Roland JD-XA Analog/Digital Crossover Synthesizer

49-key Synthesizer with Aftertouch, Analog and Digital Synth Engines, Analog Filters, Digital Effects, 16-track Sequencer, Vocoder, USB Interface, and CV/Gate Outs
Roland JD-XA Analog/Digital Crossover Synthesizer image 1
Roland JD-XA Analog/Digital Crossover Synthesizer image 1
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Roland JD-XA Analog/Digital Crossover Synthesizer
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An Analog/Digital Beast of a Synth

The quest for a super-creative, no-compromise synth stops with the Roland JD-XA. Seriously, this analog/digital crossover synthesizer is an absolute beast! First of all, you get an all-analog synth engine with true analog filters and a direct dry output. On top of that, you get a digital engine powered by Roland's SuperNATURAL technology, along with a robust selection of phenomenal effects. Whether you use the JD-XA's engines separately or combine them into a single tone-generating monster, you'll find that you have everything you need for sound design, studio work, or live performance. Here's a Sweetwater tip: use the JD-XA analog/digital crossover synthesizer's analog filters to twist digital waveforms to create some cacophony. It's a total gas!

Roland JD-XA Analog/Digital Crossover Synthesizer at a Glance:
  • Enjoy some classic analog synth mojo
  • Create expressive, natural digital sounds
  • Combine analog and digital for some distinctive sounds
  • Analog filters deliver warm sound and smooth, organic response
  • Packed with digital effects for handling any sound-shaping tasks
  • 16-track pattern sequencer lets you create music quickly and easily
  • Harness uber-powerful synth engines with hands-on control
  • Powerful, flexible design makes routing a snap
  • Mic-controlled modulation and onboard vocoder
Enjoy some classic analog synth mojo

The JD-XA analog/digital crossover synthesizer's 4-part analog engine is a monster. Each part has two oscillators, along with filter and amp sections and four envelopes. Add to that incredibly fast attack and response times and a pair of ultra-smooth LFOs, and you have yourself a serious tone-generating beast! The JD-XA lets you create sounds from scratch, or you can configure it as an 8-oscillator, analog version of the mythical Supersaw waveform. Or, if you really want to get swept away, invoke the power of the JD-XA's Poly Stack mode for some incredibly warm, organic 4-note chords. And once you've sculpted your analog tone to taste, you can route it directly to the JD-XA's analog dry output or send it to its onboard digital effects. The only limit is your imagination!

Create expressive, natural digital sounds

Although the JD-XA analog/digital crossover synthesizer excels as a classic-styled analog synth, it's so much more than that. Roland's acclaimed SuperNATURAL technology powers a completely separate 4-part, 64-voice digital sound engine. Compatible with the engine from the Integra-7 sound module, a firm favorite of top producers, composers, and sound designers everywhere, the JD-XA also lets you create some of the most expressive and natural sounds that you'll ever hear.

Combine analog and digital for some distinctive sounds

There's a huge benefit to having analog and digital engines under the same hood. Thanks to its distinctive crossover design, the JD-XA analog/digital crossover synthesizer lets you combine its analog and digital synth engines (although you can use them separately if you want to) - giving you two synths in one. However, the real magic happens when the JD-XA's engines interact with one another. For example, routing digital sounds through the JD-XA's analog filters or using them as modulation sources for the analog engine's Cross Mod and Ring Mod functions will provide you with all sorts of new ways to create your own unique form of sonic mayhem.

Analog filters deliver warm sound and smooth, organic response

The filters in the JD-XA analog/digital crossover synthesizer are 100% old-school analog, providing you with a warm sound and incredibly smooth, organic response. You get a 4-pole, a transistor ladder for more severe filtering, as well as a multimode filter for the essential LPF, HPF, and BPF duties. You'll be blown away by the JD-XA's unique circuit design, which provides you with a distinctively dynamic resonance that lends a particularly aggressive character that simply demands to be heard.

Packed with digital effects for handling any sound-shaping tasks

The JD-XA analog/digital crossover synthesizer is absolutely packed with digital effects, making it well equipped to handle any sound-shaping tasks that you want to throw at it. Not only do you get the essentials such as reverb, delay, and EQ, but you also get two TFX processors with 29 effect types each. On top of that, a powerful MFX processor provides you with 67 different effect types that you can apply separately to each analog and digital part.

