Roland JX-3P


The Roland JX-3P is a 6 voice polyphonic analog synthesizer keyboard that was made from 1983 until 1985. It is famous for a few of its string patches and its sparkly yet warm sound signature. The JX-3P did have MIDI capabilities, which was a big deal at the time, and came with 32 typical 1980s Roland preset patches and space for 32 custom patches. Because of the lack of sliders and knobs on the top panel (push buttons were cool in 1983), programming your own sounds on the JX-3P is somewhat difficult without the use of the optional PG-200 controller. You can edit any parameter on the JX-3P itself, but this involves pushing buttons until you find the parameter you want and then moving a single slider to adjust its value.

The JX-3P uses two DCOs per voice capable of sawtooth, square, and pulse waves. The second DCO can also be detuned, generate noise, or function in two different cross modulation modes for some varying metallic tones. Just like its contemporary, the Juno 60, the JX-3P has a resonant 24dB lowpass filter and non-resonant highpass filter. A single ADSR envelope generator shapes the VCF and VCA (which also has a gate mode). The single LFO section can be programmed to modulate the filter cutoff or DCO pitch. An analog chorus effect comes last and works well on the string and bass tones.

Because the MIDI technology in 1983 was so primitive, MIDI clock sync doesn’t work with the JX-3P. This might matter more if it weren’t for the 128-step sequencer, but that’s still often a surprise to modern buyers. The 61 key keyboard, like its Juno cousins, lacks aftertouch and velocity sensitivity. The 32 factory presets are typical 1980s Roland sounds, and most would be cast off as cheesy today, but the JX-3P is definitely capable of plenty of useful patches. The JX-3P has been emulated in several plugins including the Roland Cloud format, and was reborn in a more affordable digital desktop module as the Roland Boutique JX-03 in 2015.

Technical Specifications

Year of release: 1983 Polyphony: 6
Oscillators: 2 per voice Multitimbral Parts: 1
Patch Memory: 64 Filter: 1 resonant lowpass, 1 highpass
VCA: ADSR, gate Format: Synthesizer
Keys: 61 Modmatrix Sources:
Modmatrix Destinations: Effects: Chorus
LFO: 1; sine, square, sample+hold Control: MIDI


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Roland JX-3P