Digitakt and the Roland JV1080: link up?

wondering if anyone out here has had any experience using the Digitakt to control the JV1080 . if so, please share your experience and what you learned, tips, tricks etc. just got a Digitakt recently and started using it. lots of fun, still trying to wrap my head around the p locks and the deeper workings of it. the workflow is sick especially how u can quickly undo copy paste things and so on. getting used to the workflow pretty quick but i thought id start connecting it with other bits of gear i own and the jv was first. so i got things to communicate pretty quickly but i would like the option of mapping some of the knobs to some of the deeper menu options in the jv (tvf cutoff res etc). spent a while trying. had some hope with the two options for cc control in one of the menus of the jv but didnt get far. it’s probably not possible but i thought i’d at least see if anyone’s had luck with any of that and what sort of cool things you can actually do with the midi sequencing of the Digitakt when connected to the jv.


I don’t have a JV-1080 but the basics would be:

  • Use a Performance on the JV so that you can sequence different sounds from each of the 8 MIDI sequencer tracks on the DT.
  • Set the MIDI channel numbers for 8 Parts in the Performance to match the channel numbers that you set for the DT MIDI sequencer tracks.
  • Make sure receipt of MIDI messages is activated for each Part of the JV’s Performance.
  • Each Patch on the JV allows 3 Patch Control Sources for playing with the Tone parameters using MIDI Control Change (CC) messages. Source 1 is always Mod Wheel (CC 1); sources 2 and 3 can be any of CCs 1, 2, 4, 7, 10, 11, or Pitch Bend or Aftertouch. See page 49 of the JV’s Manual.
  • The parameters you can control include pitch, filter cutoff, resonance, pan position, and chorus and reverb depth, as well as LFO rates and depths. See page 49 of the JV’s Manual.
  • The JV also has 2 System Control Sources to which any CC message from 0 to 95 can be assigned. See page 68 of the JV’s manual.

The JV should be a great partner for a DT so have fun and make sure you experiment to get the most out of this combination.


Wow Peter Hanes

From someone who doesnt own a jv1080 thats pretty impressive…! It took me a long time of owning one to work out the above. You must love to rtfm…?

I have done it, and yes exactly as above…

Most of the presets have the cntrl set to a vibrato so you will have to edit each user patch. I found it easier to edit the patches on the computer using changeit…sysex editor and then lett the DT control the JV after a patch editing session…

The JV is amazing for pads, atmospheres and strings and it seems like the DT is a Ferrari of control pottential that is waisted on the limited control ability of the JV. Dont get me wrong its a stunning cinematic sounding bit of kit, but other synths can take better advantage of the snappy plocks. The JV really sounds good drenched in its own reverbs with slow evolving sounds and the DT is like a fast surgeon…i got better results from virus and blofeld and sub 37 with the plocks…

To get the most out of the JV you have to tinker the patch under the hood…and assign what you want to bend to the ctrl midi cc as above, takes a bit of planning and the results arnt always pleasing. But when it does work its bliss…


thanks to both repliers! peter i’ll try all that!

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hi @PeterHanes

one thing. i’d rather stay out of performance mode for the timebeing. rather, i’d like to try what you are proposing while remaining in a basic patch (so in patch mode). at this point im interested in being able to manipulate what i can cc-wise with one patch (though the prospect of being able to trig 8 different patches within a performance sounds magical). would i still be able to assign/control certain patches while in this mode or is it somehow necessary for me to remain in performance mode in order to do any sort of tinkering with control messages etc.?
thanks for all the help

im gonna just dive in and try for now but in the meantime let me know if im simply wasting my time lmao

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Yes. This is a good way to start.

Just ignore what I wrote about Parts and Performances and work in Patch mode. Page 49 of the JV manual (“Control Source”) tells you which MIDI Control Change messages you can use for each of the three Patch Controllers, and which Control Destination parameters can be controlled.

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ok cool working through that page rn. thanks m8!

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Man there are 2 synths i have owned that demand you get your hands dirty to edit a patch and the jv1080 is only second to the tx81z when it comes to bastardy menue diving. It can be hell.

The potential of the JV opened up for me when i used a piece of pc software called changeit. Its free…! It looks basic but it lays out routing options in a familiar format (almost like windows 98 or MS Access haha)…you visually see all routing options in dropdown menues, and experimenting is much faster and less fiddly. It helps get a feel of whats possible and how to make it happen… much faster than menue diving with one knob and a few buttons…(my arms used to ache…first world problem i know…)

You can select all 4 voice tones and edit parameters of all 4 at once… so simple things like having an lfo contol all 4 filters with the same waveform and rate is so much easier with 3 mouse clicks…oppsed to menue diving. Butt strangely it actually made menue diving easier once i got my head arround the possibilities and limits i learned using the software for some reason.

