Roland Jupiter-Series + Promars

– the Roland Promars + Jupiter Synthesizer Series

ROLAND SYNTHESIZERimages (click the pic to enlarge it – if available)
Roland Jupiter series
Jupiter 8 – Jupiter8 – Ju8 – Ju8
built: 1981
(mks80 is QUITE similar but racked):
JP8 audio demo

AUDIODEMO some audio by myself on the mks-80 (racked Jupiter 8) jupiter8_mks80.mp3

more audio here at visiomedia (thanks frank!)

Filters: lpf 24 and 12dB/oct.,
2 PWMable VCOs but you can use ONE waveform per VCO only,
crossmodulation, no midi but some have dcb (a roland interface), very classic roland „mid“ & 80ies kind of sound (meant positive here!), it is more „phat“ than the jp6 – jupiter 8 has no midi, but can be retrofitted, so there are midified jupiter around:
if your ju8 has DCB (this depends on the release date) you can get a DCB to midi interface
some are already equipped and some have non of these.. in that case it’s not impossible but more expensive to midify your jupiter.. (service tech!) same situation for old juno users. a jupiter 8 can be expensive these days, it a bit below 2k€. only ebayers pay 2500€ ;) there are 2 LFOs – LFO is 64Hz max, LFO2 is 16Hz max. so it is „fast“ but not as fast as the Ju 4-6’s – the racked version mks80 came later and has midi (the ju8 had not midi, later it had DCB under the jupiter8a name). the mks80 has env1 mod for Xmod.. it’s been said: it seems not to sound absolutely the same.. as close as those rev. versions of the prophet 5 ;) so better see the mks80 as a revisited jupiter8 with influence of the ju6 mod capabilities but no more 12dB/oct filter mode (and still no multimode filter like the jp6 has).. but it hasn’t the ju6’s way of choosing ALL waveforms per OSC.. but it has Xmod modulation.. but: try to get one with programmer (pg80 / mpg80) or use mark strijbos‘ editor
how does it sound? remember Axel F (Harold Faltermeyer)? big fat and somewhat „in“ sound in the 80ies.
there have been some versions, find it out by power on & patch 1+3 held down.
Both: Jp6 and Jp8 and ( mks-80 ) are „so to speak“ 2 times multitimbral ;) dual, split, unisono modes.. quite a lot for it’s time..

MKS80 vs. Jupiter 8 (JP8)?
mks cons: no 12dB/oct filter mode, needs programmer or computer remote (not easy to edit on the box)
mks pro: more mod, bit like the jp6, same mods exept all mod switches being ONE of each destinations – on the jp6 you can have both., midi! the key follow was a slider in the jp6, in jp8 it’s just a switch (on/off)

Jupiter 6 – came in 1983 my impression was the ju8 is a bit more „phat“.. but the ju6 can do lots more sounds, also the routings are better in the ju6. WANT A FILTER RESO SOUND? here is one by Stefan „smuehli“ Mühleck (thanks for the nice resonating sound of theee instrument that was always with me in the 80ies..) ju6_test.mp3 (questions? use the forum! please)
the mks80 is some sort of a rack version of the jupiter 8, but it’s sound is only close,not exactly the same. but good enough. should be used with programmer mpg80 (rare) – btw. the Jupiter4 and Jupiter8 both have fast LFOs (100Hz) and those envelopes are also not bad..
the Jupiter-6 /JP-6 was the first midi equipped roland synth, it had omni mode only, later poly mode was available, it does not even send mod wheel.. but with europa it will even send CC and has a 2 channel arper with „step“ like programming (like the microkorg has)
hardware chips used on roland jupiter 6 are
12 CEM3340 VCO and 6 CEM3360 Dual VCA
the ju6 was shown on the NAMM along with the other first ever midi equipped synth: the prophet 600 by SCI..

