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Not impressed by Roland Juno-60 presets...skip or reconsider? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 5th September 2011
  #1
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Not impressed by Roland Juno-60 presets...skip or reconsider?

Juno-60

What a great little website to demo sounds just like I was in a store, I find mp3 demos much higher quality than most YouTube videos so I'd have to say this is a fair way to judge a synth.

Now I've heard the famous Juno-60 can do much more than what the presets display, but I find it hard to believe that user-programmed sounds can do much more. To me the even the cheap JP-8000 sounds better and seems to have a ton more variety. What I mostly seek are lush pads, even before reverb and delay is applied (I'm into the whole make-it-sound-great-at-the-source thing). Is the Juno-60 perhaps not the right keyboard for pads/strings that evolve, feel organic and modulate somewhat? What other options do I have in the $1500 price range? I'm seriously considering a JD-990 too but don't know how to pick between them.




Ahh the JP-8000 sounds so good to my virgin ears.

Anyone wanna shut me up, however?
Old 5th September 2011
  #2
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Simonator's Avatar
 

Listen to this album to hear what it's capable of in the right hands:

Metro Area - Metro Area at Discogs
Old 5th September 2011
  #3
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jimmydeluxe's Avatar
I saw Death From Above 1979 last night and that dude tore my face off with one--he was only either playing that or a Rick bass in addition to the drummer/singer and no sequencing. Well, they played one tune that had a loop or something...
Old 5th September 2011
  #4
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Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
Is the Juno-60 perhaps not the right keyboard for pads/strings that evolve, feel organic and modulate somewhat?
It's indeed not. Evolution requires slow multi-layered modulation. The Juno's limited in modulation options.

Quote:
I'm seriously considering a JD-990 too but don't know how to pick between them.
http://www.babic.com/SYN/JD990-BladeOfGlass.mp3

Here, that'll help you decide.
Old 5th September 2011
  #5
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CoolColJ's Avatar
 

Juno 60/106 is very easy to program and can sound much better than the presets, if any on the machine
I usually don't even save a patch, I just leave it manual mode like a poly Minimoog and tweak until I like it

Now I hired a JP8000 when they first came out for a week, and my 106 sounded better, yes more limited, but raw tone wise way better.
I kept thinkinig to myself, all this money and yet it sounds like crap next to the 106, and was quite a bit edgier and cold

I got Juno 60 and 106 demos too - no effects though
Take the effects of the JP8000 and it sounds not so good

Synthmania Juno demos aren't very good IMO
Old 5th September 2011
  #6
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Mr. Varaldo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
Juno-60

What a great little website to demo sounds just like I was in a store, I find mp3 demos much higher quality than most YouTube videos so I'd have to say this is a fair way to judge a synth.
Thanks for the compliment, but note, those are just the preset patches, which I tend to use to showcase because very often it's a good and quick way to give an overall view of a synth - like you say - if you were checking it out at the store when it came out

Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
Now I've heard the famous Juno-60 can do much more than what the presets display, but I find it hard to believe that user-programmed sounds can do much more.
Well - the sonic character is certainly that - It's a very simple synth, one oscillator (plus a sub-oscillator), one LFO, one filter.... no way to get around that, BUT.... it's a synthesizer, so you will definitely be able to program your sounds that will be somewhat different.

In the case of the Juno-60 (and even more so on the Juno-106!!!), you'd be surprised when you get one, as it's more flexible than you would think judging from its technical features only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
To me the even the cheap JP-8000 sounds better and seems to have a ton more variety.
Keep in mind that the JP-8000 is a TWO-osc design with a much more powerful feature set than the Juno-60, and more on-board effects... so yes, it will have more variety than the Juno-60. BUT don't forget, the JP-8000 is a Virtual Analog, as opposed to the real mac coy on the Juno-60.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
What I mostly seek are lush pads, even before reverb and delay is applied (I'm into the whole make-it-sound-great-at-the-source thing). Is the Juno-60 perhaps not the right keyboard for pads/strings that evolve, feel organic and modulate somewhat?
If you add the right effects, I and a lot of other people will tell you that the source of your sound doesn't really matter.... the FX are more important... for example, if you have a good effect chain, you can strike a cheap $50 acoustic guitar chord, and still get that "organic, modulated" pad effect.

