The Roland JD-XA is a remarkable hybrid synthesizer with four analog parts and a separate four part 64 voice digital engine. Analog filters deliver the goods for smooth clean sound. Although not the warmest sounding synth in turns of a “warm color”, the Roland JD-XA has an incredible amount of sound sculpting possibilities thanks to its onboard effects, sequencer and digital/analog hybrid design.
The biggest complaint concerning the Roland JD-XA is its workflow. Many owners feel its a bit too tedious in many aspects to compliment their workflow. Perhaps this is was a necessary evil in the Roland JD-XA’s design in order to get the most out of the machine’s multi-part functionality. Another complaint concerns the Roland JD-XA’s shiny black top. Users say it is too susceptible to scratches and reflects too much light back into the user’s eyes. This has been remedied to some degree by Roland offering free overlays that are placed over the top of the JD-XA.
The Roland JD-XA has a super clean sound and can be used as an audio interface using a USB connection. The sound transmitted over USB is very clear and clean with minimal to no noise present. Which is not a bad thing unless you prefer a bit of dirt and grime in your recordings for added texture and color.
The Roland Axial site contains sound sets that can be loaded into the Roland JD-XA giving owners of the synthesizer more presets and programming possibilities. Many of the sound banks on the Axial site mimic older Roland synths. For those who don’t have the funds or don’t want to spare the cash, this makes for a pretty decent substitute. Although I believe nothing really beats the real thing, the sound banks nonetheless make a fantastic impression of some older synthesizers that can be very hard to find and very expensive to buy.