In 1982 Roland
introduced the Juno 6 as an
affordable fully programmable 6 voice polyphonic synthesizer. Simple
but extremely versatile, it would be the first sibbling in a series of
cult classic vintage synths.
head on with the similar Korg's 1981 Poly six synthesizer
Roland quickly realised that the Korg polysix was superior in some
ways, the Poly Six had memory storage for patches and also featured an
extra oscillator. Roland quickly redesigned some parts of the Juno 6
and thus the 60 was born, almost exactly the same synthesizer but with
an added memory storage for 56 patches, an external DCB control port (Digital Control Bus: a kind of pre-MIDI
control method exclusively to Roland and only used on the Juno 60 and
Jupiter 8) and Tape interface to save and load extra patches.
This must have pissed off a lot of people who bought the Juno 6 first
but more then 25 years later this means we can buy a very affordable
Juno second hand (the 6 has always remained the cheapest of all junos
on the street). I bought my Juno 6 from a flamenco guitarist for quite
cheap money not so long ago.
Soundwise the Juno 6 and 60 are almost the same, the only difference in
the synth department is that the 6 has a stepless hipass filter, while
the 60 has a 4 step fixed hipass filter.
Warm fuzzy basses, wooly pads, hypnotic arpeggio sequences and all
kinds of wooshes and swooses slider tweak fun....its all there.
Some people claim that the Juno 6 sounds faster, in theory this could
be due to the lack of some A/D converters which are needed in the 60 to
save the patches into memory.
I think the Juno 6 sounds a littlebit rougher then the 60 which seems
to sound more sophisticated but this might very well be
psychological...its probably just a load of bollocks.
Both the Juno 6 and 60 have an arpeggiator which can be triggered with
a trigger signal from a drumachine such as the TR707, 808, 909, 606,
626, CR8000 etc. The 60 also has a DCB interface which can connect to a
DCB sequencer such as the JSQ60 (see below) or a MIDI-to-DCB converter
which can MIDI-fy the Juno 60. The Juno 60 is
heavily used on the Smackos - Waiting for the Red Bear album, the
Chicago Shags, Land of Lonzo and
Legowelt soundtracks of Elefanten Boots and Duneman (together with
Phalangius - Cambridge Library Murders album was made entirely using
just a Roland Juno 6, all the sounds are played on that synth without
any external control or sequencing.
this track "Theme
from Andrew Wiles" Check out more
tracks and information here Here is a youtube movie
of me playing the Arpeggiator on a Juno 6
ROLAND JSQ60 digital keyboard recorder/
sequencer for Juno 60
The JSQ60 is a DCB sequencer for the Juno 60. It
does some nice easy-to-use step sequencing with a high fun factor. It
can mastersync a drummachine with sync24 like the TR606,707,808,CR8000
etc...it can not be slaved though. Its very spartanic but you can
certainly make tracks with it quite easily. It should also work on the
Jupiter 8 if there would be an adapter for the cable (The DCB
connection on the Jupiter 8 is different from the Juno 60)
The JSQ60 running a Juno 60 and TR707/Drumtracks was used a lot on the
Chicago Shags album released in 2005 on Bunker records.
ROLAND JUNO 106 (aka Workpony)
in 1984, the juno 106 is a mere shadow of the majestic sounding Juno 6
& 60. There is no arpeggiator and wooden sides but more patch
memory and its completely controllable with MIDI (you can record all
slider movements direct into your sequencer). There is also a
polyphonic portamento which isn't that great sounding somehow but
sometimes usefull on lead sounds. Soundwise it excells at one thing
compared to the 6 & 60 however: Stringsounds...its PWM modulated
strings sounds seem more sparkling then the rough analog 6 & 60's
other Juno 106 sounds are still great but it misses some of the analog
juice if you compare them next to the 6/60, sometimes that might just
be a good thing cause it is this meek and humbleness that makes
the 106 somehow always fit in the mix just quite right. A trusthworthy
workhorse in the studio, or maybe not that thrustwhorty.: Juno 106's
are known to be less reliable then the 6 & 60; some of the old
voice and filter chips are deteriorating quite quickly but fortunately
some guy is making new ones I've heard. This one is missing one voice
but it still does the job...ghetto style. I bought it in the mid
90s quite cheaply from some teenage girl who had put all kinds of
New Kids on the block stickers
on it....it has been serving in the studio since then and it has been
used in countless of productions...this is probably my most used synth.
Listen to the typical Juno 106 string sounds on Zebra Dance