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
Jordan Martin
January 20, 2012 @ 11:26 am
Where can I buy one of these at?
Ron Brettell
January 8, 2012 @ 11:16 am
I posted a pic of my Juno 106 on Facebook on new years day with focus on the red LED set on program "12". I was amazed at the reaction. I bought the synth in 1984 for studio work mostly, but after going through the Yamaha DX7 shortly after and several digital keyboards DAW's and samplers since, I have begun to appreciate it again. It is great, but the Juno 60 that was pinched after a gig was a little punchier.
No MIDI on the 60 though...
January 7, 2012 @ 9:01 pm
A useful gigging instrument - back in the day - but far too thin for pads and comps in a live situation with guitars and drums, etc. It does excel with its LFO in recording, however, as long as you can control the other frequencies in mix handily. In my opinion, you should never pay more than $500 for this board. That people are spending 1000+ is crazy to me - especially when the Oberheim 1000 sells for much much less. As with the TR303, its reputation far exceeds its value. Buy a software sim and run it through a good tube preamp and you will sound better than anything this puts out.
January 1, 2012 @ 10:56 pm
Might I also add that the keyboard on this guy is [beep] ing radical. Hands down one of the best feeling keyboards I've ever had the pleasure of laying my hands on. Literally between this and the Moog Voyager. Playing this is an absolute joy.
December 27, 2011 @ 5:21 pm
I bought one of these a year ago on ebay. I had decided to sell off my digital gear, as my tastes had gravitated to a more "analog" direction since getting into electronic music. Sadly, even after the seller claimed to have tested it, it had the dreaded dead voice chip. I didn't have the confidence in my desoldering skills to do the acetone bath, so I bit the $150 bullet and sent it off. Months later I get it back, plug it in, and as soon as its had a minute to warm up -the voice dies again. Pardon my sob story -just thought potential buyers should know the acetone bath isn't a guaranteed fix.
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  • 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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