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Roland JD-XA,... WOWZA.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #7411
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I remember Nick's general sentiment as "...why are things this way? I don't get it." Which is understandable: synth is idiosyncratic in many respects, it strays from the pack, and some decisions are head scratchers, but he was positive about the sound and capabilities.

He didn't bash the thing, he was just puzzled/confused by it.


edit: Why red text on a shiny black background next to bright lights? Why are all the sounds saved together? Why no edit knob? Why no drums when there are drums on the small one? Why is that filter broken? Why is the SNS PWM broken? Why didn't you make something familiar and easy to understand Roland? Etc.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #7412
Lives for gear
 
7Wave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyBox View Post
I remember Nick's general sentiment as "...why are things this way? I don't get it." Which is understandable: synth is idiosyncratic in many respects, it strays from the pack, and some decisions are head scratchers, but he was positive about the sound and capabilities.

He didn't bash the thing, he was just puzzled/confused by it.


edit: Why red text on a shiny black background next to bright lights? Why are all the sounds saved together? Why no edit knob? Why no drums when there are drums on the small one? Why is that filter broken? Why is the SNS PWM broken? Why didn't you make something familiar and easy to understand Roland? Etc.

Roland has the tendency to have brilliant ideas, but the first attempt at realizing these ideas in actual products tends to be odd or out of place. Usually by the second or third iteration they get it right, more or less.

For example, when Roland decided to play catch up in the workstation market, they released the Fantom. Nice sounding workstation, but no sampling? Korg and Yamaha had workstations with sampling for years before. So they hurriedly released the Fantom S. It wasn't until the Fantom X that they were on par. Then they released the Fantom G and later the Jupiter 80 but hadn't yet figured out where they were going with SuperNatural. That had to wait until the Integra 7. The Jupiter 80 also had its head scratching features and never really caught on.

I bought a JD-XA second hand a few months ago, and I can see it's going to take some getting used to. That being said, it's a brilliant synth and I plan to keep it. I could sit and just do sound design on that synth for hours. But certain design choices in the JD-XA like the (non)visibility of the panel have me scratching my head. I know they were continuing the AIRA motif with those color choices, etc., but they should know by now that lack of contrast makes it hard to see even in good light.

The TR-8 was another near miss that was somewhat rectified later by the TR-8S. On the subject, they should really just release the add-ons to TR-8 users at no cost, since they overpriced them and then made them non-available.

Roland has always had a problem figuring out how to capitalize on their legacy of great synths and drum machines while also moving forward technologically. People STILL want that TR-808, TR-909, System 100, Jupiter 8, Juno 106, and D50 sound. I can think of no other synth company with so many classic synths and sounds that are still in high demand.

The fact that Roland released a polyphonic analog synth AT ALL is to me a pretty big breakthrough. But the build quality on the JD-XA is so fragile that I probably wouldn't gig with it.
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