difference ju6 – ju8:
basically the Jupiter 6 and 8 (mks80 rack) are quite close, but the Jupiter 6 has a MULTIMODE FiLTER and of course the Ju-8 has 8 voices whilst the jupiter has 6 and a bit more modulation capabilities:
ju6 has bandpass and high pass filter (multimode filter). more routings, the 8 has a non-modable hpf only. there are more mod rouings on the jp6 and the waveforms can be „added“, the ju8 only allows ONE wave per OSC. ju6 has rudimentary midi (notes and prog change of the „performance“ sets, poly mode. if yours only has omni on you can get an eprom at roland to make it listen on ch1 only). ju8 does NOT provide midi. some have DCB (digital but not compatible). there are dcb – midi converters ,but not cheap! in germany ees manufactures them..
Roland Promars &
Jupiter 4 – it’s compuphonic
introduced – 1979
first: the ju4 and Promars do not sound like the other Jupiter synths (6,8,mks80), it’s more like a transition from the SH to Jupiter with a lot of more SH in it.. so it is really another sound…
LFO:! – one can create real nice FM mod effects when modding the Filter at higher resonance amounts. Imo The Jupiter 4 is quite underestimated these days.
zum Promars (mrs2) und Jupiter 4 :
1 VCO plus subosc, beim Promars mit 2 VCOs, aber nur einer davon hat ein komplettes set für wellenform,pwm/pw und oktavschalter.. lfo geht bis ca 80-100hz! was imo DAS DING ist in der kiste, 24dB LPF und 2 ENVs für filter und AMP wobei filter sich invertieren lässt. sie klingen sehr anders als die anderen Jupiters oder SH Serie. ja, man kann natürlich die filter und co per cv steuern.. aber parameter kann man eigentlich auch steuern, denn -man glaubts nicht- intern sind diese parameter schon digital mit einem uralten intel „dümmer als 8080“-prozessor geregelt, wobei 2 bit für schalter und der rest für regler sind, heisst: 64 stufen (schade eigentlich) für regler (multiplexverfahren)

very fast envelopes!
ich weis,es gab mal eine ankündigung irgendwo zu einem Ju4 interface ,das komplette CC steuerung ermöglichte (eine firma in münster,leider gibt es das nicht mehr) wie etwa „europa“ für den Jupiter 6 ( ju6 / jupiter6 ).
natürlich sollte das auch für den Promars gelten, wobei der vco2 vermutlich aussenvor bleibt.. (dieser ist intern eigentlich auch ein voller VCO, müsste also per re-engineering auch extra einstellbar sein: also PWM,PW,mod,fußlage,wellenform,(tune ist ja rausgelegt) – technisch versierte können aber dem vco2 dieselben parameter nocheinmal verpassen,die mit VCO1 einstellbar sind. unterschätzt ist er in jedem falle!
VCO, note: you COULD have the same controls for Pro-mars VCO2
the Promars AND JUPITER 4 – Ju4 – Jupiter4 – jp4:
you don’t believe: it’s controlled digitally by a „sillier than 8080“ intel processor.. 2 bit are used for switches, the rest for the sliders: so it’s 64 steps resolution. also the Promars extra VCO could get the same paramteres as the VCO1 (pwm,pw,lfo mod,oct switch,waveform,(tune is there already)) by re-engineering that software .. also there is a midi CC interface that makes it able to control all sliders via midi (of course you can do by voltage,too – i guy in münster, germany – seems it is discontinued..). but I only know of europa for the jupiter 6 .. maybe the company does not longer exist?.. price was around 250euro.
8 presets and 8 of your own sound – but you cannot chance saved patches.. so: you should leave this out ;) .. better bypass the „compuphonic“ section to get real analogue-non-stepped parameters!..
Sometimes it is a simple synth that can do a lot of really good sounding FX and sounds. the Jupiter 4 has a lot of warmth and is capable to do the nice warm and cold at one time Filter FM sounds as „the klinik“ (deutsche infos zu industrial/ebm/electro/intelligent beats und co hier) do.. try that using other synth often needs to sacrifice the VCO, and there are still not many vintage synth that can do filter FM at audio sspeed one of them is the jupiter 4 and its monophonic pendant Promars. The Xpander also does this or the Andromeda.

