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Roland Jupiter X and the SOS review

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Roland Jupiter X and the SOS review

Postby Glenn Bucci » Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:06 pm

First off, Gordon thank you so much for your review of this keyboard. With so many things to cover about the Jupiter X and the limited information in the manual, your review helped us understand the keyboard much better. :clap: I personally think it deserved to be on the front cover of SOS for this edition but I know that are other factors that make that decision.

I have been using my old Roland D50 and Yamaha weighted keyboard to trigger software sounds in Cubase for years. Having a lot of the Yamaha Motif sounds in Halion Sonic and Ivory II pianos is a much cheaper alternative than buying expensive keyboards. With that being said, there is nothing like having a good quality keyboard with all the controls in front of you instead of grabbing a mouse for a laptop on stage.

I currently have the Jupiter X in my studio to check out and I'm pleased that keyboards now include XLR outputs, and USB. I prefer sending the keyboard through my Rupert Neve mic pres to add a little weight and character. I connected the USB from the keyboard to my Windows computer which automatically downloaded the software for it to work in Cubase which now see the Jupiter X when I open a midi track. The quality of the keys and action is excellent on this keyboard and it makes the Roland D50 feels more like a toy keyboard in comparison. (Now I have to change the battery in the D50) :headbang:

Your review was excellent because you were honest about the issues with the keyboard (like the small display on the top left) as well as to discuss it's good points. Thanks to your review, I went to the setup menu on the keyboard and turned off the ageing and warmup features. I agree they are not positive features you want to add to your sound. Its like the reel to reel plug in you can buy that allow you to add hiss to the tape plug in so it sounds more authentic. Really? Why would you want to add that into your sound?

I went to the Roland website, downloaded and printed all the sounds of the keyboard. My goal is to get a highlighter, go through all the sounds, highlight the ones I think I would use and put a comment next to each for a reference.

There seems to be three directions with keyboards.
1. There are midi keyboards to trigger any sound you want from your laptop.
2. Companies like Roland, Yamaha, and Korg come out with keyboards that will provide you with the most authentic piano, organ, strings, and other sound effects along with a sequencer.
3. Lastly keyboards that get you close to the analog keyboards of the 70's - 90's into one keyboard with lots of flexibility and a sequencer.

The music I record is more traditional rock from Beatles, Clapton, Stones, Jeff Beck, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour to Keith Urban. The Roland Fantom might be a better choice for me over the Jupiter X but since I have so many bread and butter sounds in software, I am thinking that adding the Van Halen "Jump" keyboard sound from the Jupiter X for instance in a song might be more fun. This keyboard would also offer new ideas I would never have thought of. It seems the Jupiter, Juno and RD sounds work best with the music I work with along with multiple scene settings.

Once again thanks for your great review. This keyboard really seems to offer a lot of great sounds, and it has good controls and the keys have good action.

Roland thankfully has multiple tutorials on this keyboard which are very helpful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbJlKaAVRQI



Roland also updated the software with version 1.20 with the following updates.


