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The ultimate Roland JV, JD, XV F.A.Q.

jv80

Super JV vs XV series
Following the JV/XP series were Roland’s XV series: 5080, 5050 and 3080. XV-5080 is mixed content 32kHz and 44.1 kHz. I got this later confirmed by Roland. (though some web pages list it as 32kHz ROM only, but this is not true). I will focus now on XV-5050 and compare it with JV-1080. Some users started complaining about the XV-5050 sounding a bit “thin”. There is some truth in that but what i can tell in reply is that 5050 sounds more hi-fi. Because of 44.1k sample content, some energy has been “lost” due to wider frequency coverage. Patches played on 1080 and 5050 side by side will sound different. This is a fact that i’ve verified myself. 5050 is more hi-fi and has that extra sheen while 1080 is more darker and is a bit more mix friendly when it comes to frequency and EQ. You will find some waveforms more hi fi sounding in XV when compared to Super JV series.

It should be worth mentioning that 5050 has some sort of permanent HPF filter at about 30 Hz, so you’ll definitely get a little bit less bass. But the high freq response is just spectacular if compared to something like a JV-1080. Especially when you start using the digital output and route it directly into DAW, it’s a no match in crystal clear sound.

One thing that is very different on 5050 vs 1080 is the dynamics. For some reason it seems that 5050 has some sort of compressor at its output. As a result, some of the patches have less dynamics going on in them. This is most obvious on layered sounds that have a lot of phasing between oscillators going on. While the same patch on 1080 will produce more differences in volume, on 5050 it is more constant. This can be good or bad, depending what kind of sound you need. For movie/TV scores you would probably want more dynamics going on, hence the 1080. And for dance music, you would go 5050 since it delivers that straight – in your face sound – right out of the box, without need to work on dynamics. For the above reasons 1080 definitely sounds more soft and gentle.

As of XV-5080, there does not seem to be any permanent high pass filtering going on. I should also mention that 5080 has some really good converters inside. Tested it side by side against XP-30 on the same patches and the difference was quite noticeable in what appears to be a far greater stereo field and definitely superior sonic quality of 5080 effects. I particularly remember one preset called Letter From Pat. In fact if you have both units, just load it and hear the difference for yourself. It’s day night difference in favor of 5080.

 

990

JD-990 vs. XV series
XV series contain the whole JD-990 waveform set. With XV-3080 being 32k and XV-5080 and XV-5050 with original 44.1kHz JD set. Some of the waveforms have been renamed, but they are there. It should be said that XV series have a destructive form of compression similar to mp3 and it can be spotted visually with most simple analyzer. There is no such compression on JD series. More on that in one of the chapters below.

Patch conversion JD into XV is directly not possible. However it would be possible to convert (manually) a patch from JD-990 into 5050 since Roland implemented the whole “Effects Block A” section from JD into 5050 (available as EFX called JD Mlt). Block B can be emulated with Chorus/Delay and Reverb. There is a whole article on this subject available on this website. Only difference is the filter cutoff numeration system. On JD-990 it goes from 0 to 99 while on 5050 it is 0 to 127.

There were some rumors on various forums that XV-5080 is 32kHz (thus being able to play only up to 16kHz). This however is simply not true. We will now take a look at a waveform spectra of a White Noise sample as played from JD-990 and XV-5080. What we can clearly see is that not only they are identical but they both go all the way up to 22kHz, which clearly indicates 44.1k playback.

02 01

Benefits of XV over JD is that the filter on XV has a greater dynamic range. There is no clipping issue on XV as opposed to JD when you set filter keytracking to 100%, find a resonant spot, press a chord and end up in harsh digital distortion (if resonance is above 40). Not only XV won’t distort, but even if it happens on some waveforms, there is one additional parameter called oscillator Gain that lets you reduce the volume of the waveform prior to being fed into filter. You can set it to 0dB or even -6dB. On JD it appears to be permanently set to +6dB (of XV equivalent) which is a pity. That’s the only feature i can’t regret not having on JD. Of course one thing that is very known is that there is definitely a difference in the high end of the filter. JD-990 will go a little bit higher in frequency and thus add more sweetness. The rest of the frequency range response is almost identical.

 

1080

The Sound
There has been a lot of talk about difference in sound within units that should be based on the same engine. We will here list the converters used which might indicate why some minor sonic differences. There’s an old rumor that the film guys prefer the sound of 1080 against newer the XV series such as 5050. This is a bit complex matter since it involved dynamics and not just frequency, and i have explained it in a chapter above. Let’s now take a look at converters of JV and JD units (notice: XP is a JV with a keyboard)

JV-80   32k  sample rate DAC: 18-bit PCM69P
JV-90   32k  sample rate DAC: 18-bit PCM69AU-1
JV-880  32k  sample rate DAC: 18-bit PCM69AP (main out)*
JV-1080 32k  sample rate DAC: 18-bit UPD63200GS-E2
JV-2080 32k  sample rate DAC: 18-bit PCM69AU
XP-30   32k  sample rate DAC: 24-bit AK4324
XP-50   32k  sample rate DAC: 18-bit UPD63200GS-E2
XP-60   32k  sample rate DAC: 18-bit PCM69AU
XP-80   32k  sample rate DAC: 18-bit PCM69AU
JD-800  44k1 sample rate DAC: 18-bit PCM61
JD-990  44k1 sample rate DAC: 18-bit PCM61P
* uses UPD6376GS-E2 for sub out
  • JV/XP use destructive form of wave compression (mp3 style)
  • JD does not use such kind of waveform compression
  • however both use waveform companding 16bit->8bit 1:2 compression ratio

Some people claim they can hear the difference of JV-1080 vs. JV-2080. Unfortunately i don’t have them side by side to verify this, but if someone can, simply load the same patch, record it and send it to me or on the Gearslutz forum and we will inspect it. The rumor is that 1080 sounds “better”, whatever that means. Only thing i can confirm is that converters on the JD-990 sound way better (more stereo width) than those on JV-1080. In fact, it’s probably the best sounding synthesizer that Roland ever designed. Hearing is believing and you should really give it a try if you didn’t by now. There’s a reason why JD-990 scores for much more than 2080, although from technical standpoint, 2080 offers much more waveforms and has better mod matrix.

