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Roland MKS-70 Upgrade/Modification beta testers wanted Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 22nd March 2015
  #841
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GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolveco View Post
UPDATE: I only had about 15 kits, and they are all gone. I wasn't expecting that more people would be interested in this project (which requires a lot of hacking inside the synth). So.. I'll be contacting each of you who ordered.

-Fred
To suppress a demand the price goes higher, the law of economy.
Now, if anyone wishes to sell 'the first run kit' (placing an order within 1 hour after anouncement was not fast enough to secure purchase in my case) I am open for offers.
Old 22nd March 2015
  #842
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer K View Post
Fred, is there a feature that sends out all current patch settings in CC format, like f.e. The Waldorf Pulse does? That would be great to synchronize the editor with the current patch, as I intend to use CC instead of Sysex so things are optimal for recording.
No, sorry. The tone parameters can be controlled with CC, but not the patch parameters (most of them requires to reset internal structures, stop the sound boards, etc.. so they don't make sense in a sequencer). Anytime a patch is loaded (with its 2 tones) an APR sysex message can be sent (depending midi options), and it contains all parameters in the shortest possible format.

-Fred
Old 22nd March 2015
  #843
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang View Post
To suppress a demand the price goes higher, the law of economy.
Now, if anyone wishes to sell 'the first run kit' (placing an order within 1 hour after anouncement was not fast enough to secure purchase in my case) I am open for offers.
There will be enough kits available, and I would be disappointed if folks are reselling the kits or the boards on eBay, or other channels. I spent a lot of time on this project to help the JX community, I did all my best to keep the kit price as low as possible, and I'll make sure there are enough kits for whoever is buying them, I just ask for some patience here.

-Fred
Old 22nd March 2015
  #844
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ryankm's Avatar
 

Yeah I'm really excited here even fixed up an old half inch tape machine for this one.

-Ryan
Old 25th March 2015
  #845
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wjmwpg's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryankm View Post
Yeah I'm really excited here even fixed up an old half inch tape machine for this one.

-Ryan
I didn't realize that the Super JX's can "dump to tape"?
Old 25th March 2015
  #846
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marino's Avatar
Fred, again - thanks a million for your hard work. I can't order my kit before middle of April anyway, so I hope to be able to get one by then.

For my needs, having ready-to-install boards as you mentioned would be great. However, I will go with whatever solution suites you best.
Old 26th March 2015
  #847
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjmwpg View Post
I didn't realize that the Super JX's can "dump to tape"?
They can't.
Old 26th March 2015
  #848
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Spectralwaves's Avatar
Ive just done the V3 Eprom upgrade !

I didn't get a chance until now. I was bricking it. I know that some people claim to have done it in 10 minutes..but it took me @ 3 hours.

First of all the JX10 is ( along with my Prophet VS) my most beloved & valuable synthesiser, so there was a lot at stake if I damaged a chip or a ribbon cable etc.

Ive had my JX10 since 1989 & it is probably the instrument that Im the most emotional about, & done my best work with.

It is so weird to switch it on & see 'ROLAND JX0 V3' ! & then my programmed patch that was there for years in A1, still there.

I know this is quite elemental stuff for those who are more tech savvy, but it took me ages to pluck up the courage to actually pull the white ribbon cable out..I was so worried it would snap & it was just not coming. Anyway with a bit of gentle wiggling & then a bit more strength was needed, it eventually gave.
The rest was easy once I got that out of the way, & thankfully I had my chip puller because that was necessary.
Some of the pins needed a little bending too to get the new chip in.

The most bizarre thing is I have an arpeggio running right now! So strange from my JX10 ... I know I know.. I need to calm down, but I thought I would just share my excitement. I will miss its sequencer as I loved that & its basic-ness & immediacy, but the arp will be fun , especially with its generous range of options.

The thing that is most immediately valuable to me with this upgrade is the fact that at last I will be able to program more patches & get crazy with programming it again as I filled up my MC64 cartridge & the JX10 years ago with patches that I did not want to nor could I overwrite, or dump/ store due to the obvious lack of SYSEX patch load dumping ability of the JX10.


Thanks Fred ! Outstanding work.
Old 26th March 2015
  #849
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectralwaves View Post
Ive just done the V3 Eprom upgrade !

