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 ROLAND MKS80 Analog Synthesizer

Roland MKS80 synthesizer
click image to enlarge - Bild klicken zum vergroessern
other ROLAND gear..
Built 1984
Type: analog
Hybrid: no
8 Voice / Stimmen
2x Multitimbral
standard Memory / Speicher
Value / Wert in 2017 ca. 800 (rare)
Synthesis: subtractive

OSC Features pwm sync Xmod
Wave Shapes triangle pulse saw noise white
2 OSCs
2 Filter static hpf + lpf reso 4 Pole
2 LFOs square saw sine random
2 Envelope Generators 2x ADSR

MIDI SYSEX Control / Triggering
0 Keys with velocity aftertouch

Arpeggiator no
Sequencer no
(ID 65)
  deutsch - german
ABOUT the classic Ju8, well known, so maybe just to say, it sounds a bit "aggressive" compared to us-synths of that time. the mks80 is the Jupiter 8 in a rack. it has no 2 pole filter mode but Crossmodulation can be controlled by ENV1
ABOUT echter Klassiker, klingt fett aber auch eine leicht aggressiv (verglichen mit damaliger us-Konkurrenz). Rackversion des Jupiter 8, er hat zwar keinen 2pol Mode, dafür aber kann die Crossmodulation moduliert werden durch ENV1
DETAILS quite fast LFO (about 64Hz), cool sync in both directions. Xmod modulation possible by ENV1. It adds dynamics to the Jupiter sound which is only available in the Rack (mks80). HARDWARE INFO: Filter? Curtis? Roland? Thats a common mistake. But there is NO CEM filters in any of the MKS revisions. The CEM rev. has only CEM VCO and VCA even the ju8 has no curtis filters.. same for the ju6.. Both revisions uses 2 CEM3360 _DUAL_ VCA per voiceboard for Crossmodulation- The older revision usesr IR309 filter like in JP4, JP8, Juno60 etc. The newer MKS uses IR305 which is both VCF and VCA. like in Juno1/2, JX-10 etc. So it is right as follows (I will remove the wrong ones soon): MKS-80 (racked jupiter8) MKS80 used 8 x IR3RO5 Serial <#511800:-- 16 CEM3340 VCO 8 CEM3360 Dual VCA 12 IR-3R09 VCF MKS80 serial >511800:-- 16 IR-3R03 Roland VCO 4 CEM3360 Dual VCA 8 IR-3R05 VCF/VCA
DETAILS schneller LFO (ca 64Hz) und sync, der in beide richtung schaltbar ist. Crossmodulation modulierbar. im Gegensatz zum Jupiter dynamisch.
SOUND everything classic: pads, basses and sweeps
SOUND alles klassische: pads, bässe, sweeps und flächen
VERSION Rack: MKS80, + Programmer PG80 (no 2pole mode but Xmod Modulation by ENV1 instead). Most Ju8 had no Midi, some (later models) had DCB, there are DCB to midi interfaces still available. the Jupiter 6 has multimode filters but less voices and not as fat as the Ju8 but also Xmod modulation by Env and all wave can sound simultaneously. IMPORTANT: the earlier version sounds a bit better, after a changed it was more stable (tuning) - 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..)
VERSION Rack: MKS80 mit Programmer PG80 (hat keinen 2pol mode, dafür Xmod Modulation durch ENV1). die meissten Ju8 haben kein Midi, spätere Modelle hatten DCB (es gibt Interfaces DCB auf Midi, auch aktuell noch) und nur wenige Midi-Versionen. Es gibt noch den Jupiter 6, er hat einen Multimodefilter (lpf, hpf, bpf) und kann daher etwas mehr, hat aber weniger Stimmen und ist nicht ganz so fett. WICHTIG: es gibt 2 Versionen: beide mit Roland Filtern , jedoch mit etwas anderer Bauweise, die ältere klingt etwas fetter, ist aber unstabiler)
mks 80 Programmer PG80
Roland Programmer + MKS Rack versions
Roland offered knobs for their rack synthesizers and some key versions very early!

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 different sounding revisions, later ones (ser no 511800) roland custom..

want manuals of the mks series go to , they have all Manuals online now..
mks 80 mks 80 Programmer PG80 synthesizer

mks 80
mks 80 mks 80 Programmer PG80 synthesizer IMAGE
mks 80 back
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...

see JUPITER 8 for more..
mks 80 mks 80 back synthesizer

mks 80
PG80 + mks80
(Rack Jupiter 6 / 8 ..)
mks 80 mks 80 back synthesizer IMAGE
mks 80

mks 80 mks 80 synthesizer

mks 80
PG80 + mks80
(Rack Jupiter 6 / 8 ..)
mks 80 mks 80 synthesizer IMAGE
AUDIO FILE (download)
AUDIODEMO some audio by myself on the mks-80 (racked jupiter 8)
mks 80

(iOS/OS X safari player)
mks 80 audio
mks 80 mks 80 audio synthesizer audio AUDIO

ROLAND or Boss, Edirol formerly Ace, Acetone
roland synth manufacturer logo - Hersteller Logo

Roland was founded in 1972 by Ikutaro Kakehasi, Japan (prior companies: ace (drum machines and electronic organs and kakehashi musen), first synthesizer: 1972 - Mr. Kakehashis biography is available as a book from Robert Olsen.
- DIN SYNC: same as tb303, TR606, TR707 (also with MIDI)
Pins - Roland DIN sync:
from left to right: PIN 3 tempo clock, PIN 5 fill in, PIN 2 ground, (middle pin!), PIN 4 reset & start, PIN 1 start/stop

Official Intl. Site :

Roland wurde 1972 von Ikutakro Kakehashi gegründet, nachdem er Ace aufgebaut hatte. Von Kakehashi gibt es ein Buch vom PPV Verlag.

Offizielle Site (D)


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* ROLAND @ Forum
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