At Musikmesse 2015, Roland today introduced the JD-XA – a unique crossover synth that they say brings together analog warmth and digital versatility in one no-compromise instrument.
First, there’s a four-part, all-analog ‘monster’, with true analog filters and a direct dry output.
Next up is a four-part digital engine, powered by Roland’s SuperNATURAL synth technology, plus an impressive selection of potent effects
The JD-XA’s engines can be used independently or interactively, providing an incredibly flexible platform for sound design, studio work, and live performance. Use the analog and digital parts side by side, stack them up for total sonic devastation, or shape digital waveforms via the analog filters.
Here’s the official intro video:
- Advanced synthesizer with independent analog and digital sound engines
- Discrete analog synth engine (four parts) with 2 x OSC, Filter, Amp, 4 x Env (2 x Pitch, Filter, Amp), and 2 x LFO per voice plus Analog Dry Out for raw signal output
- Analog filter section features 4-Pole, transistor-ladder, and multi-mode (LPF/HPF/BPF) filters with supremely smooth, natural response to knob movements
- OSC section includes Cross Mod, Ring Mod, and OSC Sync, all of which can be used simultaneously
- LFO rate covers a wide range from ultra-slow to ultra-fast
- Incredibly fast attack envelope time
- Separate digital section built around SuperNATURAL synth engine (four parts, 64 voices) that’s compatible with INTEGRA-7 sound libraries from Roland’s online Axial sound portal
- Digital parts can be routed through the analog filter section for warm, organic results
- Comprehensive effects with MFX for all parts plus five system effects (Reverb, TFX1, TFX2, Delay, and Master EQ)
- Flexible routing options for highly creative sound design
- Intuitive 16-track pattern sequencer (8 tracks for internal parts, 8 tracks for external parts) for fast creation of songs and loops
- Onboard USB, MIDI, and CV/GATE interfaces plus flexible MIDI control functionality make the JD-XA the ideal centerpiece for live performance and music production
- Mic input allows you to modulate synth sounds with your voice and explore classic Vocoder functionality
- Plenty of backlit knobs, sliders, and controllers for hands-on sound shaping
Here are a series of videos that introduce the Roland JD-Xa synthesizer and explain its ‘best of both worlds’ approach:
The Roland JD-Xa Analog + Digital Crossover Synthesizer
The JD-XA’s analog side features a discrete, four-part engine with true analog filters and a direct dry output. Each part has two oscillators, along with filter and amp sections and four envelopes with incredibly fast attack and response times. There are also two LFOs with super-smooth coverage from ultra-slow to ultra-fast. After building an analog sound, users can route it directly to the dry output, or send it to the onboard digital effects to shape the sound further.
On the digital side, the JD-XA is equipped with a four-part, 64-voice sound engine powered by Roland’s acclaimed SuperNATURAL synthesizer technology, providing some of the most expressive and natural sounds available anywhere. The engine is compatible with the synth engine from the INTEGRA-7 sound module, a favorite of top producers, composers, and sound designers. This allows users to take advantage of the large library of custom INTEGRA-7 sounds available for free at Roland’s Axial website.
The JD-XA offers an enormous amount of effects horsepower for shaping sounds. Each analog and digital part is equipped with an MFX processor that offers 67 different effect types, including high-impact processing options like Bit Crusher. The essentials are also covered via the five system effects processors, which provide reverb, delay, and master EQ plus two TFX processors with 29 effect types each.
With its comprehensive 16-track pattern sequencer, users can build songs and beats directly inside the JD-XA. There are 8 tracks for internal parts and 8 tracks for external sources, plus real-time and step recording modes for capturing parts in the method that best suits the user’s style and music.
The velocity-sensitive keyboard supports aftertouch, and there are plenty of backlit sliders, knobs, and wheel controllers for direct hands-on control while creating and performing.
