Free Download for the JD-XA Analog/Digital Crossover Synth
With its exceptional analog/digital sound and innovative crossover design, the JD-XA has been lauded as one of Roland’s most powerful synths ever. Now, JD-XA owners have access to new librarian software that makes it easy to back up, organize, and archive patches on a Mac or Windows computer. Available as a free download, the librarian also provides an integrated portal to the growing collection of JD-XA patch collections at Roland’s Axial website.
Important—Update the JD-XA First!
Before you download and use the JD-XA Librarian software, you may need to update the system on your JD-XA. Version 1.10 or later is required for compatibility.
To check which system version is currently loaded in your JD-XA, do the following:
- Press Menu so that its button lights.
- Use the left/right cursor buttons to select VERSION INFO, and then press the Enter button.
- Check the version number shown in the display. If Version 1.00 or 1.01 is shown, you need to update to Version 1.10 or later.
- To return to where you started, press Menu until its light goes out.
Preparing for the Update
- Prepare a USB flash drive by formatting it on the JD-XA. Refer to the JD-XA Owner’s Manual for instructions.
- Go to the JD-XA Downloads directory and click the link for the latest system version (JD-XA System Program Version 1.10 or later).
- Download the zip update file and follow the instructions on the download page to copy the update file to the USB flash drive and update your JD-XA.
Download the JD-XA Librarian Software
- Go to the JD-XA Downloads directory again.
- Click the link for the JD-XA Librarian software that applies to your computer’s operating system.
- On the download page, check the System Requirements section to verify that the software is compatible with your computer and operating system. If it’s compatible, move on to Step 4. Do not install the software if it’s incompatible with your system.
- Download the software and use the installer to complete the installation.
The download includes a manual for the JD-XA Librarian. It provides important information on setting up the JD-XA to communicate with the software, plus complete details on all librarian functions. Please read this manual before using the JD-XA Librarian, and refer to it as you work with the software. When the librarian is open, you can access the manual from the Help menu.
Back Up Your JD-XA Patches
Some of the procedures I’ll be discussing next will overwrite the data that’s currently in your JD-XA, including any custom patches that you’ve created. When you open up the JD-XA Librarian for the first time, you should transfer all the JD-XA’s current patch data to the librarian and save it as a patch collection on your computer. This will give you a backup as you explore working with Axial patches and creating your own custom patch collections in the librarian.
JD-XA Librarian: Things You Can Do
Create Custom Patch Collections
The JD-XA Librarian provides an intuitive interface for building your own custom collections of JD-XA patches. You can create collections for specific projects, music styles, or live performances, and then load them into the JD-XA whenever you need them.
To start a new patch collection, select New from the librarian’s File menu. Next, use the Save or Save As commands to save the collection on your computer. Collections can be populated with patches retrieved from the JD-XA, including factory patches and user patches you’ve created. You can also grab patches from other collections, including those you’ve downloaded from the Axial website.
Retrieve Patches from the JD-XA
The Main screen is the JD-XA Librarian’s primary workspace. This area communicates directly with the JD-XA, and it’s where you transfer patches to and from the synth’s patch memories.
To grab all current patches in the JD-XA, click the Read All button in the Main screen. To retrieve one patch at a time, highlight the desired patch number in the Main screen and click the Read Selected button. Multiple patches can be selected using Command-click (Mac) or Ctrl-click (Windows).
After you retrieve patches from the JD-XA, they appear in the librarian’s Main screen. To save one or more patches to a patch collection, copy them from the Main screen and insert them into patch collections as desired.
Download Patch Collections from the Axial Website
When you’re connected to the Internet, clicking the Axial button in the librarian’s Main screen will take you directly to Roland’s Axial sound site. The site opens in a separate window. Once there, scroll to the bottom of the Axial home page and select the JD-XA in the “Select Your Synthesizer” dropdown menu. This will take you to all available JD-XA patch collections.
Click a collection to go its dedicated page, where you’ll find a description, audio examples, and download links. To load the collection into the JD-XA Librarian, scroll down and click the “Download for Librarian” button (this is a special .xal file for use with the JD-XA Librarian). When the download is complete, it appears as a patch collection in the librarian. After that, use the Save As command to save the collection to the desired location on your computer.
A Note About INTEGRA-7 Patch Compatibility
The JD-XA’s digital side features Roland’s SuperNATURAL Synth engine, and its architecture is similar to the synthesizer engine used in the INTEGRA-7 sound module. Because of this, the JD-XA can work with some (but not all) Axial patch collections created for that product. The JD-XA Librarian is needed to convert them to the .xal format that works with the JD-XA. During conversion, the librarian loads the data for each patch into Digital Tone 1. After you transfer a patch to the JD-XA, you can use it as is or enhance the sound with analog tones, other digital tones, and effects to create your own new patches.
To download these collections, access the Axial site from within the JD-XA Librarian and navigate to the INTEGRA-7 patch collection pages. Next, click on a collection to go to its dedicated page, and then click the Download button near the bottom of the page. If a collection is compatible with the JD-XA, it’s automatically converted during the download and appears as a patch collection in the librarian. If it’s not, the librarian displays a message that says, “Cannot read files of this type.”
Audition Sounds on Your JD-XA
When a patch collection is open, you’ll see that each patch has its own “Temporary Play” button. When you click it, the patch is transferred to the temporary buffer in the JD-XA, and you can play it right away. If you want to immediately save the patch to the JD-XA, use the synth’s Write procedure to save it to the desired memory location.
Copy Tones From One Patch to Another
If you’d like to use a tone from one JD-XA patch in another, it’s easy with the JD-XA Librarian. Just right-click on a patch in the librarian and select Copy Tone. Next, select the desired to tone (Analog 1-4 or Digital 1-4) from the dropdown menu. After that, right-click the destination patch, select Paste Tone, and then choose a location for the copied tone.
Write Patches or Patch Collections to the JD-XA
In the librarian’s Main screen, you can write individual patches or entire patch collections to the JD-XA’s internal memory. Just copy the patches you want to use from different patch collections and insert them into the Main screen at the desired memory locations. There are 256 memory locations available, and the numbers directly correspond to the patch numbers in the JD-XA.
After that, click the Write All button in the librarian to send all patches in the Main screen to the JD-XA. To send one or more specific patches, highlight the desired patch number(s) in the Main screen and click the Write Selected button. An important note: these procedures overwrite the current patch data in the JD-XA. If there are any patches you want to save, make sure you first back up the data in a patch collection before proceeding.
For complete instructions on using the JD-XA Librarian, refer to the manual that comes with the librarian download.