I didn't get a chance until now. I was bricking it. I know that some people claim to have done it in 10 minutes..but it took me @ 3 hours.

First of all the JX10 is ( along with my Prophet VS) my most beloved & valuable synthesiser, so there was a lot at stake if I damaged a chip or a ribbon cable etc.

Ive had my JX10 since 1989 & it is probably the instrument that Im the most emotional about, & done my best work with.

It is so weird to switch it on & see 'ROLAND JX0 V3' ! & then my programmed patch that was there for years in A1, still there.

I know this is quite elemental stuff for those who are more tech savvy, but it took me ages to pluck up the courage to actually pull the white ribbon cable out..I was so worried it would snap & it was just not coming. Anyway with a bit of gentle wiggling & then a bit more strength was needed, it eventually gave.
The rest was easy once I got that out of the way, & thankfully I had my chip puller because that was necessary.
Some of the pins needed a little bending too to get the new chip in.

The most bizarre thing is I have an arpeggio running right now! So strange from my JX10 ... I know I know.. I need to calm down, but I thought I would just share my excitement. I will miss its sequencer as I loved that & its basic-ness & immediacy, but the arp will be fun , especially with its generous range of options.

The thing that is most immediately valuable to me with this upgrade is the fact that at last I will be able to program more patches & get crazy with programming it again as I filled up my MC64 cartridge & the JX10 years ago with patches that I did not want to nor could I overwrite, or dump/ store due to the obvious lack of SYSEX patch load dumping ability of the JX10.


Thanks Fred ! Outstanding work.
Thanks for sharing your experience. One minor comment : remember to go through *all* midi parameters. Several have been enhanced or changed so they may not have the correct values. (Some people reported that their JX didn't work after the upgrade (produce no sound) but it was just LOCAL which was set to OFF...)

-Fred
Old 31st March 2015
  #850
Here for the gear
Well I swapped out my JX's eprom for Freds a few weeks ago, and I'm only now coming up for air. I had a tense moment when I was swapping the eproms where I managed to bend one of the pins and thought I'd never get it in, but I just used a pin straightener from a local electronics store and it went in easy after that. As Fred mentions above, there was no sound from the keyboard initially, which gave me a tiny panic moment, but the revised manual is very clear and I got it figured out quickly.

Awesome. Everything works just as it should and it truly does bring the JX-10 back from the near-death obscurity of bad MIDI implementation.

Haven't run into any problems at all. This is really a thrill. Huge, huge thanks to Fred. It's so good I bought a second JX-10 for $300 from a local high school. Will be ordering a chip for that one soon, though I might do the full PWM upgrade on that one, not sure.

Some possibly useful info for others making the upgrade: the MKS-70 profiles for SoundDiver, MIDI Quest, MKS-70v, CTRLR, etc., all work perfectly. If any Renoise users are reading, look into the Guru tool (free download) -- it also has an MKS-70 editor that isn't as comprehensive as the others but works just fine for basic editing. Rutger Verberkmoes' self-made MKS-70 controller for Logic also works great.
Old 31st March 2015
  #851
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synthdood's Avatar
Oh man. Been following this thread from the beginning. I´m away for only one week and now look what happens. The kits become available and are already sold out. Prepearing a PM to coolveco as we speak.
Old 31st March 2015
  #852
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lovekrafty's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robohymn View Post
Well I swapped out my JX's eprom for Freds a few weeks ago, and I'm only now coming up for air. I had a tense moment when I was swapping the eproms where I managed to bend one of the pins and thought I'd never get it in, but I just used a pin straightener from a local electronics store and it went in easy after that. As Fred mentions above, there was no sound from the keyboard initially, which gave me a tiny panic moment, but the revised manual is very clear and I got it figured out quickly.

Awesome. Everything works just as it should and it truly does bring the JX-10 back from the near-death obscurity of bad MIDI implementation.

Haven't run into any problems at all. This is really a thrill. Huge, huge thanks to Fred. It's so good I bought a second JX-10 for $300 from a local high school. Will be ordering a chip for that one soon, though I might do the full PWM upgrade on that one, not sure.

