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
August 14, 2011 @ 4:59 am
I bought a mint 106 with quality flightcase for £460 on ebay last week. I picked it up yesterday and my wife's first words were 'Oh, it's pretty!'.

Looks aside, it sounds okay but without the chorus some of the patches are pretty weak. It's still early days but I'm looking forward to getting it MIDI'd up and running with decent FX in Logic to see what it's really capable of. And she was right, it does look sweet :)
July 20, 2011 @ 11:31 am
Lucky Ebay buy for £200 from someone clearing a loft.
Have to say it's beautiful sounding. I've struggled with other synths but even with my poor sound design skills i've managed to coax out powerfull bass, lush pads, cutting leads and even natural sounding strings!! Easy, logical and yet as detailed as you wan't. Perfect for a begginer .
Mangaed to bust a voice chip within a couple weeks but easily fixed with (the internet) a little soldering and nail polish remover ;) Also battery was dead, another easy fix.
Problems will get every 106 eventually but with a little TLC will last forever
July 10, 2011 @ 5:26 pm
Hi does anyone have the factory patches in sysex format?
rjpierson *at*
June 27, 2011 @ 9:07 pm
Ive owned my J106 since '88 & love it. Its making some out of wack sounds on certain notes that with be different for each patch. The quote to repair is $1200. So does one simply purchase another, take a chance or spend the money on getting new chips or whatever. I do so love my Juno.
June 13, 2011 @ 12:18 am
So cool that the 80017a voice chips are all being restored these days!
No telling how many unknowing synthfreaks gave up on this little gem when their
voices started failing them... Personally I prefer my Juno 60 to my 106 by a shade though, only because I slightly favor an Arp to Portamento. You can get some pretty sick Oberheim sounds with the Portamento feature that you can't get on the 60... The strings are so glorious too! Yeah, if I didnt already have a 106 I'd certainly be looking to pick one up today before their prices start soaring now that the voicechips can be restored!!
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Rated 4.17 (1844 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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