Roland brings back the JD-800 as a soft synth with all the original presets

On its 30th anniversary, the 90s digital synth comes to Roland Cloud.

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Roland JD-800 Roland Cloud

Image: Roland

The 1991 Roland JD-800 digital synthesizer has returned as a Zen-Core Model Expansion on Roland Cloud.

The Zen-Core Model Expansion JD-800 brings the retro sound of the original thanks to Roland combining the original waveforms with advanced modelling techniques. The result is “100 per cent authenticity”, the brand says.

Roland’s coveted synth featured a combination of sampled oscillators with an analogue-style signal path. And you really could get hands-on with this signal path – there were more sliders than anyone can care to count (around 61). These would let you adjust filtering, envelopes, modulation and more. The JD-800 Model Expansion gives you plenty of control with a different approach.

As with the original, you’ll still create a patch with four layers, mixing sampled waveforms with resonant multi-mode filters, a multi-effects engine and a deep modulation matrix. The GUI provides a more comprehensive look at the synth engine with visual displays of envelopes and parameters. There are still a few sliders, though.

As part of the Zen-Core family, Roland’s JD-800 can be loaded within the Zenology and Zenology Pro software instruments and into the Jupiter-X and Jupiter-Xm hard synths. You’ll get 64 original JD-800 presets for instant retro sounds.

To try out the synth for yourself, you’ll just need a Roland Cloud account and Zenology Lite, both of which are free. You’ll get a 30-day trial to give the JD-800 a test drive. If you’re already a Roland Cloud Pro or Ultimate subscriber, you’ll have immediate access. Otherwise, the synth can be bought with a Lifetime Key for $149.

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