Some possibly useful info for others making the upgrade: the MKS-70 profiles for SoundDiver, MIDI Quest, MKS-70v, CTRLR, etc., all work perfectly. If any Renoise users are reading, look into the Guru tool (free download) -- it also has an MKS-70 editor that isn't as comprehensive as the others but works just fine for basic editing. Rutger Verberkmoes' self-made MKS-70 controller for Logic also works great.
The Kiwi patch programmer is another great option that really works well.
Old 3rd April 2015
  #853
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Gnalvl's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolveco View Post
You all already know about the extra new features :
- 4 envelopes (2 multi-points, 2 ADSR), all loop-able (faster envelope *is subjective*, ask the beta testers)
- new waveforms for the LFO
- a 2nd LFO, can be modulated by LFO1 (and LFO2 can be modulated by LFO1, so you get LFO cross-mod)
- DCO PWM waveform (if daughter boards are installed)
So is the "faster envelope" feature incomplete at this time, or is the final implementation just not as drastic as initially planned?

Just curious as this has always been a sticking point for JX critics.

Awesome work!
Old 3rd April 2015
  #854
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnalvl View Post
So is the "faster envelope" feature incomplete at this time, or is the final implementation just not as drastic as initially planned?

Just curious as this has always been a sticking point for JX critics.

Awesome work!
There are many parts to this answer...Firstly Fred has diched some of the timing that was imposed by the 100 percent utilised 8031 cpu (which could just about run the soundboards).....the effects of this were that some voice updates got differing amounts of time to update the DAC/CV`s to drive the synth...thus some sloppy envelope action, there were other subtle artifacts which were found and cured with Freds new software which would lead you to think that the envelope software was to blame (DCO phase problems etc)

Secondly..the "New" envelopes have the six stage Time/Level format, Identical to those in the Alpha Juno synths...with these you can set your own slope to the attack and decay times....I have found that a Zero attack to full on T1/L1 and playing with the T2/L2 for a very short decay to a lower level will give a nice MKS80 type "Spike" in your sounds...

Finally the way all these new parameters interact with extra routings,LFO crossmod and LFO 1 AND 2 can be applied to the VCF (as well as aftertouch,velocity etc)..so a light touch on the parameter levels..and a little self control will make this synth sing.....start cranking things up and you will get some truly odd SFX type sounds or saturate the DAC/CV and end up with the same old JX stuff
Old 3rd April 2015
  #855
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wjmwpg's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quavermass View Post
Finally the way all these new parameters interact with extra routings,LFO crossmod and LFO 1 AND 2 can be applied to the VCF (as well as aftertouch,velocity etc)..so a light touch on the parameter levels..and a little self control will make this synth sing.....start cranking things up and you will get some truly odd SFX type sounds or saturate the DAC/CV and end up with the same old JX stuff
Quavermass, do you know if the new LFO's can be set to single fire/cycle with each key press?
Old 3rd April 2015
  #856
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Gnalvl's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quavermass View Post
There are many parts to this answer...Firstly Fred has diched some of the timing that was imposed by the 100 percent utilised 8031 cpu (which could just about run the soundboards).....the effects of this were that some voice updates got differing amounts of time to update the DAC/CV`s to drive the synth...thus some sloppy envelope action, there were other subtle artifacts which were found and cured with Freds new software which would lead you to think that the envelope software was to blame (DCO phase problems etc)

Secondly..the "New" envelopes have the six stage Time/Level format, Identical to those in the Alpha Juno synths...with these you can set your own slope to the attack and decay times....I have found that a Zero attack to full on T1/L1 and playing with the T2/L2 for a very short decay to a lower level will give a nice MKS80 type "Spike" in your sounds...

Finally the way all these new parameters interact with extra routings,LFO crossmod and LFO 1 AND 2 can be applied to the VCF (as well as aftertouch,velocity etc)..so a light touch on the parameter levels..and a little self control will make this synth sing.....start cranking things up and you will get some truly odd SFX type sounds or saturate the DAC/CV and end up with the same old JX stuff
Very interesting. So I guess in summation, the new parameters give you a lot more control, but the envelopes still aren't quite as lighting quick as the Alpha Juno?

