Junkie XL On Roland Synthesizers

In the latest episode of his Studio Time video series, composer Tom Holkenborg (Junkie XL) shares his take on Roland synthesizers.

Holkenborg demos some classic Roland synths and also shares his take on their strengths and how he uses them in his work. 

“Have some good speakers or headphones for this one!” says Holkenborg. “In this episode, I explore the use-cases and features of various unique synthesizers around my studio and walk down the timeline of Roland synths.”

26 thoughts on “Junkie XL On Roland Synthesizers

    1. One thing I noticed was that he called the JP-8080 “physical modeling”. Eh, I enjoy his videos for what they are.

        1. @Alan. eh, incorrect mate!. Empirically; physical modeling refers to: modelling physical, mechanical objects and their coupled parts and interactions using algorithms and not electrical ones. The JP8 has no mechanicalness in it, except for the keyboard, Mod, Pitch bend levers and screws.
          Electrical signal modelling or electrical circuit modelling would be more appropriate.

        2. Alan is correct. Physical modelling includes both modelling of acoustic or electromechanical instruments as well as electronic circuits in DSP. Over the years we saw that most physical modelling was used to emulate analog synths as opposed to trumpets and clarinets like on a Korg Z1 or Yamaha VL-1.

          1. Alan is incorrect. is true that some physical modelling synths can also produce virtual analog sounds, like z1 or better the prophecy, but becouse they also contains algorithms for analog osc simulation. you can also of course obtain analogish sounds using the brass, string or reed models as source and pass thru a low pass filter. Everything sounds “analog synth” thru a moog cascade filter. More, I can emulate pretty well analogs with my voice and mouth, probably the most advanced physical modelling synth we have. But the 8000 and 8080 are just VA virtual analog or Roland advanced analog modeling as they named it. and of course in that era models did not include “circuit behaviour” or “components behaviour” as today.

    2. “mks 80 contains two jupiter 8″…..ok man, did you ever switched on the machine?
      my respect to the musician and the collector, and of course all my envy for the fabulous collection. but honestly, the only comment he gives to all the stuff is “it’s very fat”?? Is like a ferrari collector who comments every car just saying “it’s super fast”.
      envy envy envy.

  1. “This is how Roland synths sound, drowned in reverb” and he should do his history homework before making these videos.

  2. I admire someone who can do something like this in a language other than their mother tongue. Here in England, we’re built with an inferior language chip. The only thing is, I get worried just looking at all those keys… His cleaner must be in full time employment! I guess that’s how rich people do things like cleaning…(?)

  3. There are a few inaccuracies here and there, and I would like to have heard the synths with a bit less reverb but nonetheless I’m grateful that he’s even doing these videos at all and also, he is entitled to his opinion on certain instruments when it comes to things like his personal preference for sound quality. Also, he does give some good examples of the strengths of these synths.

    I’m glad he’s doing these videos at all, and plus, we’re getting them for free! 🙂

  4. So much critics unnecessary here. Great guy, great collection of synths, which includes even cheap instruments like Kawai K4 and Roland D-110. That alone shows me that he surely knows what is going on in these synths, what is good sounding and maybe more important, what sounds special to shine through the masses of ignorant producers and collectors who just buy because they can. Missing a JD-990 which i owned too, just shows me how overrated this synth is. A Super JV-1080 is doing all the job equally or even better for maybe 110€. The filter is great sounding and not distorting all the time you want to get something punchy. Get into synths first and then criticize others. I usually do not advocate people like Tom, but he has universal knowledge in synths and even knows how to use them. 😉

  5. You’d expect someone with this much gear to know about gain staging and headroom.
    We shouldn’t have to hear things clipping.

  6. call me paranoid…but putting videos like this showing all these rare synths in a studio is just begging for his front door to be bashed down by some jealous and greedy lowlife who wants to take them. i hope he has some really good security. I wouldnt do it myself!

  7. really enjoy this series:

    couple of corrections: Jupiter 6 doesn’t have a sinewave for Oscilator 1 or 2
    Mks 70 is based on the JX-10 rather than the Jx8P (jx10 is basically a Jx8p with double the voices)

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