Roland Juno-106

Roland Juno-106 Image

The Juno-106 is a very common and widely used analog polysynth. It continues to be one of the most popular analog synths due to its great sound and easy programmability. It was the next major incarnation of the Juno-series, following the Juno-60. While it has virtually the same synth engine as the Juno-60, the 106 added extensive MIDI control making it one of Roland's first MIDI-equipped synthesizers. There was also increased patch memory storage, up to 128 patches instead of the 56 patches available in the Juno-60. However, the Juno-60 is often said to have a slight sonic edge over the more advanced 106. The 60 had the ability to modulate oscillator pulse from its envelope and has a "punchier" sound quality.

The Juno-106 is a six-voice polyphonic and programable analog synth with one digitally controlled oscillator (DCO) per voice. While classic monophonic synths used two or three oscillators to create a fatter sound, the Juno-106 uses built-in Chorus to fatten up its sound to dramatic effect. The nature of its DCO meant it was stable and always in perfect tune but still warm and analog. There is an excellent 24dB/oct analog lowpass filter with plenty of resonance and self-oscillating possibilities and a non-resonant highpass filter. The programable pitch/mod bender can be assigned to control the DCO pitch, VCF cutoff, and LFO amount all at once or individually.

The Juno-106 was the first MIDI equipped Juno and its implementation is quite good. There are 16 MIDI channels available and MIDI SysEx data can be transmitted/received from all the sliders and buttons for total remote control and sequencing capability. A switch on the back of the keyboard, next to the MIDI ports allows the user to switch between three types of MIDI modes: Keyboard and Hold data only; Keyboard, Hold, Bender, Patch selection data; or All data (including SysEx). Most users simply set it to MIDI Function mode 3 and forget it.

This synth is incredibly straightforward and very powerful. It's SH-series derived panel layout is easy to understand and very hands-on. Use it to generate lush pads, filter sweeps, and funky bass lines and leads. The Juno-106 is an awesome learning tool for anyone new to analog synthesis, as well as an electronic musician's dream for its warm analog sounds coupled with modern features like MIDI and memory - all at a very reasonable price. And still the Juno-106 has an even cheaper alter-ego in the form of the HS-60 - a hobbyist version with built-in speakers.

The Juno-106 is one of the most loved and used synthesizers by professionals and hobbyists alike! William Ørbit, Überzone, Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), Autechre, BT, Vince Clarke, Moby, 808 State, Underworld, Leftfield, Fluke, Josh Wink, Todd Terry, Depeche Mode, Eat Static, Biosphere, The Prodigy, The Shamen, Bushflange, Cirrus, Astral Projection, Apollo 440, Faithless, Union Jack, Computer Controlled, Pet Shop Boys, Sneaker Pimps, Erasure, Freddy Fresh, Rabbit in the Moon, Kevin Saunderson, Jimmy Edgar, Laurent Garnier, Vangelis, Sigur Ros, and the Chemical Brothers have used this synth extensively! It belongs in your studio!

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195 Visitor comments
Mike M
April 28, 2011 @ 12:06 pm
I bought my Juno 106 back in 1984 and loved it. The sounds that came from it worked so well, especially with any music from that era. I find one MAJOR drawback - the internal battery. When it dies, you are pretty much dead in the water, and trying to find service people who can replace the battery and reload the factory sounds is getting more & more challenging. Wish I knew of a permanent solution to this problem, so that I could get it fixed, fire it up & use it again (and more often!).
April 10, 2011 @ 9:26 pm
CPN use this on Youtube "beta session" #FYI
April 1, 2011 @ 12:44 am
I used to think this synth was overrated. I used to think, "Juno, pfft!" I never thought I'd have the desire to own one either, focusing more on underrated and(or) lesser used and "interesting" synths. But I've gotta say after picking up one cheap, THIS THING IS AWESOME!!!! I've heard this synth so many times without even knowing it in classic and modern electronic music. If you are into making that kind of music, this is THE sound! The envelope contour is just perfectly snappy combined with that filter.. amazing! Bass is the best on any polysynth I've used. They are worth fixing up!!!
March 14, 2011 @ 3:16 am
In my opinion this is great synth with very soft and warm sound. I never had any problem with 106. If you turn it to monophonic mode you will find another one good mono synth. I really like it.
March 10, 2011 @ 8:24 am
To all those who think that this synth is something bad. I can only say that I felt the same way.
But, I chose to buy one anyway, since there are so many who obviously either hate it or love it.
And then I would test whether it really is so super or bad?
And yes, this is not a super synth in all types of sounds.
But the thing it can do, is more important than versatility.
In fact, it has karma, and is has its own sound.
Although quite simple sounds, sounds good in this synth.
However, lend itself most to Bass & Leads..
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User Rating

Rated 4.17 (1845 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 6 voices
  • Oscillators - 1 DCO per voice: pulse, saw, and square
  • LFO - 1 with Rate and Delay
  • Filter - non-resonant high pass and resonant low pass (24 dB/oct)
  • VCA - ADSR, level and gate
  • Keyboard - 61 keys
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Memory - 128 patches
  • Control - MIDI (In/Out/Thru)
  • Date Produced - 1984
  • Resources & Credits
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    Updated September 2008.

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