20 pm

Can anyone comment on the JX-10 vs. the Ensoniq ESQ-1/SQ-80?

The 80 has been my goto mid-80 digi-ana poly forever, and will continue to do so, but I wondering what I might gain from a JX-10... I expect they are smoother, lusher. But so much that these two compliment each other, or do they really overlap?
Do you even post on vse bro?

User avatar
Bitexion
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 4230
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:43 pm
Gear: Alesis Andromeda A6
Roland D-50
Creamware Minimax
Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
Ensoniq SQ-80
Waldorf Blofeld
Location: Drammen, Norway

Re: New JX-10 Pros/cons/tips?

Post by Bitexion » Fri May 25, 2012 1:31 am

Hm, well the SQ80 has those 75 waveforms per oscillator, and the analog curtis filters. The JX10 only has the usual "analog" waveforms, right?
Also the lovely CLICKY poly aftertouch keyboard :P Also, 80 has a kickdrum waveform that sounds like fart noises on higher pitches. It wins.

User avatar
gs
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 350
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 6:10 pm
Location: USA

Re: New JX-10 Pros/cons/tips?

Post by gs » Fri May 25, 2012 12:44 pm

Sir Ruff wrote:Can anyone comment on the JX-10 vs. the Ensoniq ESQ-1/SQ-80?

The 80 has been my goto mid-80 digi-ana poly forever, and will continue to do so, but I wondering what I might gain from a JX-10... I expect they are smoother, lusher. But so much that these two compliment each other, or do they really overlap?
My best way of describing the JX compared to other DCO or PCM-waveform hybrid synths is that the JX has a more refined sound on analog strings and brass, especially when layered. Otherwise, from the way my ears hear it, JX sound is not that far off from what ESQ1, DW8000, K3, or other hybrid synths can create. Currently I have a Kawai K3M and its strings, pads and brass sound strikingly similar to the ones my JX-10 used to do. In fact, if you have a K3 and K3M you can MIDI-daisy-chain them together for 12 voice polyphony in the same way the JX-10 and MKS-70 work.

I'd say there's enough overlap between the Roland/Oberheim DCO analogs and Korg/Ensoniq/Kawai/Emu hybrids (including the samplers with analog filters -- DSS1, Emax1) that the acquisition of just one of these should suffice for that kind of sound.
Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Korg Z1, Alesis Ion, Alesis QS8.2, Kawai K3M

Post Reply