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ROLAND JUNO 6 - 60 - 106 Japan 1982 - 84



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. Competing 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 Grackle)
The 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.
Like 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.

(aka Workpony)
Introduced 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 strings.

The 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


Juno 6
Juno 60
Juno 106
Envelope modulation on PWM
Interface method
none (only trigger)

Stepless hipass filter
yes no / 4 step no / 4 step

External trigger (via TR808,707,606 etc.)
DCO Oscillator circuit/chip
VCF circuit/chip
IR3109 IR3109 IR3109

Envelope circuit/chip
IR3R01 IR3R01 software generated

VCA circuit/chip
BA662 BA662 uPC1252H2 BA662

Chorus circuit/chip
MN3009/MN3101 MN3009/MN3101 MN3009/MN3101

thanks to http://analog.no/rolandcustom.htm for some of the information


Numbers of Juno's manufactured By Roland:

Juno-6: 14,000
Juno-60: 30,000
Juno-106: 72,000

The name Juno comes from Roman myhtology, Juno was queen of the gods and wife of Jupiter, which is ofcourse also a famous synthesizer name from Roland.

Here is an online Juno 60 manual


Movie:  The music of the1986 Dr.Who Trail of the Timelord series used the Juno 6 for the muddy chorus dripping baseline.

Movie: Enya playing Boadicea on a Juno 60 in the studio with some badasss dark bass patch!

Movie: Eastern European superstar Jesus figure playing a Juno 6

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