Roland Jupiter-6

Roland Jupiter-6 Image

The Jupiter-6 is an incredible analog synth. All of the Jupiters have a sound that was unlike any other synthesizer and the Jup 6 is no exception. This sound is due in part to classic analog Roland technology in its filters, modulation capabilities and a thick cluster of 12 analog oscillators at 2 per voice. Easy and intuitive programming via front panel sliders, knobs and buttons for all your tweaking needs.

The Jup 6 is a scaled down version of the Jup 8 in terms of programming and polyphony. However the Jup 6 has some major improvements of its own such as newly added MIDI control and better tuning stability! While the Jup 6 does have MIDI, the implementation is very rudimentary and hard to control. The Jup 6 was one of the very first (along with the Sequential Prophet 600) synths to use the then new MIDI protocol, and the implementation on the Jup 6 is far from complete.

Roland Jupiter-6 Image

Synthcom Systems, Inc. offers the Europa firmware upgrade for the Jupiter-6 which gives it an up-to-date and comprehensive MIDI implementation. All parameters are controllable via Continuous Controller or SysEx. Europa also features an extensive arpeggiator which will sync to MIDI clock with programmable clock divisors and rhythms, and has about 50 more playback variations than the JP-6's original Up, Down, Up/Down, and Down/Up. A Europacized Jupiter-6 is a thoroughly modern synth with a classic sound.

The Jupiter-6 is an excellent for ambient drones, pads, blips, buzzes and leads. The Jupiter-6 is known for being a very reliable, programmable, polyphonic, analog monster of a synthesizer! It is used by Orbital, Moby, Überzone, Devo, BT, The Prodigy, Vangelis, The Chemical Brothers, The Crystal Method, ZZ Top, Duran Duran, Moog Cookbook, and Blur.

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119 Visitor comments
Phil
June 24, 2012 @ 10:43 am
For the record, I'm a different Phil, not the one who's been winding people up. But I do agree with trolling Phil - the Jupiter 6 doesn't justify the price they fetch nowadays (in my opinion.)

The JP8000 is equally capable, the Junos are at least as warm sounding and the JX-3P is a much MUCH cheaper way of getting a dual osc MIDI analogue Roland synth from the same era.

In fact I've sold my Jupiter 6 and got a JX-3P. Even my synth tech, a well respected figure with decades of experience fixing every type of synth, warned me about the Jupiter 6. I should have listened to good advice.
Phil
May 29, 2012 @ 9:00 am
I'm now going to contradict myself and say that after having one for a week, it's actually a pretty weak synth. The one thing it does well (Unison & Detune) does not make up for the other areas in which it's lacking. Thin sounding, brittle and gutless. Great for FX but that's about it. Hugely over-rated and I fell for the hype. Luckily I was able to sell it on. I really can't hear what the appeal is.
Phil
May 21, 2012 @ 3:33 pm
Putting aside pointless JP8 comparisons (you don't buy an apple expecting it to taste like an orange) , the JP6 is a fantastic piece of gear that is realistically affordable for the serious enthusiast. 'Cutting' is a nice way of summing up the sound. Massively powerful and very versatile routing possibilities, this will shred monitors if you're not careful. Think of it as a Doberman; play nicely and it'll be docile and willing but prod it and it'll take your hand off. Buy one now, they are going to get expensive as people realise they are an overlooked classic sitting in the JP8's shadow.
Hans-synth
May 21, 2012 @ 8:29 am
If you are after a flagship VCO poly-synth, a real allrounder, then the Jupiter-6 is not the one to go for. Of course it can do the classic stuff but not that hot like JP8/P5/OB. It has a character that has to be tested out before buying. I would say: gritty, nasty, metallic - but in there the JP-6 rocks, especially the (detunable) unisono-mode - unique!
I sold mine though, tested it side by side with the JP-8000. Most sounds were similar enough to let the JP-6 go (of course no unisono on 8k)
Next stop was MKS-80, no it is no JP-8, JP-6 is better - and finally the JP-8. That's the one! ;)
mima85
April 9, 2012 @ 7:41 am
I'm the proud owner of this machine since about 2 weeks. Great machine, I like it so much.

For those who want their Jupiter 6 to sound a bit more warm, fat and punchy on basses, there's a very simple thing that can be done on the filter to achieve this. More details here:

http://roland-jupiter.org/viewtopic.php?p=2957#2957

Hope this may be useful for someone.
 
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  • 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 - 2 VCO's per voice (12 oscillators total!)
  • LFO - 2 LFO's with 4-waveforms (sine, tri, ramp, random)
  • Filter - 24 dB/oct 4-pole lowpass/high pass or 12 dB/oct 2-pole bandpass with their own ADSR envelope
  • VCA - 2 Standard ADSR's with keyboard track and mixer to balance oscillator levels
  • Effects - None
  • Arpeg/Seq - 1 Arpeggiator
  • Memory - 48 tones / 32 patches
  • Keyboard - 61 keys
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1983
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