Some quick points: Over the years i’ve had following machines JD-990, JV-1000, JV-1080, XP-50, XP-30, XV-5080, XV-5050. From first hand experience: if you want a lot of sounds and not the quality, XP-30 is an absolute winner. It you want max quality, then go either JD-990 or XV-5080. If you care for the high sheen filter sound, go with JD-990 as it can pull out the way XV-5080 can’t. But 5080 has much more waveforms (including some from Vintage Expansion) and has far superior effects, filter dynamic range and modulation engine (it features true matrix system). On top of that it can be used as a sample player since it has a “S-760 mode” (though that limits a lot of synthesis functions).

 

5080

Compatibility
Even the latest XV-5080 has a full backward compatibility, all the way to the JV-80. You can also load all of the patches from JV-80, JV-90 and JV-1000 into JV-1080 and JV-2080. Just like you can load JV-1080 patches into the last of the series XV-3080, XV-5080 and XV-5050. They are all full compatible with only a few minor exceptions when it comes to waveforms. Even the old JV-80 patch will sound identical if you properly convert it. Some correction in resonance is needed because old models JV-80, JV-90 and JV-1000 had a Soft and Hard resonance setting, next to the resonance amount. Because JV-80 has two resonance settings, Soft and Hard. Their equivalent on Super JV and XV is as following:

  • JV-80 Soft setting, resonance set to max = XV-5080 reso set to 44
  • JV-80 Hard setting, resonance set to max = XV-5080 reso set to 88

What applies to XV-5080 applies to all Super JV and XP series. I came with this info by testing them side by side. This also gives you idea that the filter in JV-1080 can go way beyond old JV in resonance power. This is not surprising since it is a filter from the JD series. To cut the long story short, whenever you load a JV-80 patch into Super JV or XV you will have to modify the resonance value.

Antialiasing filter in Super JV is superior to the one in JV – which, depending on what kind of sound you like, is welcome or not so feature. Mirroring in higher frequencies, particularly when using rich textures can fool the listener thinking the unit is 44kHz waveform set, though in reality it is not, it is 32kHz just like Super JV. I talk about mirroring above 16kHz which can happen during transposition, thought the waveforms are all 32 kHz. This is just an artifact that happens with low interpolation quality algorithms. So in a way, old JV can sound a bit more open than the later Super JV series, because of the weaker anti alias filter in JV.

Patches
JV-1080 contains some of the JV-80 patches. JV-2080 contains all JV-1080 patches plus a bank of additional ones. XV-5080 and 3080 contain all of the JV-2080 patches, plus a few new banks. XV-5050 contains all XV-5080 patches plus a bank of additional Fantom patches (these are located in the User area 1-128).

Destructive compression
With the Super JV series Roland used a destructive form of waveform compression which is very similar to mp3. Those parts of the spectra that are low in volume are simply erased. By observing same waveforms on JD-990 which does not use this form of compression and comparing it to the later JV series, it is easy to conclude that. Here is one example that clearly demonstrates it.

upsampled

The same waveform was chosen on JD-990 and XV-5080. Please ignore the mirror effect label on the image, it relates to interpolation and that shouldn’t concern us. If we look at the waveform from 5080 somewhere around 15kHz we can clearly see a hole. There are a lot of such waveforms in Super JV and XV series that have holes in them. Very similar how mp3 works. And as you can see there are no such holes in JD-990 which makes it clear that JD-990 does not use destructive form of waveform compression. It does use some other form though, but we will discuss that below.

Companding compression
Both the JD and Super JV series use a companding form of waveform compression often expressed with 1:2 waveform ratio. Here is how it works. Once the waveforms are sampled at the factory, they are being dynamically compressed and converted to 8 bit. The reason why they are compressed prior to that is to preserve low level information and somehow increase the dynamic range of this 8 bit file. At that stage they are put into machine’s ROM. Once the machine boots up it will load a waveform, convert it to 16 bit and apply dynamic expansion. Essentially the same thing what a compressor and expander that you have in your rack do. This way a compression of 1:2 waveform ROM has been achieved. This dates back into days when memory was very expensive, and manufacturers were looking way to squeeze as much as possible into fixed ROM space. Companding was on of the options where for every 16 bits of input, you would use only 8 bit to store them, yet with some tricks “preserve” the data.

The question now arises: does that make Super JV and JD series 8-bit machines? Well technically speaking no. These are not just plain 8 bit samples in the ROM but 8-bit companded samples. It makes a difference, because prior to being played, their original 16 bit dynamic range is partially restored. It should also be noted that this is the stage were a lot of “magic” is happening. By that i mean Roland’s (probably) custom algorithms to make these waveforms sound so musical and rich in sound. If it is the most simple μ-law companding algorithm, then hats off to Roland, they did a pretty good job. I haven’t meet a person that doesn’t like the sound of Super JV series and they would hardly believe these originate from 8 bit samples.

