Tag Archives: Hybrid

Roland JD-XA Finally Unveiled At Musikmesse

Roland jd-xa


Roland who are certainly no strangers to the Analog realm recently released the digital/analog hybrid JD-Xi which offered a lot of great features for a very keen price indeed. Now at Messe they have fully unveiled its bigger sibling in the shape of  the JD-XA Analog/Digital Crossover Synthesizer which will be the flagship of the range.

This 49 key synth offers both a 4 part analog section with true analog filters and direct (dry) output, as well as a 4 part digital engine featuring Rolands own SuperNATURAL synth technology. The two engines can be combined, used independently or even routed through each other, giving a huge amount of flexability to work with during the sound design process. For instance its possible to take the digital signal and route it through the analog filters or take the analog signal (which itself can have 1 effect per part) and then route it back through the digital effects buss for further processing and mangling. The is clearly a lot of possibilities opened up by this method, but it may not become quite how apparent until you get a good look over the feature list itself.

Roland JD-XA Key Features

  • Advanced synthesizer with independent analog and digital sound engines
  • Discrete analog synth engine (four parts) with 2 x OSC, Filter, Amp, 4 x Env (2 x Pitch, Filter, Amp), and 2 x LFO per voice plus Analog Dry Out for raw signal output
  • Analog filter section features 4-Pole, transistor-ladder, and multi-mode (LPF/HPF/BPF) filters with supremely smooth, natural response to knob movements
  • OSC section includes Cross Mod, Ring Mod, and OSC Sync, all of which can be used simultaneously
  • LFO rate covers a wide range from ultra-slow to ultra-fast
  • Incredibly fast attack envelope time
  • Separate digital section built around SuperNATURAL synth engine (four parts, 64 voices) that’s compatible with INTEGRA-7 sound libraries from Roland’s online Axial sound portal
  • Digital parts can be routed through the analog filter section for warm, organic results
  • Comprehensive effects with MFX for all parts plus five system effects (Reverb, TFX1, TFX2, Delay, and Master EQ)
  • Flexible routing options for highly creative sound design
  • Intuitive 16-track pattern sequencer (8 tracks for internal parts, 8 tracks for external parts) for fast creation of songs and loops
  • Onboard USB, MIDI, and CV/GATE interfaces plus flexible MIDI control functionality make the JD-XA the ideal centerpiece for live performance and music production
  • Mic input allows you to modulate synth sounds with your voice and explore classic Vocoder functionality
  • Plenty of backlit knobs, sliders, and controllers for hands-on sound shaping

If that isn’t enough to peak your interest, below is the full spec breakdown for the sound generation section, which we have to say is most impressive.

Roland JD-XA Sound Generator Section

Maximum Polyphony
– Analog Part: 4 voices
– Digital Part: 64 voices (varies according to the sound generator load)
Analog/Digital Crossover Synthesizer
– Analog Part: 4 parts (2 OSCs + AUX, 1 Filter, 1 AMP, 2 Pitch ENV, 1 Filter ENV, 1 AMP ENV, 2 LFOs and 1 MOD LFO)
– Digital Part: 4 parts (3 Partial (3 OSCs, 3 Filters, 3 AMPs, Envelops for each section and LFOs)) (Digital Part uses SuperNATURAL Synth tones that is compatible with the Integra-7.)
User Program Memory
– Internal: 256
– USB Flash memory: 256
The patterns of Arpeggio and Sequence are saved as programs.
Analog-OSC Section
– Oscillator waveforms: Saw, Square, Pulse/PWM, Triangle, Sine
– Knobs/Sliders: Pitch, Fine, Cross Mod, Pulse Width, Pulse Width Modulation
– Pitch Envelopes: Attack, Decay, Envelope Depth
– Modulation: Cross Modulation, Ring Modulation, Oscillator Sync
(A-OSC2 is applied as modulation to A-OSC1.)
Analog-FILTER Section
– Filter Type: LPF1, LPF2, LPF3, HPF, BPF, Bypass
– Knobs: Cutoff, Resonance, Key Follow, Envelope Depth, HPF, Drive
– Envelope: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
Analog-AMP Section
– Knobs: Level
– Envelope: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
Digital-OSC Section
– Oscillator waveforms: Saw, Square, Pulse/PWM, Triangle, Sine, Variation
– Knobs/Sliders: Pitch, Fine, Pulse Width, Pulse Width Modulation
– Pitch Envelopes: Attack, Decay, Envelope Depth
– Modulation: Ring Modulation
(Partial2-OSC is applied as modulation to Partial1-OSC.)
Digital-FILTER Section
– Filter Type: LPF1, LPF2, LPF3, HPF, BPF, Variation, Bypass
– Knobs: Cutoff, Resonance, Key Follow, Envelope Depth, HPF
– Envelope: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
Digital-AMP Section
– Knobs: Level
– Envelope: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
LFO Section
– LFO Waveform: Triangle, Sine, Saw, Square, Sample&Hold, Random
– Knobs/Sliders: Rate, Fade Time, Pitch Depth, Filter Depth, Amp Depth
– Tempo Sync
Mixer Section (For Analog Part)
– Level: A-OSC 1, A-OSC 2, AUX
– Vocoder
– MIC Modulation
– MFX: 8 systems, 67 types (each part has a MFX)
– Part EQ: 8 systems (each part has a Part EQ)
– TFX: 2 systems, 29 types
– REVERB: 6 types
– Master EQ
– Mic Input Reverb: 8 types
Pattern Sequencer
Tracks: 16
Patterns are saved as a program.
SMF import supported.
Preset pattern: 64
Patterns are saved as a program.

