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 pg-8x by ML-VST is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin. It functions as a VST Plugin.
pg-8x
Product pg-8x
Developer ML-VST
Price (MSRP)
suggested donation: £10-20
Type / Tags
Plug-in, App & Soundware Format(s)
Instrument(s) 
Operating System Availability
Operating
System
Latest
Version
Download Released
 
2.0.13
 
Downloads Released
 
2.0.13
 
Downloads Released
Miscellaneous Information
Copy ProtectionNone

pg-8x is a VST instrument plug-in, inspired by the JX-8P. The GUI is modelled after the pg-800, which is the external editor for the JX-8P. pg-8x is patch-compatible to the hardware, which means that JX-8P SysEx files are accepted.

Features:

  • 6-12 voice polyphony.
  • Two DCOs with Saw, Square, Pulse, Noise.
  • Hard Sync and Ring Modulation.
  • Two exponential envelop generators.
  • 24 dB resonant LP filter.
  • HP filter (3 stages).
  • Stereo Chorus.

Technical information:

  • Native C++ code.
  • SSE2 code.
  • up to 4 x 16-fold oversampled oscillator.
  • 4-fold oversampled filter.
  • Custom voice allocation.
  • 6 Key assignment modes:
    • Poly (re-assignment of voices).
    • Poly2 (round robin).
    • Unison (two voices in unison).
    • Unison2 (second voice shifted by 1 octave).
    • Mono.
    • Mono2 (all voices in unison).
  • MIDI Learn: MIDI Controllers can be assigned by right-clicking on the slider.
  • Automatic adjustment of samplerate.
Latest User Reviews Average user rating of 5.00 from 3 reviews

Reviewed By pestomusic
August 21, 2016

I'll keep this one short because the main points have already been mentioned by my fellow KVR reviewers below.

In short: yes, this does sound like a Roland synth - actually, it's the very first to do so in the virtual world besides Roland's very own products. No, I haven't used a JX synth in the past but a couple of other analogue Roland synths and the PG-8X shares the same rubbery, lush and fat character inherent to Roland synths. Similar to TAL's synths, this one is worth it for the chorus alone.

I acknowledge that presets are crucial for many, so the PG-8X being sysex patch compatible with the real thing opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Aside from the original factory banks that Martin supplies, you can find hundreds of patches on the internet. As I am more of a roll-your-own guy when it comes to synth sounds, I found the surface nicely laid out and inviting for tweakers. Making a vibrant pad is a matter of seconds, making massive bass patches is so, too. And the thing is: it instantly sounds like Roland. Right there in your DAW. For free. That's simply amazing - especially if it doesn't set you back 150€ if you purchase from other devs with a similar claim.

I'm a Mac-Head as well (AU only at that) so I'm using an older beta with all its quirks. But since I could not believe that you'd get such a quality plugin for free, I donated to Martin in order to support further development. I suggest you do the same if you're after a Mac AU version as well. On top of that, Martin is a very responsive developer (just read the dedicated forums) and seems to be a very nice guy - so there are even more reasons to support indie devs like him rather than the big corps. If he comes up with a virtual MKS-70 or models another Roland synth of yesteryear, I'll be the first in line to buy it without a prior demo run.

Read more

Reviewed By lionscub68
July 5, 2012

Version reviewed: beta thru 1.02

This reviewer is old enough to say, I've been around. I've owned three JX-series synths, and am intimate with the character of the sounds & quirks of each.

When I discovered the PG-8X here on KVR as a passing post, I got excited. Then a little crestfallen when it was stated to be a PC-only VST, and I'm a Machead. However, with a little tenacity, you CAN make it work on a Mac, using VFX V-Machine software (up to OS X 10.7.x), which is a blessing. Using this configuration and some tricky headphone out --> audio interface in --> Ableton Live/Logic Pro audio path, it's relatively painless. As of this writing, the author (Martin) is working on a Mac VST.