Still sounds like a great setup, almost giving you a Roland equivalent to all the modulation routing options of the P08. As always this is a very subjective/preference-related question, but do you feel this adds enough to the MKS-70 to make it stand on its own and avoid feeling redundant next to an MKS-80?
Old 3rd April 2015
  #857
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wjmwpg View Post
Quavermass, do you know if the new LFO's can be set to single fire/cycle with each key press?
LFO can Free run,sync to first keypress or per keypress.
Old 3rd April 2015
  #858
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wjmwpg's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quavermass View Post
LFO can Free run,sync to first keypress or per keypress.
. . . but you can't set the LFO to run only one cycle of its wave each time right? Once the LFO starts running it's going to keep running until key release?

I ask because the IO upgrade for my JP4 has additional LFO's that can be set to single trigger with each key press, where only a single cycle of the selected LFO waveform runs with each key press - I find it to be a surprisingly useful programming tool.
Old 3rd April 2015
  #859
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnalvl View Post
Very interesting. So I guess in summation, the new parameters give you a lot more control, but the envelopes still aren't quite as lighting quick as the Alpha Juno?

Still sounds like a great setup, almost giving you a Roland equivalent to all the modulation routing options of the P08. As always this is a very subjective/preference-related question, but do you feel this adds enough to the MKS-70 to make it stand on its own and avoid feeling redundant next to an MKS-80?
Regardless of the new additions the inherent sound of the filters
And oscillators are quite different to my ears.
Old 3rd April 2015
  #860
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnalvl View Post
Very interesting. So I guess in summation, the new parameters give you a lot more control, but the envelopes still aren't quite as lighting quick as the Alpha Juno?

Still sounds like a great setup, almost giving you a Roland equivalent to all the modulation routing options of the P08. As always this is a very subjective/preference-related question, but do you feel this adds enough to the MKS-70 to make it stand on its own and avoid feeling redundant next to an MKS-80?
Hmmm......you can now get MKS80 like sounds/performance from a JX10 from my point of view, along with some nice evolving patches with the looping envelopes that the MKS80 cannot match. (or you could short loop the envelopes for some low res sampler type stuff)

Plus Fred has not mentioned anywhere that you can take PWM "off the dial" to get some real nasty,buzzy/glitchy sounds out of the old girl....if you want....

The old JX10/MKS70 is still in there,can take on the MKS80 and she can get a little "dirty"
Old 3rd April 2015
  #861
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The Elf's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovekrafty View Post
Regardless of the new additions the inherent sound of the filters
And oscillators are quite different to my ears.
And mine. Very, very different beasts.
Old 3rd April 2015
  #862
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Gnalvl's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quavermass View Post
Hmmm......you can now get MKS80 like sounds/performance from a JX10 from my point of view, along with some nice evolving patches with the looping envelopes that the MKS80 cannot match. (or you could short loop the envelopes for some low res sampler type stuff)

Plus Fred has not mentioned anywhere that you can take PWM "off the dial" to get some real nasty,buzzy/glitchy sounds out of the old girl....if you want....

The old JX10/MKS70 is still in there,can take on the MKS80 and she can get a little "dirty"
Hmm, lately I've been thirsting for some kind of alternate analog character...thought about maybe getting a Poly-800 or 61 because they sound so different from the Rolands, but also feel like their limitations would cause me to get bored with them once the initial "new synth" excitement wears off. Maybe the MKS-70 (with Fred's mods) would give me a bit of the lowfi gritty DCO sound I like about the Korgs while offering enough additional modulation to keep me plumbing the possibilities into the long term.

I am just a bit weary of redundancy since that's what I felt when I owned both the MKS-80 and an Alpha Juno. The later mostly delivered lesser versions of all the patches I could make on the former, so it was hard to justify keeping around. If the JX really sounds so different, maybe I'm worrying too much.
Old 3rd April 2015
  #863
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lovekrafty's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnalvl View Post
Hmm, lately I've been thirsting for some kind of alternate analog character...thought about maybe getting a Poly-800 or 61 because they sound so different from the Rolands, but also feel like their limitations would cause me to get bored with them once the initial "new synth" excitement wears off. Maybe the MKS-70 (with Fred's mods) would give me a bit of the lowfi gritty DCO sound I like about the Korgs while offering enough additional modulation to keep me plumbing the possibilities into the long term.

