equipment - detail

Roland JD-800

Roland JD-800

This was the first synth I ever bought. I remember going into A1 Music at Manchester to compare the JD-800 against the new JV-80. The JV was just another synth that looked a pain in the arse to program and it didn't sound as good as the JD in my opinion. My brother had a Yamaha DX7s previous to this that I'd had a mess around on but it was so difficult to program, so I decided that if I was going to get a new synth it had to be something easier to understand. Getting into the programming on this was a revelation to me at the time because I had previously only encountered FM synthesis; I thought that's how all synths worked! Programming this thing was a doddle compared to that, even if there was 4 Tones to get your head round.

When I first started out, the JD-800 and the DX7s were the only synths I had, this meant that the JD-800 had to be used in multitimbral mode and I used program changes mid-song to get a wider variety of sounds. Using it in multitimbral mode is pretty crap though; you loose all the effects for each patch, plus, the polyphony is 24 voices and each patch can use up to 4 'voices' per note! I only ever use it in single patch mode now.

I 'cut my teeth' so to speak on this synth and it was my master keyboard for many years. I still use it now for many different sounds and have built up quite a library of my own sounds for it. I also have 7 of the Roland ROM card sets for it.