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How programmable is the Roland JX3P without the PG200 programmer?
Old 27th January 2009
  #1
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Ludwig's Avatar
 

How programmable is the Roland JX3P without the PG200 programmer?

I have the oppurtunity to get one but not the programmer.

Also how is the MIDI capability? Could I control it with MIDI data coming out of my MBox2's MIDI outs?
Old 27th January 2009
  #2
Old 27th January 2009
  #3
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Ludwig's Avatar
 

So with that you hook it up to a MIDI controller and can control its different functions with the knobs on that. How would you assign the different controls?
Old 27th January 2009
  #4
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alexp's Avatar
Its completely programable without it. I have a 3P and I have no desire to get the pg200.

People saying its too slow, or whatever, must be on something. Every parameter is no further away than 2 button presses, and a slider adjustment. IMO Its much more intuitive than the Alpha Juno series. You simply pick what section of parameters you want to enter (Group A or B), push the sound button for the corresponding parameter, and tweak it with the slider. Pretty straightforward. Oh did I mention the Chorus on it, is to die for?


Edit - Midi is fine on it. There is a rumour going around that it can only send and receive on channel one, but thats not true. There is a little switch on the back that goes between the machine receiving midi, and the programmer working, (yes you cant use all those knobs when the machine is playing a riff from midi), which is another reason I dont want one. However, it can do this no problem editing internally.




alexP
Old 27th January 2009
  #5
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Cheers alex, really useful post.
Old 27th January 2009
  #6
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alexp's Avatar
Glad I could help. Their fantastic machines, with a really unique sound to them. IF you want some sound examples, shoot me your email, and I will send you a quick demo of it.


alexP
Old 27th January 2009
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexp View Post
There is a little switch on the back that goes between the machine receiving midi, and the programmer working, (yes you cant use all those knobs when the machine is playing a riff from midi), which is another reason I dont want one. However, it can do this no problem editing internally.
With expansion kit, it is possible to do both at the same time - sequence the synth via midi and edit it realtime with programmer.

As a bonus all knob moves are recorded into (external) sequencer.

@Ludwig: Also there's is no need for original PG programmer - a BCR-2000 will do just fine.





Quote:
Originally Posted by alexp View Post
People saying its too slow, or whatever, must be on organix' toolshed - JX-3P MIDI Expansion Kit.
Corrected.








Old 27th January 2009
  #8
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alexp's Avatar
LOL!

Nice Don. I still dont get why one would want to spend money on something like that. You know how easy it is to program off the front panel. Is going from 2 button presses, to 1 really worth 70 something Euro?


alexP
Old 27th January 2009
  #9
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shadowfac's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexp View Post
LOL!

Nice Don. I still dont get why one would want to spend money on something like that. You know how easy it is to program off the front panel. Is going from 2 button presses, to 1 really worth 70 something Euro?


alexP
70 euro is quite expensive for such a simple editor. I bought a Matrix 6 editor for about $30 USD, and only because none of the freeware editors seemed to work well.
Old 28th January 2009
  #10
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alexp's Avatar
Shadowfac I hear you.

I just got used to editing my M6 off the front panel. Sheesh I must be a glutton for punishment (he says while editing samples on his Ensoniq Mirage)....



alexP
Old 28th January 2009
  #11
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Can't one use the BCR2000 knob box with the JX-3p and 8p? You can use it with the alpha juno series, as most of us know... I seem to remember reading you can with the JX stuff...
Old 28th January 2009
  #12
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Hey,

I just picked up a Roland JX-3P, and I was really surprised by the usability of it's sound. This is a seriously underrated machine!

I was lucky in that it's in like-new condition, came with original manuals, the service manual, and appears to have some sort of upgrade to them EPROM installed. I don't know all the features of the upgrade as I don't think it's the one previously mentioned. I just got a sheet that says "JX-3P MIDI Dynamics Version [Instructions]" and a bunch of information, as well as the date "Jan. 1984" on the bottom. If anyone knows anything more about this EPROM upgrade I'd like to know!

Anyhow, there are modifications that can be done on the JX-3P as well. While they are by no means needed to make the machine useful, it sure would be handy to be able to utilize the chorus for other instruments if needed
Old 28th January 2009
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfac View Post
70 euro is quite expensive for such a simple editor.
Editor?

This is a kit that expands jx-3p with completely new features. Originally it is NOT possible on this synth to edit it with a programmer - while the synth is being played from external sequencer. You could either edit a patch, or play synth from a sequencer, but NOT both. This kit lets you do both. If you make music, it really makes a big difference when you can edit things on the fly.

Second thing, all the parameters that are being edited during real time are also being recorded into sequencer. This feature itself is worth (!) the full price as it completely opens the synth for every parameter to be triggered pre-recorded from a sequencer. i.e. You have endless amount of LFO's, ENV's, etc, that way. You just draw them in sequencing software.

Third, this kit adds velocity. Makes a night/day difference for expressive playing.

The editor itself is free of charge.
Old 28th January 2009
  #14
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rachel's Avatar
It's like Europa for the JX-3P.


rachel
Old 28th January 2009
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexp View Post
...There is a rumour going around that it can only send and receive on channel one, but thats not true...
alexP
Sup alexp! You are correct is saying it transmits on all channels at one time. WIthout the expansion kit, you have to turn off your JX, connect the MIDI IN to the OUT, press six keys at a time and turn it on. Doing this the JX thinks it is in a diagnostic mode that turns omni off and makes it play only on MIDI channel 1. Please correct me if I am mistaken!

The expansion kit is not for everyone, I have no desire to get one for my JX since I have many other synths that can do what the expansion kit would allow. Plus I like having my JX3P and programmer in "classic mode" when I use it! The JX was the first synth I used to dream about owning when I was a kid.
Old 29th January 2009
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selidor View Post
Hey,

I just picked up a Roland JX-3P, and I was really surprised by the usability of it's sound. This is a seriously underrated machine!

I was lucky in that it's in like-new condition, came with original manuals, the service manual, and appears to have some sort of upgrade to them EPROM installed. I don't know all the features of the upgrade as I don't think it's the one previously mentioned. I just got a sheet that says "JX-3P MIDI Dynamics Version [Instructions]" and a bunch of information, as well as the date "Jan. 1984" on the bottom. If anyone knows anything more about this EPROM upgrade I'd like to know!

Anyhow, there are modifications that can be done on the JX-3P as well. While they are by no means needed to make the machine useful, it sure would be handy to be able to utilize the chorus for other instruments if needed
The Eprom update is a cool feature it makes the JX3 velocity sensitive while controlled by a velocity sensitive external keyboard.
Old 29th January 2009
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexp View Post
Glad I could help. Their fantastic machines, with a really unique sound to them. IF you want some sound examples, shoot me your email, and I will send you a quick demo of it.


alexP
Yep, really unique sounding, some people don't like it because it doesn't sound squelchy like previous Rolands (Jupiter etc...) But it is not meant to be. Yes the filter is "weak" (I preffer to call it gentle) compared to a SH or Juno 6 and Jupiters and the envelope is slow (in purpose) too, but this is why the JX excels at evolving pads. The hard sync is great too to create metalic or icy tone.
I love it.
Another great underrated Roland ar the JX-10 and JX-8) (a JX10 is basically 2 JX-8s)
It sounds distinctively different from the JX3 and can give you some unusual tone, the filter is powerful and you can use it either for amazing pads or for some uber fat lead and bass (there's 2 different Monophonic mode), the JX-10 was the last analog synth made by Roland.
PS: they are really cheap but it is better to get one with the PG800 programmer.
The rack version (MKS-70) has a better midi implementation (you can control all the parameters via Sysex with a midi editor)
Old 29th January 2009
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baikonour View Post
The Eprom update is a cool feature it makes the JX3 velocity sensitive while controlled by a velocity sensitive external keyboard.
Thanks Baikonour!

As far as the JX-3P goes... well, I've had it for about a week now, and after extensive use I got to say there's no reason for a person not to get this synth. I tried it last night without the PG-200 and I don't think it would really be an issue for most people.

I was really surprised that it only had a high-pass filter, rather than a low-pass, as that's not really common if a synth is just going to have one filter (a statement based on the synths I've played anyhow). I've also heard people say it's good for pads, and while this is true I think this synth is capable of a lot more. I have gotten some "squelchy" acid-like tones out of it, and with a bit of work it can really growl too. The common statement about it being good for pads had me using it in the higher octaves, but if you journey in to the lower octaves you can get some really interesting sounds.

I give this synth two thumbs up! There's no reason for anyone to pass this baby up!
Old 29th January 2009
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desotoslo View Post
Can't one use the BCR2000 knob box with the JX-3p and 8p? You can use it with the alpha juno series, as most of us know... I seem to remember reading you can with the JX stuff...
No, PG-200 does not send midi, it just uses the same connector.
Old 29th January 2009
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selidor View Post
I was really surprised that it only had a high-pass filter, rather than a low-pass, as that's not really common if a synth is just going to have one filter


Old 29th January 2009
  #21
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There is a LPF on it. Group B parameter 1 is the cutoff, and group B parameter 4 is your Res. It does have a non resonant HPF which is group A parameter 16.


alexP
Old 29th January 2009
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Editor?

This is a kit that expands jx-3p with completely new features. Originally it is NOT possible on this synth to edit it with a programmer - while the synth is being played from external sequencer. You could either edit a patch, or play synth from a sequencer, but NOT both. This kit lets you do both. If you make music, it really makes a big difference when you can edit things on the fly.
I see. I was misled by the screenshot into thinking it was just a simple PC-based editor.
Old 15th April 2009
  #23
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The JX-3P mod is a great thing, we should appreciate it regardless. I thought about buying it before but... it's cost put me off (could get another synth for that! )

I may get it one day, but for now i'm with the the other 3P guy who says programming is a piece of cake WITHOUT the pg-200.

Programming a sound is 1 press to select the a/b - then 1 press for the function (b/1 is cut off for example).. then move slider.

Now if you want to 'tweak on the fly' if you make.. that sort of music, and want do sweep the filter while also adjusting resonance etc.. then yeah the PG *IS* worth it (and essential), but even then you still need the mod chip to do that while it's bringing in midi sequences.. unless you just want to use it's built in sequencer (limited but fun).

I guess of all synths the 3P shouldn't be disregarded for lack of PG-200 as it's a really simple synth.

My 8P is far more complex to program from the panel as you need to input a 2 digit ref code for parameter (hit parm key, type in 5, type in 2, then you have cut off)... but with that you CAN program it from midi (generic box or software so...).


(updated jan 2011: I got that mod afterall, not long after I wrote this and have used it with and without BCR2000 ever since, still a cool little synth)
Old 15th April 2009
  #24
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Super easy to use without the pg-200. The only reason I got the PG-200 myself was because I got a ridiculously good deal on it. Otherwise, it's really superfluous.
Old 16th April 2009
  #25
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Yeah if I could get a pg-200 for a VERY good price, I'd love one, maybe 2 - and another JX-3P to convert into a JX-3PG:

Dave's CustomSynth Roland JX-3PG


but I would never pay more than the synth cost for a small box of knobs to help with what is already a VERY simple process of programming.
Old 26th May 2009
  #26
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Update - I'm now hoping to get the MOD for the JX-3p having picked up a dirt cheap BCR-2000 (that I've already got set up and working beautifully on my JX-8P - and yes I've created more 'quality' custom patches on the 8P in the week I've had this, than I ever did before even though it's not hard without, it's more enjoyable WITH for sure).

JX-3P can not do this without the mod, so thank god for the mod! - JX-3p can ONLY use PG-200 without the mod. SO I can kind of understand it's high price (a used PG-200). Don't know why anyone would pay high prices for PG-800 etc though (for 8P) when that synth works out of the box with a BCR, and you can pick up 2nd hand BCRS way cheaper.


So all in all, I think the mod is ready for me I'll just buy the self build kit and save 20 euros.

(oh btw dont forget, when you buy a BCR you can use it for a massive amount of things that you can't use the proprietry programmers for.. .DX7 editor set over 3 presets? yes no problem, soft synth editor? yep, daw controller? yes... all stored in 32 preset spaces (that you can offload/upload as you wish) so it's like having 32 programmers for quarter of the price of just ONE endless rotaries and LEDs are swish/useful too.
Old 27th May 2009
  #27
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Mike6581's Avatar
 

The JX-3P is really, really easy to programme minus the PG-200. My band mate, who hasn't got much synth experience got to grips with it with very little time - far less time than it took me to get used to the Prophet 08, which is covered with knobs for nearly every parameter. On the JX-3P there's a diagram explaining how the editting works on the front of the synth. It's capable of some really good synth strings and brass stabs. The step-sequencer is worth the purchase of a JX-3P alone. It's great and really easy to use.

Only downside is the total lack of realtime control of envelope shape and the filter (as Pro5 mentioned earlier). If you've got another synth covered with knobs and sliders you probably won't need this. My mate and I use the JX-3P and JX-10 (in my case) basically as you'd use a string ensemble or patch-based synth in the old days, with the obvious benefit that they're our own sounds rather than cheesy patches - you just need to programme your sounds in advance of a performance, rather than on stage.

If you'd like to be able to edit your sounds on the fly, contemplate getting the PG-200. However, you should also consider you could also get another synth (with knobs and sliders) for the prices a PG-200 goes for. I regularly see Juno 6s and Jen SX1000s go for less than the price of a PG-200 and they'd compliment the JX-3P perfectly as they do brilliantly what the JX-3P don't do, i.e. beefy bass sounds and real-time manipulation.
Old 27th May 2009
  #28
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the downside to the JX3P is that you can't have it sequenced
and fool around on the PG200 at the same time...

some sort of foolish concept IMO.
Old 27th May 2009
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ischibay View Post
the downside to the JX3P is that you can't have it sequenced
and fool around on the PG200 at the same time...

some sort of foolish concept IMO.

That's exactly why we are talking about the MODIFICATION above that lets you do just this (on top of many other perks). WIth the mod you can use any midi programmer (ie BCR2000) AND sequence at the same time, don't even need to track down a proper PG-200
Old 27th May 2009
  #30
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I used my JX-3P for years and years without the PG-200. I had to to have the SENS slider replaced I used it so much. I picked up a PG-200 a couple of years ago, and now I'm glad I did because some of the buttons don't work anymore and I can't activate some parameters in edit mode now.
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