I am just a bit weary of redundancy since that's what I felt when I owned both the MKS-80 and an Alpha Juno. The later mostly delivered lesser versions of all the patches I could make on the former, so it was hard to justify keeping around. If the JX really sounds so different, maybe I'm worrying too much.
I own the MKS-80, JX-10 and the Juno 1
None of them for me would be a suitable replacement for the other
They all have their strengths.
The Juno 1 being the simplest of them all still is unique in its
PWM and mix of sub oscillators, they all sound different.
Old 3rd April 2015
  #864
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnalvl View Post
Hmm, lately I've been thirsting for some kind of alternate analog character...thought about maybe getting a Poly-800 or 61 because they sound so different from the Rolands, but also feel like their limitations would cause me to get bored with them once the initial "new synth" excitement wears off. Maybe the MKS-70 (with Fred's mods) would give me a bit of the lowfi gritty DCO sound I like about the Korgs while offering enough additional modulation to keep me plumbing the possibilities into the long term.

I am just a bit weary of redundancy since that's what I felt when I owned both the MKS-80 and an Alpha Juno. The later mostly delivered lesser versions of all the patches I could make on the former, so it was hard to justify keeping around. If the JX really sounds so different, maybe I'm worrying too much.
You will still get the Roland sound even with the mod...check out a DW8000 for a different DCO flavour (much better than earler Korg DCO stuff)
Old 3rd April 2015
  #865
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lovekrafty's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quavermass View Post
You will still get the Roland sound even with the mod...check out a DW8000 for a different DCO flavour (much better than earler Korg DCO stuff)
The DW8000 has digital oscillators not DCOs
But it is indeed a great sounding synth
Old 4th April 2015
  #866
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wjmwpg View Post
I ask because the IO upgrade for my JP4 has additional LFO's that can be set to single trigger with each key press, where only a single cycle of the selected LFO waveform runs with each key press - I find it to be a surprisingly useful programming tool.
+1
Very nice feature indeed. Ideally this would be even better if implemented via a fade-in and fade-out time for LFO depth, and with fade-in and fade-out set to 0 you would get the one-shot, and then all the other values would increase the possibilities...
Old 4th April 2015
  #867
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wjmwpg View Post
. . . but you can't set the LFO to run only one cycle of its wave each time right? Once the LFO starts running it's going to keep running until key release?

I ask because the IO upgrade for my JP4 has additional LFO's that can be set to single trigger with each key press, where only a single cycle of the selected LFO waveform runs with each key press - I find it to be a surprisingly useful programming tool.
Hopefully Fred will show up in a moment to explain that there are no more messages to pass to the soundboards from the assigner...so no more edit parameters available (or memory to store those parameters!!).

Okay no fancy one shot LFO,but at least one envelope should be available for a one shot LFO type effect
Old 4th April 2015
  #868
Gear Addict
 
wjmwpg's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quavermass View Post
Okay no fancy one shot LFO,but at least one envelope should be available for a one shot LFO type effect
Yeah sorry, don't get me wrong, I'm not asking that this feature be added - I know that there's no more room for new features. Just thought I'd ask if it had already been implemented.
Old 6th April 2015
  #869
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quavermass View Post
Hopefully Fred will show up in a moment to explain that there are no more messages to pass to the soundboards from the assigner...so no more edit parameters available (or memory to store those parameters!!).

Okay no fancy one shot LFO,but at least one envelope should be available for a one shot LFO type effect
Just reading, sorry I've been very busy.

Dave is correct, we are running out of memory for tone parameters, and also out of messages (protocol stuff, already enhanced) between the assigner and the sound boards. Only one parameter is left for future enhancements. And I am keeping it in case some really fancy nice feature would be desired... once we get feedback from the pwm kit adopters ! [There are already many new parameters, it now takes more time to create a tone !]

-Fred
Old 6th April 2015
  #870
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phutureboy View Post
+1
Very nice feature indeed. Ideally this would be even better if implemented via a fade-in and fade-out time for LFO depth, and with fade-in and fade-out set to 0 you would get the one-shot, and then all the other values would increase the possibilities...
So basically an envelope applied to the LFO output...

-Fred
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