16-track pattern sequencer lets you create music quickly and easily

While the JD-XA analog/digital crossover synthesizer's USB interface works seamlessly with your favorite DAW, its built-in 16-track pattern sequencer gets up and running without even plugging into your computer. The JD-XA's sequencer provides you with eight tracks for internal parts and eight tracks for external sources, allowing you to build sequences and loops quickly and easily. You can use the JD-XA's real-time recording mode to lay down your parts linearly or use its step-recording mode to create your parts step by step. Regardless of your personal preferences, the JD-XA lets you create music without stepping on your toes or getting in your way.

Harness powerful synth engines with hands-on control

Even if you're working in a pitch-black room or on a darkened stage, the JD-XA analog/digital crossover synthesizer's interface makes it child's play to harness the potential of its powerful synth engines. Not only do you get velocity-sensitive keys with aftertouch, but you also get plenty of backlit sliders, knobs, and wheel controllers to shape your sound to sonic perfection.

Powerful, flexible design makes routing a snap

The JD-XA analog/digital crossover synthesizer's flexible design makes routing a snap. You can route a single mod source to four destinations, and you're able to control external modules or DAW plug-ins via MIDI, USB, and CV/Gate, which lets the JD-XA integrate comfortably with any live or studio setup.

Mic-controlled modulation and onboard vocoder

Let's face it: vocoders are fun! The JD-XA analog/digital crossover synthesizer's mic input adds extra dimension to your music by letting you use a microphone as a modulation source, controlling filter cutoff, Cross Mod, and the JD-XA's other parameters with your voice. You can also conjure up classic vocoder tones or add some reverb to your vocals with the mic's dedicated reverb processor. Any way you slice it, plugging a mic into the JD-XA is a sonic adventure!

Roland JD-XA Analog/Digital Crossover Synthesizer Features:
  • Crossover synthesizer with independent analog and digital sound engines
  • Discrete 4-part analog synth engine with raw signal output
  • Expressive digital synth engine with SuperNATURAL technology
  • Analog filters deliver warm sound and smooth, organic response
  • Digital parts can be routed through the analog filters for unique sounds
  • Cross Mod, Ring Mod, and OSC Sync can be used simultaneously
  • LFO rate covers a wide range from ultra-slow to ultra-fast
  • Compatible with Integra-7 sound libraries from Roland's Axial sound portal
  • Packed with digital effects for handling any sound-shaping tasks
  • Flexible routing options for highly creative sound design
  • 16-track pattern sequencer lets you create music quickly and easily
  • Onboard USB, MIDI, and CV/Gate interfaces plus flexible MIDI control
  • Backlit knobs, sliders, and controllers for hands-on sound shaping
  • Mic input allows you to modulate synth sounds with your voice
Create an entire universe of unique sounds with the JD-XA analog/digital crossover synthesizer!

Additional Media

Roland JD-XA Synthesizer Demo by Sweetwater

Tech Specs

Sound Engine Type(s) Analog/Digital
Number of Keys 49
Type of Keys Velocity-sensitive, Aftertouch
Other Controllers Pitchbend, Mod Wheel
Polyphony 4 Notes (Analog), 64 Notes (Digital)
Number of Effects 120
Effects Types Delay, Reverb, EQ
Arpeggiator Yes
Audio Playback USB
Sequencer 16-track
Audio Inputs 1 x XLR/TRS Combo
Audio Outputs 2 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" (Dry), 1 x 1/4" (Click), 1 x 1/4" (Headphones)
USB 1 x Type A, 1 x Type B
Pedal Inputs 2 x Control, 1 x Hold
Height 4.37"
Width 35.44"
Depth 15.31"
Weight 14.3 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number JD-XA

Customer Reviews

Based on 13 reviews
Write your review

Amazing synthesiser!

This synth has become the nerve center of my studio. Also replacing a handful of other analogue and digital synths that couldn't quite do what this does in one unit. Tonally the JD-XA is up there with other good modern analogue yet can also sound vintage. It replaced my Moog, Juno, JX-3P and more and is overflowing with capability, functionality and creativity. One for those who like a lot of depth to their synths. Sound designer musicians not preset players! Feels good too. All controls are smooth and tight and have no issue with build quality at all. It's very solid and well laid out. People who miss this because they assumed mostly plastic meant bad build are only hurting themselves! I've had many many synths in my time but none as capable of great sounds in all categories (analogue mono bass and leads - analogue poly - analogue and digital fx and ambience and soaring digital pads - analogue rhythm 909 style etc ) this is a MASTER of all trades, the only jack is the many on the rear supplying a nicely specced range of in and out audio, mic and usb and midi ports. So much finesse and range and pure sound quality for little cash (vs some expensive competitors who are all flashy metal and wood but poor spec and bad filters and tone). Leave those to the badge snobs and if you care about great sound , great filters , flexibility , control and capabilities the JD-XA is for you! Love it! Love that it's sort of a cult classic already only appreciated by real players and sound designers.