However, if you want it from the source, the Juno-60 is probably not the best tool. I and a lot of other people here will tell you to look at its cousin the Roland MKS-70 (or JX-10 if you have the space for it). Similar price bracket of the Juno, but TWO engines with two oscillators and more modulation capabilities.... and - well - a more digital but "bigger" and lush sound for modulated pads. There are many other analog options, but you will go up in price on the vintage market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
What other options do I have in the $1500 price range? I'm seriously considering a JD-990 too but don't know how to pick between them.
$1,500 for new or for used? You can probably find a b-stock new Prophet '08 PE , or if you look around, an Oberheim OB-8 for analog pad sounds.. If you don't mind digital, there are many more options, including the JD-990 (or the JD-800) that you mention, but it's a different type of sound - The JD-990, for example - is PCM-based, even though it CAN sound analog, and it's a programmer's dream (HUGELY powerful synth engine)

Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
[YOUTUB]jp-8000 a[/YOUTUBE]
[YOUTUB]jp-8000 b[/YOUTUBE]

Ahh the JP-8000 sounds so good to my virgin ears.

Anyone wanna shut me up, however?
Count that you might also like what people are playing, rather than the sounds itself... and also note that the JP-8000 has that on-board DELAY effect that is a magical thing for pads.

I also have a page on the JP-8000, so you want to hear "clean" mp3s of it, check it out.

The JP-8000, again, is a VA synth, so it won't sound exactly like a real VCO or DCO synth, but it is a VERY good synth nonetheless, and definitely capable of evolving pads.

I think the first thing you need to decide is if you want a true, older analog synth, or a more modern and more featured VA
Old 5th September 2011
  #7
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CoolColJ's Avatar
 

These a mixture of typical Juno 60 and 106 sounds I like to use
They can have a wide stereo chorus, but most of the time I don't use it. I prefer more intimate sounds

PWM is a must for Juno strings, with 1 oscillator
Attached Files

CCJ_A6_BPFintoLPFbass_Juno106Pad.mp3 (677.3 KB, 1587 views)

CCJ_A6bass_JunoPad.mp3 (605.0 KB, 1576 views)

CCJ_JunoChorus.mp3 (1,020.5 KB, 1527 views)

CCJ_Juno60_PWM_DualChorus.mp3 (499.8 KB, 1522 views)

CCJ_Juno60_Mellow_DualChorus.mp3 (323.0 KB, 1557 views)

CCJ_Juno106Lead.mp3 (312.8 KB, 1401 views)

Old 5th September 2011
  #8
Mmmm, nice sounds. Now I want a Juno 60 again.
Owned one for a couple of years, but sold it as I learnt about synthesis and wanted to try new keyboards out.

It's not a complex, evolving pad machine, but it's one great sounding, super easy to program synth.
Light years ahead of the JP8000 IMHO.
Old 5th September 2011
  #9
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payt's Avatar
 

Havong both the JP8000 and the Juno60, my experience is that both have their strengths (and weaknesses). I still love my JP8000 for some sounds which you can't seem to get from any other synth at all.. for example the strings one can make with the supersaw osc are incredible.. transparent, yet full and big sounding. I also love the feedback osc, which is also totally unique.. and there are a gazillion other sounds a JP8000 can do.

The key is not to regard it as an analog synth though.. it's very digital, and while it can sound kinda analog-ish at times, if you want real analog warmth and presence, you're gonna need an analog synth like the Juno. The juno can do really nice basses, mushy pads, organ-like sounds and it has great PWM which is much more umm.. distinct than the JP8000's pwm..