On to the quality -- yes, I did give it a 10 out of 10. The interface is not too clunky; in fact it is modeled after the Roland's very own PG-800 proprietary hardware programmer, which was intended for the JX series of synths. With this interface and my patch sheets, I was able to dial up a few of my own custom patches with 100% accuracy; the sounds were an exact replica of the JX8P! And for those who care: yes, I do have patch sheets of my patches from the 80s and 90s, thanks to pre-internet studio record keeping.

Sound quality is outstanding and beautiful. Very little latency. It is so convincing as a JX emulation, I find myself hitting the keys kind of hard to trigger some of the nuances that are buried in certain JX patches. If you have ever owned a JX8P, JX-10, or MKS-70, you understanding exactly what I'm talking about here about the tactile response. Point is, there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever about the PG-8X's ability to emulate the JX8P. It is an accurate emulation.

Initially I had a problem with some of my patches clipping; but after some research & memory recall in my own brain, it was not the fault of the PG-8X, but rather from a setting I had on my own personal JX8P "back in the day." The hardware JX-8P had an impedance switch of the back of the unit labeled "Level" with three settings: L-M-H (Low, Medium, High) for the stereo 1/4" outputs. Chances are I had mine set to Low or Medium. So naturally when I entered my program patch and it occasionally clipped, the simple fix was to turn down the VCA Amp level to a more comfortable non-clipping level. If you get clipping, any at all, it's due a combination of what the original programmer (like me) and their JX8P's level switch set too low when designing the sound in the first place.

To stress and prove this point: If you have any clipping at all with a patch? Turn down the VCA AMP LEVEL, known as the JX8P menu item 61. Example: download my patch titled "RUMBLEFISH" here (http://home.earthlink.net/~finnkit/), and program it into the PG-8X. You'll find it occasionally clips. Currently the setting I have in Rumblefish patch for the VCA Amp Level is 99 (out of 99). Turn it down to around 70; and miracle of miracles, no more clipping! This clipping issue is not any fault of the plugin. It is due to huge number of legacy patches that contain overdriven VCA levels. So no points against the plugin here. This is what us pre-VST folks had to deal with in the real world back in pre-DAW history, using hardware synths.

Supposedly the plugin has the ability to load legacy patch and or bank dumps from sysex MIDI files, which is a blessing! Unfortunately I cannot test it at this time to verify this (see above: I'm a Machead).

Martin was even thoughtful to include an extra noise generator to simulate the notoriously noisy chorus that is built into the Roland JX and Juno series. This was also sold separately as Boss CE-300 rack unit chorus around the same period in time. Martin plans to release a separate chorus plugin using this code. And yes, just hearing that noise (which has a level control and off setting) does trigger some nostalgia. But thank goodness you can switch it off, and keep that digital purity in your DAW.

There is the ability to switch patches from the GUI, which is a benefit especially if you are using Ableton Live. This feature is unstable using smaudiopro.com's VFX Mac app, however that is the fault of VFX, not this plugin. Of course this will probably be a non-issue once there is a Mac version of the VST. A better, more intuitive (and visually representative of the JX8P's display) patch selection seems to be coming in a future update, as hinted by teaser pictures of a modified GUI on the ML-VST Facebook page.

The quality setting in the hidden panel is fantastic - I do hear a discernible difference as I go up in quality without much hit on the CPU. I also love the voice usage counter, especially when you can tell when a voice has been released.

There are just a few things I wish the plugin did have:

  • a Mac VST (which is promised and in the works -- as of July 2012);
  • a host-syncable or MIDI-Clock synced LFO, something the original hardware JX did not have;
  • and finally the ability to make the plugin able to produce more than the 6-voice limit that the hardware had, and make it user variable? Say, 24 or 32 voices would be nice.

Those wishes aside, Martin has managed to create a truly accurate emulation of the JX8P. The proof is in the pudding by personally comparing my custom patches & old recordings from the 80s and 90s of my old JX8P versus the same sounds programmed in the PG-8X; if that's not enough, then listen to the venerable SOUNDTRACK patch, which simultaneously shakes the windows and shimmers like water; he nailed it! Thanks, Martin!

