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Roland XV-88 keyboard synth


  • introduced late 2000/early 2001 as the first of Roland's new XV range of synths to sport a keyboard
  • 88 note hammer-action keyboard synth with after touch and D-Beam controller
  • 128-voice synth engine for extensive layering and multitimbral applications
  • 16‑part multitimbrality
  • 64MB internal wave memory
    • all sounds from JV-2080 and a collection of waveforms from the JD-990 Super JD
    • plus new sounds
    • SRXpandable“ via new SRX-Series 64MB wave expansion boards and compatible with SR-JV80-Series wave expansion boards and XP/JV-Series Patches
  • reverb and effects derived from Roland SRV-3030, V-Studios, and RSS technology
  • arpeggiator functions

SmartMedia cards

Accepts 3.3V SmartMedia cards up to 128Mb but can only read 16Mb

SRX Expansion cards

The XV 88 itself holds 64Mb ROM and 1152 built in sounds.

Accepts the now discontinued 2 SRX 64Mb cards at a time via the rear section (requires screwdrivers and a locking tool).

Also accepts the older 16Mb SRJV80 series cards which generally could hold around 200 sounds in two other slots.

These cards provide the sampled wave data and hold a collection of samples and patches, allowing you to add additional soundbanks to your keyboard and create patches using the additional wave files.

SRX-11 is the best piano card.

see also:

  • Some later SRX cards, for example the SRX96 and 97 do not work in the XV3080 host synthesizer module nor in the XV-88 keyboard synthesizer.

Updating the Roland BIOS

why you need to update it

The XV-88 was introduced right around the time that the new SRX cards were coming into production. Previous to this, expansion was accomplished by the older style SR-JV80 cards. This is why it was designed to accept either type of card. A few years after the introduction of the XV-88, and the SRX cards, Roland upgraded the cards a bit, beginning with SRX-05, so that they could hold more patches. This was great news, for owners of some of the keyboards developed latter. The old style SRX cards could only hold 128 patches. Thanks to a new file system, newer versions could hold several times that number. Unfortunately, the older Roland keyboards would not be able to read the extended portions of the new file system. Roland came out with a user installable update for this, and bundled it in with all cards, starting with SRX-05, which is the first SRX card to go beyond the 128 patch limit. There are two ways to install this update.

via SmartMedia

The easiest, initially, was by the use of the old SmartMedia card. The ROM file was simply copied over to a card, the card was plugged into the slot on the back of the keyboard, and the appropriate panel buttons were pressed to begin the download. This is no longer so easy. SmartMedia cards were discontinued in 2005. Today, they are not always so easy to find, and can be quite expensive once located. In addition, the XV-88 can only use cards the earlier (and less common) 3.3 v cards, and only those with a maximum size of 128mb. Of course, in order to load the ROM files onto the card, you will also need an old style SmartMedia card reader, to write them from a CD. Suddenly, this is not so easier any more. If you happen to have all of the old SmartMedia gear, this might be an option for you.

via MIDI connection

Fortunately, there is another way. Most serious users of the XV-88 will have midi cables, or a serial cable for connection to a computer. They will also have a sequencer, and perhaps an editor. Instructions for updating are below.

You will first need to get a hold of the update files. They will be included on the disc that comes packed with your SRX card. If you do not have the disc, the file may be down loaded from the Roland website, by following this link This will be a zipped file, so you will need to uncompress this file. Uncompressed, you will have a collection of 32 .mid files, and a read me file, explaining installation. If you can not find this file at the website, write me and I will send it to you. These are, of course, not sound files; but are the new ROM code, saved as mid files, in order that they might be loaded via a sequencer.

Connect your midi cables, if they are not already connected. How you will connect these cables will vary, according to your set up. In my own case, I simply connect the midi out, on my Soundblaster breakout box, to the midi in, on my keyboard.

Turn on your computer, and bring up your sequencing program. Make certain, from previous use, that the sequencer knows which connections your keyboard is using. If you do not have a sequencer program, you may find one by following this link

With the keyboard off, depress the DEC, and the A bank keys, both at the same time. Leave these keys depressed, as you turn on the keyboard and wait for it to come up.

Load the midi files vial your sequencer.

music/rolandxv88.txt · Last modified: 2022/03/20 20:29 by gary1

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