New hybrid digital/analogue Roland JD/Xi

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Re: New hybrid digital/analogue Roland JD/Xi

Post by Z » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:37 pm

I picked one up yesterday and spent a little bit of time with it last night. For $500, it packs a lot of great features. Below are a couple of quick videos I made last night - nothing special. I'll try to make some better videos this weekend.

Here are my rants and raves:

As someone who PLAYS keyboards, the mini keys are quite frustrating. But I have to consider the JD-Xi a groove machine with keys (instead of buttons) instead of a keyboard synth. I'm sure the minikeys are responsible for keeping the price point so low. However, the keyboard is Velocity sensitive - I can't think of any other mini key synths that have that.

There are 4 preloaded banks of 60 PROGRAMS (consider a Program a "Performance" with all your settings and patterns for 2 Digital Synths or TONEs, Drum Part and Analog Mono) and 4 empty banks of 60. There are only 256 Digital Synth TONE location memory. I wish there were at least double that. 33 drum kits and 64 analog tones.

Using the preloaded sounds is a breeze and the sequencer is a lot of fun. This thing is great for laying down ideas. The sequencer can go into record mode without stopping the pattern. Knob tweaks can also be recorded, but the (crappy) manual states that lots of recorded knob tweeks may be hard for the sequencer to keep up with and will also eat up memory.

The analog synth is very basic but sounds great for what it is. The digital synths a pretty powerful, but there's a ton of menu diving involved if you want to create your own sounds. Each digital synth TONE is comprised of up to 3 PARTIALS - each having its own oscillator, filter and amp. For the oscillators, you may select traditional analog type waveforms with variations (just like the Roland Gaia) or you can choose from 160 PCM waveforms. Neither the JD-Xi's screen nor any of the manuals (there's another manual you can download) show names of the PCM waveforms, just the waveform number. Plenty of good bread-and-butter sounds and I even noticed a few of the classic JD-800 waveforms in there.

I'm going to dig into the drums today. There's supposed to be over 400 drum samples with all the Roland classics (CR-78, 808, 909, 707, 727, 606, 626) and some Simmons SDSV style. Going to see what else is in there.

[youtube][/youtube]

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Re: New hybrid digital/analogue Roland JD/Xi

Post by Psy_Free » Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:01 pm

Thanks for the lowdown & vids (I'll check them out later). There seems to be quite a lot of under the hood tweaking needed to get the most out of this. I'm wondering if the XA will resolve this with more knobs/buttons/etc.
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Re: New hybrid digital/analogue Roland JD/Xi

Post by seamonkey » Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:32 pm

Thanks for posting the video demo, sounds quite nice. Better than a lot of the arpgeggiated knob turning ones I've seen so far.
I think the JD-XA is going to sound like a monster.
The mini-keys would drive me crazy after awhile I'm afraid.

I couldn't help but be continually distracted by the PPG below it...drooling.

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Re: New hybrid digital/analogue Roland JD/Xi

Post by meatballfulton » Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:37 pm

Hey Z, how did you get ahold of it? You're the first person in the USA that's posted about getting one.

Even AG hasn't gotten his ;)

Now that the English manuals are available I noticed something that wasn't obvious when reading languages I don't understand 8-) You can output a click out of the R jack while using the L/MONO jack for the audio. That's a feature band performers have been lusting after for a long time.
Hold down the [Menu/Write] button and press the [16] button. The click sound is output from the right side of OUTPUT and the headphones. The left side outputs the instrumental sound (the sound of the L ch and R ch mixed). To return to the previous setting, once again hold down the [Menu/Write] button and press the [16] button.
Short and sweet, no messing about in menus...on a "toy" synth =D>
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Re: New hybrid digital/analogue Roland JD/Xi

Post by Z » Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:46 am

I already had one on pre-order with Guitar Center, but a buddy of mine went to the Dallas Sam Ash on Wednesday saw it and texted me. I immediately texted my GC guy to see if he had an update and he still said 4/17. So I went to Sam Ash the next day and got it.

Here's a few more videos I made yesterday and today. I'll try to make a proper video tomorrow.

If you can't abide the mini keys, you'll be glad to know you can program patterns with external controller.
One weird/bad thing about using the vocoder/autotune - you lose the analog synth when vocoder/autotune is engaged.
[youtube][/youtube]

Here's simple recording of filter sweeps and the PPG someone was asking about ;)
[youtube][/youtube]

And what 8 year-old doesn't like using the voice processor? Who needs a VT-3? The JD-Xi will do everything the VT-3 can and MORE.
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Re: New hybrid digital/analogue Roland JD/Xi

Post by JayEm » Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:04 am

Z wrote:And what 8 year-old doesn't like using the voice processor? Who needs a VT-3? The JD-Xi will do everything the VT-3 can and MORE.
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Re: New hybrid digital/analogue Roland JD/Xi

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:11 am

meatballfulton wrote:Even AG hasn't gotten his ;)
Not really my thing. If I want a tiny analog monosynth, I'm not going to buy a tiny digital Roland synth to get it.

Also, this isn't a "hybrid." That word has been used for a LONG time to describe synthesizers that combine analog and digital functions in one synthesizer. A digital synthesizer with an analog section needs a different name.

I propose "marketing ploy."
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Re: New hybrid digital/analogue Roland JD/Xi

Post by meatballfulton » Sun Apr 05, 2015 3:43 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote: A digital synthesizer with an analog section needs a different name. I propose "marketing ploy."
Yeah, but it's a good ploy, Marc.

On the online dealer front, Sweetwater is advertising the JD-Xi as in stock right now, noone else is yet.

