Roland’s JD-800 plugin could be the ‘90s synth revival you’ve been waiting for

We picked out Roland’s JD-800 as one of the 11 classic synths we’d like to see remade in hardware, and while the Japanese giant hasn’t quite given us that, it has at least released a plugin emulation on the Roland Cloud.

The 1991 synth was previously rebooted as a Zen-Core Model Expansion for the Zenology and Zenology Pro software instruments and Jupiter-X and Jupiter-Xm hardware, but now it’s arrived as a plugin in its own right.

As you might expect, this isn’t just a collection of samples; Roland says that it’s used both the original waveform data and advanced modelling techniques to recreate that classic JD-800 sound.

The multi-stage effects section is here, too, with an expanded control view for real-time tweaking. You can drag and drop the seven effects into your preferred order, and there’s also a master EQ.

The JD-800’s enormous control interface has been recreated in all its glory, and is resizable for high-resolution screens. All 64 original presets are included, as are 64 new ones that are designed to show off how the synth can work in a modern context.

The JD-800 plugin runs in VST/AU/AAX formats and is available immediately for all subscribers to the Ultimate tier of Roland Cloud ($199 a year or $20 a month). You can also purchase a lifetime key for $149.

Find out more on the Roland website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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