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Roland JD-08 Programmable Synthesizer

Roland recreates the classic sound of the ‘90s in this boutique version of the JD-800 synthesizer.

The JD-800, released in 1991 was Roland’s answer to the trend of digital synthesizers that buried all of their settings and parameters under menus and pages on the screen. The JD-800 was a fully digital synth, based on the Roland D-50’s sound architecture, but it featured hands-on sliders and buttons for controlling the major parameters much like vintage analog synthesizers from two decades before. With 24-note polyphony, this 6-part multitimbral synth was at the forefront of the coming trend of virtual analog and physical controls. The JD-800 has been re-issued as part of Roland’s growing Boutique series for 2022. The JD-08, as it is called, retains all of the features that made the JD-800 so beloved, but Roland has modernized it with a few updates. There are 21 new presents to go with the original 64 and 256 user locations to store your own creations. The JD-08 is a two-part multitimbral and has a whopping 128-note polyphony. Roland has also added a two-part, 64-step polyphonic sequencer that can record up to 8 notes per step, as well as, record knob turns and slider adjustments. There are 128 pattern locations to store your sequences. There is also a new onboard arpeggiator and an external clock input to sync the JD-08 to external gear. The JD-08 can be powered by batteries or USB-C. The latter also can serve as an audio/midi interface when connected to your computer.

The JD-08 is a welcomed addition to the world of the mobile musician. Particularly when most of the current offerings are monophonic. There are a few tabletop hardware synths that are polyphonic, but they have a limited number of simultaneous notes. For those of us who rely on iPad apps or an aging tone generator to produce complex chords and pads, the JD-08 is an exceptional new option in our sound-making arsenal.

Having features like a mix input, an external sync input, line level, and headphone outputs, USB and battery power, and full-size midi I/O, the JD-08 is fully capable of integrating into your current portable setup. Add to that the optional two-octave keyboard and you have the perfect controller for many of your tabletop devices that do not include a keyboard. The complete Boutique line of retro synthesizers has so much to offer the mobile musician and with the quality and craftsmanship that you get with a Roland product, you can be confident taking them on your next mobile music adventure.

Standard Features

Authentic sound and behavior of the original JD-800 realized with advanced sound modeling

108 original waveforms for extensive patch design possibilities

Includes the original 64 presets plus 21 new presets

Two-part, 64-step, eight-note (per part) polyphonic sequencer with motion recording, random pattern generator, and memory for 128 patterns

Onboard arpeggiator

Two-part multitimbral with expanded polyphony, up to 128 voices (depending on patch load)

Four-part structure for tone layering

Detailed recreation of the JD-800’s unique two-stage multi-effects section

Editable distortion, phaser, spectrum, enhancer, delay, chorus, and reverb

Multi-phase time variant envelopes for complex, evolving sounds

Palette sliders for quick parameter adjustment

USB-C audio/MIDI interface, full-size MIDI I/O, and external clock input

Portable design for mobile music making

High-quality construction with metal front panel

Powered via batteries (4 x AA) or USB-C

Control information can be sent and received via MIDI and USB-C

Built-in powered mini speaker for instant enjoyment

Compatible with optional DK-01 Boutique Dock or K-25m Keyboard Unit

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