[ Ver.1.20 ] MAR 2020
Please refer to the "JUPITER-X Owner's Manual" for detailed information in the [ Owner's Manuals ].
Additional Functions / Functionality Improvements
In the operations in "Editing the Sound (TONE EDIT)," it is now possible to edit multiple parts simultaneously.
This is also available during performances.
Key Transpose for a pattern input using the STEP EDIT function is now possible by keyboard operation.
( ARP PART EDIT > STEP MODE: KEYSHIFT )
Added the function (L / R Dual) to operate Pan of Part 1 and Part2 at the same time during Dual performance.
( [SHIFT] + [DUAL] )
A function for copying parameters between partials on Partial-equipped Models (other than Analog Synthesizers and VOCODER) has been added.
(Display the copy-source Partial screen, then use the [SHIFT] + [WRITE] + copy-destination Partial button)
A screen displaying all key ranges of each part (KEY RANGE SETTINGS) has been added to the MENU screen.
This is convenient when making settings for split sounds in combination with I-ARPEGGIO.
A function for assigning the number of the Scene to recall at unit startup (Startup Scene) has been added.
( SYSTEM > GENERAL Startup Scene )
A function that produces a warning so as to prevent unintended Scene changes (Scene Lock) has been added.
( SYSTEM > GENERAL Scene Lock )
In the STEP EDIT function, it is now possible to input the end point of a Tie by pressing the [SHIFT] + [1] ~ [16] buttons when the cursor is over the note where you want to input the Tie.
The MIDI channel can be set for each Parts.
( SCENE PART EDIT > MIDI Rx Ch )
* Along with this specification change, "MIDI Basic Ch" has been removed from [SYSTEM].
A setting function (USB Audio Thru) for mixing USB Audio In with USB Audio Output has been added.
( SYSTEM > GENERAL USB Audio Thru )
A setting function (AUXIN USB Thru) for mixing AUX IN or Bluetooth into USB Audio Output has been added.
( SYSTEM > GENERAL AUXIN USB Thru )
A key lock function has been added to the [ PART ] button.
Pressing and holding the [ PART ] button makes the button flash and engages Key Locking.
The operation while pressing the [PART] button can be operated by releasing the [PART] button.
Removed Function
The function for setting KEY TRANSPOSE using the keyboard while holding down the [ TRANSPOSE ] button has been removed.
* This avoids unintended changes in the KEY TRANSPOSE value when working with the [ TRANSPOSE ] button.
Tone Fixes
The tones produced when the [UNISON] button is set to "on" while using an Analog Synthesizer MODEL were not as intended; this has been corrected.
In connection with this, the parameter that changes when the [UNISON] and [MONO] buttons are pressed has been changed from "PART" to "TONE."
For RD-PIANO's Preset Tones, the changes in tone due to the intensity of velocity have been adjusted.
The Controller Assign settings for some preset scenes have been revised.
(The JUPITER-X is updated with the revised settings when the operation in "Returning to the Factory Settings (Factory Reset)" is carried out.)
* Returning settings to their factory-default value initializes all settings. Before returning the unit to its factory defaults, be sure to use the backup function to save the current settings.
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Re: Roland Jupiter X and the SOS review

Postby Glenn Bucci » Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:08 am

After spending more time with the keyboard as I had two days off from work , I still have not gone through all the 896 sounds but I am getting there. I printed out the 56 page manual of sounds the keyboard has and I put them in a 3 ring binder. I am going through all the scenes, and sounds highlighting the ones I like and making notes.

One big question is do you spend the money for this keyboard or just subscribe to the Roland Cloud and get all the keyboards from yesteryear instead? I would say, trying to learn all the sounds of all the keyboards could take well over a year to be very familiar with them. Also running your keyboard through good mic pre's into your DAW can also add more weight and improve the sound over just sticking with software. Its always good to have a good keyboard and taking the time to learn it. Then once you have that, start using software sounds in addition to your keyboard sounds. The more I use this keyboard the more I am liking it
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Re: Roland Jupiter X and the SOS review

Postby Dave B » Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:22 am

I'm still not sure what I think about the X. I like the look of it and I do wonder if that's half the appeal. I was disappointed that the Zen core models are less accurate than the ones in the System 8 so I'll be interested to see what that sounds like. But, at the moment, other than the looks, I can't see anything that grabs me and shouts "You really need this". Maybe it's because I have so many other options.

Hmmnn.. will have to wait for the world to sort itself out and then give one a try.
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Re: Roland Jupiter X and the SOS review

Postby Dave B » Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:31 am

Addendum - one black mark : it has inputs on a mini-jack.

Recently, I've got into using the inputs as a way to get another keyboard (or two if mono) into a main board and then just sending a stereo DI to the FOH. It's brilliant - no mixer and rats nest of cabling any more. Woo Hoo. BUT, I had earth loop / hum issues when trying a mini-jack. My Kronos has proper balanced (isolated as well?) inputs which is a dream, and if the second keyboard doesn't have an earth then I'm ok, so I can go Hammond SK2 - external psu - into Forte happily, but couldn't do that with the another Kurzweil.

This is part of the reason that (once gigging re-commences in the UK) I'll be looking at the Yamaha YC61 - I personally think it's overpriced, but it does tick all my boxes at the moment.
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Re: Roland Jupiter X and the SOS review

Postby Glenn Bucci » Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:07 pm

Based on listening to the Jupiter 8 on the Roland Cloud, the Jupiter X sounds are a little different. However the reviewer and myself find we prefer the newer X sounds many times over the older original sounds . This is because the Jupiter 8 really sounds like an dated keyboard that most would not want to use many settings on songs without embilishing the sound. The X embilishes the sounds a little which makes it more usable for current recordings. If you really want the authentic sound of the 8 just subscribe to the Roland Cloud.
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Re: Roland Jupiter X and the SOS review

Postby The Elf » Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:45 pm

I was similarly disappointed that Roland had chosen to compromise the technology of the System-8. I was hoping for a 'System-16'.

