polynominal logo
Synthesizers Drum machines Samplers Effects 8-16bits+ toys HOME

Roland JD-800




Roland JD-800

audio demo Country: Japan
Weight: 15 Kg
Dimensions: 1040 x 424 x 118 mm
audio demo trend price : 500€
manual serviec manual schematics demo video comments


ROLAND JD-800 (1991)
Programmable Synthesizer


Widely inspired by past analog machine philosophy: every parameters are editable in real-time using the main panel.

Despite this interesting approach, the JD800 was commercial failure and limited to a short production, then replaced by the enhanced module Roland JD-990.


jd800 welcome screen
roland jd800 tech

info KEYBOARD 61 velocity keys with aftertouch.
The main panel features 2 graphic displays, 61 sliders, 66 buttons and 3 rotary knobs; on the left side a pitchbender / modulation joystick.

Back panel terminal connectors:
- main signal out
- analog auxiliary out (no fx)
- Midi interface
- headphones out
- hold footswitch input
- expression pedal input assignable to volume / modulation / pan / aftertouch.

edit TECH
main core H8532 (at IC36) manages up to 24 voice or digital oscillators polyphony.

STRUCTURE a single JD patch is composed by up to 4 PCM oscillator (a sample) layer generated by the "WG" wave generator.
Each layer with individual parameters such as:
- level mix
- pitch coarse and fine
- pitch random amount
- key follow modes.

cpu jd800


cpu jd800


wave WAVETABLE internal 4 MB ROM contains 108 PCM waveforms.

The waveforms are organized into 4 categorie:
1- basic waveforms inspired by analog synthesizer like fatsquare, synsaw or fatsaw
2- mathematical transients and overtones inspired from previous Roland D-50 L.A. synthesis
3- one shot percussion
4- acoustic instruments- some bread and butter samples.

jd800 transients

EXPANSION extra waveforms can be added with external JV PCM cards (SO-PCM1 series) compatible with earlier JV series like Roland JV-1080 or JV-880*

SL-JD80 SERIES there are 8 sets of 2 cards "SL-JD80" series (PCM+ DATA) officialy released by Roland purposely made for the JD-800:

roland jd800 cards collection
SL-JD80-01 Drums & Percussion STANDARD
SL-JD80-02 Drums & Percussion DANCE
SL-JD80-03 Rock Drums
SL-JD80-04 Strings Ensemble
SL-JD80-05 Brass Section
SL-JD80-06 Grand Piano
SL-JD80-07 Guitar Collection
SL-JD80-08 Accordion

roland jd800 cards collection
*NOTE: the JD-800 is not able to the 2 mb cards, up to 1mb max - but rackmount JD-990 does.

filter FILTER
a multimode (lowpass / highpass / bandpass) digital resonant filter is assigned for each PCM layer.



3 EGs for each PCM layer:
- EG pitch: 3 segments level + 3 times
- EG filter (TVF) : 4 segments + 4 times
- EG amplitude (TVA) 4 segments + 4 times
All EGs offers a Keyfollow tracker mode.

eg jd800

lfo LFO
up to 2 delayed, bipolar and interchangeabl emodulators with variable depth and note retrig mode with fade IN time.
LFO Destinations are:
- LFO to amplitude
- LFO to filter cutoff
- LFO to oscillator pitch.
LFO shapes:triangle, saw, square, sample & hold and random with variable phase attack.


performance PERFORMANCE
each PCM layer can be controlled as an independent multipart section, in fact there are several parameters for each of them:
- key zone range
- monophonic mode
- legato mode with portamento
- split / dual mode
- upper / lower Midi channel assignment
- bender range assignment
- key transpose (1 oct)
- modwheel assignable to LFO1/ LFO2/ both
- aftertouch can be assigned to TVF / TVA / WG pitch
- breath can be assigned to volume / amplitude / modulation aftertouch
NOTE: the fifth part is dedicated to drum kit and percussions.

cpu jd800


filter EFFECT
FX DSP is split into 2 groups: A (mono) + B (stereophonic) + 3 bands EQ with shelving while Midband has peak. Effects from A-B can be chained in different combination order:

Group A: Group B:
- 7 distortions models with drive amount
- phaser with depth / rate
- dynamic enhancer
- a 6 bands spectrum enhancer
- stereo delay up to 600 Ms
- chorus with rate, depth and feedback
- reverbs

midi MIDI
some basic CC# including:
- modulation CC#1
- stereo panning
- volume C#7
- hold / sustain.
TECH: Full Sysex implementation transmits all slider movements to program another JD-800 or JD-990 unit but unit IDs must be matched.

jd orange


memory MEMORY:

- 64 RAM patches
Memory doubled if card model M-256 E or D (also 512) is fitted / M-128 is NOT compatible.
Battery replacement: JD memory system works with a lithium 3V Cr-2032.
Note: JD-990 is compatible with JD-800 but not the contrary.

