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
Arik S.
July 9, 2013 @ 1:39 pm
Juno-106 IS a full analog synth, not hybrid. The only thing that's digital is that oscillator has digitally controlled pitch (DCO), actual tone generation is 100% analog curcuits. The major advantage of DCO is that they are stable, while VCOs tend to drift off pitch and needs to be tuned. Also, for JUNO-60 aficionados: it has THE SAME single DCO as JUNO-106, not two, and in that respect they are identical. The only difference is that sub oscillator on JUNO-60 has pulse-witdh control while sub-osc on 106 has fixed pulse width (not a big deal, all it adds is just more low end (an octave lower)
Arik S.
July 9, 2013 @ 1:39 pm
so both JUNO-60 and JUNO-106 can be considered dual-DCO synths, if you count sub-oscillator as full DCO (many believe it shouldn't). JUNO-60 has an arpeggiator, but 106 adds ton of patch storage (128 patches) AND full MIDI (means you can use any outboard arpeggiator, from DAW or even from another synth, to trigger notes in JUNO-106, works fine. Newer arpeggiators are far more capable than rudimentary one in JUNO-60). Sound wise, there may be subtle difference ("warmer", "feminine" etc.), only heard in headphones in direct side-by-side comparison, in real mix you won't hear any difference!
June 30, 2013 @ 2:55 am
Anyone has come across Dual Oscs (MJ) mod? I just bought one that got the mod inside?
Wonderring what the mod does? The informations from google aint that helpful.
May 14, 2013 @ 1:18 pm
Amazingly simple architecture, produces fat and organic bass/leads and pads. Best of all is the noise generator when combined with the LFO and filter makes some of the most amazing wind effects I've heard. Ours unfortunately has developed the chip issue others have talked about, be very weary about buying S/H because of it, if possible ensure you've a repair guy with spares.
Still, one of my all time favourite boards, for producing a sound of real depth and colour- love it!
March 21, 2013 @ 4:09 am
To clarify, the soaking in solvent removes the vinyl material that was applied to the chips and somehow over time melts or shrinks? and somehow compromises the signal. Very odd treatment but it worked in my case.
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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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