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 C-Level
February 20, 2012 @ 5:23 am
just scored one of these babies, my dream machine for 250$ here right outside of washington DC! a real minty closet classic piece! sounds great i am in love with this synth! heres to many more years of beautiful music!
Tank Circuit
February 10, 2012 @ 6:50 pm
I bought this used in the mid-90's and haven't parted with it since. It was my first analog and taught me a lot about what different "modules" would accomplish. I love creating sound effects and dynamic pads on this machine. The only upkeep needed was replacement of the battery and re-soldering of the battery harness. The bass patches leave a lot to be desired (too punchy and thin for my tastes) but there are plenty of other great sounds to be created.

On a side note, add Reese Wynans (Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble) as a user. He can been seen playing the 106 on Austin City Limits.
Ales
February 8, 2012 @ 5:59 pm
IMO sounds very 80's and cheap, not a very rich sound when I compare it to my other synths. Limited in sounds you can create. With that being said, I couldn't let this go. I love the sound of this synth and it always sits well in the mix. Great board for my purposes - lofi, experimental, sound effects, video gamey noises, and cheap 80's sound. Using this board is twice the fun of me playing with my monotron and my brother's karma. Juno 106 may have many faults, but she's easy and fun. Especially if you just want to play with levers and twist knobs.
Alex
January 24, 2012 @ 7:39 am
Now that synth is 2x more expensive than Sequential Circuits Prophet 600 in e-bay. When it beats the pricetag of Roland Super Jupiter MKS-80 ? :-)
Antyony
January 24, 2012 @ 2:20 am
@sleepdawg - whats a TR303? Never heard of them. TB303's are rather good tho...
 
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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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