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Increasing polyphony with more synths (JX-8P)
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Doc Asbury
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7th May 2012
Old 7th May 2012
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Increasing polyphony with more synths (JX-8P)

Hi everyone, this question is about the Roland JX-8P, but I suppose it can apply to other synths. Is there any way to double your polyphony by using a 2nd identical synth?

I have 2 JX-8Ps, each with 6 voice polyphony. What gave me the idea is the JX-10 which is basically 2 JX-8Ps under the hood giving 12 voice polyphony. Also I once heard you can do something like what I'm talking about with certain Oberheim synths.

Whether this is of any significance, the JX-8P has two different "POLY" modes. I've never quite understood the difference, but the manual says:

Quote:
POLY1 - This mode turns the JX-8P to a 6 voice polyphonic synthesizer assigning one synthesizer module to each key pressed.

POLY2 - This mode is very similar to Poly mode above assigning only one synthesizer voice to each key pressed. The primary advantage of this mode is that only the last note or notes played together receive natural release length.
My initial hope was that POLY1 would hold the first 6 notes while POLY2 would hold the most recent 6. If that were so, hooking one synth in POLY1 to another in POLY2 would give 12 note polyphony. Alas, that's not the case (unless I'm doing something wrong).

Any ideas?

~Doc
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7th May 2012
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Why have two JX8P when you can use a DAW and multi-track? Sell one of your JX8P’s and use the money to buy another sizer, one with say a multimode filter, PWM or something. That why you broaden your audio pallet. :D

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7th May 2012
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If the synth doesn't have a Poly Chain facility (a lot of older synths don't) you could use your DAW, create two MIDI tracks on the same channel with a split on each so that one synth only receives notes above a certain note and the other below. Load same patch on both. Play on that channel. If youre using one of te synths as the controller, you'll need to turn local control off. Et voila! I know Logic can do this very easily.
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8th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Asbury View Post
My initial hope was that POLY1 would hold the first 6 notes while POLY2 would hold the most recent 6. If that were so, hooking one synth in POLY1 to another in POLY2 would give 12 note polyphony. Alas, that's not the case (unless I'm doing something wrong).c
nope it doesn't work that way. only synths with "midi spillover" can do this.. like JD990 for example.


but, keep it simple, sell both JX8P and pickup a MKS70 (two JX8P in a rack). it takes much less space, and you do get a 12 note poly (in WHOLE mode). as well as handy patch modes for splits, layers (4 osc on JX engine sound awesome together)
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8th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by networkacid View Post
If the synth doesn't have a Poly Chain facility (a lot of older synths don't) you could use your DAW, create two MIDI tracks on the same channel with a split on each so that one synth only receives notes above a certain note and the other below. Load same patch on both. Play on that channel. If youre using one of te synths as the controller, you'll need to turn local control off. Et voila! I know Logic can do this very easily.
Depending on how you like to work the part that may or may not be a hassle is getting the same sound on each synth. I'm not very good with the Logic environment, but it should even be possible to set it up so that it switches MIDI channels every note. Someone on the logic forums made something like this so that I can use more than 4 voices in Aalto!
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8th May 2012
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Thanks for the replies, everyone. 2 JX-8Ps are necessary because this is for a live situation requiring 2 physical keyboards at once. I was thinking as long as there were 2 JX-8Ps in use, I might be able to double (merge) the polyphony as a bonus. I agree an MKS-70 would be perfect, and one was even selling here on craigslist for cheap, but I didn't act fast enough

I think networkacid has a great idea...
Quote:
Originally Posted by networkacid View Post
If the synth doesn't have a Poly Chain facility (a lot of older synths don't) you could use your DAW, create two MIDI tracks on the same channel with a split on each so that one synth only receives notes above a certain note and the other below. Load same patch on both. Play on that channel. If youre using one of te synths as the controller, you'll need to turn local control off. Et voila! I know Logic can do this very easily.
and even better:
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodeater View Post
it should even be possible to set it up so that it switches MIDI channels every note. Someone on the logic forums made something like this so that I can use more than 4 voices in Aalto!
My next question is, is there a piece of hardware that can do that (so I don't have to lug my DAW)?

A quick google search turned up the Seelake Audiostation
Seelake AudioStation - MIDI Patchbay

But that thing is basically a DAW in a box, overkill for what I need. Anyone know of any basic patchbays (under $200 if possible) that can do assignable splits/switches? Then I think I'd be good to go!
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8th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Asbury View Post
Anyone know of any basic patchbays (under $200 if possible) that can do assignable splits/switches?
Answer to my own question: yes, I found tons of inexpensive patchbays that will do the trick (I found one on craigslist for $50). And the beauty is it'll work with any type of synth
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