26 thoughts on “Inside The Roland JP-08 Synthesizer

  1. 1cm fader travel, wow. That’s a third of the MicroBrute, which I consider the minimum acceptable size. I was wondering if it would be possible to create a grown-up size controller for this, and this video confirms it. Worth the effort and expense, maybe not, but possible, just barely yes. It’d be very easy for Roland to do a bigger version after the “Limited Edition” expires.

  2. The most important but unanswered question is: How do the internals of the JP-08 compare to the Jupiter 8?

    And when is someone going to do a code teardown? I’d be very interested to know how much of the DSP code from the Jupiter 8 was repurposed for the JP-08.

    1. Problem with dealing with the code is the hardware itself.
      VLSI chips did not exist in the olden days as well as SMT, plus there is CPU power.
      From the looks of it all the area needed for the old jupiter 8 required a table sized board, all now which is housed in that one little chip

      1. So the Jupiter 8 doesn’t have DSP chips? How does it make those massive sounds? Is it some kind of difference engine or other pre-integrated circuit technology? Vacuum tubes?

        Whatever method employed in the Jupiter 8 to generate sound has clearly been improved upon – why else would Roland remake the Jupiter 8 if a superior technology had not been developed to replace the superannuated old?

        Since so much time and attention has been lavished on the comparison I don’t understand why no one has bothered to compare the DSP code in the JP-08 to the code the Jupiter 8 uses? Is the code on punch cards or some media that can’t be read? I think a synthesizer that costs almost 400 dollars deserves a little more scrutiny than it’s received.

        1. He’s taking the piss.

          Unless of course he’s one of those people who doesn’t realise most of the planet can remember a world with no internet.

  3. DSP code from the Jupiter 80 maybe, but the Jupiter 8 definitely had none, think it has a Z80 8-bit CPU however to process MIDI.

    The item that caught my attention was the assertion that Roland are using an FPGA. Those are very hard to program (you’re literally laying out a chip circuit) but should provide mega throughput – yet we only get 4 voices?? What’s all this about? Is Roland intentionally crippling the AIRA line?

    1. Aira is so last year, haven’t you seen ebay lately? 🙂

      They couldn’t make the Boutique series look too good otherwise we wouldn’t be as keen to buy next year’s crippled Roland products!

  4. The original Jupiter-8 does not have any DSP tech – at all !

    All of the voicing: VCO – VCA – VCF / envelopes / LFO… > output is component-level circuits. With the exception of some custom analogue circuit chips by CEM (Curtis Electro Music).
    There is a CPU+RAM: to manage keyboard scanning, front panel controls scanning (analog sliders/knobs > ADC > digital parameters), arpeggiator, preset storage/recall > DAC > voltage controlled circuits (*8 voices).

    The Boutique & Aira / System-1series use mathematical formulas in DSP code (programs) to emulate the analog world, and all of this can be done using a single CPU / DSP / DAC combination!

  5. I really wonder if a second one of those RAM Chips would have increased the polyphony to 8 voices and why they left the second slot empty…

  6. No surprises there, obviously. Can’t see why he even bothered. He might as well dismantle a midi controller; the sound is produced by firmware, a processor and dac stuff. It’s a VST in a box.

  7. Exactly Revok. a chip running code and some ribbon leads to a controller service. oh and then a “Give us your money please” price.

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