Roland Alpha Juno

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Roland Alpha Juno
PriceUS$895 / UK£575 (JU-1)
US$1,295 / UK£799 (JU-2)
Technical specifications
Polyphony6 voices
Oscillator1 DCO per voice
(pulse, saw, square and noise, plus suboscillator)
Synthesis typeAnalog Subtractive
FilterAnalog 24dB/oct resonant
AttenuatorADSR envelope generator
Aftertouch expressionNo (JU-1)/Yes (JU-2)
Velocity expressionNo (JU-1)/Yes (JU-2)
Storage memory128 patches
(64 user, 64 preset)
Keyboard49 (JU-1)/61 (JU-2)
External controlMIDI

The Roland Alpha Juno series of discontinued keyboards are analog polyphonic synthesizers with a digitally controlled oscillator manufactured by Roland Corporation from 1985 to 1987.


Two models were released in 1985: the Alpha Juno 1 (JU-1), and the Alpha Juno 2 (JU-2), which added one octave of notes, a cartridge slot and touch-sensitivity.[1][2][3]

Alpha Juno synthesizers presented a reduced user interface compared to other synths of the day, with a single "Alpha Dial" replacing many sliders and knobs - they represented Roland's first truly "knobless" synthesizers since arch rivals Korg and Yamaha having already made the change to a largely pushbutton programming interface some two years before with the Poly-61 and DX7, respectively. The keyboard features MIDI in, out and thru, mono, stereo and headphone sockets. It also supports an external footpedal controller, and tape backup. The Alpha Juno offered a combination of frequency stability (using digitally controlled oscillators) with more "organic" quality of analog filters.

The Roland programmer PG-300 offers complete control over all MIDI editable parameters of the Alpha Juno, the Alpha Juno 2 and the MKS-50. More recently, software has been written for Microsoft Windows and Apple computers which allows graphical editing of Juno patches through MIDI.

The MKS-50 (1987) is a rack-mount version of the Alpha Juno. It has the same synth engine and architecture, with some added features like 16 programmable chord memories, and the ability to store velocity, volume, panning, de-tune, portamento and other similar parameters within each patch.

Both Alpha Junos can create the "Hoover sound" popular in jungle and rave music. Artists who have used the Alpha Juno include the Prodigy, hardcore/gabber music from the Thunderdome albums, Son Dexter and a great many other rave acts. The bassline on Madonna's Vogue was an MKS-50.

Factory presets[edit]

The factory presets for the Alpha Juno were created by Eric Persing and Adrian Scott.


  1. ^ "Roland Alpha Juno 1 & 2 (Retro)". Sound On Sound. October 1998. Archived from the original on 7 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Vintage Synth Explorer - Roland Alpha Juno-1".
  3. ^ "Vintage Synth Explorer - Roland Alpha Juno-2".

External links[edit]