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Roland JX3P - Tips and Tricks

1.) hidden functions in the JX3P.
The hidden functions are generally available via resetting the JX3P while holding a certain button of the tone selectors. The reset may be done in different ways (partially depending on the EPROM Version):
  • All EPROM-Version: Some very early versions of the operating system of the JX3P do not work as explained in the following. In this case you have to
    1. switch off the JX3P
    2. set the MIDI/Programmer-switch on the rearside to the MIDI-Position
    3. connect the MIDI-Input with the MIDI-Output
    4. press and hold six keys of the keyboard
    5. switch on the JX3P and release the six keys after two seconds
    Remember: This will disable the Omnimode and set the JX3P to MIDI-Channel 1 only. All other functions cannot be reached this way (or at least: I did not manage it...).
  • Newer EPROM-Version only: Switching power on means a reset. So holding the needed tone selector button while switching on is one off the possible ways.
  • Newer EPROM-Version only: Switching from "Tape Memory" "mode to normal mode results in a reset too. So if you need to change a setting of a hidden function, you should hit the "Tape Memory" "button, then press and hold the needed button and hit the "Tape Memory" "button again and leave the tone selector button then is the second way.
The following list shows the buttons
Voice assignment functions and additional patch RAM
The following six functions switch the Omnimode off and make the JX3P respond to MIDI channel 1. The first three leave the JX3P in normal function. The only difference is that the last six LEDS of the tone selector buttons are used to display the voice assignment.
The functions 4 to 6 are like the functions 1 to 3 but open a third bank for own patch programs if the bank button C or D is pressed. The programs in bank C and D are not touched. The sequencer is not available in this mode, but the sequence is not lost. Also the first two presets are replaced by measuring sounds (saw only on prg 1 and and noise with high resonance for filter tuning on prg. 2.
DescriptionUse this tone selector button
resetting voice assignment: if the same key is pressed two times the same voice will be used. If a key is released its voice will be used for the next keypress.1 or 4
circular voice assignment: for each new key presses always the next voice will be used. Also if a key is released the voice will not be used for the next keypress unless all other voices are used.2 or 5
mixed voice assignment: If NO keys is pressed already the first voice(s) is/are used for the sound. If a keys IS pressed already, the voice assignment is like in the circular assignment 3 or 6
Adding Velocity (needs the EPROM Upgrade)
The Amount of the Envelope gets dependent from the MIDI value for the notes velocity. In this mode neither the sequencer nor the keyboard will work.7
MIDI functions
switch off receiving "hold" "(Ctrl 63)14
switch off receiving Pitch Bend15
switch off receiving Program Change16

2.) Use the Sequencer in the JX3P.
  • Listen step for step to the sequence
    The Sequencer is as simple as it might be, but I often find it very useful to get quick some very nice sequences, I then translate to my computer sequencer program. For this use it is needed to step through the sequence without recording a new track. This can be done by going to overdub mode (press and hold the "Tie" "button and press then "Sequencer Write": Now you can step forward pushing the "Tape Memory" "button and step backward pushing the "Tie" "button.
  • Use of external Clock:
    The external clock input gives a step at each clock. The problem is, that the sequencer will play the first note of the sequence when you press start but no clock is available yet. I think this is a little bug in the bios of the JX3P: if it finds a logical one in a segment of its keyboard buffer it thinks of it as of an clock. You can't prevent this, but you can simply hit start/stop/start before starting the external clock. Now the sequence will start at the first note.
  • Step lights while sequence playing:
    Do not press simply "Start" "but press and hold "Pause" "and hit then "Start". This will make the LED chain a runlight like in the 808! Nothing that moves the world, but a nice look. The running light will disappear if you edit a sound.

3.) Tips regarding the VCF
I strongly recommend to tune the VCFs and the adjust (increase! hehehe...) the resonance of the Filters. This is described on the modification page, since this requires to open the JX3P, which only should be done by people who can distinguish the tip of a soldering iron from its end ;-)
  • Set to exact octave tracking:
    The printed symbols show for parameter B3 (VCF tracking) a 3 o'clock position as 100%. This corresponds to a value of 13 on the LED chain, but on my JX3P this is not the right value. To get the right value, use the following procedure. Use program B1; remove the vibrato (parameter A3 and A10 to Value A=off); raise resonance to maximum; press "Hold"; play all C-keys; now adjust the tracking so far that it sounds like quite good octaves; adjust cutoff-frequency that the filter is one octave over the oszillator; again adjust the tracking; again control the cutoff frequency; check tracking and cutoff until you hear fine octaves which are not dtuned against the DCOs. Again: This needs well adjusted resonance and VCF tune.

4.) Other Tips.
  • Noise as modulation source
    The parameter B10 provides officially only three waveforms for the LFO, but selecting "D" "as value results in a kind of pink noise as modulation signal. This setting may be stored without any problem. The PG-200 won't provide it, since it has only a three way switch.
Further Tips are welcome.
Try also...

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© florian anwander Dec. 2000