Engine and sample rate
Roland JV-1080 has a waveform set which is at 32 kHz. Its DAC runs at 32 kHz. We can see that in the image below. A sine wave was played at 8 kHz, and we can clearly see a mirror effect (aliasing) at 24 kHz. From this we can gather: 24 – 8 = 16. From this, Nyquist on JV-1080 is at 16 kHz. This tells us that a DAC runs at 32 kHz. In fact, just by looking at the picture you can immediately see that the whole image above 16 kHz is “mirrored”. You will have to click on the picture below for full size. Further more, by close inspection we can see a constant carrier wave at 32 kHz which could be the bleed thru signal of the DAC itself. Because i see no other explanation for a constantly preset 32 kHz signal, than the DAC itself.

jv1080

I’ve read on various forums some people claimed JV-1080 to be 44kHz DAC, but this is simply not true. It it was, then for start, the mirror effect (aliasing) would happen at 22 kHz, not 16 kHz. Another argument given was usually “this DAC can run at 44 kHz”. Yes, that is true. But it can run at 88.2 kHz as well! Even way beyond that without any problem. Looking at chip specs table isn’t always the best source of information. A simple measurement is sometimes all it takes.

Another argument that i read was 32 kHz DAC can not produce frequencies above 16 kHz. If this was the true, then the assumption of that same person (original post here) that JV-1080 runs on 44.1 kHz is wrong as well. Because we can clearly see in the image above the unit goes way over 30 kHz. So does that mean DAC runs at 60 kHz? No it does not! The problem in here is the wrong assumption to begin with. A 32 kHz DAC can in fact produce frequencies above 16 kHz. This is considered an artifact and is known as aliasing. Back then manufacturers spent a ton of resources to suppress and remove as much of these as possible. As we can see Roland went for the simpler / cheaper option with some basic LPF filter behind the DAC, far away in specs of today’s brick wall filters. In fact service manual suggest this scenario as well. As a result of all that a lot of signal is aliased.

scope

Image above shows a DAC chip world clock input (pin 13) on JV-1080. Signal is close to 5 volts peak to peak and is running at frequency of 32,00 kHz. The story of JV’s playback and engine sample rate ends here! For those interested in how i’ve obtained the data here’s a full story: In order to verify the assumption about the data shown on spectrogram, which shows mirror at 16 kHz and to be 100% i’ve downloaded specs sheet for the UPD63200. It is a DAC chip which is used in JV-1080. Next step was to find out the pin where the World Clock is located. And that turned out to be pin 13. After that i simply opened JV-1080, and located the chip. Luckily there is a via on the PCB board which can be used to connect the probe to, rather than touching the chip pins and risking of doing the short circuit (thank you Roland). So i connected the oscilloscope probe to pin 13. The result can be seen on the image above. Clock rate of the DAC chip was measured to be exactly 32,00 kHz. Just like we estimated by observing the spectrogram data. This confirms the earlier findings and verifies that JV-1080 is indeed a 32 kHz machine.

History tree

JV89a

 

Timeline:

  • JV-80 (1991) = a true masterpiece of it’s time.
  • JV-880 (1992) = rack vesion of JV-80.
  • JV-1000 (1993) = JV-80 + MC-50mkII sequencer, added new waveforms, floppy drive, 76 key.
  • JV-90 (1994 ) = JV-1000, without sequencer and floppy.
  • JV-1080 (1994) = huge step forward for Roland. This was the most popular module of 90’s. New filters, voice structures, 448 waveforms, matrix control, new features.
  • XP-50 (1995) = JV-1080 with keyboard, sequencer, floppy
  • JV-2080 (1997) = JV-1080 big LCD (better user interface), 3 EFX, 8 x expansion slots.
  • XP-80 (1996) = XP-50 with 320 x 80 dot LCD (better user interface), 4 aditional sliders, more outputs, arpeggiator, 76 key.
  • XP-60 (1998) = 61 key version of XP-80. It replaced the XP-50.
  • XP-30 (1999) = XP-60 with added patches (waveforms) from three expansion boards (session, orchestral, techno), removed sequencer. By number of factory installed waveforms, this is the most powerfull XP and JV synth!
  • JV-1010 (1999 ) = JV-1080 in half rack module, session patches (waveforms) added.
  • XV-5080 (2000) = another big step forward for Roland. 1083 waveforms, 128 polyphony, true stereo voice – each tone (T1-T4) can be set as stereo (one waveform for the left, one for the right channel), SCSI connection, sample load, up to 128 MB of RAM (SIMM), 5 effects processors: 24-bit reverbs, COSM® modeling, RSS 3D effects plus standard JV’s Chorus and Reverb/Delay.
  • XV-3080 (2000) = XV-5080 without sample playback option, without COSM effects processor, smaller display.
  • XV-88 (2000) = keyboard version of XV-3080.
  • XV-5050 (2001) = XV-5080, without sample playback option, without SR-JV80 boards slots, polyphony reduced to 64, very small display. Size reduced to 1U, added USB support (editing via PC).
  • XV-2020 (2002) = XV-5050 in half rack module but no RSS effects, no COSM efx, no SR-JV80 boards slots, sound editing only via PC.

