Zoë Blade's notebook


JV-1080 tech specs

  • Released: 1994
  • Initial price: £1,008[1]
  • Company: Roland
  • Type: Rompler
  • Polyphony: 16 — 64 voices
  • Timbrality: 16 parts
  • Sample rate: 32 kHz[2]
  • Control: MIDI
  • ROM: 8 MB — 42 MB (8 MB ×5 + 2 MB PCM card)
  • Display: 40×2 character LCD
  • User programs: 128 × 1 — 2 banks
  • Preset programs: 128 × 4 — 12 banks
  • Size: 2U

The JV-1080 was a rompler released by Roland in 1994.

It's essentially a rackmount JV-80 with greater polyphony and timbrality, plus more expansion slots.

Note that each voice consists of 1 — 4 waveforms played together (the rompler equivalent of having 1 — 4 oscillators per voice), and the JV-1080 can play a maximum of 64 simultaneous waveforms. Its maximum polyphony is therefore between 16 — 64, based on how many waveforms are in each voice.

The JV-1080 can house up to four SR-JV80 series 8 MB expansion boards. Each of these is like a miniature sample CD with instant access, and offers up to 256 additional presets.

Romplers are generally used as quick, immediate ways to access a lot of useful preset sounds, and can therefore be judged largely based on the quality and quantity of those. The JV-1080 comes with 512 presets (actually a little more, as the 128 default user programs aren't all duplicates of these), and with all the expansion slots filled can access 1,024 more.

That certainly gets the user comfortably far away from thinking "Ack, this doesn't have the one sound I need right now!" and instead firmly into "Ack, I know the sound I need is here somewhere, but I just can't find it!" territory. As for their quality, it was good enough for Faithless and Massive Attack...

Indeed, I gather the biggest problem people have using the JV-1080 these days is that all the sounds on it are so popular, they're also eerily familiar. In this sense, it's a victim of its own success.


We use these as our basic machines. The sound quality of even the basic orchestra is really good, but with the orchestral board it sounds fantastic. We generally demo on these and then get a few string players and brass players in to augment that.

— Noko, Apollo 440, 1999[3]

I got hold of a JV-1080 with an "Orchestral I" expansion board in it, and that is brilliant. It did the bulk of the work. I've since got an "Orchestral II" board, which is better still.

— Nathan McCree, 2000[4]

I love playing with the sounds on the JV-1080 as well. Once you actually get into the processors, you can get some really interesting effects rather than just using the standard ones.

— Mark Hill, Artful Dodger, 2000[5]

We used an actual 909 kick and then, funnily enough, the snare drum, with the big rolls and stuff, was a 909 snare from the JV‑1080, because it was really hard to get the actual 909 snare to sound good. The JV's 909 kit just sounded snappy and good out of the box. The open and closed hi‑hats were from the actual 909 and then the crash was also from the JV.

— Ville Virtanen (Darude), 2020[6]

We used a mix of digital gear and old school analogue to create the sounds on our first album. We had a JV-1080 and used it to get pads and glacial sounds.

— Sister Bliss, Faithless, 2021[7]

Notable users


  1. "Active Sound" Active Sound (Vendor), The Mix, Dec 1994, p. 129
  2. "The Ultimate Roland JV, JD, and XV FAQ" Don Solaris, Don Solaris Sound Design
  3. "Apollo Four Forty: Ad Astra" Sam Molineaux, Sound On Sound, Nov 1999
  4. "Nathan McCree & Matt Kemp: Music for Computer Games" Paul White, Sound On Sound, May 2000
  5. "Mark Hill: Artful Dodger" Sam Inglis, Sound On Sound, Oct 2000
  6. "Classic Tracks: Darude 'Sandstorm'" Tom Doyle, Sound On Sound, Dec 2020
  7. "Faithless: Breaking Down Classic Tracks with Sister Bliss" Jamie Franklin, Jan 2021
  8. "Architechs: Recording 'Body Groove'" Sam Inglis, Sound On Sound, Feb 2001
  9. "Massive Attack's New Studio" Sue Sillitoe, Sound On Sound, Oct 2005




Roland: DCB | JV-1080 | Juno-6 | Juno-106 | MC-4 | MC-8 | MPU-101 | R-8 | RS-101 | RS-202 | SH-101 | SN-R8 series | SN-U110 series | SO-PCM1 series | SR-JV80 series | System-100 | System-100M | TB-303 | TR-606 | TR-808 | TR-909 | U-110 | VP-330 | W-30

Romplers: Carnaval | JV-1080 | Orbit 9090 | Planet Phatt | R-8 | U-110 | Vintage Keys