Roland JP-08 Official Video Sound Demo

Roland JP-08 Synthesizer Module
Roland JP-08 Synthesizer Module

Roland product specialist Ed Diaz wraps up his series of videos demoing the sounds of the company’s new Boutique synthesizer line with a look at the Roland JP-08:

The JP-08 is about the size of a book – but offers 36 knobs and sliders from the original Jupiter-8 front panel, and, according to Roland, features the ‘iconic Jupiter sound’.

The JP-08 uses Roland’s Analog Circuit Behaviour (ACB) to recreate the circuitry of the original Jupiter-8, but also adds a few new twists in the form of extra LFOs and expanded VCO range.

Check out the demo and let us know what you think of it!

The Roland JP-08 Synthesizer Module has a street price of about US $399. See the Roland site for more info.

57 thoughts on “Roland JP-08 Official Video Sound Demo

    1. Readers are interested in what’s new.

      Take a look at the right sideboard, under the “What People Are Talking About” for some perspective.

      1. When I said “You guys” I meant both synthtopia and their readers. There have been a lot of new products in the last few years that I think deserved a lot more recognition and saw nowhere near the hype of these little toy keyboards.

        1. Honestly you can’t discourage people for liking what they want. Everyone has a preference. People will like what they want and if the site admin wants to add more information about them I for one say power to them! The more information on the site about anything means more content to read. I like spending my day on this site and the more content I have access to means the less time I need to spend looking for that information elsewhere. Just my 2 pennies 😉

        2. Like what? And do you want your news sites being advocates for cool esoteric gear or covering the stuff that people are reading about, talking about and are generally interested in?

          1. Can’t it be both? I think the admin does a really good job of covering any information that comes available for anything synth related.

    2. This is Synthtopia, and everything about new synths that are coming out gets covered, from the Casio groove synths to the newest Moog Modular, I don’t understand how this is something that people don’t understand at this point.

      I have yet to see anything in the synth world get released and not show up on this website. And there are more posts per day now than there used to be on this site 4 years ago, so I’m confused by why people get pissed when things they don’t care about get covered.

      DAWs, softsynths, samplers, sequencers, modular synths, DJ turntables, futuristic controllers, crappy ROMPlers, analog polysynths, cheap all-in-one budjet devices, circuit bent toys, DIY drone machines, massive corporation VA synths like these Rolands, small kickstarter synths like the PARVA, wind controllers, stylophone sweaters, magnetic paint that you can make circuits with, all these things are on synthtopia.

      I don’t care about the new DJ controller stuff, but it doesn’t bother me that others do.

      It’s not like Synthhead has to choose to either post about this new Roland thing OR some new modular, it all gets posted.

      I, and I would think many other reasonable non-fetishists who are interested in the many directions music technology is going, are interested in seeing everything and making our own decisions on what to click on and what to get more interested in.

      I appreciate hearing this weird little JP-08 and I appreciate hearing Diego Stocco put contact mics on shit, explain why this bothers you. What happens when you see the Roland synths on here in your brain that makes you upset?

      1. Yeah I understand what you mean. I also want to know about what is going on in the synth world and I like hearing about stuff like this too. I’m not trying to be a hater, I’m just trying to express surprise at the massive response these synths are generating. To me this type of thing isn’t super exciting, but then again I’m not typically interested in digital recreations of analog synths. I’d rather see something new. That being said, this does have some neat features such as audio over USB, sequencer, hands on control, battery power, and a built in speaker.

    3. if you don’t like it, move on. these new roland synths are pretty fucking sweet. i dont understand what’s not to like. want a better synth? go make one. 🙂

    1. you noticed that he is using a controller with it
      it is one up on the Yamaha reface in that you may have a really good controller just need the sound generator

      That why Roland deserves kudos over the Yamaha reface, by making those mini keys OPTIONAL

      1. There are advantages and disadvantages. I give the Reface modules massive props for having high polyphony.

        I want, as usual, everything. But there are so many interesting synths right now I am a bit shell-shocked. I’ll wait a while and buy some of these used, probably.

        I bought all the Volcas immediately upon their arrival. My main problem with them has been how noisy the circuitry is. Still, they are a blast. I think all these little things from Yamaha and Roland would be a blast, too.

  1. Going to keep asking until I get an answer: Why is the JP08 $100 more? I’m not wanting to except the, “because it’s more in demand and they are gauging us” explanation. Anyone?

    1. a lot more controls and more options with the actual sound design, read the specs, I imagine more processing and design went into the JP-08. it’s nearly double the Juno in power and flexibility. Kinda like the synths they are based off of.

    2. Why do you keep asking that?

      The Roland JP-08 has 50% more knobs and switches to control synth parameters on the front panel – and that costs more money to manufacturer.

      What part of that are you having trouble figuring out?

        1. How often did guys in the 70s use the raw sound of their synths?

          Vintage synths sound a lot more interesting, too, when you run them through an EHX phaser or chorus or add tape delay or add some digital reverb. Junos sound pretty thin without the chorus.

    1. Sounds like a JU-04!!!! or a JU-08×0.5…not worth the extra $100 IMHO…If I were interested and have an extra $600…I would rather buy two JU-06 instead of this paper thin sound module….again IMHO

    2. It IS MIGHTY THIN. The high end is harsh and trashed because of the 44.1khz output. Forget sparkly high end, and forget wet resonant filters. This this sounds FLAT and HARSH, although it captures much of the character of the original. Maybe they’ll release a 96khz Aira version at NAMM, hopefully that will solve the nasty high end.

      1. If you don’t like how it sounds, there’s no way increasing the sample rate on the D/A conversion will fix it for you.

        Unless you are a dog….

        1. I can’t even hear the top note on my home organ any more when I have only one drawbar pulled down. My son is incredulous. “You can’t hear that?”

          It’s NOT the 44.1k output dictating the sound. Without knowing the DSP code inside, there’s no telling what is making this synth sound thick or thin (depending on whether you love it or would leave it).

  2. I have had my JP-08 for a week and have had a great time playing around with it. I had initially pre-ordered the JU-06 (as an original Juno-106 owner way back), but really wanted the power over the nostalgia – and I remember well how I had about 5 – 6 sounds that the Juno-106 was good for (well it is easy since I recreated them in my JV-880!).

    Although the controls are small, they are surprisingly usable and provide excellent granularity. I can’t say what they’d be like ‘live’, but for me in my home studio – or just sitting on the couch – they are very powerful and sound great. I have been playing it hooked up to the iK Multimedia iLoud which makes for a great wireless pair!

    1. plus less likely to lose sound due to voice chip malfunction

      I know dead horse, but almost got tricked into getting a cousin of the 106 which has the same problem

      1. The voice chip issue isn’t that big of a deal anymore. There are many clone and original chips available for cheap, and preventing or fixing a dead chip is as easy and just removing the coating on them. It just takes moderate comfort with a soldering iron and a couple hours of your time. Since the pins for the chip are all in a row, it’s pretty easy to desolder by lightly tugging from one end to the other. It’s those 40 pin sockets on the memory and CPU that can be the real PITA to safely remove.

    2. Hi Michael, how do you connect the JP-08 to the iLoud wirelessly? Does the JP have Bluetooth? Isn’t there lag when you play it? Thanks!

  3. You know it’s close, but i just got my 106 re-chipped and pro make-overed and it screams, IT SCREAMS analogue. I really wanted one of these but it’s close and no cigar, jumpy stuf f going on i don’t like. I know the sound of these synths like a baby crying. For all their trying something missing. Digital is always cheapy. Nice try, they will be shit hot popular cos the layout is fantastic but no replacement. Some disturbing digi artifacts like i said.

  4. The Arturia JP-8v sounds as much like a real JP-8 as this thing. Except the Arturia has more flexibility and a better feature set. Sorry, but I just don’t get this at all.

  5. “albert: The Arturia JP-8v sounds as much like a real JP-8 as this thing. Except the Arturia has more flexibility and” …

    This is simply not true.
    I have the ARTURIA 8V and really couldn’t stand the 8V, to me it sounds thin and tinny and bascily the sound just didn’t do it for me……so I chucked the software into the trash.

    I have 2 of these JP-08’s and they sound great, rich and warm and crisp and clear on the high end.
    To me there is no comparison between the Arturia 8V and the JP-08. The JP-08 to me sounds almost identical to the Jupiter 8

    Check out this video….it is in Danish but the sound comparison is really good

  6. My feeling is that this hyped plastic. This box of VST quality! Will be forgotten soon enough. I truly enjoy the idea of affordable synths for the masses! But this is fake synthesis. What is disturbing is how many of the synth community who should know better, and be able to hear its blatant inadequacies, are falling into the lust for a Jupiter 8 trap. The fact that we all might want one is no reason to accept a cheap and deceptive intruder! I’ve listened to as many recordings as I can bear. And none have depth, bass or character. I think that the Aira System 1 is a better impersonator. But still not one I can buy into. This money could buy real soul. Analog soul as in a Dreadbox, a Dark Energy, or a Vermona Lancet. Admittedly mono. This comes from someone who can see the purpose of ,and who uses VST, or similar. But this is ‘ The King With No Clothes’! Pants 😎

    1. Everybody I know that’s tried these out has commented on how well they are built. So the impression I get is that they are not ‘plasticy’.

      Can anyone that’s used one of the Boutique synths weigh in on this?

      1. yes they are mostly metal and the knobs and sliders are really well built and have a great feel and resistance to them for accurate and precise placement. Anyone who says these are cheap plastic and don’t capture the sound of a Jupiter 8 don’t know what they are talking about.

        I bought one because I didn’t know what I would think of the JP-08 but after playing it for an hour and hearing it’s sound and it’s build I ended up buying a second one so I could have the 8 voices. Having these synth really is a no brainer for the sound, build, and price.

        1. Actually the origin of the term synthesizer refers not to synthetic, but to something which synthesizes, ie it creates sounds by combining different elements together.

          From the original 1951 Music Synthesizer patent, which is the first historical use of the term in the context of an electronic musical instrument:

          > “Our invention relates to the synthesis of music and particularly to methods and means for producing any predetermined tone, combination or series of tones. An object of the invention is to provide an improved method of and means for synthesizing music. A further object of the invention is to provide an improved method of and means for producing a series of synthesized tones under the control of a suitable coded record such as a punched paper roll or tape.”

          Synthesized was used in the sense of something being created, not as an adjective to describe something being fake.

    2. Your comment makes no see at all.
      These boutiques sound nearly identical to the originals.

      Watch the reviews and get back to us!!

      1. They really do NOT sound anywhere near identical to the originals. Decent approximation though and will do the job in a mix, if a bit on the pricey side.

  7. Just do what I do, use your imagination. Just pretend that it’s a real Jupiter 8.

    If your like me and don’t have the cash to afford one of these, then do what I do, pretend that you have one. Use your imagination.

    You should see my awe inspiring imaginary synth rig.

  8. Definitely produces some nice sounds, Love the step sequencer, would be great for jamming out along with other stuff.
    sure.. its FAKE, its virtual..
    but.. its about the Tactile interaction, fun, hands on, sequencer, runs on batteries!, that makes these things awesome! there’s a real-ness to that which plugins just don’t ever have..
    ok so Arturia’s plugin sounds good yea but.. IS it fun to play around with or do you just end up browsing different presets for 15 minutes until you find a sound you like.. ?
    I even get a little bored with the iPad just touching the glass surface to twist virtual knobs and sliders… its more fun to have real knobs and blinky lights!

    Will the Ju08 possess the magical rainbows and showers of bliss that shoot from the very keys of an actual 10k+ jupiter 8??

    that’s the A/B comparison video that will be fun to watch, if anyone who can actually afford a real one can lay them next to each other, (SonicState Demo Please)

    but after this video, i have to say.. I just don’t get the same chills watching the JU08 demo

    Still JU08 seems to sound the best so far but they all start sounding the same once you add delay ..

    Finally I’ll say.. if you’ve never owned a real juno 106 or JX maybe just go for a real juno.. so you can BELIEVE in the sound, so you can hear the REAL filters and oscillators and be happy deep inside your heart.. its the only way to get that closure..
    then after you get some stuck double-triggering keys or a noisy slider..spend your time/money to repair it… and then
    these synths will start to make a little more sense..

  9. I agree with what seems to be the majority that these little synths are on a VST level. Honestly, the Arturia Jupiter 8v sounds more like a JP-8. Heck, my JP-8080 sounds WAY more like a JP-8 than this thing. I’ve heard several of the videos, and yes, I still need to hear it with my own ears in person, but this thing, so far, sounds nothing like what a JP-8 sounds like.
    I have heard the JU-06, and I will say that does sound like a decent replica of the Juno-106.
    They aren’t entirely unusable, but any serious synth player would laugh at anyone who thinks this could replace a JP-8.

    1. These are doing analog circuit modeling vs modeling functions.

      Analog circuit modeling generally offers much more accurate sound, but at the expense of much higher cpu load.

  10. the marketing is unbelievable, why could they not stick these algorithms in the system 1. I bet if you strip these down to the guts they are virtually the same.

    if you can afford it, go for it, but personally am not interested in the new wave of corporate cash ins on money for old rope.

  11. The biggest flaw Roland have made here is making it 4-voice.
    Imagine Ford making a small car, tributing an old V8 model, calling it a V8 but making it 4-Cylinder.
    How many people would see the logic in that?

  12. Anybody has confirmed if the Roland Boutique models respond to MIDI Volume (CC#7)? Not according to their MIDI Implementation Chart, but I have read that their MIDI Chart is wrong.

  13. Roland does no longer produce gear that will be remembered in history. The price of these boutiique plastic boxes is a blatant rip off. These boxes should not be worth more than 100.– Euros. The sound is weak and each of these 3 boxes sound the same. Roland keeps on making a living on the back of great gear they once made…but times have changed. Roland no longer producing legacy synthesizers. Roland management sold out to cheap mass production. Its no longer about sound. Its about marketing and pretending that they still produce bad ass gear. Either one has ears and is able to hear the blatant bad sound or not. The comparison of a real Jupiter to these plastic boxes is beyond ignorance. It want take long until user comments flood the net with similar statements. Only that a lot of em need to buy them and play around for a week to understand…

    1. Really ignorant comment. Have you actually tried the Boutique synths, any of Roland’s Euro modules, the TR8 or any of their recent introductions?

      There are lots of great pieces of gear in Roland’s current lineup.

      And we should remember that a lot of Roland’s most sought after vintage gear is sought after because the devices were failures in their own time, so they are rare.

  14. Has anyone tried any of these in a mix with other synths/instruments? That’s my real trial for VA and I can’t really find out by just noodling with one in a store.

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