The Roland JD-Xi announcement got a lot of interest at NAMM - but demonstrations on the show floor are kind of difficult to get a proper sonic idea of the true sound of a new instrument - though obviously we are all doing our best.
From the secret Roland demo room, veteran demonstrator of new technology Scott Tibbs takes us through the JD-Xi in more depth - Scott was also showing a few people the new flagship JD-XA too, but we can't talk about that...
From this official Roland demo, the analog voice features the signature bright waves of the Roland clan, but you also get the digital side more familliar of recent times. Add to that quite a flexible drum voicing, sequencer, effects and vocoder and there's a lot to like in a small package. Sure its perhaps not going to satisfy the true synth nerd, but from what I can see for creative, quick sketches, its got something going on.
Obviously with this form factor, Roland are looking to snaffle a bit of that microKorg type success as there is clearly an appetite for this sort of size.
What is also clear, is that Roland have considerably shifted their focus and upped their syntheizer game in a few short months since the management changes at the top. Which is a Good Thing.