JD-XA owners can add an extra dimension to their sound via the synth’s built-in mic input. A voice can be used as additional modulation source, controlling filter cutoff, Cross Mod, or other parameters for unique effects. With the Vocoder, users are able to sing into the mic and control the tone and pitch via sounds played on the keyboard. The mic input can be used for normal singing as well, with a high-quality reverb available as a dedicated vocal effect.
Along with standard MIDI I/O, the JD-XA features a USB audio/MIDI interface for working seamlessly with computer music software. It’s also equipped with two CV/GATE outputs, making it easy to interface with popular CV/GATE instruments.
Here’s a performance demo, featuring Roland’s Scott Tibbs:
Pricing and availability are to be announced. Based on pricing at online retailers, it looks like the JD-Xa will have a street price around $2,200.
For more info on the Roland JD-Xa, see the Roland site.
75 thoughts on “Roland Unleashes JD-Xa Analog + Digital Crossover Synthesizer”
I believe sweetwater have the price at $2199 which makes it a pretty great deal, I’ve already got my pre order in.
I don’t get the down votes. The price is not bad for the features it has. For me one of the nicest features is the ability to run the digital voices (64of them) through the analogue filter. Very Waldorf Q+
Stacking digital + analogue voices to form a patch will be very interesting too!
This is a great price for what you get with this synth.
I was expecting this synth to cost more, I had heard $2,800 in the rumor mill.
Now I’m a bit confused. I was waiting 4 months for this beast to finally get a cold shower – NO DRUMS!?
I do not have a problem with a price tag at all. But as JD-XA clearly can’t be used as a standalone GrooveBox for keyboard PLAYERS (as opposite from using Korg Electribe for which you do not need to use a keyboard), wondering where I shall place it in the studio hierarchy:
– JD-XA is NOT a key-based Groove box because of the lack of drums;
– JD-XA is NOT a workstation because of the lack of the classic sequencer and, again, drums;
– JD-XA IS an analog synth with possibility to cross blend digital sources with analog filters.
After reading a lot of comments around the Internet, I understand that many people will ditch the concept because of the lack of drums in JD-XA.
Another thing, imagine a Rompler without a drums? I mean, I’m not completely sure how Roland will justify a digital synth, with guitars, strings and other sounds, but consequently refuse to add drums in the sound palette!?
Something is telling me that this will not last. Sooner or later Roland will take a step back, if market demand is big enough, and allow a drums in this beast.
For a JD-XA with a drum part on the same level as included within JD-XI, I would gladly pay up to $3000 🙂 On the spot!
At least, I can hope. But the money is here…
It does have drum tracks. Look it up on you tube.
there is a real dark heart to this synth…which i totally appreciate. I didn’t expect that d50 sound designed territory to be showcased.
Great. Analog + digital = future
Analog + Digital = 1986
I’m missing in the specs how many steps the sequencer tracks have… is this something obvious? More info in general on the sequencer would be good, it seems to be getting very little love in those videos.
I think it is 16 tracks 8 internal— 8 for external synths
16 step, and I think at least 4 measures x 16?
Just more details in general would be great. There are always a lot of variables when it comes to sequencers, but probably have to wait for the release to get the whole story. I suspect it’s one of the last things to get finalized in code.
I don’t see any ‘measure’ select buttons that would indicate 16 steps for 4 bars, but the sequencer does seem to have ‘pattern length’ and ‘scale’ buttons – maybe up to 16 steps per sequence but variable (16th, 8th, quarter etc.) step length? it would be nice if there were timing offsets too, like on the elektron stuff. I use the scale/microtiming features on the OT to get 8 and 16 bar patterns with 16th step resolution all the time. Something similar would be awesome.
the roland people should be ashamed of themselves. just like the jd-xi the jd-xa has NO SWING! wtf? what are they thinking?? on the back of the jd-xa they want us to purchase the £300 sbx sync box which gives control over swing. roland suckz big time imho. sixteen pattern tracks without shuffle is for kraftwerk fanboys only. man, my old mc808 is more versatile than this shitty sequencer. epic fail.
Dude looks so much like Gary Busey, adds a whole other dimension to the videos and makes almost willing to forget the horrible 90´s goa sound from the introduction video.
Strong machine but awfull design with these red circus lights
And a very lightweight with it’s 7kg.
Haha OH MY GOD I WANT THIS!
That demo at the end was great. Man I won’t be buying one yet since I have enough gear right now but I’ll definitely pick one up second hand when the time comes!
So…. Sample based digital VA oscillators? Hope they don’t suffer from timbre changes the same way as their other modern VAs do.
It seems to me like this is an sh-201 with an analog section, sequencer, and more effects tacked on.
Nothing revolutionary here, more evolutionary.
Still not a big fan of the way roland integrates the 4 parts In their synths. Nord seems to do it much more elegantly.
Still, it may not sound half bad.
There are modelled digital oscillators, analog oscillators, samples, modelled digital filters, analog filters, and all mix and match.
Not just stack, but cross modulate as well.
If this is not revolutionary synth, what has ever been a revolutionary synth.
This is revolutionary synth. Might conceptually(step sequencer based hybrid workstation) be the most revolutionary synth since the M1.
What Nord has ever “integrated the 4 parts” in what ever way, let alone more elegantly. And you can only integrate those 4 parts in so many ways.
lol i really can’t believe that you are a real commenting person. You sir, are employed. The army has stepped up the ranks to flood this article today.
perhaps revolution in tin sound and social media fakery. a 12 year old doesnt have 2 grand btw, i.e. the only people who don’t see through this sea of employed ‘realistic’ ad spam.
the tin sound was one thing, but the ‘no compromises’ 4 octave keyboard haha… poor roland
I don’t work for Roland and this synth looks really great!!!!!!!
Sounds great and looks great!
I only wish it had 6 voices of analog instead of 4
and it would have been great to have variable pulse width for the saw wave?
I will definitely be getting one of these!
I don’t get the negative troll comments???????
There is no pleasing some trolls, if you are going to critic this synth…come up with real reasons with specifics not just I hate Roland crap.
one doesn’t need bother to list specifics when talking about the sound quality of these two new hybrid rolands. You only need listen to hear the thin digital squelch, only need to look at the whole presentation to see they are grasping onto buzzwords from afar without actually finding a niche for a useful product they could build. On top of this foundation of fake nothing, they lay on a social media layer and a vague non-standard specs layer to amass a buffer of time where the average person may order one, before realizing there really is no merit to the product, especially at the price. This is a softsynth on a sub-standard 4 octave keybed! 2 grand? it’s only there for the purchases based on confusion.
That’s bullshit…..that is truly full blown bullshit!
the sound is pristine and very good quality, the filters sound smooth and high quality. This synth is not perfect but no synth is perfect!
I have had moogs and even then on some patches they sound tiny and thin, it matters on the sound design or the designer and what the patch is.
I do not buy your shit one bit!
And that is your critic…..squelchy? Interesting, hmmh! I don’t agree.
I have been playing synths for 35 years. I also play guitar, drums, violin, and the cornet. I have owned/played the Jupiter-8, Jupiter-6, Sequential Circuits Prophet 610, Juno-106, JD-800, XV-3080, Motif, DW-8000, Oberheim Matrix-6, and the R-8. I have not played on the JD-XA, but I did play around with the Roland JD-Xi at a local music store. I was surprised at how simple it was to modify sounds. It was intuitive and reminded me of the Juno-106 – regarding how easy it was to alter paremeters. Moving the parameters modulated/changed the sound in a gradual way (unlike the Jupiter-6) such that the change in sound in real time could be used in recording a track or live – just like Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran did on the sequenced delayed 8th notes on Save a Prayer. He manipulated the LFO during the sequence at the very end and raised the notes 1 octave. The digital effects added to the analog sounds was just like processing a Jupiter-6 through an external digital effects. It sounded that good to me. With the Integra-7 sonic engine, that means the quality and realism has to be similar to the new Roland Jupiter-80 and Integra-7 sound module, which must exceed the digital quality of sounds found in the XV-3080 and XV-5080. Enabling cross modulation will undoubtedly enable synthesizer experts to create totally new sounds. I wonder if the microphone input will take guitar or drum machine input to allow audio triggering of chords held down. I can’t wait to find out. Anyone who is putting this new synthesizer down without having played on it or the JD-Xi must be a Korg, Nord, or Yamaha employee! I can’t wait to get one of these along with the V-Synth and Dave Smith Instrument Prophet 08 (or Prophet 6).