Both synths are a real joy to have , and i'll never seperate with any of them. I guess the best thing to do is to get both
Old 6th September 2011
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
Keep in mind that the JP-8000 is a TWO-osc design with a much more powerful feature set than the Juno-60, and more on-board effects... so yes, it will have more variety than the Juno-60. BUT don't forget, the JP-8000 is a Virtual Analog, as opposed to the real mac coy on the Juno-60.
Now here is my issue, I don't know the difference between analog pads and strings, and digital pads and strings - the two most important things the machine I'm buying have to be good at. Perhaps the JP-8000 demos are fooling me because they have effects added (I'm going to run whatever synth I buy through a Roland Space Echo regardless, so I'd like to hear everything dry and judge for myself how the source sounds).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
If you add the right effects, I and a lot of other people will tell you that the source of your sound doesn't really matter.... the FX are more important...
I should've mentioned I do plan to add effects, but I want my source sound to sound good from the start before I add reverb and delay to perfect it. By source I don't mean effects from the source, I mean the fundamental sound before effects.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
$1,500 for new or for used? You can probably find a b-stock new Prophet '08 PE , or if you look around, an Oberheim OB-8 for analog pad sounds...
Used is fine with me, new is better but not necessary. And judging from YouTube Prophet demos, I'm not sure I like its harsh buzzy character it has on everything. Oberheim either, I like the sound of pads coming from JD-990 but would like a tiny but of that analog presence and fuzz. So whats my option?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolColJ View Post
These a mixture of typical Juno 60 and 106 sounds I like to use
They can have a wide stereo chorus, but most of the time I don't use it. I prefer more intimate sounds

PWM is a must for Juno strings, with 1 oscillator
If you could be me a huge favor by showing me a Juno-60 pad/string or two with no effects I'd be really grateful.

The thing here is I want a great variety strings just as much as I want pads. I'm not worried about bass or leads, I have a Little Phatty to cover all that analog goodness. But I need to fill the missing hole in the middle - and if anyone knows how digital strings sound with analog leads/bass, please tell me if its a bad or good idea. If it's not that big of a difference then I might just go with a JD-990 and add a little fuzz. Thanks to everyone for the help, I'll keep trying to find demos of all the suggestions (dry demos) so I can make the best decision.

To be honest, I might not even go Virtual Analog since I have Omnisphere as it is - but I do need to make the best choice in variety and sound quality if I buy an analog pad & string machine.

Currently looking at:
MKS-70 (analog counterpart to JD-990 or no?)
Old 6th September 2011
  #11
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CoolColJ's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
If you could be me a huge favor by showing me a Juno-60 pad/string or two with no effects I'd be really grateful.

The thing here is I want a great variety strings just as much as I want pads. I'm not worried about bass or leads, I have a Little Phatty to cover all that analog goodness. But I need to fill the missing hole in the middle - and if anyone knows how digital strings sound with analog leads/bass, please tell me if its a bad or good idea. Thanks to everyone for the help, I'll keep trying to find demos of all the suggestions (dry demos) so I can make the best decision.
No problem, except I don't have a Juno 60, anymore, preferred my 106, which sounds more or less the same, except brighter, with a sheen like the JP8

I can do some Juno 106 pads and strings for you.
I have an XV5080 which is a bit like a JD990, and while the strings and pads sound good, and you have an analog feel function to add pitch variation, the waveforms are frozen, so they don't sound as thick, and alive. Plus the overall sound signature doesn't come forward from the speakers like the Roland analogs. Same applies to the JP8000


Some XV5080 pads, no effects, just filtering raw waves. The analog feel function plus panned waves, creates that stereo effect.
Analog out into my Speck Xtamix mixer, adds some warmth




with effects





have a look at Mr RetroSound's vids. He does use some digital synths, JD800, with analog bass/leads together on various videos

retrosound72's Channel - YouTube

Old 6th September 2011
  #12
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Teknobeam's Avatar
 

Presets do not a synth make!
Old 6th September 2011
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolColJ View Post
No problem, except I don't have a Juno 60, anymore, preferred my 106, which sounds more or less the same, except brighter, with a sheen like the JP8

I can do some Juno 106 pads and strings for you.
Okay sure I wouldn't mind hearing a 106 while I listen to these XV5080 demos, should be in same ballpark more or less - thanks.

If anyone is wondering about the tone I'm looking for, I'm very much into happy synth pop (not dark techno styles, but more Empire of the Sun's "Half Mast" and "Walking On A Dream") so bright, ice-cold, or warm, uplifting, inspiring pads and strings are what I need.

Giving the Prophet 08 another chance, seems like it has a ton of features to mold sounds with.
Old 6th September 2011
  #14
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Mr. Varaldo's Avatar
The Juno-106, while similar, does not sound exactly like the Juno-60.