What was before JV-80?
JV-80 is based on PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) waveform playback. First of such made by Roland was model D-50 (1987), which became very popular. Not just only in the late 80’s, but also in 90’s (because of it’s analog synthesis emulation part which is quite powerfull – 4 oscillators per patch, nice smooth 12 dB resonant filter, 6 LFO’s, pulse width modulation). Next PCM synthesizer from Roland was U-110, which was later replaced by U-220 along with keyboard version labeled U-20. It was a very limited synthesizer with no filters of any kind, no assignable LFO’s, primitive pitch and vibrato adjustments (no envelope). The U-20 was in 1990 followed by U-50 which will be in the last minute renamed to D-70 due to popularity of D-50. D-70 had upgraded U-20 engine, some new waveforms and most importantly it added a resonant multimode filter. D-70 is definitely one of the most mysterious Roland synths, often overlooked and forgotten. The reason might be a bit hard user interface which has some impractical solutions that can make your life harder rather than easier. In parallel to D-70, Roland put out MV-30 which is very similar engine with added MC-50 sequencer. Finally in 1991 the JV-80 came out and this is where the legend began.

Some final words on the JV-80 vs JV-1080
They sound different due to 1) different digital filters 2) different anti alias filters.

  • Super JV has a filter from JD series. JV-880 has original filter from JV-80 series (also used in JV-90 and JV-1000). Emulation of that filter is possible with Super JV though it is less precise as you have less values to choose, particularly if you’re trying to emulate the “soft” resonance option from the JV. We discussed resonance compensation values above for both the hard and soft setting in the JV-80.
  • Antialiasing filter in Super JV is superior to the one in JV – which, depending on what kind of sounds you like is – welcome – or not so welcome feature. Mirroring in higher frequencies, particularly when using rich textures can fool the listener thinking the unit is 44kHz waveform set, though in reality it is not, it is 32kHz just like Super JV. I talk about mirroring above 16kHz which can happen during transposition, thought the waveforms are all 32 kHz.

Super JV was based on a far superior RISC processor which at that time was state of the art (sort of) hence the machine can take a lot of modulations real time, without sustaining damage on evelopes and LFOs – which again is welcome or not so welcome. This depends whether you prefer jumping envelopes as “more analog” while you tweak some parameter live on a synth. Which one should you buy? Well, JV-80 was really cool synth, however on your place i would go with 1080. I tested JV-1000 against Super JV and you can practically cover all of the JV sounds, minus aliasing artefacts! So for the harsh sound factor (alias abuse), or 100% authenticity, you will go JV-80/880 route, other than that look into 1080 or even better 2080 direction.

Outro
This is a FAQ for all of the Roland JD, JV, XP and XV series. If you have any questions, please ask them and i will add them to this article.

Comments (67)

  1. Ryan

    Dear Don,

    I recently got a JD990 and after owning a JV2080 and it blew my mind. To my ears the 2080 is a somewhat flat and uninspiring sounding synth and now I have the JD it’s just killed any love I had for my JV.
    I used to think there was something peculiar with the 2080 and you article has justified my curiosities.

    My question now is do you think the SR-JV80 expansion boards sound better in the JD990 than the JV series and how so? What boards other than vintage synth are the best for the JD990? Finally are there sysex banks available for all the boards anywhere online?

    Thanks for your site, it’s great, found you on gearsluts.
    Best Wishes,
    Ryan

    • Don Solaris

      First, sorry for the late reply. The expansion boards might sound slightly different due to different effects structure. However, these boards are 32k sample rate, there you should not expect some drastic difference in JD-990. One of the second best boards is definitely Super Sound Set. Why? Nearly all of the waveforms, patches and rhythm sets found in Roland’s highly acclaimed SO-PCM Card Series have been included on the SR-JV80-07 Expansion Board. This board is overlooked by many and not in high demand. However, Vintage Board was made for JD-990 therefore it’s still first choice. Then there’s the expensive Keyboards Of The 60’s and 70’s, which is fine, but for that amount you can get S-760 and CD ROM with the same title. S-760 has similar filter to JD-990. If interested in S series, check Gearslutz for more info on screen monitors. These machines are bargain for what they offer.

  2. Hi Don!
    I’ve read all I could about you and I must say I’m glad there are people like you around. Music needs competence!
    I’m a singer/former keyboardist trying to realize what happened over the last 20 years or so. I started with R. Alpha Juno 2 (though I was 13 in ’87), I love Analog and the first pure digital stuff. Can’t help it: I love my JD-990, D-550 and MKS-70, can’t dig many of JV, JX and so on. Here’s my question. Recently I fixed all my old gear and bought some 80’s Synths I could not afford when they came out. When I think of my first experience in a real Studio using S-770 I remember the clearness and pureness (but still warm) sounds coming out of it. My guts never lied so far… So… Can the XV-5080 be comparable soundwiae to the S-770 or did I just fell in love with those 80’s converters? Thank you.

    Michele Luppi from Italy

    • Don Solaris

      Converters in XV-5080 are fantastic along with the included DSP processors. Just by playing something like XP-30 side by side XV-5080 you can immediately hear the difference – mode stereo width, more presence in the tone, it’s just better sounding. The S-770 had one of the best converters in the era. I believe Apogee made them (the old Apogee, not the new commercial mass-product-Apogee). Anyway S-770 always had incredible sound, however VCF filters are a bit different, therefore it would be hard to compare patches side by side. We will never know the truth – which sound better 770 or 5080. If i would have to pick one, i would go 770 but that’s just my personal choice. Those older converters have some magic about them, maybe they aren’t perfect (as in 5080) but they are so musical. They just sing all the time. If i didn’t had 770 i’d had 5080 for sample playback (since it has a special S-760 mode where it can function as a sample player with all the S-760 features minus sampling). Hope this helps! For more, please visit Gearslutz.com forum. We go into details… a lot!