This synth seems to really be splitting crowds ppl either love it or hate it.
Six voices would have been better.
Leaving Scott Tibbs in the USA would have been better.
I’ll be spraying mine clear matte the minute I get it.
I’m pissed they left out the drums
I wish someone would demo the sequencer in detail and leave the laptop at home.
I wish they’d put out a high resin age of the synth like any other manufacturer would so we can read the features on the board which Tibbs fails to walk through in every demo.
And I wish Roland would realise techno is dead and kill all those presets!
If I can’t initialise those presets into oblivion, I may return the synth for a refund.
Regarding my earlier post about the digital oscs on the XA… There is a very big difference between, say, a JP-8000 or nord lead 4, and a roland sh-201 (and possibly the XA… It’s still unclear).
Some VA oscillators use math to generate a tone, while others use samples of said oscillator waves mapped across the key range. The sonic difference is huge, especially when using the oscillators to modulate stuff, when creating percussive sequences, using envelopes to modulate osc pitch, or generally when making complex timbres that have must be played over a large range. This is especially noticeable with polyphonic stuff.
AFAIK, the XA will be sample-based VA, like the sh-201. Could be wrong about that though.
As for the nord comparison, the way nord’s 4 parts interact has been greatly improved with the lead 4 model. Combining parts, splitting, and layering is very easy, as well as saving and retrieving individual sounds and combos. One thing the nord does especially well is the patch and modulation morphing. It would be cool to see such functionality added to the XA. I used the nord as a comparison because the synth architecture is similar and so is the price.
On a side note, roland def needs to make better promo videos. More specs and less synth wanking please.
I have a number of analogues and have had for many years. I also have some great digital synths.
I reckon Novations KS Rack is one of the best implemented synths ever made.
It is amusing to see top dollar gear falling short on simple function and sonics.
Roland would do well to fetch out the juno line .
That’s an odd one to pick, I found the KS series to be a step down from the Supernovas in nearly every way. Anyway, all these 90’s 00’s VA’s a great for multitimbrality, but they aren’t really meant to operate that way on their own – some have very powerful arpeggiators, but you’d need to plug them in to a sequencer to really sketch out an arrangement. It’s great to see more synths with real sequencers built in, it can only give more options when writing!
I’m not sure if I missed something.. In the analog section, what kind of oscillators are used? It never mentions ‘analog oscillators’ anywhere on this page. VCOs, DCOs, NCOs?
Thin sounding dcos. These are NOT the thicker sounding DCOs of Roland’s budget line 80s analogs, nor are they VCOs of the Jupiter 8 type.
i NEVER thought i’d want to give Roland my money so quickly
Is the analog section 4-voice polyphonic, i.e. 4 notes max, and 4-part multitimbrall? In other words: like 4 distinct monosynths?
It’s polyphonic, but can be split into up to 4 parts. For example have an analog bass track, two voice analog strings, an analog lead and still have 4 digital parts left.
I played with the prototype a month ago and was blown away . That was after 15 min of hands on . Ordered it there and then .
How did you place an order when it was still a prototype?!
I work for a reseller . Do all brands of synths , can test them at home . So yeah i get invited and placed my order directly with roland . As i did with moog etc . So i kind of know gear . You don’t have to believe me of course ….
Looks like a very capable synth, combining the advantages of analog and digital is definitely the way to go.