Arguably, the Juno-60 sounds better, but I prefer to say that they are simply different - the Juno-60 is better for Synth Pop / Hi-NRG / Italo (more "organic"), and the Juno-106 better for Techno / House (more "plasticky").

Here are three Roland Juno-60 pads without effects (other than its built-in chorus, obviously).

See if you like these..
Attached Files

Roland Juno-60 pad dry A.mp3 (4.22 MB, 1616 views)

Roland Juno-60 pad dry B.mp3 (2.98 MB, 1560 views)

Roland Juno-60 pad dry C.mp3 (5.79 MB, 1548 views)

Old 6th September 2011
  #15
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CoolColJ's Avatar
 

There you go 5+ mins worth of Juno 106 pads, with and without chorus, saw, PWM, or Sub-osc mixed in




Juno 60 has a more bandpassed tone, due to an issue in it's filter topology that Roland fixed in the 106.
I have raw PWM wave from each, and the 106 is brighter and the 60 pretty dull even with the filter wide open. Usually things that are low passed at 8khtz tend to sound warmer
Old 6th September 2011
  #16
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depulse's Avatar
If you want an analog pad machine get a Super JX or a MKS70. A one-stop-shop for pads and strings. Beats the JP8 IMO.

The JD990, the D50/550 or the WaveStation are also good for pads with more movement, but even better when mixed with a JX10/MKS70 pad. For hybrid digital/analog pads try the Yamaha SY77/TG77.
Old 6th September 2011
  #17
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depulse's Avatar
If you are ready to spend $1500 you can get a MKS70 AND a JD990 AND a TG77 and still have change.
Old 6th September 2011
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by depulse View Post
If you want an analog pad machine get a Super JX or a MKS70. A one-stop-shop for pads and strings. Beats the JP8 IMO.

The JD990, the D50/550 or the WaveStation are also good for pads with more movement, but even better when mixed with a JX10/MKS70 pad. For hybrid digital/analog pads try the Yamaha SY77/TG77.
Doesn't the MKS70 require that PG-800 programmer or a software editor to edit anything? I really want a machine that I can program sounds with right there without external help.

I'll check out the JX10 and TG77.
Old 6th September 2011
  #19
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CoolColJ's Avatar
 

TG77 definitely need an editor - big time
Old 6th September 2011
  #20
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Ive listened to more and more demos and will spend a month more looking for more. I cant decide between:

JP-8000
JD-990
Juno-60

The more videos I find of these the impressed I get. Theyre all different and I even found a Juno-60 youtube video of the exact style of custom sounds I want to make...

I think I'm going to buy all 3 to be honest, its not a ton of money if I buy slowly. Roland just makes my heart warm, Oberheim and DSI doesnt feel right for me yet. Thanks for the help guys.
Old 19th September 2011
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
Ive listened to more and more demos and will spend a month more looking for more. I cant decide between:

JP-8000
JD-990
Juno-60

The more videos I find of these the impressed I get. Theyre all different and I even found a Juno-60 youtube video of the exact style of custom sounds I want to make...

I think I'm going to buy all 3 to be honest, its not a ton of money if I buy slowly. Roland just makes my heart warm, Oberheim and DSI doesnt feel right for me yet. Thanks for the help guys.

JP-8000 - AN1x or software
JD-990 - D-50/D-550 or SY77/TG77
Juno-60 - Polysix or JX-3P

each of those alternatives will sound as good/better, usually cost less (except polysix which have gone up) and not all be the same family sound, I've had enough, and have heard enough of the juno sound to last me a lifetime.
Old 20th September 2011
  #22
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thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pro5 View Post
JP-8000 - AN1x or software
JD-990 - D-50/D-550 or SY77/TG77
Juno-60 - Polysix or JX-3P

each of those alternatives will sound as good/better, usually cost less (except polysix which have gone up) and not all be the same family sound, I've had enough, and have heard enough of the juno sound to last me a lifetime.
Sorry, we will always disagree on the merits of the JX3p, but if someone told me a JX3p sounded the same as a Juno 60 and I bought one based on that, I'd be pissed. The Juno 60 is too simple which is true, but its a waaaaay better sounding synth. Much bigger and more solid sounding. No metallic nastiness when the filters open wide. Polysix is great though, I'd trade my juno for one of those.
For lush pads, JX-8p or JX-10/MKS-70 gets my vote. I'd take either over a Juno 60 or a 3p (both of which I own). Too smooth for some, (filters suck) but I love them nonetheless.
Old 20th September 2011
  #23
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the best will be to get a decent soft synth.
No problems with noise, stability, aging parts etc.