      • Well Don, THANK YOU!!!! You actually answered me and I’m VERY happy to share your thought… I needed the best opinion and you gave it to me! I will become a member of gearslutz for sure… If I ever find a S-770 (mint conditions) I’ll put your name on my special thanks in the booklet of the Album!

        M

  3. Joe F

    Hi. Great article.

    I’m torn between the 5080, and the 5050.
    How much of a difference in quality is there between these two? I understand the converters on the 5080 are better, but is it a deal breaker?

    Also, does the 5080 contain all the 1080 patches? You mentioned that it contains all the 2080 patches.
    Is that the 2080 sound bank only? Or all the 1080 patches too?

    Thanks allot!

    • Don Solaris

      Can’t give definitive answer to 5050 vs 5080. As of patches, 5080 contains all 1080 and 2080 patches.

      • Joe F

        Thanks for the reply.

        In terms of converters if I go with the 5080, do you know if there are any in particular that compliment it? Or doesn’t it matter?

        Cheer

        – J

  4. Phil

    Hello. This is an amazing analysis. I have bought a Roland SC88-ST sound module with 654 sounds but it has no screen. Is this module similar to the JV1080? And how can I get to change the sounds? There is a cable I can buy but it ends in a parallel port, so I would need to get another one to connect to a USB portable. Then if there is a Roland programme, I will need to find it. It’s a little bit complicated. Also, I could change the sounds if there is a controller keyboard that can change sound programme numbers, but I would need to find one that does that. I’m not too sure what to do and perhaps will take it back. I love your sounds from the Waldorf String machine module, but the Roland sounds also sound really great and are more practical etc. I also have the SD-50 and the sounds are great. Are they from the XV series? Any advice? Thanks in advance. Best regards

    • Don Solaris

      I have zero konwledge about SC88. Please ask on the forum. Link is on the top of this page.

      • Phil Fisher

        Story continues….. After a series of events – SC88-ST changed to E-MU Longboard – but that had problems and got changed to Korg Krome 61. (Money being added too of course!!!) BUT… Now have a Roland XV-5050 as well, so the famous Korg vs Roland debate becomes Korg + Roland etc… Need to have time to really get best out of both, with combinations of working together with different layers and as 2 serarate synths…. Looking into how to change and modify sounds on both…. The XV-5050 looks exciting, even if it’s older now. Some sounds are better on the Korg and some on the Roland… Just thought I would finish or at least update the story… Was originally wanting a Blofeld, but will try to get the best out of these first, and then perhaps “update” to the Blofeld in the future…

  5. Hi! Thanks for your great article, it has been very helpful! I have a question, does the JV-880 includes the waveforms/patches of the U-220? I really like the sound of the U-220, particularly the drums, but I would rather buy a model that has resonant filters. Thanks!

  6. llest

    Hi!

    Thanks for the article!

    How easy or complicated it is to upload samples to xv-5080 nowadays? It looks like it would be cheaper to buy a SmartMedia USB reader and a 128mb card than a SCSI/USB adapter. Any suggestions or thoughts?

    Have a nice holiday and a happy new year!

  7. Roger

    Hi don, great article by the way, just wondering as a jv880 owner will the jd waveform data cards work on the jv-880?

  8. jd800

    Wow,this- n- that- n -the other. Does it sound like this, or does it sound like that?. Ok, They all basically sound identical IMO. I personally own All of the Jv/Xp series, Including -Jd, Rd,JP, JX, D-50/10/70, S-10. juno’s =60,106,2, and my newest baby =jupiter 50. they all are great in their own Identities @ Personalities- ask me about my yamaha gear lol

    • Don Solaris

      this-n-that is a result of endless questions that were asked at the Gearslutz forum. I got tired of answering them which is why i built this FAQ.

  9. Chris

    Wondering if you can help me out since your knowledge is so incredibly vast regarding these instruments. I bought an xp60 years ago. Loved the 2-300 little tunes I created on its fantastic internal sequencer. Now I have to downsize my synths so I bought an MC80 and a XV5080, since the MC80 reads the XP60’s disks and XV5080 has the same presets as the XP60. As you likely know when you save a song in the XP it will save the sounds and the song so that no matter what performance patch you have up, it will instantly adjust the tracks to the patches you used in the song. When you check the sequence under microscope however, you can’t see any patch changes. So when I load the same song into the MC80, it doesn’t automatically change the patches in the performance. So I’m wondering if you know how to extract those patch change commands from the XP’s sequencer so that the MC80 will make the same changes when it plays back the song on the XV 5080. Make sense?

    • Don Solaris

      You have to save ALL the sounds and ALL the performances. Then when you load sequence in MC80, just select the same performance on XV-5080 and it should work.

  10. Philip

    Hello everybody!!Don, thanx for the article. I like very much those old Roland PCM pianos, what can you advice to have-880 or 220?? or maybe 990??Is 990 capable for those piano sounds?

