A creative monster in a tiny package, the Roland JD-Xi Interactive Analog-Digital Crossover Synthesizer packs in true analog synthesis and combines it with 2 of Roland's powerful superNATURAL digital sound engines. The result is a unit that produces a sound far far bigger than is befitting of it's compact size. With the Roland JD-Xi, your creativity and performances have endless possibilities.
The Roland JD-Xi Interactive Analog-Digital Crossover Synthesizer gives you the cream of the crop when it comes to smooth analog response. Authentic vintage lead and bass sounds are all available at the touch of a button giving you a 100% analog sound instantly. The JD-Xi also gives you not one, but 2 powerful superNATURAL digital synth engines to work alongside their analog counterpart. This opens up your performance to 128 note polyphony and a massive array of premium digital sounds, and for when you want more, a trip to Roland's online library, Axial, will provide you with the ability to download many more!
Built in sequencer
The Roland JD-Xi comes with a 4 track sequencer that allows you to capture 2 digital tracks, an analog synth track and a drum part. With this, you can create an endless amount of powerful loops for performances. Real-time and step recording modes are also present, along with a special TR-REC mode for programming in the style of Roland’s classic TR-series beatboxes! The JD-Xi makes it easy to get jamming in any performance or recording situation.
The Roland JD-Xi also comes packed with high quality acoustic and digital kits to suit any style of music that you wish to create.
Powerful digital effects
With 4 simultaneous effects sections under the hood, the JD-Xi adds layers of polish or destruction to your sounds depending on what you need. Effects such as Bit Crusher, Slicer, and Ring Mod are present to make your analog sounds scream in agony whilst rich delay and reverb sections add spacious finesse to your digital sound-scapes.
Provided with the JD-Xi is a premium quality gooseneck mic that plugs in on the attractive top panel. Use the Vocoder whilst you sing into the mic and control the tone and pitch via sounds played on the keyboard. With AutoPitch, it’s simple to achieve the exaggerated, robotic vocal sounds that are common in today’s popular music.
Massive power and versatility in a tiny package. You will not believe what you can create using this superb synth. Whether on the road or in the studio, the Roland JD-Xi Interactive Analog-Digital Crossover Synthesizer will add masses of musical capability to your existing setup.
Manufacturer Roland Model JD-Xi Interactive Analog-Digital Crossover Synthesizer Keyboard 37 Mini-Size Keys Polyphony 128 Note Sound Engine 1 x Analog Section 2 x SuperNATURAL Digital Section Sequencer 4-Track With Rhythm Section Connectivity XLR Mic Input 1/4" Phones Out L + R 1/4" Audio Out Audio Input (Mono) MIDI In/Out USB DC In Included Accessories Gooseneck Mic
First, it contains 2 digital synth sets, drums, and an analogue path. The digital synth engines provide a massive scope of sounds that can be further modified using filters, LFO and other effects. The great quality of the sounds also gives a massive amount of material to work with before you even look at modulation and filters.
The analogue path is nowhere near as developed as the MS20 mini, but is robust enough to be great to work with and provide an introduction to that gorgeous analogue sound.
The drums are a really nice touch, and combined with the other three element (2X digital and one analogue path) you have all the elements you need to make a complete song.
The sequencer allows patterns of up to about 4 bars, depending on your scale. While you won't get an entire song in one pattern, the patterns are long enough to accommodate your musical sketches for further development later. Using the favourites function and mute options for each separate path allows you to select patterns while playing live, as well as altering sounds on the fly- meaning that the synth can work as a DJ style tool. It's not great, but it's a nice feature to have.
The ADSR envelope is compressed into a single dial that tends to raise the attack and release of the tone at the same time, which is usually okay. However if you want more precision or a completely different envelope, you'll need to go menu diving. While the JDXI's menus are well laid out, needing to dive into them does break the flow of creativity. Fortunately, for 90% of use, the physical controls are fine. The effects path can also be modified in menu in ways that are not possible with the physical controls.
The included mic tends to be very windy for my tastes, but the auto note function can be very fun, if not always useful. It just doesn't seem quite precise enough to me. Vocoding is handled well, as a selection of voice effects.
Installing the USB drivers and setting the synth to use the VENDOR drivers is recommended as it allows audio and midi to be sent via USB- cutting down a lot on clutter. If set up this way, the synth works very well with Ableton.
The range of options available, the sequencer and the favourites function make it feel a lot like baby's first work station as well as a synth. While the workstation functionality may be limited, its presence really does enhance the synth for someone who prefers to stick to their instrument rather than mucking around with DAWs or Sequencers.
The mini keys play fine and feel very responsive, and a velocity offset can be defined in the menu to tailor the responsiveness to you. Full MIDI also lets you link in an external controller if you like.
All in all while it may be more expensive than other entry level synths, or a box full of Volcas, you certainly do get a lot for your money. I'm really happy with it and have put it to good use.
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