If you haven't done so already, open up your virtual wallets and pocketbooks and donate to the development of this plugin, you one you didn't know you needed until today. And do so quickly before some larger VST company purchases the rights for this emulation from Martin (and proceed to royally screw it up... cough cough Arturia cough cough).

Martin also has a Facebook page dedicated to the updates: http://www.facebook.com/MLVST

Looking forward to reviewing the Mac version!

Read more

Reviewed By theeyesoftruthd101m
July 5, 2012

Beta 1.02

The PG8X emulation of the JX8p is the first plugin that sounds like a Roland synth!

The GUI of the PG-800 is just perfect to make quick sounds and to learn what a synth can do.

All the years iam waiting for this special sound in my DAW without the hardware around.

My wishes for the PG8x are = more voices (16).

= the green color of the parameters needs more realistc look.

= a good preset save & load menü.

= maybe a MKS70 in the future?

Thank you Martin,this softsynth is like a dream come true :)

Read more
Discussion

Discussion

Discussion: Active
Solcito Musica
Solcito Musica
31 August 2012 at 12:12am

Felicitaciones!! Congratulations! PG8 has the 2 most important that every synth must have: many different sounds together, and easy to use panel. Just I suggest work more on the skin... Cheers!

lucknow13
lucknow13
15 February 2013 at 3:44pm

Love this synth with the kujashi banks.Excellent!

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ballacr75
ballacr75
25 November 2014 at 7:29am

Wonderful synth, the sounds are very credible, the last skin is fantastic.

https://soundcloud.com/emanuele-ballasina/retro.

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robohymn
robohymn
7 May 2015 at 6:21pm

Amazing work. Thanks for this.

angster
angster
12 November 2015 at 4:59pm

I have down loaded patches. How do i hear them in Reaper? I have the PG8X up on a track.

Thank you, .

angster.

martin_l
martin_l
12 November 2015 at 5:10pm

Could you, please, tell me which version you downloaded, and which patch files?

Currently, there is a bit confusion, as there is also the new beta version, which does not understand the old *.fxb patches.

Cheers, .

Martin.

angster
angster
12 November 2015 at 5:19pm

I am afraid I have the the new beta martin. Please tell me what version I should download and I will go get it. Thank you so much.

martin_l
martin_l
12 November 2015 at 5:22pm

For the new beta, all the sysex files (*.syx) will work. If I find some time this weekend, I will convert the other bank to *.syx as well.

The old version is the one on my google-sites page, if you follow the link further up on this page.

Nspark21
Nspark21
13 November 2015 at 6:32pm

nice synth! found it through a tutorial on computer music youtube channel, :D.

Vospi
Vospi
23 December 2015 at 6:27pm

For anyone who loves that synth, I really, really recommend to head over to developer's site, find his Dropbox and download JX8PBNK preset banks. They are amazing. Simple, beautiful, characteristic, effective.

iae41610
iae41610
13 February 2016 at 10:22am

MANY THANKS to all schraubers!.

mellowmushroom00
mellowmushroom00
16 May 2016 at 9:33pm

This really sounds amazing..

robohymn
robohymn
21 August 2016 at 4:38pm

This thing is astounding. I have a real JX-8P, did an A/B comparison of patches, and this VST is like 95% there. Pad and string sounds are the best, they're almost indistinguishable. Brass sounds aren't quite as perfect, but still sound great in their own right. Some patches that make prominent use of the LFO, and especially high bell-type patches, were fairly obviously not alike, but still very close. The plugin on those patches sounds brighter and too precise (for lack of a better term), The real JX-8P's LFO seems lazier, as do the envelopes. This emulation even emulates the little sound the gate makes when it closes on some patches. All in all, as good as commercial stuff, easily, and probably the only way you're getting the classic Roland sound in your DAW these days (affordably, anyway).

StudioDave
StudioDave
25 August 2016 at 1:16pm

In the late 80s/early 90s I owned a much-beloved MKS70 and the PG800 programmer. I'm pretty familiar with the sounds of the JX series, so I'll just say that I love this plugin, and that the other reviews are spot-on. Btw, I'm not running Windows here, I'm a Linux guy using the plugin with the excellent Airwave bridge. Works flawlessly in Bitwig for Linux.