From the DT I think from memory you have a limited number of controllable midi ccs in the JV…
Sustain on off
Portamento on off
Portamento time
Ctrl 1

But the number of things you can route in the internal matrix to the mod, expression and ctrls is where the magic happens.

You should try changeit if you can, i was on the verge of selling my JV before i discovered it. I have heard ctrlr is also a good patch editor? Though you may need a usb to 5pin din converter and 2 midi cables…unless to DT will act as a midi in and out to and from the pc over its usb…then you just need 2 midi cables…Just thought i would share…

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thanks so much @Adam9 & @PeterHanes
yeah so basically where im at is deep in the nitty gritty of this whole process. im using the manual (pgs 49 and 68) and your replies and trying to make sense of things and also just trying different things. for the first patch (001 analogue) i went into the system menu and looked around for things that i could work with. a lot of things look fine. i got to the point where i was able to assign VAL1 on the DT to control main volume on the JV. that felt huge for me lmao. then i got VAL2 assigned to the mod wheel which funnily enough seemed connected some how to the filter of the patch. as I turned VAL2 i was opening and closing a filter. strange. i still have a lot i need to learn about exactly where ccs are being routed or something. its not so clear, even with the manual. if there is a clear sort of step by step tutorial you guys know of/have time to put together which can detail the steps (both in the JV and the DT) i have to take in order to for example, assign one of the VAL knobs to say the filter of a certain tone let me know, or perhaps the dry/wet of a reverb or delay effect that would be appreciated. you guys have been a lot of help already but i get it if you feel at this point that i should just stick with treading in these murky waters.

I have a 2080 and ctrlr didn’t work at all for me, despite having all the connections and settings right. Will give changeit a shot.

OP best thing you can do is get deeply familiar with the 1080 manual!

Not a waist of time at all…this is still one of my favorite synths. Its worth the effort…but I wish it were as simple as a CC for midi cut off. But alas what you will find is that you will assign the CC for Control 1 on the DT and it may control Filter on one patch but pitch or LFO depth on another. Because what is routed to the Control 1 in each patch is different inside the JV on every patch…! bastards…

Here are the settings for a basic subtractive 5th set up in Changeit. if you go through and edit every parameter to match these values you will see how much control you can have over the 4 voices. As this is a basic patch alot of the values are zero, you will still have to make sure that these values are zero in the JV or you will have crazy un explained modulation that can be confusing at first. if you go through and build this patch in the JV it will help learn your way around it, but may make you realize how much work goes into a very basic detuned 5th that takes 2 seconds on a microbrute!!

Seriously look at a sysex patch editor and spare your brain. even the visual representation of the envelopes make life allot easier. Editing from that tiny LCD screen is like going white water rafting and deciding to paddle against the current…

i feel that @Anfim but i gotta say the 1080 immediately worked for things like main vol and mod wheel. somethings definitely working and ive already had fun applying the JVs filter (not sure how still lol) thru the DT and also pitch bend so i would def not lose hope with this potentially cool combo. and yes getting to know the manual is key and the more i look at it the more i learn.

thanks to all for chiming in and keeping this thread going. hope we can keep developing this!


def down to look at these controller programs at some point soon. right now im delving deeper into the boxes. i know i can figure out a way in to have more things assignable. when im ready i’ll def jump into your idea though. i’ve had the JV for only 6 months and haven’t used much in this deeper diving kind of way so im still getting used to its super annoying idiosyncracies but the more time i spend with it the magical it gets. thanks for sharing all the shots!!!


Have fun!! Im about 5 years in with mine and im still finding new things. I discovered recently that You can actually get decent shimmer with pitch and reverb in the fx section. Watch the don solaris presets video on youtube to get an idea of what can be possible…its a cool synth.


Was just looking through a manual for a UC33 midi controller and came across a NRPN of 74 for a “relative” filter cutt off for each patch in the JV1080.

I have tried it with the DT and it works on some patches. You have to change the DT to NRPN…for the individual midi send…

It depends on the settings in the JV patch and in most cases the cuttoff mod doesnt completely open and close (sweep from 20hz to 20khz or what ever its capable of) its relative to the amount of cuttoff applied in the patch. The resaults range from non existent to subtle…or non experimental and musical…

But in most cases is a quick way to get filter cutt off moving with one command…no menue diving…