Roland Jupiter 8

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roland jupiter 8The Jupiter-8, Roland's flagship analog synthesizer of the early 1980s is an eight-voice polyphonic synthesizer.

The Jupiter-8, introduced in the Autumn of 1981, is very user friendly as well as intuitive. Although it lacked the soon-to-be standard of MIDI control, later model Jupiter-8s did include Roland's proprietary DCB interface, and sported advanced features such as "Four On Four" and the ability to split the keyboard into two zones, with a separate patch active on each zone.

The Jupiter-8 was discontinued in 1985. According to Synthmuseum, 2,000 Jupiter-8s were manufactured, but the actual number of units produced is unknown.

The Jupiter-8 is an 8-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer. Each voice features two VCOs with cross-modulation and sync, pulse-width modulation, a non-resonant high-pass filter, a resonant Low-pass filter with 2-pole (12 dB/octave) and 4-pole (24 dB/octave) settings, an LFO with variable waveforms and routings, and two envelope generators (one invertible).

Features include adjustable portamento, a hold function for making sound design easier, a versatile arpeggiator with DIN-sync and external analog clock input connectivity, assignable pitch-bender, instrument layer and split modes, robust load and save functionality for its 64-patch memory, a DCB port for attaching an external MIDI interface or other DCB-compatible device, built-in XLR outputs, and—in addition to legato and polyphonic modes—the Jupiter-8 includes a powerful unison mode.

A Z80 CPU was used for managing storage of patches, scanning the keyboard, display, and buttons, port handling, and taking care of the auto-tune function among other things.[1] The VCOs were discrete. The VCF was based on the custom Roland IR3109 IC (also used in the filter circuits of the Jupiter-6, later Jupiter-4, MKS-80 rev 4, Juno-6/Juno-60, SH-101, MC-202, JX-3P and packaged in the 80017a chip used in the Juno-106 and MKS-30 among others). The VCA was the BA662, used also in Juno-6/60/106, JX-3P and TB-303. The envelopes were generated in hardware by the Roland IR3R01 chip (also in the Juno 6/60), and are much faster (1ms attack) than software-generated envelopes used in the later Jupiter-6, Juno-106 and MKS-80 "Super Jupiter".

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