DIY MIDI Controller For The Roland JD-Xi

Maker and musician Oliver Hagen has designed a custom MIDI controller for the Roland JD-Xi synthesizer, the DivingBoard.

The Roland JD-Xi has a very powerful synth engine – boasting a basic analog voice, a drum machine and a 128-voice digital synth – but is minisynth, with limited controls, making patch programming slow. Developers have created multiple JD-Xi patch editor options, as a result.

The DivingBoard, though, is a home-made MIDI hardware controller controller. It’s designed “to solve the lack of parameter accessibility on the Roland JD-Xi synthesizer,” notes Hagen. “It differs from other solutions I’ve seen, in that customizability and potential ease-of-use are greater, and general use with a range of synthesizers is possible.”

It’s a DIY project, and materials are estimated to be about £60-£70. See the project site for details.

2 thoughts on “DIY MIDI Controller For The Roland JD-Xi

  1. I love seeing these projects appear. Clunky-arsed GUI design is the downfall of mini-synths that deserve better, because their engines are solid players. The DivingBoard easily triples the usefulness of a JD-Xi. I prefer software approaches now, but having more knobbage is rarely a bad thing. Thumbs up for a smart design.

  2. The JD-Xi was my gateway to modern synthesizers. I bought one the year it came out because I couldn’t find a Mininova around here, and now I’ve got a bunch of synths lying around. I still use the JD-Xi because it really does have a lot of great presets. In those seven years or whatever, I’ve not once designed a sound on it because a two-line LCD display that is dark-red on black that you frequently need to consult because so much is hidden in there was just a bafflingly terrible design decision on Roland’s part. Nice to see someone doing something about it. It is a great sounding synth, and does so much for the price.

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