Actually Take the plunge and it will blow your mind

I was one of many who was watching the videos of this thing, reading reviews, and was intrigued. Tried it at a DJ specialty store and initial reaction was wow looks beautiful in the flesh and that it sounded very unique, but then it began to frustrate me and l started to really get annoyed and produce terrible sounds, I was not experienced at using it, nor was it connected to an appropriate speaker set up. There were patches that I instantly loved such as Monsun, Firefiles, Sensation, however some sounded harsh noisy and not all that appealing. At this point I remained interested (because let's face it the thing is interesting), however was skeptical and thought of it as a risk, a very expensive interesting risk. But I couldn't get it out of my head for all its bizarrity, even though the thought of buying it made me feel uneasy.In the end my head said NO, but my heart said YES, which is what I believe we must follow when it comes to music. Because I just though to heck with it all take a risk I think this thing could sound original and maybe a risk is required to achieve something special.I bought it. Firstly, you unpack the thing and new and without scratches the thing looks stunning. Like something from another plantet. Call it grotesque, but anyone who comes to my house basically sees it and says "holy $&@".Plug it into a proper set of speakers with a powerful sub and all the right connections and I was immediately rendered speechless with the mega wide and supremely rich deep sound. A "phew" moment. The next few days it continued to blow my mind, yes even those much debated presets when set up properly in the comfort of your own sound system sound remarkable especially when they are tweaked.To cut a long story short I'm now four months in and I have to say it continues to blow my mind every time I sit down and use it because as you learn more it digs deeper and delivers something different. I feel it is truly able to produce original sounds, bizarre sounds, ultra deep rumbling sounds combined with crisp bright sounds. It's very musical and atmospheric it is like a bottomless pit for nearly anything, and most importantly it can stir the soul. But it's not instantly gratifying it's something you need to commit to first financially but especially time wise. You need to work with it and invest your emotion into it.After trying pretty much every new synth for hours on end and even driving to other cities to suss others out that weren't local I think this and the Montage are the two best synths on the market at the moment. They both compliment each other it's like dirty grit and wierd bliss (XA) meets stunning realism and of course motion control with the Montage.

Instant classic and then some

I've played with and programmed half of everything from classic analog synths to the latest digitals and softsynths. This is the Real Deal.The SN synth engine is very good. It can run the gamut of that nasty wubby Skrillex stuff through etherial and very CS80-like warm, plucky patches and rich syrupy pads. And if you want Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson (RIP), Tony Banks or Eddie Jobson prog, it delivers in huge layers of sound.The analog engine is very good. Take all the above and paste in here and then some. Roland sounds, Moog sounds, and with some finagling of gain staging, Oberheim sounds. I would plead with Roland to fix that third "broken" filter though, that was a really bad idea. One of its charming flaws. But it's amazingly powerful. With the Roland and Moog filters, you can accomplish a LOT, and the way the voices are assigned is ingenious. In Polystack mode, you have a four voice polysynth. In four part mono mode, you almost have four System 500 modules linked together for absolutely huge mono patches. And a Moog filter too, so you have something akin to a Moog 35 modular with eight oscillators, four filters, eight ADSRs, eight LFOs and four pitch envelopes. And effects! Keith Emerson may have had basic preset routings on his Moog monster, but he never had patches on his modular like this.But the two synth engines together... Lord, what an incredible synth this is. It can literally make the sounds of an entire synth arsenal from any number of companies. You want proof? Go listen to Gattobus' insanely good demos on YouTube, "10 covers in 10 minutes" - he has two of them. He even provides the data files! I'm listening to them again while I type this because they're so good.Seriously, this is one of the best synths made in the past 50 years. The SN synth under a full JP8000-like control panel is what I've been asking from Roland for years, and they give you a sweet sounding four voice synth in the deal. The combination is super powerful, as Gattobus' demos prove. No it isn't perfect, but I'm unaware of The Perfect Synth. Yes, the square wave is too buzzy, so it has to be filtered. But guess what? There's a perfectly good square wave in the SN section you can route through the filters if it really bothers you so much, and you can't tell it's digital. Frankly, I haven't felt the need to resort to this.Another thing that bugs me is the third "cracked" filter that sounds like it's being modulated constantly with noise. But if you lower the levels of the oscillators and noise feeding it, you'll discover the Oberheim-like filter they were originally intending to make before some head of development lost his marbles and preferred this thing. You'll have to level match all your other patches, but it's a small price to pay to get a hidden third filter.The SuperNatural synth engine is really powerful, capable of some amazing textures nothing else can deliver. With four flavors of lowpass and all the typical filter modes, it gives you all kinds of potential to shape those oscillators into whatever timbres you could want. Along with modeled traditional analog waveforms, the digital OSCs have a whole slew of sampled waves, many from the venerable JD-990 module and some more from the Jupiter SN synths. In fact, some patches for the Integra will work with the JD-XA. The best have been collected into libraries on Roland's Axial website, so you have dozens of fresh patches in numerous categories right there to choose from, as well as a growing crop of libraries from many users online.The effects are very good too. You won't find Lexicon or TC Electronics megaverbs, but they sound reasonably good enough to track with, and the other effects are superb, and very flexible with a few different routings. The vocoder is stellar. The sequencer isn't the most amazing, but it works and you can do a lot with it. Go listen to Gattobus' demos again if you wonder if you can do anything with it.Roland makes a lot of the whole Crossover Synth philosophy, but all I need to do is layer the analog and SN synth to become anyone from Emerson through Eddie Jobson to Vangelis, Tangerine Dream and Tomita. Plus, when the analog synth is layered with patches programmed identically and level matched to each other, I've found that it sounds like a huge analog synth with tons of polyphony. You're hard pressed to hear the analog voices being stolen, it's so seamless. So you guys wanting an eight voice analog from Roland, look no further. It sounds like anything from 21 voices up, and good luck trying to find an analog synth with that many voice cards.The real pleasure of this synth is in using the two sections to compliment each other individually. Just loading up one SN synth Tone with three partials will give you a really fat sound that can evolve in any number of ways. Add a juicy four voice analog layer on top, and you have five oscillators, four filters, eight ADSRs, six LFOs... etc. And those effects! And I haven't even touched on performances. Each of those eight Tone buttons will turn on a layer with it's OWN MIDI channel.I lust after just about every synth in the world. Andromedas, Jupiters, Oberheims, Prophets... you name it. But with the JD-XA, my thirst for those other synths is quenched. About the only synth I could really need with something this powerful and great sounding is a Moog or Oberheim. Voyager, Sub 37, OB-6, something. But then I program a Moogy patch, and that extra synth seems more like a convenience.This price is stupid good. Listen to those demos some more if you think you need more than the JD-XA can give you. This thing is eventually going to be as coveted as any vintage Jupiter or CS-80.
Music background: Synthesist, keyboards, studio engineer, producer, live sound

Instant classic

The biggest problem with this synth is that nobody understands it. Sure it could have more analog voices. It could have a better sequencer built in. It could even stand to have some more built in presets to showcase its potential (although is adding quite a few over the last few months). The truth is, it's one of the most amazing and purely roland "synths" I have ever owned, and a pure joy to play with. The analog engine makes it super easy to dial in complex sounds, or amazingly simple leads and basses. The filters are astoundingly good and the analog circuit sounds punchy and powerful. The digital section is like having a all the best features of any previous roland digital synth, with far more than a greatest hits mentality about it. The fact that you can layer these is utterly amazing, and provides endless capabilities. Add in the fully featured, multitude of effects and it's one of the few synths I've ever felt like could produce the perfect sound entirely on it's own in any circumstance. To anyone considering this synth, don't go off the demos on youtube alone. It very much captures the mood of anyone programming and playing it and that doesn't always translate well in demos. The truth is, it will be a classic and sought after long after roland decides to move on to less innovative things.

Back to Roland's 90s - and its 80's !

This is unquestionably the best Roland synth I've played since i remember buying the JD-800 monsrer synth in the early years of the 1990s. The sound ? It's sort of a mix of the Jx8p, Super JX10, JP-8000/or JP-8080 - but all in one box, and also with a bit. There is really nothing* else on the market at all like this right now - and make the right tweakings and you'll hear a really 'singing' sound from this synth - ethereal. Great synth - don't miss it .
See also: Roland, Roland Synthesizers