Roland Programmer, MKS-Series, JX-Series

Roland Analog Synthesizer
the Roland JX Synthesizer Series
-Roland Programmer mpg + mks racks

programmers for D50, MKS70/JX10,JX8P, Alpha Juno/MKS50, JX3P/ MKS30

roland programmer pg

ROLAND SYNTHESIZER images (click the pic to enlarge it – if available)
Roland JX8P / JX3P / JX10 Synthesizer:
made in 1984
Roland JX8P deutscher detail – test hier!!..the digital era began – the 2 DCO synth also have crossmod , both need programmers to be programmed by sliders, but you still can edit them on the box, but the digital way using one edit slider and type in the parameter number (see the parameter list below) .. made synthesizers cheaper, yes.. the jx8p’s resonance can not reach self resonating filters, but sync and crossmod is possible, one lfo, the jx8p had velocity and aftertouch response and also negative env mod (choose one of 2 ENVs or one LFO – about 30hz max speed) VCA: additional “gate” envelope to help make nicer sync or filter mods.. think “pseudo 3 ENV” here. chrous there,too.
the super jx (jx10) was exactly a doubled jx8p (12 voices!) – it’s ROM can be changed for SysEx upgrade by Colin Frasers “hack”. jx8p and mks70 (the racked jx10) can be controlled by the pg800 programmer. the jx3p needs the pg200 (mks30 is the expander version of the jx3p)The JX10 opened looks like this (Colin Fraser’s Site again)

sync modes jx8p/jx10: the sync and xmod is quite unusual on these synths: use crossmod to get what you expect : quite FM-type of mod (dco2 mods DCO1), sync up DCOs with sync2 also tracks to keyboard, sync1 is also sync+crossmod!
the jx do not provide PWM there is rectangular and one fixed pulse wave, but you can still use sync to “thin out” and finally simulate “PWM” via sync: (mute dco1 – put dco2 to max volume both with rectangular wave (square!).. now you can mod DCO2 to have PWMlike – sounds..
programmer? with software? yes! on pc at:
on mac: use sounddiver –

der test und audio demos zum JX8P deutscher detail – test
jx8p in deutsch auf amazona..
MKS70 – JX10 rack Version..
MKS70 - JX10 rack Version..
JX3P: has 2 DCOs with sqr, pulse and saw, DCO2 has also noise as waveform, no PW/PWM. Crossmodulation, 1 LFO, 1 ENV plus typical roland “gate” for the VCA alternatively.. the first midi-roland with 32 memories. the mks30 “planet s” rack version had 64 memories and was velocity senitive (VCF and VCA will be modulated). first knobless synth, so try to get the pg200 programmer for edits..some
sysex tool and OS for the JX3P (use pg200 and midi simultaneously and more)

not enough more sounds mks70 (double jx8p / single jx10 as rack) – presets only.. wanring: preset aren’t the best way to check for sounds.. but..

Roland JX3P
image jx3p thanks to jörgthe MKS30 as rack (by myself)..
Roland MKS30 rack
roland jx8p
jx8p synthesizer controls
see the jx8p parameters?: klick this:
roland jx8p parameter
larger? grösser? .. to see the parameters..

audio JX8P demos:
xmod_vari2_moogulator.mp3 xmod_glockomat_moogulator.mp3 weichfilter_moogulator.mp3 sweeper in metropolis.mp3 schwirbelklang.mp3 resoroland_moogulator.mp3 moreXMOD_mogulator.mp3 klassischerSYNC.mp3 jx_pwm_trick.mp3 flaechenbrand_moogulator.mp3 der rolaender velo.mp3 der milchsweeper.mp3 crossmod_moogulator.mp3

Here is a Rack full of MKS ..on top: svc-350 vocoder.. no mks ;)
mks-30, a racked jx3p
Roland MKS30 rack

in the rack:
pg-80 programmer and mks-80 (racked jupiter 8)MKS70 – JX10 rack Version..
MKS70 - JX10 rack Version..
mks-50 – racked alpha junoand the sampler mks-10 (racked s10, simple sampler)
and a roland remote keyboard on the left..

read on for more on the mks synths and programmers..

The Roland MKS Racks
Roland MKS Rack Synthesizers
Roland Programmer + MKS Rack versions
Roland offered knobs for their rack synthesizers and some key versions very early!Rack Versions and Programmer Names..PROGRAMMERS
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) also – for the VCOs! Roland custom chips are used on both versions if it is about FILTERS! more about mks80 check the jupiter section..
    there is an editor/programmer emulation for pc by mark strijbos available.
  • mks30 – racked jx3p – “planet s” programmer: pg200
  • mks70 (rack) equal to 2x jx8p = super jx (jx10) – progger: pg800
    programmer with software? yes! on pc at:
    on mac: use sounddiver –
  • mks50 – racked alpha juno progger: pg300 (shown left)
    alpha juno 1 and 2: difference velocity sensitive & a larger keyboard and card slot.
  • the biggest / most expensive one: d550 (racked D50) progger:
    pg1000 incl a display and lots of sliders..
    D50 was the last synth with programmer.
  • pg10 quite rare programmer for the D20 but in fact it is not a real full sized and knobbed programmer.. just some sliders.. so it is the only “controller box” rather than a full programmer kind of rolands programmer list.. (btw: yes, the D110 is the D10 racked..)
  • (there is no programmer for the JD / JV series exept the jd800 ;))
  • little mks20 was the piano module – no progger needed ;)
  • CMU800 – designed sort of predecessor of the mks7 -so to speak- it had no sliders exept volume mix for bass, chord etc. it was a “computer controlled” expander for use with an apple IIe in 1982, it was named Roland DG and could even be connected to a roland plotter.. strange white box.. sound wise maybe not the top choice but def’ly the “crazy bonus”.. roland had computer controlled ideas when others where still thinking “rock”.. 50 pin interface – it has 8 CV outs,so.. this is special! for controling CV synths it’s a nice and vintage idea to have if you find software for it..
  • mks7 was a 707 and juno106 in one case. hmm.. no programmer afaik.
  • mks100 a sampler – the old S10 (thats the keyboard) with filters as a rack- max 32khz sample rate. needs quick disks (2.8″) to save samples. top model was the s50 / s550 rack with 32khz still..

AUDIODEMO some audio by myself on the mks-80
(racked jupiter 8) jupiter8_mks80.mp3
want manuals of the mks series? click

or better go here: roland manuals

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 super jupiter synthesizer rack
roland mks80 synthesizer rack super jupiter
PG300 mks50 / alpha juno programmer.. pic of mks50 above..
roland pg300 programmer for alpha juno + mks50
PG80 and mks80
(racked Jupiter 6 / 8 “something”..)
Roland Programmer MPG80 for mks80 jupiter 8

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 (not that BOTH are roland filters, there is a myth around that there has been a “curtis” version, in fact it’s only another structure with curtis chips and they ALL used the roland filter chip..the later one is more stable since it is the OSCs (thats the thing that changed), but to my ears the mks80 still sounds more fat than the jupiter6, still..
the interesting thing here that it’s no difference in the filter chips, there are no “curtis filters” used on all mks80, but the rest had changed..
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 myth version..)

MKS80 – and Programmer PG300
board..Roland mks80 super jupiter synthesizer rack
Programmer PG-300
Roland pg300

Roland MKS Rack Synthesizers <– Roland MKS Rack.

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