  11. Harry S Morgan

    Dear Don
    First a big thanks for sharing your impressive in depth expertise here, its been a really great source of informed knowledge for myself (and Im sure countless other synth users).
    I am contacting you because I twas hoping you wouldn’t mind assisting with an issue that, having looked on the forum & other places, has come up before.
    My progress has been roland u-220 (yes im that old!) – jv 1080 then jd 990 now a recently purchased xv5080. Unfortunately as a (very!) amateur musician I can’t really justify keeping both the 990 (with vintage card) and the XV (which I plan to ge the ultimate keys card for). Like several others the forum who have asked similar question, is there anyway I can recreate the extra JD vintage card patches (or pretty close anyway) with the xv (with the vintage card in the xv)

    Looking through old forum threads i can see you yourself said the xv does have the basic waveforms and some of the effects in the XV but of course not actual access to the patches.
    I can see you’ve also have created a bit of conversion guide to getting jd patches on a jv/xv.
    If i understand correctly, its been discussed that it might be possible to recreate them by looking at the 990 patch settings in sounddriver & then doings it manually with the xv (& them presumably saving that patch on the memory card in he xv etc) but I thought you may have some advice on the feasibility of this or if there is a more efficient way etc.
    I hope Ive explained what Im after ok and would appreciate any assistance you can provide.

    cheers
    Harry S

    • Don Solaris

      My only problem (which in this particular case is indeed a problem) is that i never, absolutely never played or used any of the card patches. I have zero interesrs in presets, and generally never liked them. So i do not know their exact settings, sounds and ways they perform. But from programming point of view, you have everything you need in your XV to emulate these patches. The only thing you will need is cutoff conversion table, but that i already provided.

      Only patches that won’t be properly emulated are those that employ both effects block A, delay and reverb at the same time. But i believe this is already said in the text. There are no conversion tools. So you will have to pick your favorites and then start recreating them one by one which isn’t hard with side by side displays.

      I sold my XV-5080, and XV-5050 which i also had so can’t do this job. Now I only have JD-990 and JV-1080.

      • Harry S Morgan

        Hi Don
        Thanks for your reply, its still a help to know that it may be possible within the capabilities of the XV which I wasnt 100% sure of. Do you think using soundiver would make it easier (I dont know as i dont have the program so never used it) or it could be done just by using the screens of the individual jd/xv.Lastly a completely different question i see you have a sample pack for the mc909 – i happen to have an mc808 do you know if there is any difference in the way these handle samples (from what Ive read id don’t think so?)
        thanks for your time.

        • Don Solaris

          I only edit JD from the front panel (it’s easy and fast once get used to). I’ve never used an editor for JD series so can’t confirm. But i am sure it can be faster with editor when you list all parameters at once (on a large screen) then copy side by side. Sound Diver is dead software, no longer supported. Beware: if you start doing the copy process and then in the middle (ie after one week of work) you realize some patches simply do not sound the same – can be frustrating! So i’d start with 3-4 most favorite patches!!!! If they work then i would expand to another 5-6. Then i would slowly add others, less important. Else, you might end up in a lot of FRUSTRATION! Trust me, been there. MC-808: never had one, so don’t know any details.

  12. Paul Mentink

    Hi Don,

    Several months ago I bought your Roland JD-990 Patch Set, which I like very much and are a great inspiration for me. Recently I started to work with Cubase 7.5 and I counter a problem with the Bank Select numbers to select the Patches(Parts)in the sequence program. The numbers which I have are probably not the right ones: Internal/Card (10367) – PR-A/B (10368). Besides that it seems that the Performance Mode only receives Bank en Program changes on Midi Channel 1. Do you know an solution for these problems?

    Cheers,and thank in advanced,

    Paul (From the Netherlands)

  13. first fact:
    jv2080 has 44.1 engine, this is 100% confirmed, from technical documentation
    and by measuring outputs when you play hi-tone samples above base note

    second fact:
    srjv80 cards (and internal memory) have samples up to 32khz, not 44.1

    and i will tell more, not every sample is even 32khz,
    you don’t need it for some bass samples, or bassdrums
    this is normal practice back in 90s when they were limited by memory

    third fact:
    both rolands, jv2080 and 5080 use cards srjv80 (32khz max)

    so i don’t think that 5080 will conjure better frequency from the same samples

    but
    maybe internal 2080 samples are replaced in 5080 to 44.1max
    who knows, but… i don’t think so

    • Don Solaris

      JV-1080 is 32 kHz engine. Details are in the text above.

      As of the “second fact” that SR-JV have samples up to 32kHz and not 44.1kHz. That is precisely what is written on this page in my comment dated August 4, 2014. So please read more carefully. 😉

      As of the “third fact”, again you don’t seem to read carefully. Please read my comment from August 4, 2014. It deals with JD which is 44.1kHz just like XV-5080 and thus it applies to 5080 as well.

  14. Mike L.

    Dear Don,

    I have a couple of questions for you; but first let me tell you a little about my setup/gear.

    I’m a experienced JV/XP user. I started with a JV-880 in 1993 and moved up from there. I mostly use the JV/XP gear in my rig that I gig weekly at. In front of me on stage, I have a XP-30 on the top tier with the Orchestra I and Super Sound Set expansions, a XP-80 on the bottom tier with the Keyboards of the 60’s & 70’s expansion. On top of the XP-80, sits a Oxygen-8 midi controller that controls a JV-1010 that is used for bells and wind instrument patches.

    To my left, I have a Roland JV-80 on the bottom tier and a JP-8000 on the top tier being used as midi controllers (although I layer them with other sounds) that control a JV-880, JV-1080, JD-990 w/the Vintage Synth expansion board and a S-760 with the RC-100 controller. A Dell laptop running Windows 2000 is used for Sounddiver that controls patch changes for everything except the XP-80 and XP-30.