I’m just wondering about Roland’s fascination with generic 1990s-2000s dance music in the JD-Xi and now the JD-Xa demos. They can’t be that out of touch with current trends, so maybe they try to pitch this product line to thirty-something hobbyists with a nostalgia for that era?
The answer to your question is: obiosvely, Yes.
But, the only gear that i buy in 2015 from roland is: an analog-digital groovebox-sequencer-sampler.
(with minimum 16 multi efx on board!!)
Because, is a dance machine, perfect for live situation.
I’m thirty something and that stuff makes me wretch more violently now than it did then, atleast it was NEW then, now it is hackneyed old crap.
Tibbs just ain’t the same without the ponytail!
Yeah. He used to make strange demos(which I liked). He became normal. Still looks good, but tries to sound perhaps a bit too typical.
Normal except for that voice sample, which made me feel like I should be getting free candy in the back of a nondescript windowless van.
Nice that it takes Integra-7 sounds, this and an Integra-7 alone would make for some powerful soundscaping – with 20 Supernatural + 4 analog parts. Good to see some Aftertouch in a Roland, and also noticed they seem to have put real pitch and mod wheels in the last two synths. I have never understood why they persist on putting that stupid dual pitch/mod thing onto a good controller or synth. Roland do some nice midi controllers, I would have a couple if it wasn’t for the pitch/mod thing.
Really great to see Roland back in top form – and this synth is a beauty – I wish them all the best!
And for once they’re the ones innovating: I don’t see that KORG really have a competing product blending digital & analog like this (yet!). Elektron must be upset however.
Roland is back baby! I can’t way to try one out. I know better than to just order something because I’m hyped up about it, but I like what I see and hear so far. It would’ve been nice to have a drive stage for the analog filter (maybe there is and I missed it?). I don’t get the people who think that it’s ugly, I think it looks awesome personally. I’d like to hear some more lead sounds out of it.
Seems jack of all trades, master of none
Looks like a lot of fun to play. I’m not that impressed with the sound so far. I’m disappointed that it only has 4 voice analog polyphony, and the oscillators don’t sound all that meaty. With all the features the price seems fair. A new synth is a good synth.
Not a bad concept and design. It’s not for the analog purist, of course. But the idea of versatile digital oscillators with analog filters combind with dcos isn’t that bad at all. One might argue that Roland should have left out the drum section and include some deeper synthesis and more voices instead. But on the other hand this might just be just the beginning. Maybe we’ll get a JD-X8 soon. Hopefully with Jupiter 4 like VCOs, dear Roland.
The JD-XA looks really nice, but the glassy surface does get ugly when you leave fingerprints on it. I guess they include some cleaning cloth 🙂
hell yeah to the VCO version. really wish there was a beefed up version of the korg volcas (which had VCO) on the market. even just one, a decent 6 or 8 voice 1 vco per voice, a new generation digital-controlled Polysix type synth.
A little disappointed there’s not drums like what’s on the JD-Xi but this synth does have a D50 vibe i’m digging and a little bit of jx-3p from a patch i heard too.
wow, it truly is the synth renaiisance!!!!
First Moog and Dave Smith/Sequential were out the gate announcing the return of Moog Modular and a true poly vco Prophet 6. Now we’ve got this gorgeous JD-XA from Roland, and the 008 from Modal, also a poly vco synth. What i don’t get is why only Dave Smith was the only one knowing how to make analog poly’s up until the Elektron 4. Seems all the makers have been keeping quiet until the big surprise. But if Dave was the only one who still had the right chips for poly, how did everyone else get theirs?
Great Scott! A pretty impressive product. The flashy looks may not suit well to some for sure. The shiny black reminded me of a phone that has fingerprints all over. A pity about missing swing function and lack of drums found in Xi. I wonder if there will be a grand daddy above the Xi and XA in future. I get this feeling product design people had half a mind on the EDM-esque market.
“No Compromise” synth, Roland says? Um, err…..only 4 analog voices (and pretty thin sounding DCO voices at that) is not a compromise? I’m pissed that Roland cock teased us comparing it to the Jupiter 8, then we get this. Just like they did with the Jupiter 80. When will they get it right – we are asking for an analog poly, one with at least 6 voices, with the classic rich analog sound of Rolands 70s/80s synths. Yeesh!
