The Roland JD-Xi is a real powerhouse of a synth. It might not look like it, with its compact form and sleek exterior, but the JD-Xi is not only an analogue synth, it’s also a digital synth, and a drum machine. And it has a four track sequencer.
In fact, you could say it’s a beast of a groovebox that just happens to have a keyboard on it.
The best value groovebox?
It may very well be, to be honest. The sequencer gives you two digital synth parts, one analogue synth parts and a drum track. With real time and TR-style step recording, with just a JD-Xi you can sculpt and create the loops for your next track without even needing to touch the computer.
The drum machine starts with a huge range of PCM samples that take you from acoustic kits to the classic drum machines, but each sample can be shaped through filtering, envelope adjustment, pan and pitch control.
And all of this in one unit, that’s also an audio interface.
Editing the Roland JD-Xi
If the JD-Xi were just a simple, single analogue or digital synth, it would be a breeze to program, with all the functions you need most ready and waiting on the front panel. With the huge range of functions that the JD-Xi features though, editing is perhaps not quite as friendly as you might like it to be.
As Sound on Sound said in their review: “Roland don’t have an editor in the pipeline right now, but are considering the idea — a potential game–changer in my opinion”
A computer-based software editor would really take the JD-Xi to the next level, letting you take control of all that power using the wonders of a computer monitor and a mouse. Well then, good news…
The Roland JD-Xi software editor
Thanks to some incredible people who also wanted to get the most from the JD-Xi, the editor dream is now a reality.
JD-Xi Manager let’s you drill deep down into all the incredible features of the JD-Xi from the comfort of your own PC or Mac. This JD-Xi editor is still fairly new, but already offer the tools you need to edit the digital and analogue synths, as well as the drum machine. While it doesn’t appear to offer programming of the sequencer yet, possibly this will appear in a future update.
The JD-Xi Manager is free to download, but I think the authors would appreciate a donation if it’s something that you find useful.
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