The XP-80 was one of Roland’s flagship digital Workstation Synthesizers. With extensive professional features, superb quality PCM sounds, sequencing, effects and more, the XP-80 could be the only synth you may ever need! Compared with earlier XP-series synths, the XP-80 adds a great 76-note semi-weighted keyboard for a realistic playing experience. A bright and large 320 by 80 pixel backlit display gives easy readability to any programming and sequencing you may do on the XP-80.
The XP-80 offers up 64 voices of polyphony and can send on up to 16 MIDI channels simultaneously. The sounds are all digital in nature and sound pretty good too! Though its strengths are the emulation of acoustic instruments, it can create synth-type sounds too. It comes with 16MB of ROM sounds, but there’s room for up to four 8MB expansion boards that add Orchestral, Techno, Vintage Synths, World, Bass & Drums and other instrument sets (from the SR-JV80 expansion series).
Bringing up the ‘Workstation’ end of the XP-80 is a full-fledged on-board MRC Pro sequencer. With a 60,000 note capacity, 100 patterns, and 1 song position – you can create songs, patterns, loops or phrases with relative ease. Other features of the sequencer include Grid, Groove or Shuffle quantization and a built-in disk-drive. The XP-80 also excels as a Master Keyboard controller used to control other synthesizers and MIDI gear. A great Arpeggiator is also available. High quality internal effects are provided such as Reverbs, Chorus, Delays and Roland’s EFX multi-effects technology. There are also digital filters (4-pole, 12dB/oct, HP, LP, BP, Peak) and a ring-modulator for analog-synth type effects, perfect for dance and techno music! A Modulation-Matrix provides up to two LFO-effects for adding motion and life to the sounds. In addition, there are 6 sliders for real-time control.
In a nutshell, the XP-80 is a pure digital synth. Its sounds are virtually the same as the JV-1080, JV-2080, XP-60 and XP-50 synthesizers. And the XP-80 makes a great all-in-one Workstation or Master Keyboard controller for any musical application. For a digital instrument, the sounds can be surprisingly expressive and the XP-80 is not reserved for any particular musical genre, other than top-quality music! From Carnegie Hall to warehouse Raves, the XP-80 has been used. If you don’t require such an elegant keyboard, the XP-60 is the next best alternative. And if you don’t need any keyboard, the JV-2080 or JV-1080 make the next best alternatives to this flagship workstation.