I'm also similarly torn about the Jupiter-X. It's the hardware I always wanted the System-8 to be, but it's not the synth. Oodles of polyphony, multi-timbrality, pianos, brass and effects are of no interest to me, but I did want a 'JP-8' in a piece of hardware I would be happy to drag to gigs.

For the moment I'll stick with my S8 and wait to see how the discounting works out...
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Re: Roland Jupiter X and the SOS review

Postby Glenn Bucci » Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:10 am

In learning this keyboard, I have my 3 ring folder with all the sounds of the keyboard I am going through. I can't believe after I went through 7 scenes that have 16 banks of sounds each, 116 Jupiter sounds, 122 Juno sounds, 102 JXP sounds, and 101 SH sounds that I now will go through 896 XV sounds which include some nice piano with strings, electric pianos, a great upright bass, some of my favorite Roland D50 sounds including Staccato Heaven, and Cathedral organ, :thumbup:
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Re: Roland Jupiter X and the SOS review

Postby Glenn Bucci » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:50 pm

Here is a insightful interview on the design of the Jupiter X and XM. It gives a better idea on the mindset on the creation of this keyboard.

https://www.roland.com/us/promos/jupiter-x_story/

Also this video shows how to use the keyboard including the Vooder with a mic at 29 minutes in. I learned any sound in Caps is a original sound on the Jupiter, Juno, etc thst is on the Jupiter X.

https://youtu.be/vX0g3uWHyLA
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Re: Roland Jupiter X and the SOS review

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:20 pm

Just fixed your link for you Glenn
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Re: Roland Jupiter X and the SOS review

Postby Benis67 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:28 am

The Elf wrote:I was similarly disappointed that Roland had chosen to compromise the technology of the System-8. I was hoping for a 'System-16'.

I'm also similarly torn about the Jupiter-X. It's the hardware I always wanted the System-8 to be, but it's not the synth. Oodles of polyphony, multi-timbrality, pianos, brass and effects are of no interest to me, but I did want a 'JP-8' in a piece of hardware I would be happy to drag to gigs.

For the moment I'll stick with my S8 and wait to see how the discounting works out...
in a recent survey Roland asked if there was interest in including the System-8 ACB engine in the ZEN-Core expansions (Fantom and perhaps Jupiterx / xm). Fantom will probably be the next system-16.
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Re: Roland Jupiter X and the SOS review

Postby Glenn Bucci » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:12 pm

Most people focus on how the Jupiter X sounds in providing the Jupiter and Juno sounds which in my opinion they sound great. However the keyboard also gets great bread and butter sounds as well as shown in this video.

https://youtu.be/WPcbPB5F8Qk
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Re: Roland Jupiter X and the SOS review

Postby The Elf » Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:24 pm

Benis67 wrote:
The Elf wrote:I was similarly disappointed that Roland had chosen to compromise the technology of the System-8. I was hoping for a 'System-16'.

I'm also similarly torn about the Jupiter-X. It's the hardware I always wanted the System-8 to be, but it's not the synth. Oodles of polyphony, multi-timbrality, pianos, brass and effects are of no interest to me, but I did want a 'JP-8' in a piece of hardware I would be happy to drag to gigs.

For the moment I'll stick with my S8 and wait to see how the discounting works out...
in a recent survey Roland asked if there was interest in including the System-8 ACB engine in the ZEN-Core expansions (Fantom and perhaps Jupiterx / xm). Fantom will probably be the next system-16.
The Fantom would make a great host for the ACB engine - far better than the woeful shell of the System-8. I'm just in the process of sending a damaged Fantom 7 back and wondering whether to follow through with a second purchase.

So here's hoping...
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Re: Roland Jupiter X and the SOS review

Postby Glenn Bucci » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:59 pm

Based on what Roland has said, the ACB takes too much CPU and cannot handle high poly which is why it is only used with mono and limited poly. Therefore they went to ABM which offers more flexibility than ACB ever could. So we have The System 8 with ACB for those who want a tiny bit closer to the old analog and ABM for everything else. I personally really like the tones that Roland provides with the ABM.
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Re: Roland Jupiter X and the SOS review

Postby The Elf » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:23 pm

TBH I'm happy with monotimbrality and limited polyphony. :thumbup:
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Re: Roland Jupiter X and the SOS review

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:46 pm

Spent a while playing a Jupiter X earlier this afternoon. Regardless of the engine used or the whys and wherefores of the internal mechanics I think it sounds very good indeed.
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