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Roland Jupiter 8 Synthesizer


This is a classic synthesizer in big demand now. Ours is MIDI retrofitted and modified with a ring modulator and 4 banks of memory for flexibility and sound variation. A fabulous piece of vintage gear.

From Wikipedia –

The Jupiter-8 is an eight-voice polyphonic analog subtractive synthesizer introduced by Roland Corporation in 1981. The Jupiter-8, or JP-8, was Roland's flagship synthesizer for the first half of the 1980's. Although it lacked the soon-to-be standard of MIDI control, later model Jupiter-8s did include Roland's proprietary DCB interface, and all of them sported advanced features such as "Four on Four" and the ability to split the keyboard into two zones, with a separate patch active on each zone.

Full Description



  • 8 voices
  • 2
  • 2 VCOs per voice
  • 1 triangle/square/sawtooth/random
Synthesis type:
  • Analog subtractive
  • 12 or 24 dB/octave resonant lowpass, non-resonant highpass
  • No
Velocity sensitive:
  • No
  • 64 patches
  • None
  • 61 keys


The Jupiter 8 and 8A had one other quality that made them more desirable than their competitors. Due to slack manufacturing and electrical tolerances, voices programmed on one example of a Prophet or Oberheim could sound quite different on another, ostensibly identical, one. Some players have called that defect 'individuality', but I don't imagine they were very happy when they walked into a studio costing £100 per hour, loaded their patches into the studio synth, and found that all their string ensembles had become composite brass patches. This never happened on a Jupiter 8 or 8A (otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned it).

This is IMHO the ultimate analog machine. The possibilities are vast and by tweaking them good ole knobs and sliders while playing, it's easy to make nice things happen. My favourite is the "solo" mode which stacks all 16 oscillators on a single key depression, creating an incredibly thick and beefy sound.

On the sad side, there is no MIDI (this is an oldie, remember?), although you can use a DCB to MIDI interface (if you can find one).

Thomas R Kolb

This damn board has absolutely impressive analog sounds! Altough it has no modular capabilities or complex modulation routings, what it does, it does so darn well! It's even fatter than the Jupiter-6, I think due to its oscillator structure. The JP-6 uses Curtis Electromusic chips for oscillators, and the JP-8 employs oscillator boards, with discrete components. It features one LFO with sine, saw, square and random waveforms, VCO-1 with triangle, saw, variable pulse or rectangular waveforms, and VCO-2 with sine, saw, variable pulse or pink noise waveforms. The VCO-2 is syncable to VCO-1.It features a mixer knob, to balance between VCO-1 and VCO-2. It has a non-voltage controlled high-pass filter, and a voltage controlled low-pass filter with selectable cutoff slope of -24dB/oct or -12db/oct; the resonance does not cranks to self-oscillation. the VCF can be modulated from the env-1 or env-2 and LFO. The VCA can be modulated by env-2 and LFO. It has two envelope generators, with key follow. Its envelopes uses analog ADSR chips, the IR3R01, which provides 1msec attack time, very suitable for punchy attack synth basses. The JP-8 features an arpeggiator, with four octave range, with up/down/up&down and random modes. It can be set in "whole" mode, with one single patch across the keyboard and 8-voice polyphony, "split", with a four-voice different patch in each side of the keyboard, and "dual", with two different patches layered together providing 4-voice polyphony. It has also a CV/gate output. Altough most pictures found on the net shows the JP-8 as a black keyboard, it has a metallic charcoal grey finishing, just like the JP-6. I love its rugged Jeep-like construction, with thick aluminium side panels.

Gil Sucuro


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