Roland Juno-60

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Roland JUNO-60
Roland JUNO-60.jpg
Roland JUNO-60
ManufacturerRoland
Dates1982-1984
PriceUS$1795
GB£999
JP¥238,000
Technical specifications
Polyphony6
TimbralityMonotimbral
Oscillator1 DCO per voice
(pulse, saw, square)
LFOtriangle
Synthesis typeAnalog Subtractive
FilterAnalog 24dB/oct resonant
low-pass, non-resonant high-pass
Attenuator1 ADSR envelope generator
Aftertouch expressionNo
Velocity expressionNo
Storage memory56 patches
EffectsChorus
Input/output
Keyboard61 keys
External controlDCB

The Roland Juno-60 is a programmable 6-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer manufactured by Roland Corporation from 1982 to 1984. It followed the Juno-6, an almost identical synthesizer received months earlier. The synthesizers introduced Roland's digitally controlled oscillators, allowing for greatly improved tuning stability. It was widely used in 1980s pop, house, and 1990s techno music.

Development[edit]

Roland Juno-60
Roland Juno-60

The late 1970s and 1980s saw the introduction of the first digital synthesizers, such as the Fairlight CMI and Synclavier. Roland president Ikutaro Kakehashi recognized that the synthesizer market was moving away from analog synthesis, but Roland had no commercially viable digital technology. He approached American engineer John Chowning about his recently developed means of FM synthesis, but Yamaha had already secured exclusive rights.[1]

Roland's response was the Juno-6, released in 1982 with a list price of US$1295. It used mostly traditional analog technology, with a voltage-controlled filter, voltage-controlled amplifier, low-frequency oscillator and ADSR envelope generators. However, it also used digitally controlled oscillators (DCOs), analog oscillators controlled by digital circuits. As opposed to the voltage-controlled oscillators of previous synthesizers, which frequently went out of tune, the DCOs ensured tuning stability.[1] According to Sound on Sound, "The Juno 6 was the first analog polysynth that you could carry onto a stage, switch on, and play with complete confidence that the instrument would be in tune."[1] It also included performance controls, an arpeggiator, and an ensemble effect.[1]

The Juno-60 was also released in 1982, which added patch memory (allowing users to save and recall sounds) and a DCB connector, a precursor to MIDI.[1] Production ended in February 1984, when the Juno-60 was replaced by the Juno-106.[2]

Impact[edit]

The Juno-60 was widely used in 1980s pop, house, 1990s techno music, and even today by acts including Enya,[3] The Cure, Vince Clarke,[4] Howard Jones,[5] Nick Kershaw, John Foxx, [6] A-ha,[2] Billy Idol,[2] Fingers Inc.,[7] Berlin,[2] Eurythmics,[2] A Flock of Seagulls,[2] Cyndi Lauper,[8] Wham!.[9], and The Weeknd. It was also a key instrument in Chicago house.[2] The 2010s saw a resurgence of popularity among indie and electro acts such as Metronomy, driving up the price on the used market.[2] In 2019, Roland released a miniaturized, slimmed down version with 4 voices of the Juno 60, the JU-06A.[10]

Clones[edit]

Software clones[edit]

In 2016, Reaktor (by Native Instruments) released a free Juno-60 plugin for users of their software.[11][12]

In February 2021, Roland released a software virtual synthesizer version of the Juno-60. It is a close replication of the hardware version. The plug-in is compatible with VST3, AU, and AAX, but also works with Roland's PLUG-OUT format with the SYSTEM-8.[13]

Hardware clones[edit]

In 2019, Roland released the JU-06A, which is a digitally based synthesizer combining the JUNO-60 and JUNO-106. It has the continuous high-pass filter of the 106, the envelope-controllable pulse-width-modulation of the 60, and the filter of both switchable from the front panel.[14] It cost $399 at the time of the release.[15]

External Links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "The History Of Roland: Part 2". www.soundonsound.com. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Nur, Yousif (2016-05-27). "The Story of the Synth that Changed Pop Forever". Vice. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  3. ^ "Enya Book of Days:Shepherd Moons Article". www.enyabookofdays.com. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  4. ^ Danz (2020-05-20). "Three Questions With Vince Clarke". Synth History. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  5. ^ Andy Jones (2019-04-23). "80s electro-pop pioneer Howard Jones is still obsessed with synths". MusicTech. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  6. ^ "The Story of the Synth that Changed Pop Forever". www.vice.com. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  7. ^ "Larry Heard Talks Us Through the Making of "Can You Feel It"". www.vice.com. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  8. ^ "Classic Tracks: Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"". Mixonline. 2004-04-01. Retrieved 2020-02-18.
  9. ^ Aroesti, Rachel (2017-12-14). "Still saving us from tears: the inside story of Wham!'s Last Christmas". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-02-18.
  10. ^ September 2019, Si Truss 05. "Roland JU-06A review". MusicRadar. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  11. ^ "JUNO-60 | Entry | Reaktor User Library". www.native-instruments.com. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  12. ^ BenoniStudio (2018-10-01). "Free REAKTOR Synth | Juno-60". benonistudio. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  13. ^ "Roland has recreated the JUNO-60 as a software synthesiser". Mixmag. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  14. ^ "Roland Icon Series: The Juno-106 Synthesizer". Roland Resource Centre. 2020-07-02. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  15. ^ "Roland JU-06A Review". MusicTech. 2019-10-04. Retrieved 2021-02-26.