Anyone who’s owned any JV synth knows how sophisticated the 1080 onward were: a minimum of four banks of 128 presets, not only with resonant filters (unusual for late 80s and early 90s ROMplers) but also many modulation options and a huge variety of effects, from the usual chorus and reverb, to pitch shifting with feedback. All of these options also control up to four sample-based waveforms at a time. Needless to say, these features, combined with its large library of expansion cards, made them very popular among electronic musicians, especially 90s game composers.
Upon installation, my first disappointment came in: only the factory 1080 presets are included. While the expansion cards would probably take a while to fully implement anyway, it still would’ve been nice to get some presets exclusive to the XV series, especially since the VST advertises additional included waveforms, though I haven’t had the time to confirm differences in the waveform list between it and my XV3080.
Still, overall, it’s both useful for music production and very faihthful to the original hardware. In all honesty, the interface makes it easier to navigate than even the screens on the JV-2080 and XV-5080. Because of this, admittedly, it took the easy-to-use interface to make me realize that the JV synthesizer line allowed modulation of one waveform, no matter how complex, with another (hard sync).
Most of the sounds are useful, especially when processed enough, and most of the essential 90s pop sounds are there. My only complaint about the sound, that said, is the pitch-shifting effect. Not only does it sound a bit glitchy to me, especially when shifting up, the original hardware used a better-sounding pitch-shifting implementation. Hopefully RolandCloud will address this issue, as even some of the presets are negatively affected by this.
Still, overall, it’s a good job from Roland’s software development team. Even better is that they recently announced SRX Orchestra, which is based on the SRX-06 expansion card, which, in turn, compiles sounds from the SR-JV80 02, 13, 16, and, to a lesser extent, 07 cards for the JV-1080. Most of these sounds were obviously dedicated to orchestral sounds. Expect me to review that VST shortly after it comes out as well.
The JV-1080 VST is exclusive to the RolandCloud subscription service. More info about RolandCloud and its catalog can be found here: