Release date: 1982
Type: Analog synthesizer
The Roland Jupiter-6 (JP-6) is a discontinued synthesizer, manufactured and introduced by the Roland Corporation in January 1983 as a less expensive alternative to the Roland Jupiter-8. The Jupiter-6 is widely considered a workhorse among polyphonic analog synthesizers, capable of producing a wide variety of sounds, such as ambient drones, pads, lead synthesizer lines, and techy blips and buzzes. It is renowned for its reliability and ease, but is sophisticated programmability.
Although introduced as a less expensive ($2,500-$3,000 market price) alternative to the Roland Jupiter-8, its features include some capabilities not present in the JP-8, which makes the JP-6 a successor. The Jupiter-6 is widely considered a workhorse among polyphonic analog synthesizers, capable of producing a wide variety of sounds, such as ambient drones, pads, lead synthesizer lines, unison basses and techy blips and buzzes. It is renowned for its reliability and ease, but with sophisticated programmability.
The JP-6 has 12 analog oscillators (2 per voice), and is bitimbral, allowing its keyboard to be "split" into two sounds - one with 4 voices, and one with the remaining 2 voices (either "Split 4/2" or "Split 2/4" mode). "Whole Mode" is also available, dedicating all 6 voices to single (monotimbral) sound across the entire keyboard.
The JP-6 was among the first electronic instruments (alongside the Roland JX-3P and the Sequential Circuits Prophet-600) to feature MIDI, then a brand new technology. Sequential CEO Dave Smith demonstrated MIDI by connecting the Prophet to a Jupiter-6 during the January, 1983 Winter NAMM Show.
Europa, a popular firmware replacement available from 'Synthcom Systems' adds modern enhancements to the instrument's MIDI implementation, user interface and arpeggiator, turning the Jupiter 6 into a contemporaneously adaptable machine.