    The XP-30 and XP-80 are connected to a MacBook Pro running Mainstage and via two Mio midi interfaces. I use the XP-30 for strings mostly and the XP-80 for B-3 type organs. The rest of the keyboards/modules are mainly for pads/synths. All of the keyboards and modules go through a Behringer RX-1602 line mixer, then to the FOH main mixer.

    I never really got into synth programming on the level where it seems like you are, but I have created sounds from scratch or edited a few here and there. I’ve been collecting patches for the JV/XP series since 1998 and have about 7000 or 8000 or so that I use with Sounddiver to organize/library/edit and transmit patches.

    Here’s my questions:

    1 – Is it possible for me to load in my JV/XP patches to the JD-990? Everytime I try to drag a JV/XP patch from the Sounddiver library to the JD, it won’t work. Now i know the waveforms and architecture are different, but I thought some of the waveforms from the 990 were in the JV/XP’s.

    2 – A serial port type Emagic Unitor-8 is connected to the Win2K Dell laptop, JV-80, JP-8000, JD-990, JV-880 , JV-1080 and S-760. The problem is, when I play a note on the JP-8000 or JV-80, all of the modules play a sound. I tried changing the Device ID but that didn’t help. I’d like to have the JP-8000 only control/transmit to the JD-990 so I can layer the two of them together for a thick digital/VA type of sound, and the JV-80 control the JV-1080, JV-880 and S-760. I will eventually have my (currently unused) DJ-70 control the S-760.

    My work around so far for “everything playing at once” is to turn down the volumes on the keyboards/modules that are not being used at that moment for that song. It’s starting to wear me out because we change songs pretty quick.

    I thought that was the purpose of Device ID’s being implemented was so that only certain devices in a midi chain would transmit/receive data and everything else be ignored.

    So if I put the JP-8000 on say device ID 1 and the JD-990 on device ID 1, keys played on the JP-8000 shouldn’t transmit to any of the other keyboards/modules. Same with the JV-80: device ID 10 for example (I don’t remember what device ID’s I tried) and the S-760, JV-880 and JV-1080 all set to device ID 10, then they only should be receiving what the JV-80 is sending, right?

    I included a link to my setup so you can get a visual of what it looks like

    Thanks,
    Mike

    • Don Solaris

      1) JD-990 can load JV-80 patches. Vintage Card contains a bank of JV-80 patches and i can load them normally like other patches. JD-990 can not load Super JV / XP patches. If you have a couple of such patches, simply recreate them parameter by parameter. Takes a couple of minutes, it is not that hard. IMPORTANT: JD uses 0-99 value range for the parameters, Super JV uses 0-127 range. Here you can find the conversion table: http://www.donsolaris.com/?p=172

      2) Change the MIDI channel on receiving device.

      • Mike L.

        Hey Don,

        Thanks for a fast reply. I will try to change the MIDI channel on the Rx device and see if that helps this weekend when I get to my gig.

        PS,

        do you personally know of any companies/people that sell the MU-01 mouse or compatible for the S-760 that don’t kill you on the price? I see them on eBay most of the time from $90 on up. Ridiculous for a mouse. I had the RC-100 with my S-330, never got rid of it after I ditched the S-330. Figured I’d buy a S-760/770 someday. Picked up a loaded S-760 for $85 recently. I like the RC-100, but the mouse will help a lot better in my opinion.

        Mike

        • Don Solaris

          I thought someone built adapter for that mouse to be able to use ordinary. Or maybe that was for Atari mouse i no longer remember. Good luck with the search though!

  15. rick

    Hi don,
    Your site is very professional, and in the near future might be your programing for the jv1080. but truth is I am wait for my unit to arrive that I bought off ebay.
    Doing some research before it comes, I am now realizing some things that I should have ask seller, but mainly now worried about the battery. Is this a big issue? I read it was easy to DIY, but before its done should do a back up.
    i am not really interested in what the first owners had done, I would rather have it like it just came from factory. Do I need any memory cards to do this.(for a back up before I change battery or can I just use the factory button sequence to bring it back to factory specs.? Any knowledge you can impart with, will be very appreciated. My current sound module is a K1r, I also hope this is a big step up.

    • Don Solaris

      I never met JV-1080 with a dead battery so don’t know is it easy or hard. Data transfers are explained here, with only difference you will FIRST send data from 1080 into the computer. Then when after replacing battery for doing patch restore you will send it back into the machine, with exact same details as in that article. For more details you will have to check user manual. Factory reset is also explained in user manual in case you decide to go for it.

  16. Dario

    Hi Master Don, I need your suggestion,
    during these days I’m planning to buy a serious rack synth suitable for ambient and soundscapes music and I’m very undecided if I should choice the JD 990 or the XV 5080. This last one seems to have superior features (filter range, modulation matrix and so on..)
    I’m totally oriented into soundscapes and ambient music, so, what would be the better choice for me?
    I see that you sold your XV 5080 that is superior and you still keep the JD 990,why?

    Let me know
    Thank you very much and greetings from Italy

    • Don Solaris

      XV-5080 will do more than fine. I sold it to finance Andromeda. I’ve kept JD just for the authentic sound.

  17. Chris

    Hello, I have a JV1010 — if I can send it sysex / RPN / NRPN messages via software, is it possible to program it with the same level of detail as a JV1080?

