Submitted December 24, 2015 by Dylon Merrell
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While it may look a bit cheesy and feel a bit light and cheap, don't let that fool you. This is a serious powerhouse of a synth. The obvious selling point, at least for me, was the included set of classic roland drum kits (tr909, 808, etc) and they sound spot on. The step sequencer and recorder is very intuitive once you get the hang of it and also very capable.
At first glance, you'll think this is 100% dedicated to EDM sounds and EDM sounds only, don't let that fool you. There are only a handful of videos online demonstrating the other possibilities and sounds, so I recommend doing a deep search or play one for yourself. The possibilities are really endless with this guy. You can edit nearly every parameter, in depth, but it does require quite a bit of menu diving. There are some knobs on board, which allows you to quickly and simply edit a sound, but to get into the nitty gritty, you'll have to dive in. One complaint I have is there aren't any attack, decay, release, or sustain knobs. Which I consider a necessity. They're here, but exist only deep in the menus.
As for the presets, there are plenty. 256 to be exact. Space is also available for 256 user presets. The factory presets are mostly usable. There are a fair amount of dance and EDM sounds, but these can all be tweaked to your liking to evoke just about any kind of sound you need. Rompler and acoustic sounds are a plenty, as well as classic string and brass sounds. And they're all pretty decent and useable as well. I particularly like the string and Wurlitzer sounds but there really isn't a bad one in the bunch.
Now. The analogue part. The addition that drove the hype above and beyond for this little beauty. Its good. But....that's about it. Which is a tad bit disappointing. It does have a sub oscillator to fatten up the sound. Which can also be edited heavily via menu diving. There is only a lowpass filter on board, which coming from pure analogue with multiple filters, feels a little limiting. Every time I plug this thing in, I give the analogue another try, and every time it falls slightly short of what I'm looking for. Like I said, it's not bad. But it's only just good.
I mentioned the drum parts before, and they don't disappoint. Anyone familiar with Rolands classic drum machines will know enough to be sure that it's the real deal. While it's not an exact replica, it comes very close and is nearly worth the price alone.
So there you have it. The JDXI is a powerhouse of a synth with a boats load of sonic possibilities and is one of the funniest machines I've gotten my hands on in a while. It won't replace every synth in your collection, and I certainly wouldn't reccomend it as a replacement for your analogue kit or as your sole analogue synth. But it would make an amazing addition to any collection and you should not, would not, and could not regret purchasing it.
I've been in the "music game" since age 6, so nearly 20 years now. I play the synth, keys, drums, bass, guitar, ukulele, etc.
Psychedelic, punk, classic rock, New wave, synth pop, aka, baroque pop, electronics, hip hop, funk.
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