Organix JX-3P MIDI Expansion Kit ordered

I just got added in the waiting list for the Organix JX-3P MIDI Expansion Kit. The JX-3P already has midi, but the Organix kit adds some features. The one I need the most is the ability to use the PG-200 and midi at the same time (this isn’t possible when standard). Another cool feature is that the PG-200 will send midi CC’s, and the JX-3P will receive midi CC’s. This is extra valuable for those who don’t have a PG-200 and want to use a standard midi controller like a Behringer BCR-2000 or Korg nanoKONTROL. Since the JX-3P is from 1983 it can’t even receive midi sysex!

Now I just have to wait… 🙂

Kawai K3 for Akai S900

I just swapped my Kawai K3 for an Akai S900 and a pile of cash. The K3 was one of those synths that are nice, but of some reason never is used. For that reason I decided to sell it.

I’ve also been working on converting Fairlight I/II/IIx disks to other formats. Akai S900 is one of them. So far I’ve used one of my Oberheim DPX-1s to playback the disks, but a lot of the S900 file formats aren’t fully documented. To be able to reverse engineer those formats I needed a real S900 to be able to set parameters. The DPX-1 is a sample player only, no parameter can be changed.

What’s interesting about the S900 and S950 is the fact that they have variable sample rates just like old drum machines like DX/DMX and Linn. This means that the S900  can play back sounds at any speed between 7.5 kHz to 40 kHz, and it does this by changing the clock. This could be described as manually turning a vinyl disk at different speeds. Most newer samplers uses the “drop sample” method instead. What this actually does is to throw away or duplicate samples. If a sound is to be played back at the double speed using the drop sample method, every second sample is discarded and never played back.

Next thing is to temporarily take the HxC SD Floppy Emulator from the Roland S-330 and put it in the S900 for testing my own generated disk images.

JX-3P bought

I’ve been thinking about not renewing, but “reoldering” my synth park lately, since I’ve realized that drum machines and poly synths of the early 80’s is my thing.

Today I went to Denmark and bought a Roland JX-3P with a PG-200 programmer and a case. I got a fairly good deal!

So far, I really like the sound of the JX-3P. It sounds a lot more vintage than the newer JXs and feels a lot more responsive. The programmer is a very nice addition, it should have been built in the synth from the beginning. The presets are mostly hideous, but that’s easily solved with the PG-200. Custom patches can be saved to any of the 32 user slots. This must be one of the most underrated analog synths ever. It can do amazing brass sounds and I really like brass. It’s nice with two DCO:s and faster envelopes, compared to the other JXs.

The JX-3P was released in 1983 and one of the first synths with midi. And it works very well, I noticed that even program change messages work. One thing that doesn’t work though, is using the PG-200 and midi at the same time. There’s a switch on the back where you decide what to use. This is quite annoying if you have a midi sequence running and want to tweak the sound. However, there’s a cheap mod available called the Organix JX-3P MIDI Expansion that fixes this issues and also makes the PG-200 send midi CC! And some other stuff too. I’ll order it ASAP!

Another thing about midi and the JX-3P is that it was made in two revisions, I have an early one and it lacks midi through. Later revisions have it built in.