Juno 60 is nice though. If you can grab one in good condition.
Although inferior, I liked my Juno 106 more, the strings were nicer on it than on the 60.
Sad, that I sold it. Really sad. The best is to have two Junos stacked and played unisono.
Old 20th September 2011
  #24
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@ UCTION :

What other synths do you own? This makes a huge difference when buying another synth.
Old 20th September 2011
  #25
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enossified's Avatar
Though it's knobless the Alpha Juno (1, 2 or MKS50 rack) is a better pad machine than the 60 because it has more modulation options. Best part is it's way cheaper than a 60 or 106...in the US only $2-300.
Old 20th September 2011
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enossified View Post
Though it's knobless the Alpha Juno (1, 2 or MKS50 rack) is a better pad machine than the 60 because it has more modulation options. Best part is it's way cheaper than a 60 or 106...in the US only $2-300.
thats the price once for a Juno 6, a much superior machine.
Old 20th September 2011
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonator View Post
Listen to this album to hear what it's capable of in the right hands:

Metro Area - Metro Area at Discogs
such a classic...
Old 22nd September 2011
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
Sorry, we will always disagree on the merits of the JX3p, but if someone told me a JX3p sounded the same as a Juno 60 and I bought one based on that, I'd be pissed. The Juno 60 is too simple which is true, but its a waaaaay better sounding synth. Much bigger and more solid sounding. No metallic nastiness when the filters open wide. Polysix is great though, I'd trade my juno for one of those.
For lush pads, JX-8p or JX-10/MKS-70 gets my vote. I'd take either over a Juno 60 or a 3p (both of which I own). Too smooth for some, (filters suck) but I love them nonetheless.
I didn't say it sounded the same. If it sounded the same I wouldn't have one


You are correct that the Juno has this sweet thing going on, I've heard it in the ones I've owned, I've loved it in the Juno 6 and even spotted it in the Alpha Junos to some degree. MY JX-3P advice was for a more offbeat/non obvious synth that can do a 'bit of juno' but more besides. I wouldn't call the JX-3P inspiring like a Juno 6/60 can be, because it has far more range and takes far more editing to hit the sweet spots, Juno is a giant (limited) sweet spot so is basically ready to go from switch on and that is worth something to a lot of people... it's only after some years when you have used it over and over and can't find a place for it anymore and want more... that's where the 3P fits in, it's the 'next level' of early roland DCO, you will lose your deeper bass and your PWM leads and your faster attack but 3P for me is fast enough and makes up for it in other ways, if programmed right. I guess it's just more interesting to me and has served me well for many tasks inc layered bass and beautiful staccato leads, and some very interesting Dual Osc pads/stabs. The point of my list was to change one of the synths to an alternative to avoid being all 'that roland sound'

And polysix is lovely, imo far nicer and more to it than any Juno (which is why i have the 3P combo with it as i'm covered then, cos i don't need that juno lead/bass sound - others might).

JX-8P is nice, gets a bad rep but does some really epic and 'classy' pads but for other sounds, the 3P is so much more vivid and alive sounding (ok 'analog' sounding) And D-50/SY77 combo covers a lot of the pad side of what I used my 8P for but has massive variety where the 8P pads didn't, for me the 8P pads always sounded like tiny variations on the 'soundtrack' patch or the 'high strings' patch and the filter wasn't exactly great, certainly not as nice as the 3P's filter. Where it does score is that 2nd envelope which enables it to do stuff the 3P can't (without mods) and it's smoother yes, but that smoothness combined with that filter pushes it very close to 'warm digital' to my ears. I'd still keep one around if I wasn't determined to limit the amount of synths i have at once though.
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