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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120 Visitor comments
September 19, 2012 @ 10:27 pm
I own a JP-6, Juno 106, and Jx-3p. Between these three, the Jupiter 6 is capable of the most aggression (it's capable of the most, period). The Juno 106 and Jx-3p are tied for "fatness," but the 106 has better envelopes and more clarity, and the J6 has the best envelopes (fastest-slowest) and is the clearest. I feel like the Junos and Jp-8 are all sweet-spot, whereas you might have to work more with the J6, but you can go to some great places.
[all J6 except for bass and drum samples]
July 29, 2012 @ 3:31 pm
I've read comments about the supposed thin, non-"fat" sound of the Jp-6.
my 2¢:

The board can do some low stuff that will blow your sub.
I think what many people hear as thin-sounding is actually that it can go so piercing and buzzy relative to many of the low frequencies that one tends to think it's weak in the lows, "fatness" whatever. The JP-6 can go higher and sizzle more than other synths, but certainly not bass-weak!

A decent programmer can easily attain any type of sound desired
and with the super-fast ENV stomping bass is right there.
Then turn on unison - yikes!
July 21, 2012 @ 10:27 pm
It's worth remembering that the JP6 shares the same filter as the JP8. Actually, there's two chips per voice on the JP6 to allow for HP and BP. The main difference between the two(circuitry wise), is that the JP6 has CEM based VCO's instead of Roland's own as on the JP8 and JP4. The JP6 sounds different to It's two older sisters, but I've yet to hear any CEM based instrument on the planet that sounds "weedy", "thin" or even "a pile of junk". The JP8 sounds as good as the person who programs it, same as the JP6 or any synth. A JP8 I'd love(one day), but the JP6 will never leave me.
June 30, 2012 @ 10:51 pm
Hi Phil (the nasty one). The DX7 is not an analog synth (as you said in your post, June 12): it is a digital controlled implementation of FM synthesis, developed largely from the research of John Chowning. Also, there really is no need for your adversarial attitude towards others on this forum. Be nice, please...
As for the JP6, in my experience it's great - I actually prefer it to a JP8. Having said all that, I've heard plenty of negative opinion about the sound being thin. Perhaps there were some Friday jobs out of the Roland factory back then that are now deteriorating...? I dunno.
June 26, 2012 @ 6:10 am
Using ebay UK as a guide the price for 106's seems to have peaked. I got one last year in mint condition with a flightcase for £350, a few months later they were selling for anything up to £700 and now there's a load of them between £350 - £450. Anything higher isn't selling. Juno 60's are still being listed for £400 minimum and Juno 6's about the same. The few JP-8's that appear start at £3000 minimum and JP-6's about £2000. I can't comment on anything other than Roland gear as that's all I'm interested in.
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Rated 4.53 (1129 Votes)

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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
  • Resources & Credits
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