Roland JD-Xi As A Beatbox

This video, via perfectcircuitaudio, demonstrates the drum sounds of the Roland JD-Xi.

The JD-Xi has four channels: drums, analog monosynth and two digital synth.

The drum sound library includes many types of electronic and acoustic kits.  Drum instrument assignments are labeled above the keys for quick identification. You can customize the kits by adjusting filter, envelope, pitch and pan parameters on individual drum sounds.

The Roland JD-Xi has a street price of about $500. See the Roland site for more info.

21 thoughts on “Roland JD-Xi As A Beatbox

  1. I’m actually really excited about this thing, sure it’s not super knobby but the engines are deep under the surface and the interface looks intuitive and fun.

    1. I think many more people would feel the same way if Roland wasn’t still crippling gear in this age, to tier that gullible market. Being able to save a preset, other than in current active set would be one disability to remove, and is a sociopathic feature for anyone to consider implementing into technology. Another, would be to add a software editor, and considering it is based on existing tech, SuperNatural, a good coder could have written a software editor from the schematics, which is a massive hint at how purposefully crippled this thing is. It really isn’t a bad machine other than the purposeful limitations that Roland have thrust upon it. I’d buy it if certain issues got addressed. But as it stands, if I was to buy this then I would be actively saying I am a Gimp to Roland’s stature. And I am not that, The more I see this crippled piece of tech, the more I am disliking how crippled it is – awful business for anyone to conduct in this age – it is like a Corp is saying they hate you for having little money to spend so they will screw you deeply and completely.

    1. I don’t think asking to save a preset exclusive of the program is much of an ask, do you? In fact nobody is asking for that as it is a given that a synth can save a preset sound independently of the scene. What is the point of naming and saving something you can’t use? What they are asking a user to do it an insult. This is how it works, you make a scene with your own patches SYNTH1, SYNTH2 ANALOG1 & DRUMS1 and then another scene with SYNTH3, SYNTH4, ANALOG2 & DRUMS2, now this represents hours of patching in that little window, even days in some cases. Now if you want to make a new scene with SYNTH1, SYNTH4, ANALOG2 & DRUMS2, or any combination of patches you made in previous scenes, well you can’t. You need to re-do everything from scratch in that little window, you can’t load them in, or even cut and paste between scenes, or even use a software editor to help – that is misanthropic by design, someone at Roland hates you and the time you keep. Surprisingly many skipped over this aspect when previewing the machines that Roland supplied – hmmmm, like they almost were trying to bury it. It wouldn’t cost a penny to fix this, well it would now as money has been spent to purposely cripple it already. But then, if you support a company is such shocking practice then I think you deserve that workflow, as you kinda are asking for it – so I guess that is fair play and fair comment.

      1. That would certainly dissuade me from buying it. Deliberately limited from what you describe. Although unrelated, one of the reasons I like my Roland VG99 guitar FX unit is that I can edit everything without limitations and the PC editor software makes it fun. At least if this synth had desktop editing software to get around the limitations it would have been viable.

      2. You can go into another scene (or program as Roland calls it), copy any sound/preset you made in in that scene/program, and paste it into your new one. I do agree tho that it obviously would be better to have a proper user preset system in place. I dunno who decided that grooveboxes should not have this. The Korg Electribe 2 can’t even copy single parts/sounds over to another pattern, so on that you do need to rebuild the sounds from scratch (owning both id say it’s not the end of the world since you don’t need to menu dive on the Tribe).

  2. I walked into a guitar center a couple weeks ago for something completely unrelated, and found one of these on a shelf. After fiddling with it for about 10 minutes, I was seriously impressed with how fun it was! Lot’s of tweaky fiddly fun and a nice range of sounds. I certainly wouldn’t say this is a desert island synth, but it’s a hell of a starter board, and a pretty great portable fun factory for the rest of us, if so inclined. I dialed up several sounds I would have happily used in a song.

    This one has legs!

  3. What in 15 years?!?

    I checked this thing out the other day and used the sub oscillator, it sounded great. I am now convinced a sub osc makes a difference.

    1. you said “WHAT?!!?!?!?!?” ….

      but then you said that thing about sub-oscillators, and now it all makes sense

  4. I’ve owned TONS of gear over the years and still own a few Roland machines. TR8 and MX1. I’ve had a few of their synths and groove boxes in the past too. Idk what it is about Roland stuff but I just do not like the sound of their digital machines. They ALL sound so cheesy and just overly fake to me. I can’t shake this feeling.
    That said I love the TR8 and mx1.
    I had GAIA! Interface was amazing but it sounded like my kids $20 toy keyboard. I wonder why that is?

  5. I originally thought I’d be using the XI just as a drum machine but in the end it’s kind of disappointing, for acoustic drums there’s very little only the Jazz kit really and the Ride, which is a really important aspect of any kit is super limited, there’s maybe one ride-ish sound.

    I mean if you’re looking for a flexible all-rounder this isn’t it – that’s all i’m saying, yes it’s good for the money, but I think i’d be happier to look at a more dedicated device – you never know what’s around the corner – the Dr. Rhythms have had a lot of potential but no decent TR-style sequencing. But htis is a new roland now… anything could happen.

    1. Hi Garak, I know what you mean about the drums on the JD-Xi. Maybe they will have more options with the Axial sound banks for the JD-Xi? Anyway, can you tell me how to pan the individual drum sounds. I can’t figure it out! But I have figured out a few tricks by using the JD-Xi with my DAW if you are interested. things like creating drum rolls and changing the quantizization settings via the DAW.

  6. So I picked one up and have been playing with it for a couple of weeks. Can anyone tell me how to pan the drum parts? Like pan the snare to the left and toms or highhats to the right? The JD-Xi has some limitations and the sounds are Roland if you know what I mean. The sounds are good but not great. They are totally usable though. The Microkorg XL sounds better to me. The XL though has no drums, no sequencer, and will drive you crazy menu diving. The JD-Xi is what it is and it’s a lot of fun and even inspiring. So, please help! how tdo you pan the individuall drum sounds?

Leave a Reply