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 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 music.

Development[edit]

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 (VCOs) 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-6 was followed in the same year by the Juno-60, 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 music, by acts including John Foxx, A-ha, Billy Idol, Berlin, Eurythmics, A Flock of Seagulls,[2] Cyndi Lauper,[3] and Wham!.[4] 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] The Juno 60 was re-imagined and re-released by Roland in 2019 as the JU-06A.[5]

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 Nur, Yousif (2016-05-27). "The Story of the Synth that Changed Pop Forever". Vice. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  3. ^ "Classic Tracks: Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"". Mixonline. 2004-04-01. Retrieved 2020-02-18.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ September 2019, Si Truss 05. "Roland JU-06A review". MusicRadar. Retrieved 2020-03-06.