MIDI for Jupiter 4 / Promars (MSR-2):
the Promars already has it’s CV and gate on the back side! so you can use a normal kenton, doepfer or other standard midi to CV interface. normal voltage trigger and 1v/oct. logic.

same for the jupiter 4 but you need to get the CV & gate from the motherboard of the ju4: open it and find the main board. there you find 2 larger connectors. the upper 4 are gates from 4 to 1, the same for CVs on the other side of the connector (motherboard side). you’ll find the same on the other board just upside down ;)
HOW TO DO IT jupiter 4 midi CV connection:
for jp4 use the opened pic showing the locations of A26 and d3 connectors which are parallel..

the Promars has 1 complete voice board and one VCO2 board, the jupiter has 4 completely identical voice boards.

Jupiter 4 & Promars are
compuphonic because they have EIGHT fat MEMORY BUTTONS and you can store (but not edit after saving) up to biiig 8 sounds here!
overriding the computer will override the steps
so if you tried it? let me know!
same for adding controls for the Promars’s
VCO2 controls!
difference: the jupiter 4 has a s/h for VCF and a nice arpeggiator (up,down,up+down,random) and unison modes! (2x poly and 2x unison) and hold.
most of the differences are here–>Promars. but the Promars has 2 VCOs where the VCO2 has the same settings as vco1 exept the tuning. more fat? i’d say the jupiter4 in unison mode is more fat. and: the envelope is the fastest on ANY synthesizer ever heard. means: perfect for percussion. see the modifier „trigger“ ? thats for arp triggering and s/h trigger for VCF modulation both is not possible on the

Jupiter 8 and Jupiter 6… 1st: Ju8:
Roland Jupiter 8
Roland Jupiter 8
Roland Jupiter 8
roland jupiter 6
image thanks to elmacaco, usa
roland jupiter 6 synthesizer
Jupiter 6 – image thanks to elmacaco, usa

roland jupiter 6 synthesizer
roland jupiter 6 synthesizer
roland jupiter 6 synthesizer

all Ju6 images lots of thanks to elmacaco, usa

made in 1979.. but first: the Promars
Roland Promars MRS2 Synthesizer
Roland Promars MRS2 Synthesizer VCO section
Roland Promars MRS-2 Synthesizer
Roland Promars MRS2 Synthesizer
Roland Promars MRS2 Synthesizer

ROLAND Jupiter 4 / JP4 made 1978
roland jupiter 4 synthesizer
roland jupiter4 synthesizer
enlarge Jupiter 4 JP4 modes & arp’er.. click!
roland jupiter 4 synthesizer
roland jupiter 4 synthesizer

Roland Jupiter4 CV GATE to MIDI
Jupiter 4 – CV / gate . where is it… :
roland jupiter 4 midi / cv gate mod
roland jupiter4 synthesizer
click to enlarge.. Jupiter4

mks80 super jupiter synthesizer rack
click to enlarge..

more mks80 see mks section.. click to enlarge!!..mks80 vs. mks80:
as said there are 2 versions:
the earlier curtis version is a bit thicker in sound (till ser.511799), the later roland version is more stable since it is the OSCs , but to my ears the mks80 still sounds more fat than the jupiter6, still..
want OS Version? hold auto tune + write while power on..(but I have no idea what is cool here, a newer version is 5.0 – roland chips)

AUDIODEMO some audio by myself on the mks-80
(racked jupiter 8) jupiter8_mks80.mp3

Roland Programmer + MKS Rack versions
Roland offered knobs for their rack synthesizers and some key versions very early!

more mks80 see mks section..Rack Versions and Programmer Names..

and RACK modules – PG and MKS series
.. what programmer and what mks is what synth?:

  • mks80 – the racked (close to) Jupiter 8 so called „super jupiter“ eg.
    mks80 and the MPG80 programmer were quite easy to use. – no need to control the ju8 or ju6 by programmer,so don’t try this at home – the early mks80 used curtis chips, later ones (ser no 511800) roland custom.. more about mks80:
  • see mks section..

want manuals of the mks series? click

or go to , they have ANY Manual online now..

RACKED JUPITER8 and alpha juno
-> MKS80 and MKS50
mks50 and mks80 super jupiter synthesizer rack
click to enlarge. mks80 is quite large in a rack and is the one of those rare synth with XLR outs, see the extra PG? (click pic!) – 2 outs for upper and lower section…roland mks80 synthesizer rack super jupiter
PG80 and mks80
(racked Jupiter 6 / 8 „something“..)
Roland Programmer MPG80 for mks80 jupiter 8


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