Notbob
Notbob
27 August 2016 at 5:08am

This is just a beautiful synth! I'm Amazed that it's free/D.W. I love the classic Roland sounds, and this seems to nail those. It's very analog-y. So many great patches available, too. And...midi-learn-that's always a clincher for me. Along with low CPU usage, 64-bit availability and inspiring GUI, it's become a definite favorite of mine. Thank you very much Mr. Luders.

opoo
opoo
28 November 2016 at 7:20pm

Somebody wrote about the issues with crashes in cubase sx3, but I didn't find the solution. It works nicely under vsthost, but when I touch it in cubase sx3 everything vanishes. (win xp sp2)

opoo
opoo
28 November 2016 at 7:52pm

Somebody wrote about the issues with crashes in cubase sx3, but I didn't find the solution. It works nicely under vsthost, but when I touch it in cubase sx3 everything vanishes. (win xp sp2)

Now I tested it under win xp3 and cubase sx2 and it works flawless there. Do i have to install sp3 ?

martin_l
martin_l
28 November 2016 at 11:28pm

Unfortunately, I do not have Cubase SX2 to investigate the problem.

opoo
opoo
11 December 2016 at 11:44pm

hallo martin_l, so i spend some time with PG8X and this is what I came up with:

the latest version works with cubase sx2 under win xp sp3.

under win xp sp2 it works with vsthost but not in cubase sx3.

I tried diferent versions.

PG8X-05-11-2014.dll YES works but unison stuck note
PG8X-12-11-2014.dll YES
PG8X_2016-01-31 NO
PG8X_2015-04-26.dll NO
PG8X_2015-02-22.dll NO.

may be its some use for you.

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synthix
synthix
14 December 2016 at 4:25pm

Thanks so much Martin! great great job.

mightywhitey
mightywhitey
13 January 2017 at 6:46pm

To my dearest brother Martin: Man, this is a true thing of beauty! You obviously are a truly creative soul down here making God look good! Bless you, Brother!
One question, though: How do I actually get the learned cc numbers to be remembered? Neither the "Write Values" or "Make Default" seems to prevent everything from being forgotten once I close and re-open an instance or even the project in Ableton. Any insight?

martin_l
martin_l
27 January 2017 at 10:08am

How do you do the MIDI Learn? Do you use the plugin's system, or are you using the DAW's MIDI Learn capability?

If you use the plugin, the settings should be stored per patch. You can also make them default settings. Have a look at the manual, for the details.

If this still does not work, please let me know.

mightywhitey
mightywhitey
20 February 2017 at 5:08pm

I do it directly in the plugin and exactly as described in the manual. Neither writing to patch or "make default" works. If I change a patch, re-instantiate, or close the project down and re-open, I lose my controller mappings. I use Ableton Live and Cubase 8.5. This functionality seems to not work in either. Even tried different build numbers of the plug. If it helps, I'm using Windows 7. Please help me, Brother......

preferred.nomenclature
preferred.nomenclature
14 May 2018 at 1:27am

I'm having the exact same problem here, 32-bit version running in Reaper on Windows 10. I would also like to know if I'm doing something wrong or if I'll have to live with this already amazing plugin as-is. Cheers to the developer.

THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED

hulkofthehammondb3
hulkofthehammondb3
27 January 2017 at 2:16am

Greetings to you!! I'm still having problems loading the presets into the PG-8X. Can you share with me the step-by-step process for loading the presets?? Many Thanks!.

Vospi
Vospi
27 January 2017 at 4:44am

Did a video for you.

https://youtu.be/_2Q7o134CAM.

BlackWinny
BlackWinny
27 January 2017 at 8:42am

In addition to the excellent Vospi's reply:

it would be nice to give a very important precision : which DAW do you use? The process to load presets is sometimes a bit different from a DAW to another.

martin_l
martin_l
27 January 2017 at 10:06am

Well, loading a preset through the DAW's system is DAW dependent.