    Thanks for your site, I have found it very informative and it has inspired me to dig deeper into some of the old gear that’s been collecting dust on my shelf…

  18. Antti

    Hi,

    The “Destructive compression” picture actually shows just different samplerate used for the two samples and slightly different resampling filter used when producing them (or in JD vs JV). For “destructive compression” like you write, such holes would have to exist below the nyquist frequency of the sample.

    • Don Solaris

      IMO, the holes are located precisely where expected. In fact they are mirrored as well which means they exist in original sample. Definitely mp3 style of compression that was applied on the high frequency parts.

  19. doggy

    Thanks for all the valuable info. Would you happen to know how the DACs on 3080 compare to the Super JVs? Or are they more similar to 5080? Thanks!

  20. philippe

    Hello Don,
    thanx so much for this comparusion, i see more clear about theses roland synths now.

    This leaves me with two questions:

    – Does the XV 5050 extends its frequency response below 30hz when through its digital out, or is its lack of low-end not linked to the use of its DAC ?

    – I assume that the previous digital rolands, D-50, D-5 to D-20 and D-110 also had 8 bit-16 bit companding, that they didn’t have digital compression algorythm of the waveforms at that time, but are they 32 khz sampling rate, or 44.1 ?

    Thx for ur answers :)
    pilippe

  21. Mark

    Hi Don, is it possible to load your “JV-1080 SOUNDSET” patches into a Roland memory card (M256E) without modify the original factory presets of my Roland JV-1080 synth ? And what is the exact procedure ?

  22. Philippe

    Hi Don,

    In theses days when the fantom XR is available second hand for a comparable price as the XV 5080, thoses who appreciate the possibilty to use their own samples without the need for the extra outputs could go for the newest model, but do you know if the fantom uses compressed waveforms ? or does its JD waveforms come uncompressed at least ?

  23. Georges

    Hi Don,

    Thanks for the valuable info on this website.

    I’ve been told that the JV-1080 has a better, fuller and more dynamic sound than the XP-30, although they share the same synth engine and the same waveforms (notwithstanding the added waveforms of the 3 built-in SR-JV80 cards), and despite of the XP-30 having a higher resolution DAC than the JV-1080.

    Is it true that there a noticeable difference in sound quality between an XP-30 and a JV-1080?

    Thanks.

  24. Abstrax

    Hello Don,

    greetings from Hungary!
    Very interesting article, and it answered the majority of my questions.
    I only have two left – sorry if they had been already answered somewhere-somewhen…
    So first, what is the bottom line in the issue about 1080 vs 2080 sound quality? Are there any big differences there (or just the types of DACs)? Personally, I haven’t heard any big differences between them. The JD990 is another story…
    The second one is: what is the trurth about the small 1010? Some say it’s weak-sounding – I also feel some diffenece compared to the 2080, but what’s the reason? Maybe the integrated Session-sounds reduce the 6 or 8 Meg of ROM? Or is that something in connection with the DACs again?
    I’d be grateful for any ideas or thoughts about these things.
    Regards, Peter

  25. Hey Don, as being into Roland synths of all kind, I really appreciate this (scientific article-ish) page! Finally, someone talks about stuff apart from subjectivity (“x sounds better cause it’s my first synth ever”)!! Thanks a lot for all the info here, keep the good job going!

  26. Ted

    Where does the XP-10 fit into all of this?

  27. Marden Coelho

    Hi Don, greetings.
    Besides the XP50 or XP80, where can I use my floopy disks or tracks created in the XP80? I had to leave my country and had to left my XP80 behind. I am looking for a way to continue to edit my sequences created in XP80. Does any rack mount version (XV, XV…) has a sequencer? If no, is there anyway to use a computer + rack mount for that?
    Thanks in advance,
    Marden

    • Don Solaris

      About nowhere else, unless you export tracks in MIDI format. I suggest reading the manual on how to do that. As of the racks, there’s no sequencer. Yes there is a way to use rack + computer as long as the computer has MIDI interface (soundcard with MIDI). Just don’t use cheap MIDI-USB converters, because they suck. I suggest mac, since it uses midi time stamp, which means rock solid midi timing. On a PC it’s a game of luck.

  28. Volodymyr

    Hi Don! Only now, I read this article about the family of Roland JV, XV, JD, XP. Very interesting analytical article. I love Roland and he used a lot of this equipment, and dates back to the JX 3p. It seems to me that it would be logical to write the second part of this article about Fantom family, based on the same principle of synthesis and wave forms that a family XV, JV. Thanks again for the wonderful article.

  29. Richard Hill

    Hello Don,
    First, thanks for being here.
    I currently use XP80 for all live playing. JV80-09 Session and JV80-08 60s 80s cards are very usable, but seems like dynamic range is limited.
    Also, I used to have a U-20 but it had a midi timing bottleneck that drove me crazy. However, the U-20 had a high end “open sound” that the XP-80 does not. Oh, the trade offs!

  30. Never really was much into ROMplers, but I have an opportunity to pick up a package deal on some synths including 2x JV-90. I knew Roland had been milking this particular platform for some time, but I had no idea there were this many products!

    Thanks for this excellent article Don – it answered all my questions.

  31. Johannes

    It is very unlikely that some kind of MP3 compression is used on the XV-5080 – it would be a waste of processing time. The “hole” there might be explained by a lower sampling rate at which that particular sound was stored, and a vastly improved interpolation algorithm.

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