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Roland Juno-106 synthesizer

Roland Juno-106 synthesizer

Manufactured: 1984-1988
Type: Analogue MIDI synthesizer 

A classic and very common polyphonic analogue sizer, mainly because it has a quite good MIDI interface and 128 memories. It has got lots of good acid sounds and nice bass sounds.

The Juno-106 was the third in the Juno series of digital/analog synthesizers. Its predecessors, the Roland Juno-6 and Roland Juno-60, were somewhat different in appearance than their later sibling, but shared most of the internal components and features in common with the exception of a tradeoff between a simple up/down arpeggiator on the earlier models and a portamento feature on the Juno-106. The Juno-106 also featured MIDI connectivity, rather than the proprietary Roland Digital Control Bus (DCB) found on the Juno-60.

Roland also produced a Juno-106 variant with built-in speakers and a slightly redesigned enclosure, intended for the consumer market rather than professional users. In Japan, this version was called the "Juno-106S", and elsewhere in the world it was called the HS-60.

The Juno-106 is a unique synthesizer in a large part because it came at a time period when digital synthesizer components were just being introduced, MIDI being the most important, yet it featured the best of the analogue and digital worlds. The Juno-106 was one of the last synthesizers to feature all of its controls as buttons and sliders on the faceplate which allowed for quick programming. The Juno-106 also featured DCOs with an analog signal path including VCFs. This allowed for perfectly tuned pitch with the warmth of analogue waveshaping and filters, along with the drive provided by the VCA. It is because of this balance of analogue and digital that there really is no other synth quite like the Juno-106 and it is still a staple in many studios today.

Technical information:

Oscillators: 6 DCO's - pulse, sawtooth and square, sub oscillator and noise generator
Polyphony: 6 voices
61 keys, no aftertouch or velocity
6 VCF's and HPF's
LFO: rate and delay
Effects: chorus (rich/harmonic/off)
VCA: 1 ADSR envelope (AttackDelaySustainRelease)
MIDI: in, out, thru
Memory: bank A 88 patches, bank B 88 patches

Due to their enduring popularity and despite their overall simplicity and limited range of sonic possibilities, Juno-series synthesizers still make appearances with a number of bands, including Fatboy Slim, William Orbit, Underworld, Leftfield, Fluke, Josh Wink, Todd Terry, Depeche Mode, Apollo 440,Faithless, The Black Eyed Peas, Blue Nile, Steve Adey, Franz Ferdinand, Covenant, Clarence Jey, Daft Punk, Dosh, Moby, The Chemical Brothers, Justice, Jessy Lanza, Mutemath, Sigur Rós, Solemn Camel Crew, Doll Factory, Islands, the Unicorns, Pet Shop Boys, Mansun, a-ha, Laserdance, Uzi and Ari, Late of the Pier, the Automatic, Tame Impala, Four Tet, Pivot, the New Deal (band), Andy Kuncl, Howlermonkey, Winter Palace, Passion Pit, Bleachers (band) and scores of other projects.

Liam: "I like the [Roland Juno] 106 because it's so easy to use. I program it for bass lines, but it's better for string sounds."

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