This is still a lot better than anyone expected from them, I’m amazed they’re doing analogue at all, and don’t forget they’ve gone MODULAR! It’s astonishing the turn around, we are hearing nothing from Korg this Messe and its Roland with all the surprises.
It’s FANTASTICALLY no compromise synth for $2000.
Each analog voice costs roughly same as Prophet 6 voice. But this has 4 analog parts compared to DSI’s MONOtimbral and Modulus’ BI-timbral synths. And they sound roughly as good, but the XA has more sound design options as it is pushing sound design possibilities into some new territories by being able to really smear analog and digital technologies together in crazy ways, if you want.
And ofcourse in addition to just having an analog synth, you get a 4 part VA, 16 part sequencer to rule them all internally and externally and a vocoder FOR FREE.
For a synthetist this is the most exciting new synth and new territory for a long time, or longer time I could even remember. And even for just a keyboardist this covers a lot of genres in one neat package.
That’s some dangerous synth math, you might end up with a timberwolf in your studio.
Roland confuse the fok out of me.
JD-XA: Combination of JD-800 and Oberheim OB-XA?
What an original name.
Big synth with only 4-voices of analog.
Does it come with one of those little cleaning cloths you get with an iPad, to wipe the finger prints off that glossy panel?
Really, with all that’s on offer these days and with all that we have seen produced in the past, how is this thing going to add anything new?
It’s probably made in China too.
Yes, it is made in China. And ill-conceived in Japan. I read an article that they Roland’s inhouse engineering team consulted a Roland engineer that worked on the Jupiter 8, before he retired from Roland. Apparently, they didn’t listen too well during their consultation. This synth’s analog section is not meaty like the Jupiter 8, and it’s not sweet like the Jupiter 8. It sounds a lot more like a Prophet 12 – which is actually digital. And this is their “flagship”? At 4 octaves? And only 4 analog voices? WTF?
And yet you have not displayed any excitement over on the Modal 008 thread… Why? It is exactly what you’re looking for… Why are you here wasting your breath bad-mouthing a synth that is delivering EXACTLY what people have been asking for… and more.
Honestly, go to the Modal 008 thread. Please. Both of you. Dex and Joe. Seriously. It’s the synth for you. not this one.
Unless of course you’re only comfortable with expressing negative emotions. In which case, instead of buying a new 8-voice all-analog synthesizer, you may want to spend that money on a few therapy sessions.
I think many of these complaints are disingenuous and reaching for something to complain about . For years I have read comments about people wanting analog poly, now there’s not enough voices …I don’t recall anyone saying that about the elektron analog keys or analog four or many of the dsi synths. If moog were to release a four voice analog poly the same people who are criticizing Roland would be tripping over themselves saying how great it was – recall the buzz over the sub 37 being duo phonic? If this thing had eight voices I’m sure everyone would be complaining about the $3000 price tag. I have been pretty critical of Roland over the past few years and am happy they seem to be getting more serious about putting competitive synths out to the market.
Yes. The disinformation is reaching new levels of ridiculousness. Rolands competitors are working overtime in trying to push certain negative buzz words and mental images into this synth.
This is great – finally a Roland Synth I’d want to buy. This, along with the System 1M and System 500 have restored my faith in them. I’d look to add this to my studio, no doubts. It would have been nice to have a 61 key keyboard, but I can live with 49 keys simply because of the potential creatively of fusing analog and digital in the way this synth does. Good job Roland…. now its Korg’s turn. ARP 2600 re-issue next year at NAMM maybe?
I think this looks really good – very futuristic. Interesting they have wheels and a pitchbend stick. Good on Roland…….they have done something a bit different here. I’ve always thought Scott Tibbs’s Roland demos on Youtube were really really good.
Me too, although I miss his own musical style.
I would love to see him doing a typical demo for everyman AND crazy Tibbs demo for those who like spicy music. Especially in this case as this synth would be covering a lot of sonic and musical ground.
When he blended the analog and digital sections, showing off how the digi side added a great edge to the analog one, I was impressed. Never mind all the rest per se; the *voice* of the total instrument is Right. IMO, its a quality step up for the company. The FA series is perfectly solid, but the JD-Xa is basically what people have been hollering for. It smells too dancey in a couple of ways, but with the Integra engine in it, you can be confident that there’s a lot more under the hood. “Mom, what can’t I have a JD-Xa and a Prophet-6? Jimmy’s mom bought HIM a Modal 002!!”
This synth is fantastic! But it has only 64 steps available per track in the sequencer, which is very limited, IMO. In this price I would like to see more advanced sequencer capabilities.
This just doesn’t sound very good to my ears. It’s too bad it’s the older supernatural tech and not the ACB stuff from the other Roland. I’d love to have the ACB supersaw from the System-1 ran through analog filters. The Supernatural sounds are sample based as far as I know and not generated dynamically with DSP like the ACB or many other soft and hard digital synths. A great idea for the diversity of a wavetable synth, but no wave interpolation.
The quality of the tones though…
That JDXA Supersaw in the third video. It sounds so bad! Just an ugly wall of fizz. It almost sounds like white noise.
And in the demo song that plays, during the last video, I think I can hear aliasing. When that aggro distorted 303ish bass/lead line raises in pitch, it sure sounds like aliasing artifacts.
What! No D Beams!!! I need CV D Beams for my analogs! Roland dropped the ball. Me no buy!
Man this synth is priced amazingly for all it can do. I am going to have to save for this but I think it will be worth it. The ability to analog filter the digital osc section is nice.
Played it yesterday at Musikmesse for quite a time…
didn’t like it at all.
I don’t know, what it is, but it didn’t gave me the “IWANNAPLAYLONGERANDBUYIT!”-inspiration…
I think the red light buttons and controllers on the surface give you more of an overload than a good workflow.
And from keybed to controllers it feels more like a plastic toy, than a synthesizer in that price range.
Sound is nice, but also didn’t give me any WHOAAA-effect even after fiddling around with controllers.
I own a DS Pro One, a Moog Sub37, Elektron stuff, Minibrute, Kronos, Kingkorg and AIRA stuff and all of them give me more Wannaplay-attitude than the JXDA.
My 2 Cents ….
Don’t take this the wrong way, but it could simply be because you suck. There are many homemade demos on YouTube in which people make great synths sound absolutely wretched and uninspiring. You could suck on the JD-XA and think it sounds uninspiring while someone else thinks that the synth sounds great. It’s very subjective.
As for the panel layout and “plastic toy” vibe, that is also somewhat subjective. Have you played on the cheap piece of crap mini-key bed used on the MS-20 mini and Korg Odyssey? Talk about plastic toy vibe. But these synths still sound good.
I agree with you that a $2,000+ synth that is ostensibly a professional flagship instrument should have good build quality for that money. Yet many people pay three times that much to get an unreliable (and sometimes junky) 30+ year old synth because of its sound and features (personally, I don’t know why anyone would spend that kind of money for one of those old synths when there is so much good stuff available now brand new with a warranty, but that’s also subjective and a different discussion for another day).
Based on what I’ve heard so far about and from the JD-XA, I like it. The ability to combine the digital and analog sound engines (which, by the way, can’t be done on the new JD-Xi) opens up a nearly limitless world of new sonic possibilities.
Yeah, four voices may be a bit limiting for some music styles (the digital/analog hybrid DSI PolyEvolver also only has four voice polyphony), but for most folks, that’s plenty. You can still play Jump on it. Isn’t that all that matters?
Nice! This will be the perfect addition to my Fantom G6 and V-Synth XT. I just hope they have eliminated all parameter stepping. The only thing that I would equaliy like to play is the DSI Pro 2.