All very impressive overall!
If you wish to know even more, check out the introduction videos below.


The Roland Range @ Scan

The Roland JD-XA Homepage

Native Instruments Announce The Traktor Kontrol Z2

Native Instruments has finally announced what is probably the worst kept secret of the year… the Traktor Kontrol Z2. Having released a teaser a few months back in which the product details were not quite blurred out the net has been awashed with eager Dj’s wanting to know more about this new hybrid mixer.

The Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 is a 2+2 mixer designed from the ground up to not only be a Traktor controller but it also has a pair of high quality channels to run your record or cd decks through making this a highly versitile solution, suitable for many install situations.

The Z2 excels equally as a control hub, or as a standalone mixer, with its aircraft-grade aluminum chassis and rock-solid, ultra-dependable Innofaders™.

Native Instruments has this to say about the Traktor Kontrol Z2:

TRAKTOR KONTROL Z2 is the world’s first 2+2 DJ control mixer. Built tough for pro club use, the Z2 excels both as a state-of-the-art club mixer alongside turntables and CDJs, and as the hub of an advanced setup of Remix Decks and controllers.

All-new Macro FX and Flux Mode in the latest TRAKTOR software expand your creative arsenal. And the heavy metal, standard installation-height chassis, sturdy RGB control buttons, and Innofaders™ assure rock-solid dependability. Whatever your style, however you play, welcome to the future of mixing.

Combining the best of all that’s come before it, TRAKTOR KONTROL Z2 takes a powerful two-channel stand-alone mixer, adds an additional two channels for Remix Decks, puts TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO 2 in the package and rolls it out in luxurious style.

The ultra-stable, aircraft-grade aluminum chassis provides an intuitive layout instantly familiar to DJs, offering unprecedented sonic control. Throw in an integrated premium audio interface and dedicated TRAKTOR controls for cue points and Remix Decks and your options become infinite. Whatever your style, you’ve never had control like this before.

TRAKTOR KONTROL Z2 delivers the reliability and pro sound quality essential for the world’s biggest stages and hottest clubs.

Pro XLR outputs, a booth output and 24-bit sound quality mean your sets hit with maximum impact. Precision knobs, buttons, multi-colored cue point controls and Innofaders™ give you ultra-accurate control of your sets. Whether spinning vinyl, CDJs, playing digital files, or using TRAKTOR SCRATCH timecode control, switching formats is just a push of a button away – lightning-fast, uninterrupted creative flow. And the heavy metal chassis means your busy schedule won’t take its toll on your new tool of choice.


Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 Front



The expected price at launch is currently around £555 and should be available from November 1

 More on the Traktor Kontrol Z2

The Traktor Kontrol Z2 @ Scan

Allen & Heath ICE-16 Interface Announced

A surprising one for us to see here at Scan but a welcome move none the less. Allen & Heath have been a firm favorite of this particular writer since he first got his hands on a Xone62 many years ago. Great build quality matched with attention to detail and great customer service make this Cornwall based mixer maker a easy choice for pro installs where a true work horse is required.

So this weeks announcement in the form of the Allen & Heath ICE-16 which is a 16 channel hybrid (USB/Firewire) audio interface comes as something of a surprise entry into what is already a fairly crowded market. What can these guys offer and just why are we so excited?


 The offical line on the Allen & Heath ICE-16:

The Allen & Heath ICE-16 makes multitrack recording easy. Forget all that fiddling around at the back of clunky HD recorders or messing about with soundcard drivers. ICE-16 lets you capture a high quality 16 track recording straight to a USB key or hard drive.

The Allen & Heath ICE-16 is also a powerful 16×16 audio interface capable of studio quality recording over high-speed USB or FireWire. Whether it’s a live band, a studio session, a conference, a function or a theatre rehearsal, the Allen & Heath ICE-16 is the ideal choice for recording multichannel audio with or without your computer.

  • 16 analogue Inputs, 16 analogue Outputs
  • Front USB socket for easy capture to USB storage devices
  • Hybrid FireWire (IEE1394) / USB 2.0 16×16 audio interface
  • Industry standard wav file format
  • Up to 6 hours of 16 channel audio on a 32GB USB stick
  • Signal Present and Peak LED metering on each channel
  • Mono headphone bus for Input or Output monitoring
  • Daisy chain multiple units over FireWire
  • Familiar transport buttons and intuitive controls

It’s essentially a front end to allow 16 channel multitrack recording and playback with full audio interface functionality and the option to bypass the computer completely and record straight to a USB connected hard drive or solid state media. Not only that but multiple units can be chained up to allow more I/O options should they be required meaning that from a live point of view it comes close to our current live favorite the RME UCX but at a sizable cost saving. That’s not to say it’ll be quite as fully featured as the rather epic RME behemoth but we can quite clearly see a lot of uses where bands will be able to make use of a high track count audio interface and recording frontend device such as this without all the extra features, whistles and bells of the higher cost device.

So all that coupled with the good name of Allen & Heath, their well regarded reliability we’re looking forward to getting our hands on one in the near future… The biggest shock however is the price. From a company that has never cut corners or been known for making cheap units we see the SRP is 785 inc vat.

We await this one with much interest!

Allen & Heath ICE-16 FrontAllen & Heath Ice-16 Rear


Allen & Heath ICE-16 Homepage