Review of the Roland SRX and JV boards
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Reviews of the
Roland SRX and JV80 Expansion Boards

There are two kinds of expansion boards for Roland Synths, the SRX boards and the JV80 boards.  The SRX boards are hi capacity 64 megabyte ROM boards while the JV80 boards are probably 16MB though some may be less.  The SRX boards are for use in Roland's newer synths, like the Fantom and Juno G, XV modules like the XV 5080, 2020 and 3080, as well as the RD 700SX piano.   The JV80 boards are for Roland's older machines.  These include the JV1010, XP series like the XP30, the JV1080 and 2080.  (The XV5080 can install both the SRX and JV80 boards).

 The SRX Boards

As of this writing there are 12 SRX boards.  Each SRX expansion board is 64 megs and each has a different number of waveforms, patches, performances and kits.  For example, the  Supreme Dance Card adds 312 presets and 34 drum kits while others, like Symphonique Strings, only add 128 patches but have longer higher quality waveforms. 

Many of the SRX cards are a compilation of the presents and samples off the previous JV-80 cards.  For example, SRX-09 "World Collection" includes waves from SR-JV80-05/14/17/18.  The Complete Orchestra has  all waveforms from SR-JV80-02/13/16 and select waves from SR-JV80-07.  Others like Symphoniqe strings and Big Brass are newer. 

So which SRX cards to get?  Hey, its going to depend.  My choices:  The Complete Orchestra is great.  Especially if you are wanting a modern pop orchestra sound.  Has tons of hits as well as solos and ensembles.    Symphonique Strings is wonderful--but only if you are writing string sections.  You get a string ensemble in many different articulations--its all ensemble strings!  The World Collection is pretty amazing.  More presets than the others.  Supreme Dance rounds out my 4 slots.  Has some interesting brass hits and stuff you can drop on a track, some cool kits and nasty analog synth emulations, all hyped up as one would expect.  If you are into the SRX thing, note that the Fantom XR (rack) has 6 slots compared to 4 on the Fantom X.

Demo the SRX boards at Roland's Site

 

The JV 80 board for the JV1010, XP30 and other Roland Synths

the Roland Orchestra I Expansion Board Provides extraordinarily realistic sound for classical orchestration, covering a variety of string, woodwind, brass and percussion sounds. 174 waveforms and 255 patches.   I prefer the Orch I to the Orch II board. (Don't think the Orch II is better 'cause it's newer).  This expansion board is gets my award for tweakmanship.  I have it installed in my JV1010 and its not leaving soon!  By the way, both the Orchestra I and II are in the SRX Complete Orchestra Card, so if you upgrade to a Fantom you can get the SRX version and still play the compositions you made on with these JV80 cards. 

They programmed a little magic into it.  When you play it, the hands do this thing, its hard to stop playing.  If you have movie scores, commercial music, or are doing classical, you will get a lot of mileage out of this board. I can go on for days about it.  I thought I had the orchestra covered with my proteus 2 and emu orchestral sample CDs--wrong!  The Orchestra I board has many different articulations of strings, and at first glace they all sound similar, but when you get down to composing, you find you need them and they blend with beauty.  You can do thick and powerful string sections that move you in your soul. The patches use aftertouch in ways so sensitive and tasteful, its just a joy to play with the patches. The folks that made these sounds did their homework, and the tweakmeister appreciates that greatly!  Hehe, since I've gotten this board I've been kicking over the chair and conducting in my room with my "air baton" again, always a good sign!  By the way, this board comes with the XP30 keyboard--so don't buy it if thinking of an XP30, OK?

  Roland Techno Expansion Board (JV, XP series) Dance/Techno sound expansion board for XP-50, XP-80 and many JV-Series synths featuring 255 waveforms, over 200 patches and 8 full rhythm sets. Learn more...  Tweak says: If you are thinking of getting an XP30, don't buy it for your JV--its in the XP30 already. But if you are a hardcore dance composer, you may need this. I've heard it, played with it.  If you find yourself wishing there were more dance sounds in your stock JV, this is the board.

Roland Asia Collection Expansion Board (JV, XP series) The SR-JV80-14 World Collection "Asia" wave expansion board offers expandable XP/JV-Series synthesizer owners a vast collection of authentic Asian instruments, including distinctive sounds from China, Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea and more. Learn more...Tweak says: I don't have it..yet!  But I want it!  The info says they actually traveled to get these samples.  I love the fact that I can use instruments around the globe in my productions.  That's why i want this one!  Unfortunately I don't have room for it as the JV 1010 only allows you to add one board.  Should have bought the XP30 (muttering)...

Threads

SRX Boards Worth It?

Triton vs. Fantom vs. Motif


Links

Review of the Roland Fantom S and X

 

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