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JX-3P Kiwi Upgrade

JX-3P Kiwi Upgrade

December 14th, 2013  |  Published in Roland JX-3P  |  1 Comment

I installed the Kiwi-3P upgrade in my JX-3P yesterday and I’m having a few problems. I should preface this by saying the installation of the Kiwi was really easy and I had no problems on that end. Everything else with the upgrade works fine so far, though I haven’t played with everything yet, such as the sequencer & pattern generator. So, while I can’t discount the possibility I wired something wrong, it seems unlikely since everything else is working fine. To be sure I triple checked my installation against the Kiwi manual and found no mistakes. My upgrade firmware is up to date as well. Anyway, here are the issues:

First, I’m getting weird results when using an external sequencer in combination with filter modulation via the JX-3P’s LFO. It’s hard to explain what’s happening, but it sounds like the filter modulation is being interrupted by the MIDI somehow. The modulation ‘skips’ and doesn’t evolve smoothly. I’ve tried all the troubleshooting I can think of, including using different external sequencers (I tried 3, all with the same result: Ableton Live, ProTools 10, and Analogue Solutions Europa). Filtering MIDI CCs didn’t help either.

Here are two recordings for comparison. The first one uses external sequencing with filter modulation where you can hear the glitch. The second one uses the JX-3P’s internal arpeggiator (provided by the Kiwi upgrade). The settings are otherwise exactly the same between the two recordings but they sound very different.

External sequencer with JX-3P LFO filter modulation (sounds rough):

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!


Internal arpeggiator with JX-3P LFO filter modulation (sounds smooth):

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!


The second problem I’m having is with the arpeggiator itself. It doesn’t always work. Actually it works very rarely, and the times I did get it to work it began operating seemingly randomly. The last time I got it to work I was repeatedly pressing the three keys I wanted to arpeggiate thinking “I know this is supposed to work” and it suddenly began to arpeggiate. Again I’ve tried troubleshooting, including changing the arpeggiator clock from internal, MIDI clock, and LFO, and even rebooting the synth. No luck. I’m certain I’m entering the arpeggiator mode correctly because, like I said, it did work a few times using the same procedure.

Third, I cannot seem to load patches via the Tape Memory Load method. I backed up all of my patches before doing the upgrade, verified it, and I even loaded the backup to be sure. I didn’t want to risk losing all of my patches and I was excited to use them with the new Kiwi features. When I do the Tape Memory Load procedure I don’t get any LED feedback when I hit the Save, Verify, or Load buttons. I also tried doing a tape memory dump as a test and that didn’t work either. There’s nothing in the Kiwi manual stating this functionality has been removed but there’s also no documentation on how to perform the procedure. The MIDI SysEx dump option is great and I’m thankful for that, but it doesn’t help me get my old patches into the synth.

The Kiwi upgrade is pretty nice otherwise. I’m guessing with the big changes in the menu structure all of these problems are due to user error. It’s my luck that the features that sold me on the upgrade are the ones I can’t figure out, ha. But once I get everything working I’ll update this post in case others run into the same issues. In the meantime, if you have any solutions please let me know!


  1. Matthew Johnston says:

    July 6th, 2014at 2:25 pm(#)

    I just got a 3p and have always been anticipatong the day I can finally have a kiwi. Meantime I keep looking around at the few blogs and videos and demos there are. I don’t know whether your problem has been solved by now or not, but the first one with sound examples sounded to me like your external sequencer was sending notes with 75% or so gate time. The 3p’s sequencer (probably utilised by the arp with preset patterns plugged into the sequencer memory) is a 100% gate sequencer so there will be no gaps between notes and thus a smoother play time. I could be wrong but it’s something to investigate. Also, there’s a website selling vinyl overlays for the 3p that outlines the control options for kiwi and keeps the same general front panel look. It’s worth investigating if you have difficulties with the interface and not knowing what’s going on. If all else fails, I forget the guy’s name, but the creator of the kiwi mods is always friendly and from what I’ve been told, will have a personal 1 on 1 email correspondance with you to fix your problems.

    Hope this helps, or better, that you’ve solved your issues by now!

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