roland jd800 battery replacement

memory MAINTENANCE JD800 is a machine plagued by common technical issues:
- red resin under the keys drips over mainboard sticking the key circuit switch creating dead contacts
- sliders with random values
- like Roland U-20 and D-70 contact rubbers are quite fragile and may need new board stripes.
Check the guide video below:

red glues problem resinRestoring and fixing a Jd-800
can be a long and expensive job by technical center

red glues problem resin
... instead follow this DIY video guide
- Repair video guide


red glue
Disgusting red resin (glue)


memroy EDITOR there are some third-part computer software for quick editing:
- Soundquest (PC/MAC $$)
- VST panel for CTRLR (Linux, MAC, PC - open source)

jd800 editor



roland jd990
JD-990 the rackmount expansion features great improvements (roland jd800 vs jd990):
- 2 more ROM MB
- true multitimbric (8 parts)
- 8 analog outs
- panning position
- matrix modulation
- polyphonic portamento
- Sr-Jv slot expansion (20 cards)
- 3 new LFO shapes: sinewave, trapezoid, chaos
- waveform sync
- frequency cross modulation FXM
- ringmodulator
- 5 more algorithms structures
- longer delay time and Midi syncable
- JD800 cannot read more than 1mb PCM
- JD990 lacks hold pedal and expression pedals.
- Jd990 lacks real time controls
Roland JX-XA Roland JX-XA analog digital crossover synthesizer. Should be the Jd800 sucessor. Not tried yet.


effet VST PLUGIN / SAMPLED VERSION there are some free and commercial samples set:

  name price link demo
Sampleism JD-850

-Legowelt Roland Jd800

Sampleism JD-850 (removed from market for copyright issues)

free sample pack



demo Factory demo
demo official Roland demo
demo PIANO amelie
demo EP klunky rhodes
demo ORGAN jam
demo ORGAN hammond ?
demo FLUTE knightshood
demo BASS analog
demo BASS attack
demo BASS truzzo
demo SYNTH happy island
demo SYNTH doom bells
demo SYNTH brass 8 bits
demo SYNTH going crazy
demo SYNTH gated phased
demo SYNTH acid seq
demo SYNTH whistle 70
demo SYNTH like a ring modulator
demo SYNTH squared
demo SYNTH delay
demo SYNTH 1 of the preset
demo SYNTH funky synth
demo SYNTH Jd cliché
demo SYNTH mono legato solo lead
demo SYNTH 90 sound
demo SYNTH stereo drive
demo PAD vectorize
demo PAD ethereal voice
demo PAD Sweet
demo PAD time lord
demo PAD french air
demo PAD choir
demo PAD algorithm
demo PAD brassy
demo PAD EG
demo PAD slided
demo PAD wind pad
demo PAD vector shimmer
demo PAD sample and hold II
demo AMBIENT: abyss
demo AMBIENT: resonant bell curve
demo FX: drone
demo FX future drums
demo FX atmosphere noise
demo FX sample and hold?
demo FX bending noise
demo FX 8 bits


first 40 factory presets My 60 Presets Roland JD-800 Demo - Filters Saw Wave
first 40 factory presets My 60 Presets Filters Saw Wave




press "data transfer" and choose "factory reset" then "yes"





brochure 1
memory original brochure




roland jd800 and jd990
memory original brochure


brochure 1
memory original brochure


brochure 1
memory original brochure


brochure 1
memory original brochure


brochure 1
memory original brochure


brochure 1
memory original brochure


brochure 1
memory original brochure


jd800  magazine
memory original brochure


jd800 sound
memory original brochure


jd800 scan
memory original brochure

brochure 1
memory memory mug jd


brochure 1
memory memoryswag tshirt


jd800 patchbook
memoryjd800 patchbook
rare! -anyone to scan it?


Customs by customsynth UK:

brochure 1

brochure 1

brochure 1
memory white



Roland JD-800 for sale

Roland JD-800 for sale



solid solid
Pad killer unreliable master


REVIEW "A true real-time digital experience for digital pads and sweeping sound. Sadly today the technical maintenance can be a problem! so If you do not care for real-time functions, consider a Roland JD-990for reliability and superior features."

manual manual
- sound controls - unreliable hardware
- strings/pads or sweeps - no Srjv slot

logo jd800
"The Jd800 is a state-of-the-art digital synthesizer specially designed to enhance on the most enjoyable aspects of the synthesis: the fun of creating your own sound." Roland Manual

Add Comment or Review



polynominal logo
      For sale Comment Contact
Synthesizers Drum machines Samplers Effects 8-16bits+ toys HOME

all snapshots*, sounds, texts copyright Polynominal.com / Eric Pochesci
* brochure and merchandising items found on Ebay.
* jd800 custom pic by customsynth.co.uk

Roland jd800 3.0 out of 5 based on 38 ratings. price €400