PG-8X by Martin Lüders
The JX-8P and PG-800 analog synthesizers are the foundation for the PG-8X virtual synthesizer. Roland’s revolutionary and flexible JX-8P synthesizer was released in 1985, and it pushed analog synthesizers a step further by incorporating functions that could generate sounds similar to those produced by digital synthesizers (of the time).
The ML-VST “aesthetic” plug-in’s design isn’t exactly based on the JX-8P synthesizer’s sound, but it is inspired by it. This equipment is similar to an “expansion” that permits a lot faster and easier edition for the sound of the JX-8P synthesizer and others, that is, the PG-800 offers complete control. Because the JX-8P only has a single-slider editing system, this is the most useful of all the editing options. And it is for this reason that the PG-8X was created.
Polyphony of up to 12 voices, two DCO sections with waveform selection of Sierra, Square, Pulse, and Noise, Mixer section that allows you to create a mix between the two DCO generators, sections for envelope control (ADSR), you’ll also have 24 dB Resonant LP Filter & HP Filter (3 stages), LFO Control, and many other functions to play with to find the right desired sound.
The Random button on the PG-8X is one of the more interesting features; it can help you locate a beginning point for finding the appropriate sound, and it’s also worth noting that the PG-8X is compatible with patches for the hardware, which means JX-8P SysEx files are accepted.
To be honest, I haven’t had the chance to use it in a real project yet, but it has a lot of positive ratings on KVR Audio from many users who awarded it 5 stars, indicating that they enjoyed the sound quality and ease of use.
If you’re seeking a JX-8P emulator, here is the place to go, and you’ll almost certainly like using the PG-8X. It has a similar sound to the Roland synth and is completely free. You’ll also like the large number of great-sounding presets.
According to the developer, “There are still some issues, but they will not be major changes. Note that banks from the old version 1.0x are not compatible.”
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The PG-8X synthesizer can be downloaded for free from the ML-VST developer’s official website (Linked Below). There is no need to register; all you have to do is download the format that is compatible with your system, install it, and then enjoy Roland’s vintage 1985 sound.
The ‘PG-8X’ saturation plugin supports the VST formats for Windows and Mac OS (32 & 64-bit).