Having owned both the original Jupiter and now this, the legacy of sonic power continuesÖ
Back in 1985 (I hate to even say that) my keyboard rig consisted of a Roland Jupiter 8 on the bottom with a Yamaha DX7 on top. At that time I thought that that was the finest 2 board keyboard rig on the planet.
Today my new rig is a Yamaha CP1 Stage Piano on the bottom with the new Roland Jupiter 80 on top, and I think that this is the finest two instrument keyboard rig on the planet. A lot has changed since then, but one thing that hasnít changed, when Roland sets their mind to building a premium synthesizer, they know how to deliver. Theyíve put out a lot of junk the last several years too, but not here, this instrument is special.
I played my original Jupiter 8 for ten years, and I plan on playing my new Jupiter 80 for at least that long.
Right now there is more misunderstood information about this instrument (on the net) than any instrument in recent history. Many of the expectations were based upon the fact that people were expecting something closer to the original Jupiter, and when Roland gave us something quite new and unexpected, some musicians have been critical. However, they are severely mistaken for this ax is a tonal monster.
This instrument pays homage to, and is an extension of the original in every capacity. It builds on the dynasty of the original and offers fantastic sound sets and function in a modern 21st century setting. Here are three important reasons why you should consider purchasing this ax:
1) Live Performance Synthesizer
This instrument is designed for musicians who play live, musicians who play gigs regularly, musicians who need an instrument that is easy to navigate and change sounds live on stage without scrolling through menus. Roland gives you 8 sets of 32 live Registrations organized into 4 banks of eight presets for each set, and that gives you 256 total registrations accessible with the push of a button located right below your right hand on the keyboard. The original Jupiter only had 64!
If youíre gigging, you can organize the Registrations from Set I to correspond to your Gig Set List. Registrations from Set I = Gig Play List - Set I; Registrations, Set II = Gig Play List - Set II, and so on and so forth. So as you play your gig, push a button and go to the next sound, and if you need several sound changes during one song, no problem, push the next Registration button while youíre playing and change sounds. Therefore, you can concentrate on playing live and not worry about the technology. Iíve set my board up with the first four sets of Registrations covering my Jazz Quintetís first four set lists, and man is this convenient. On my Registrations Sets 5-8, Iím storing new sounds that I create and develop. Hey if you need more than 256 Registrations to play a gig, then youíre doing more sound changing than playing.
2) Quality of Sounds Available, and Quality of Sounds Possible
There are over 2000 synth sounds (patches called live sets) in this thing, and over 2000 Super Natural Sounds (Rolandís new Instrument Modeling Technology) in this thing. You can layer/split these in infinite combinations. You can go into the synth sounds and Tweak yourself into the next universe, I mean every parameter of every possible element of sound creation can be tweaked and edited. Then you can set up your Registrations, and did I mention that the combinations are infinite, itís incredible. WARNING, you have got to spend some serious time learning how to navigate this ax and get around the programming functions and master the tweak aspect of this thing, or you are wasting your money. Plan on spending some serious time learning and setting up your Registrations, for the stock Registrations that come with the instrument are for the most part average to lame. But once you learn how to develop and create your own sounds and registrations, look out, youíre going to have the fattest sounding ax around, I kid you not!
Hey, there are over 500 monophonic (Moog type) lead sounds alone and many of them sound fantastic, and when you start to stack/split and layer these in your registrations, itís off the charts. If you want thin and singular sounds, if you want multi-layered and over the top stuff, synth brass, orchestral, strings, pianos, usable organs, and on and on, itís all there, but youíve got to master how go get the sound, manipulate the sound, and then set it up in your Registrations. And the new Super Natural Sounds, trust me, they are very valuable in creating new sonic possibilities; you will use these natural instrument sounds a lot, for they can really ad to your various synth patches. The only sound group that is sub-par in this instrument is the guitar sounds, for the most part they are weak. Other than that, every sound group has usable, good, and very good stuff.
3) Build Quality and Future Development
Roland instruments have fantastic build quality and sturdy design, and this rig tops the charts. And Roland has already come out with version II (a big improvement over version I), and they are just releasing the Legacy Collection of sounds (based on their past synthesizers) that you can download. And from what Online Users Forums have intimated Roland is committed to showcasing and developing sound designs for this instrument in the future.
By the time you buy this instrument and then accessorize it with instrument case, pedals, cables and such, youíre tapping into some heavy bread. Itís designed for the professional user that is willing to spend the heavy bread and then take the time to master the instrumentís capabilities to the fullest. And trust me there is a serious learning curve, and like all instruments, this instrument has its own idiosyncrasies and personality. But man what a personality it is. I love it. Thanks Luke (my Sweetwater sales rep) for helping me set this new awesome rig up, and the legacy continuesÖ