Roland Juno-106 vs D-50

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Roland Juno-106 vs D-50

Postby mendenhall72 » Wed May 29, 2013 5:49 am


Hello, I am having a very hard time deciding which synth out of these 2 is a better one or would work better for me. I am very new to synthesizers and have little or no experience, however I have been doing much research and I think I have narrowed down my list to the Roland D-50 or the Juno-106.
Which one is a better synth overall?? Better sound and capabilities? And one good for someone starting out who's goal is to master the old school synth? Like I said I am very new to this but I really want a good synth capable of synth-pop/electronica and is able to recreate 80's/70's sounds without sounding like a cheesy video-game. Thank you.
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Re: Roland Juno-106 vs D-50

Postby pflosi » Wed May 29, 2013 7:09 am

Both are very cool. A Juno is certainly easier to learn (subtractive) synthesis on, but a D50 can be fun as well (IMO), just maybe not the best starter synth if you want to dive into programming.

Regarding sound, they are very different. If that's what matters most for you, check youtube demos and decide which one you like better for yourself.
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Re: Roland Juno-106 vs D-50

Postby c-level » Wed May 29, 2013 7:19 am

havent played d50 but im really intrigued. waiting for the 'fool' to want to trade me one for a JX-3P bc ones 'analog' and ones not..... depends what your going for...
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Re: Roland Juno-106 vs D-50

Postby pflosi » Wed May 29, 2013 11:25 am

JX3P (without PG200) and D50 are around the same price, if there's a price difference it'd be rather that the JX3P fetches slightly higher prices...
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Re: Roland Juno-106 vs D-50

Postby edfunction » Wed May 29, 2013 12:39 pm

If you're wanting to go for old-school synthesis then the juno is your best bet out of the two. It's got some limitations but that also makes it easy to learn, plus it sounds good. More 80's than 70's in my experience.
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Re: Roland Juno-106 vs D-50

Postby synthroom » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:12 pm

Get the Juno as it's easier to program and you'll learn synths more easily with it. You can get a D-50 later, there's lots of them out there.

That said, I have a D-50 and it makes (in my opinion) much cooler sounds that any of the Junos.
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Re: Roland Juno-106 vs D-50

Postby ninja6485 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:30 pm

Do you like the 90's style digital pad, pan flute, plucky, celestial sounds, or the traditional bass, lead, saw/ square, self oscillation type sounds?
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...
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Re: Roland Juno-106 vs D-50

Postby vin14 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:17 pm

The D-50 is THE synth sound of 1987, if you like pop music from that time it's could be the one for you. It provided a lot of those leads and pads that sounded so new at the time. It's not good at all for bass though. Programming is impossible (IMHO) without a software editor and even then it's a pain. That's probably why it's so recognisable, the factory presets were used a lot.

I'd say the 106 sounds more like 1982-86 (I know it wasn't around in 82, but the juno 6 was) it's difficult to single it out on recordings, because it's so easy to programme and because there were other synths that could make similar sounds. It could also be said that it' was (one of) the sounds of 90s electronic/techno etc., when it made a big comeback. It does those bass and screaming lots of resonance lead sounds quite well.

I have both and all though I'm somewhat fond of the D-50, I'd choose the 106.
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Re: Roland Juno-106 vs D-50

Postby pflosi » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:08 am

IMO the D50 is quite programmable for a menu-based system... Programming from the front panel is definitely not impossible.
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Re: Roland Juno-106 vs D-50

Postby c-level » Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:21 am

pflosi wrote:IMO the D50 is quite programmable for a menu-based system... Programming from the front panel is definitely not impossible.


something tells me if i can program 2 JX'es without a PG, ill be ready for a D50.... :?:
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Re: Roland Juno-106 vs D-50

Postby Pro5 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:21 am

UPDATE >

106 :mrgreen:

There's a reason such a 'simple synth' is so massively popular with real recording artist who don't get into spec wars (but are productive and make great sounding records). It just works, it sounds great, it has character and it fits into a mix very easily.

I love the D-50's sound but it's far more work to massage into a mix and will never give you that real analog sound like the Juno 106 does. In the late 80s of course the D-50 was bought by thousands of pros and used profusely, but in modern times while it can be tamed, it'll never sound as effortlessly 'there' as the Juno 106 for modern music.

Those that love the 106 understand all this and won't be swayed by nay-sayers or people calling it basic, samey or whatever.. just like a guitar is 'basic and samey', as is a piano, as is a Juno 106 - but they all sound good and with FX you can take them anywhere.

I'm a fan of 'simpler = better' when it comes to analog synths, if you go too far from the basics they end up sounding more and more digital/convoluted and not that usable in songs. Have had all the Junos now (inc the alphas) and the 106 stands out as the best all round musical instrument of the Junos with the perfect player's feature set and control. I think teaming the Juno up with the D-50 (or even better - a JD-800) would be an ideal all-round solution (Digital for complex - analog for simple but great).
Last edited by Pro5 on Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:26 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Roland Juno-106 vs D-50

Postby moremagic » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:24 am

get the 106 and learn to play a synthesizer instead of learning how to program cool sounds for your keyboard ;-)
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Re: Roland Juno-106 vs D-50

Postby D-Collector » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:00 pm

vin14 wrote:Programming is impossible (IMHO) without a software editor and even then it's a pain.


It is not impossible at all. You just have to use it enough to remember where every function is, until you develop a "map" of the UI in your head. Once you do that it is a breeze.
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Re: Roland Juno-106 vs D-50

Postby madmarkmagee » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:10 pm

With the 106 watch out for VCF/VCA chip issues. They're all pretty much breaking these days, and will most likely die and need to be replaced with clones if they haven't been replaced already...
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Re: Roland Juno-106 vs D-50

Postby max badwan » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:05 am

might be a bit late, but, Roland Junos are cheap and cheerful synths designed for the beginner, or those with a modest budget - they sound good, they're easy to program, and you will learn all the basics.
In contrast, the D-50 was a flagship synth, designed for the power user - in 1987 the pitch was a D-50 could replace your DX-7, your analog poly, and take the load of your 8/12 bit sampler.
If you get a D-50, you'll find that you can copy all the sounds of a Juno (albeit in a digital kind of way), but if you get a Juno, you can't copy all the sounds of a D-50.
The Junos are much more immediate, and for all their limitations, are good little synths, and you'll be able to tweak away from the very start.
Of course you could get a PG-1000 ( or similar) for the D-50 for the immediacy of knobs and sliders, but the synth engine is more complex, and if you don't have any prior experience with subtractive synthesis, the D-50 could be daunting. Without a programmer box, the D-50 uses what used to be called "Digital Parameter Access", that is, one parameter at a time editing. Coming from that era, I'm used to it, but some find it a bit tedious and counter-productive.
I think either is a good choice, and which ever one you chose (or choose) you'll have for a long time.
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