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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
Roland JX-1
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:27 pm    Post subject: Roland JX-1
Subject description: do the keys really suck that much?
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A few weeks ago, I picked up a couple of Roland synths at a guitar shop for a song. Both of them busted, both of them (mostly) fixed now. The first was an S-10 sampler. The sampling capability is tiny, and I still need to get a USB->MIDI that doesn't drop data so I can actually load reasonable sounds into it, but my 10 year old and I had fun sampling ourselves making silly sounds, and even saved some of them to disk. And the keyboard itself is pretty solid, velocity sensitive, and so it makes a reasonable controller if nothing else.

The other was a JX-1. It's main problem was busted keys. I bought a couple that I couldn't easily steal from higher up the keyboard, shifted a couple others, and now I have most of 61 keys on this one as well.

Now that I can actually "play" it though, it seems that the design for the C keys either 1) is really terrible or 2) has a flaw that lets them wear in some weird way. Unless I hit the C's straight up and down, half the time they jam...as in they don't play, not as in getting stuck.

I know it's not a high end synth to begin with Rolling Eyes, so I'm not expecting extreme quality, but as I am working out what i want to do with it, how the keys play is something of a factor. So I'm curious if anyone else who's had one of these has had the same experience, and/or has any idea if this is a wear issue that could be repaired (if i wanted to invest in it) or just the way it works.
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hodad



Joined: Jul 31, 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

On the S-10: If you're feeding it midi files from a computer, I suggest using a verrrrry slow setting in whatever data transfer program you use. I tried updating the OS on a Roland MS1 sampler & failed miserably until I slowed the data to a crawl. It may help.

On the JX: Roland's weighted keyboards of this period are noted for lousy glue, and this can cause all sorts of problems. I've never dealt with it myself (though I've had a couple of Rolands from the era), but it might be something to look at.

Sorry I don't have more to offer.

Tom
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
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Location: Chicago
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

aaaah, hm. Yeah, the glue strip behind all the keys was pretty dicey. Had to be removed (in spots, didn't pull the whole thing off) to replace the broken ones....

As for the S-10... That's an interesting point, I will try that. The spec says 20ms between packets, and my original attempts were set (without me realizing it) to 150ms between packets. but I can try slowing that down more too.

I still suspect my interface also, because the upload dump shouldn't have the same problem, and *it* had lost data as well. The first packet and I think the last one or one of the last ones were short.
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
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Location: Chicago
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Does it count as necro posting if it's your own post? Smile

The S-10 was indeed a problem with the cheap-ass USB->MIDI interface, once I got a proper one it worked great.

Found something amusing about the JX-1 tonight. It has a few "analog" voices that are monophonic. What I discovered was they appear to be monophonic by source, that is, if I hook another keyboard up via MIDI, all the incoming MIDI events are treated as monophonic, AND the keyboard of the JX-1 itself is also treated as monophonic, but it will play both of them together. So I can get (at least) two note polyphony with with mono voices by using both keyboards together. I haven't tested but I'm curious if it would treat separate MIDI channels independently as well, which I think might be interesting when driving it from the computer (one wonders about the potential for "super saw" like sounds as well, maybe using an arduino to take a mono line in and expand it to multiple channels).
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Blue Hell
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Joined: Apr 03, 2004
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Location: The Netherlands, Enschede
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

oh its not that necro, have you seen other threads Shocked Laughing

anyway, it is encouraged to contribute to old threads, to self threads and all other taboos can be broken too .. hmm except spam / viral / astro turfing and such maybe ...

42 is the answer, but what was the question again?

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Cynosure
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Joined: Dec 11, 2010
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Location: Toronto, Ontario - Canada
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I got an old busted up jx1 too. I moved all the good keys to the right and added an anaolog filter and 4069 distortion.

I took all my keys out and cleaned them and the rubber pads that make contact with the switches. maybe you need to do the same.
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
Posts: 1506
Location: Chicago
Audio files: 14

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It's definitely a mechanical issue rather than an electrical one. I looked at it again recently and the problem is a combination of the glue strip not staying on well in general and the replacement keys not being *exactly* the same as the originals (so much for them being sold as "JX-1 replacement keys"). They more or less stick out more where the strip goes by, so it *can't* properly seat for those keys. I need to figure out a glue solution (don't want to superglue it Smile ) and then I can probably trim the strip for those keys.

On the other hand, I've considered just pulling the guts out and putting them into a different enclosure, and just using it for the voices, which would bypass all that physical stuff, and maybe let me sell genuine JX-1 keys on EBay myself Very Happy
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Cynosure
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Joined: Dec 11, 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Let me know if you sell the keys. I need a whole octave.

I used double sided tape for the strip that holds the keys in place.
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