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Roland JD-800




Roland JD-800


audio demo Country: Japan
Weight: 15 Kg
Dimensions: 1040 (w) x 424 (h) x 118 (d) 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.

"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

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 knob. 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 is a Hitachi H8/532 (at IC36) which manages up to 24 voice or digital oscillators polyphony - DAC based on a 18 bits Burr Brown PCM61P.

STRUCTURE a single JD patch is based on pure rompler system, 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


wave WAVETABLE internal 4 MB ROM contains 108 PCM waveforms, further PCM can be added using EXPANSION cards.

The internal waveforms are organized into 10 categorie:

jd800 transients

Group name Address listen Spectral
analog synth 1-13 demo waveform1
digital synth 14-35 demo spectral view
Realistic sustain 36-45 demo realistic sustain
Percussive 46-61 demo percussive
enhanced Overtones 62-70 demo overtones
piano group 71-74 demo piano
Fast attack (one shot) 75-91 demo spectral fast attack
Wind family 92-97 demo memory
Noise 98-106 demo memory
Special FX 107-108 demo spectral 10

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:

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 TVF is assigned for each PCM layer.

demo HEAR low pass with resonance


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
Above - click for TVA/TVF EG board

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

Above - click for LFo 1 + LFo2 board

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

cpu jd800

demo HEAR reverb from dry to wet

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
(BELOW) Disgusting red resin (glue)

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

red 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
Sampleism JD-850

-Lego welt 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 AMBIENT: abyss
demo AMBIENT: resonant bell curve
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 FX 8 bits
demo FX bending noise
demo FX: drone
demo FX future drums
demo FX atmosphere noise
demo FX sample and hold?
demo XP: ALL LFO
demo XP: LPF filter
demo XP: reverb from dry to wet


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

Company: Roland
Model: JD-800
Class: Synthesizer
Keyboard: 61 keys
Dates: 1991
Price: 500€ (working)
Synthesis: PCM rompler
Resolution: 16 bits
ROM PCM size: 4 MB
N. wave: 108 PCM
Polyphony: 24 voices
Multitimbric: 8 parts
Oscillator: 4 digital osc
Filter: LPF/ HPF / BPF
LFO: 2 modulators
Envelope: 3 EGs
Memory: 64 slots
Effects: 2 DSP
CPU: H8/532
Demo: 50






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


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



DOWNLOAD 2000 free JD800 patches !

free korg m3r patches



jd800 artwork
memoryartwork )


brochure 1
memory original brochure

roland jd800 and jd990
memory original brochure

brochure 1
memory original ad

brochure 1
memory original brochure


brochure 1
memory original brochure


brochure 1
memory original brochure


brochure 1
memory original brochure


brochure 1
memory original ad


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

brochure 1
memory customsynth UK

brochure 1
memoryby customsynth UK

brochure 1
memoryby customsynth UK

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-990 for reliability and superior features."

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

logo jd800

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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