Thanks for the videos Z.
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Re: New hybrid digital/analogue Roland JD/Xi

Post by loungedumore » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:09 pm

Hey Z about the bread n butter sounds .... How much is there ? As in PCM's not presets . Acoustic pianos , strings , non electronic drums etc. I think my set up needs some that's not on a computer or tablet and this is looking kinda like a maybe ...

Side note I haven't found a midi implementation chart yet , you ?
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Re: New hybrid digital/analogue Roland JD/Xi

Post by Z » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:20 pm

There's a fair amount of bread-and-butter PCMs. Acoustic piano, electric piano, JD piano, electric grand, strings organs. There's a ton of drum sounds, most are TR stuff, but there are plenty of acoustic and "processed" sounds that remind me of the R-8 series.

I wanted to make a "Rant and Rave Review" of it on Sunday, but didn't. Maybe this weekend.

I haven't found any more documentation besides the main manual and the downloadable Parameter Guide. I called Roland US last Friday asking for a list of all the PCMs. They guy I spoke to said he would contact the engineers in Japan. I have yet to hear back and not holding my breath.
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Re: New hybrid digital/analogue Roland JD/Xi

Post by loungedumore » Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:48 am

Z wrote:There's a fair amount of bread-and-butter PCMs. Acoustic piano, electric piano, JD piano, electric grand, strings organs. There's a ton of drum sounds, most are TR stuff, but there are plenty of acoustic and "processed" sounds that remind me of the R-8 series.

I wanted to make a "Rant and Rave Review" of it on Sunday, but didn't. Maybe this weekend.

I haven't found any more documentation besides the main manual and the downloadable Parameter Guide. I called Roland US last Friday asking for a list of all the PCMs. They guy I spoke to said he would contact the engineers in Japan. I have yet to hear back and not holding my breath.
Thanks . Yeah that list would be nice . As far as the acustic pianos go ...
A: is there more than one sound set that you can discern ?
B: if there are more than one .... Are they all bright and sharp or are there some dark and more subtle ?
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Re: New hybrid digital/analogue Roland JD/Xi

Post by Z » Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:40 pm

loungedumore wrote:
Z wrote:There's a fair amount of bread-and-butter PCMs. Acoustic piano, electric piano, JD piano, electric grand, strings organs. There's a ton of drum sounds, most are TR stuff, but there are plenty of acoustic and "processed" sounds that remind me of the R-8 series.

I wanted to make a "Rant and Rave Review" of it on Sunday, but didn't. Maybe this weekend.

I haven't found any more documentation besides the main manual and the downloadable Parameter Guide. I called Roland US last Friday asking for a list of all the PCMs. They guy I spoke to said he would contact the engineers in Japan. I have yet to hear back and not holding my breath.
Thanks . Yeah that list would be nice . As far as the acustic pianos go ...
A: is there more than one sound set that you can discern ?
B: if there are more than one .... Are they all bright and sharp or are there some dark and more subtle ?
Sorry, I do not understand your question. Perhaps you can rephrase it.

This morning, I did received a PDF of all of the JD-Xi's waveforms - both digital synth and drums. I do not see this added to http://www.rolandus.com/products/jd-xi/support/

I could not find a way to upload a PDF to VSE or my PhotoBucket. I'd be happy to email this list to anyone.

Also, in case y'all have missed it, here's some more photos and specs for the JD-XA:
http://www.gear4music.com/Keyboards-and ... V#full-des
I'm excited about the XA.
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Re: New hybrid digital/analogue Roland JD/Xi

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:35 pm

A dumb EG question. Does the single envelope knob control the filter EG as well as the amp EG?
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Re: New hybrid digital/analogue Roland JD/Xi

Post by loungedumore » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:01 am

Z wrote:
loungedumore wrote:
Z wrote:There's a fair amount of bread-and-butter PCMs. Acoustic piano, electric piano, JD piano, electric grand, strings organs. There's a ton of drum sounds, most are TR stuff, but there are plenty of acoustic and "processed" sounds that remind me of the R-8 series.

I wanted to make a "Rant and Rave Review" of it on Sunday, but didn't. Maybe this weekend.

I haven't found any more documentation besides the main manual and the downloadable Parameter Guide. I called Roland US last Friday asking for a list of all the PCMs. They guy I spoke to said he would contact the engineers in Japan. I have yet to hear back and not holding my breath.
Thanks . Yeah that list would be nice . As far as the acustic pianos go ...
A: is there more than one sound set that you can discern ?
B: if there are more than one .... Are they all bright and sharp or are there some dark and more subtle ?
Sorry, I do not understand your question. Perhaps you can rephrase it.

This morning, I did received a PDF of all of the JD-Xi's waveforms - both digital synth and drums. I do not see this added to http://www.rolandus.com/products/jd-xi/support/

I could not find a way to upload a PDF to VSE or my PhotoBucket. I'd be happy to email this list to anyone.

Also, in case y'all have missed it, here's some more photos and specs for the JD-XA:
http://www.gear4music.com/Keyboards-and ... V#full-des
I'm excited about the XA.
Well the PDF had the answer . No there is only one acoustic piano sample set / sound set .
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Re: New hybrid digital/analogue Roland JD/Xi

Post by Fortramnasdaq » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:03 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:
meatballfulton wrote:Even AG hasn't gotten his ;)
Not really my thing. If I want a tiny analog monosynth, I'm not going to buy a tiny digital Roland synth to get it.

Also, this isn't a "hybrid." That word has been used for a LONG time to describe synthesizers that combine analog and digital functions in one synthesizer. A digital synthesizer with an analog section needs a different name.

I propose "marketing ploy."
Perhaps we can call ones with a single engine of mixed architecture components as 'hybrids' and ones that have multiple separate engines as 'Chimeras'.

I bought one and do love it.

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