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Subject: Jupiter 4 - oddities and observations

From: "Tim Gadd" <fluke@...>
Date: 2003-11-11

Well I've had the J4 for about 3-4 weeks now, and it's great fun. I just muck about on it when I'm in the mood, and every time I switch it
on, a new song seems to come out of it, wanting to be completed.

I haven't had the outputs fixed and am still playing through the headphone out. I was told it would cost about $300 or soething
ridiculous, and $120 even to tell whether they could be fixed, so sod it for the moment.

A few observations:

I know this may seem a silly thought, but why do you think Roland decided it would be a good idea to put all the buttons underneath
the keyboard, when there is a huge flat space about the size of an aircraft carrier up above the envelope controls, etc? I mean, it's
great; I've sat my dinner on it, and sat a row of beers beside my dinner, but it does seem rather a waste of space, when you consider
that you can't play the bloody thing standing up without bumping those underneath buttons with your legs - which can mean going
from a cool arp sequence into one of those awful presets or something in mid song. This is aprticularly true for me, as I'm inclined to
stand up when I'm fiddling with knobs and sliders in real time.

Second thing: has anybody noticed that the buttons along the front seem to be different colours on different J4's? I'm sure I've seen
three different photos with different colours in each photo, and mine is different again. For reference, on mine:

L to R

ARP buttons - white
poly/mono buttons - blue
Hold button - grey
Write button - red
Manual button - yellow
patch buttons 1-4 - white
patch buttons 5-8 - grey
presets 1-2 - blue
presets 3-4 - green
preset 5 - white
presets 6--8 - yellow
presets 9-10 - white

I think this is the most colourful arrangement I've seen. I'm just wondering whether the Roland workers had a box full of the things,
and stuck them on in owhatever order they felt like. Whoever did mine obviously decided the three woodwind presets should be yellow,
but from memory they're usually not.

Thing 3: I thought it was supposed to have two mono modes, and two poly modes. Mine has one mono mode and three poly modes.
The poly mode immediately to the right of the mono button _sounds_ like it's stacking all the oscillators on every note even though it's
still 4-voice. In any event it sounds the same as the mono mode sonically. Is this abnormal?

And I suppose the perrenial gripe: why do synth manufacturers always seem to put such shithouse presets on their machines? It
would be SO cool if those 10 presets could be wiped and replaced with user patches (except for the trombone, which I kinda like, and
sounds a bit 70's Rick Wakemanish if you play it with a bit of portamento. It also sounds more like a trumpet than the 'trumpet' does.

I wish you could edit the userpatches in real time after you'd stored them, and I wish the arpeggiator was a little more predictable - but
maybe that's juist part of the character of the machine. However a lot of the time you move one finger and the thing will change from
4/4 to 6/8, and if you play it low down the KB most likely it will throw out some bizarre time signature that would scare the
Mahavishnu Orchestra. So really I need patch sheets for the arpeggiator as well. For instance I found this gorgeous pattern the day I
got it, and have never been able to figure out how to recreate it since.