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Roland JD-800 synth was released in 1991. Its particularity is that it combines a 100% digital technology with old analog synthesizers features; which means in a few words that all parameters can be controlled "in live" via the sliders or knobs on the front panel. As for the D-50, Roland included their Linear Arithmetic synthesis into the JD-800. 

Bobby & JD-800
Hello!! Let's talk about the great JD-800!!

Basis of the sound is "the tone". You can layer up to 4 tones to create a "patch". Each tone can be programmed independantly via the following parameters:
- a Wave Generator, where you can choose between 108 built-in sampled waveforms
(analog synths, acoustic instruments like guitars, woodwind, brass, voices or percussions)
- a Pitch Envelope
-
a TVA (Time Variant Amplifier - 7 segments envelope) which controls the volume/dynamic evolution
- a TVF (Time Variant Filter - 8 segments envelope) which controls the timbre/resonance evolution. Filter has three different modes: HPF (High-Pass Filter), BPF (Band-Pass Filter) or LPF (Low-Pass Filter)
- two separated LFOs which can be assigned to the WG, the TVF or the TVA to modulate the sound

Complete patch is then routed to a 3-band Equalizer and two effects sections including:
- Group A: Distortion - Phaser - Spectrum - Enhancer
- Group B: Chorus - Delay - Reverb

Each effect can be activated or not and has its own settings.

JD-800 front panel
Sliders, knobs or switches can control and modify all parameters "in live"

The four "palette" sliders (A-B-C-D) are applied to each tone separately and permit to edit the last active parameter of all four tones individually at the same time. While playing, the palette sliders can easily be used like a little mixing board to set the balance between the tones in a patch.
The "layer" buttons are here to activate or disactivate the tones in a patch while playing. In edit mode, they are used to choose which tones' parameters are changed using the sliders on the front panel.
You have two different modes: "single" (JD-800 plays one patch at a time) and "multi" where you can play up to six different patches over MIDI. Patch number six is an extra "special" patch which has different waveforms assigned to the 61 different keys on the keyboard, clearly dedicated for drums and percussion kits.
You also have two buttons to activate or desactivate solo or portamento modes.
Rack version is the JD-990 (1993 - also known as the "Super-JD") which has - of course! - no possibilities to control sound "in live" via the front panel knobs or sliders, but includes 195 waveforms instead of 108. For this reason, JD-990 soundbanks can't be transfered to the JD-800 (but reverse is possible).

Bobby 04
Return of the JD!!

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