Building A Track With The Roland JD-Xi Synthesizer

This video, via Mark Watson, demonstrates building a track with the new Roland JD-Xi hybrid analog + digital synthesizer.

Here’s what he has to say about the demo:

I had the pleasure of being one of the first people to get theirhands on the new Roland JD-Xi synthesizer. This synth combines analog and digital synth sounds and is one, fun instrument.

Within minutes I had written a track from scratch which is so easy to do with the synth, drums and four-track pattern sequencer on the JD-Xi.

This video breaks down each part and goes through some of the features I used in putting it all together.

The Roland JD-Xi is expected to have a street price of about US $500. See the Roland site for details.

18 thoughts on “Building A Track With The Roland JD-Xi Synthesizer

  1. This looks like loads of fun if you want to build up beat-driven songs (and there’s certainly a lot of that going on these days). Maybe it’s even good as a general on-the-go keyboard, but even after going to Roland’s website for specs, I can’t quite figure out the digital synth piece of this thing.

    The digital isn’t VA, right? Seems like you just pick one of the built-in Supernatural sounds and tweak it. The analog part is the only true synth engine here? Supernatural is just a very expressive sample player, if I’m reading it right. Or am I wrong and you can do general-purpose virtual analog sound design on the digital voices as well?

    1. SuperNatural Synth is VA.

      It generates its waveforms, but can also play samples.

      In the Jupiter-80 – 50, Integra 7 and Fa -series there are also acoustic instrument emulations under the SuperNatural name, but the Synth part is VA.

  2. I haven’t found out if it is possible to swap between the digital , analog and synth sections whilst recoding live…he stops in between each…in these days of electribes etc we NEED to be able to construct full patternsin realtime without stopping the playback

  3. Not sure about this one – seems like a good all rounder, but not really exceptional at anything, like a toaster with a built in radio, when a toaster and a radio is a better solution. I’d prefer to have a Bass Station II and Electribe Sampler than this keyboard, for a little more money. But still a nice all rounder, I could work around the minikeys, and the vocoder and sequencer seem very versatile – but I could see the novelty of this wearing quickly. I’ll wait and see what the big brothers are like. Maybe Roland should have just focused on doing a nice analogue with fullsize 37 keybed and CV in/out for around the $400-500 mark – which would make a lovely addition to any setup.

  4. This is what, the twentieth demonstration of the JD-Xi? Here’s the script for all of them:

    1. Scratch the surface of the synthesis side. Don’t explore the details or explain the basic specs.
    2. Take the entire time to demonstrate the “brand new” concept of multitrack sequencers. Wow!
    3. Compose a 4-on-the-floor looping cliché sequence with a proggy solo over it, as if this was 1995.

    I think it’s time analog fans and synthesists in general declare this a truce. This is clearly Baby’s First Groovebox, Mini-key Edition, and it wasn’t meant for us.

    It’s possible there’s something exciting lurking underneath the tiny administrative function and sequencer-dominated top panel, but no one is bothering to explain. Either because there’s nothing interesting there, or marketing has told them to focus on the 1-man-band talking point to exclusion of basic info.

    No synth is useless but I’m not convicted this is really a synth.

    1. Ugh, half the time people complain they can’t hear it, the other half that there aren’t enough specs. This video shows clear work flow, no menu diving and a fair palette of sounds.

      Go to the gearslutz forum for a pretty comprehensive listing of specs.

  5. I wouldn’t even consider buying this unless each part had its own separate output.

    How could this be considered a professional production tool without the ability to independently process each part while/after recording?

  6. So how many bars can you record with this? Only one that loops over and over? And what kind of wave-forms do the digital osc have?
    I have nothing against fun toys you can take along with you when you travel etc… but I need to know more about the features, not just “wow, this is a cool synth” demo.

  7. I all ready put a downpayment on one and am getting it in less than a fortnight Im a guitar player an got fed up with playing the its others live n what to have my own rythem section with hot any copra mise I can’t wait to he a one person band like new York dolls meets kraftwork

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