The procedure shown in the video should work in any DAW, as it is handled by the plugin itself.

ryszkisznyszki
ryszkisznyszki
20 February 2017 at 3:47pm

not working for me in Logic Pro X....when i transfer VST file to VST folder in Logic its not showing up in the list of virtual instruments.

martin_l
martin_l
20 February 2017 at 8:05pm

Logic Pro X only accepts AU's. It cannot load VST. I am still struggling getting the AU version ready. You might try the standalone APP and route MIDI and Audio to that. Should work.

ryszkisznyszki
ryszkisznyszki
20 February 2017 at 8:35pm

Thank you for replay....Actually Logic Pro X has VST folder but obviously something is not working right. I will try App again, i couldn't get it to work either but will give another try....thanks again.

lionscub68
lionscub68
21 February 2017 at 9:03pm

Logic Pro, version 7 and up, uses AudioUnits only. VSTs will absolutely not work under any circumstance in Logic Pro on the Macintosh, period, whether you see a folder there or not.

ryszkisznyszki
ryszkisznyszki
20 February 2017 at 8:37pm

App is working fine, thanks.

aismith18
aismith18
29 March 2017 at 10:47pm

I haven't been able to get any sound not get the app version for mac to respond to any MIDI information. I'm running logic pro x and reason 8. if you have any plans for an AU please let us know. I hear nothing but great things and am excited to check it out.

martin_l
martin_l
30 March 2017 at 7:14am

I am planning to resurrect the AU, but at the moment cant find any time for that.

In order to get the App working, you will probably need something like soundflower and also need to put the routing in place in the AUDIO and MIDI setup of the operating system.

alavux
alavux
10 August 2017 at 8:59pm

anyone having luck to run pg8x as controller on midiman MIDI sport 4x4 ? i use midiquest exported dll as vstI controller but i want to run pg8x ... it runs much faster ... thanks for the help ! :) cubase 5 user i have dedicated MIDI out just for jx8p and enable sysex in cubase and in jx8p ...

adamnfinecupofcoffee
adamnfinecupofcoffee
6 September 2017 at 11:45am

Do you have to load all syx files individually?

Also, anyone know a nice string soundbank. I want to play Love Theme from Mulholland Drive which a lot of people say was played on this synth. It's a strings sound.

synth_punk
synth_punk
14 September 2017 at 5:38pm

Dear Martin, AU Mac (for us Logic X stuffs) still, pretty please ? :)

Thank you so much for you efforts, Sp.

Paul_Debrione
Paul_Debrione
16 February 2018 at 8:51pm

Now I'm not known for my abject stupidity but I'm obviously doing something wrong here. I want to map this marvelous synthesizer to my BCR2000. I've already done it with a number of other synths (OBXD was particularly successful) and the PG-8X seems to be no different, but no matter what combinations I try it loses the mapping every time I come out of it and reload it.

Right click the fader and assign the knob by turning and the fader moves, so check.

Press the Write Values button and it loses the assignment on reload.

Or press the Make Default button and it loses assignment on reload.

Save the pad. and reload. No joy.

Save the bank and reload. No joy.

What am I doing wrong here?

preferred.nomenclature
preferred.nomenclature
14 May 2018 at 1:27am

I'm having the exact same problem here, 32-bit version running in Reaper on Windows 10. I would also like to know if I'm doing something wrong or if I'll have to live with this already amazing plugin as-is. Cheers to the developer.

mightywhitey
mightywhitey
14 May 2018 at 3:22am

You originally replied to my post from 2017. I see I'm not the only one who is having mapping issues. Please, if anyone else is having any of these types of problems, I'd love to know. Especially if you could even remotely guess at what the cause of the problem. I'm 64-bit, by the way.

preferred.nomenclature
preferred.nomenclature
14 May 2018 at 12:34pm

If this helps anyone in debugging: there is a pg-8x.map file that is getting updated correctly as far as I can tell (assigning CC 7 to cutoff with min of 0 and max of 5, clicking "Make default" and re-loading the VST results in file contents of 20 7 0 0.5 but incoming CC 7 messages still have no effect).

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pg-8x

Average user rating of 5.00 from 3 reviews

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