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Thinking of buying a Yamaha DX7 or Roland Alpha Juno
Old 22nd November 2013
Gear Guru
monkeyxx's Avatar
I finally did it, today. I finally loaded in an 8 page DX7 template someone made on gearslutz into my Remote SL MK 1 keyboard/MIDI controller. And I wrote a Juno 1 template. Can share if anyone wants it, should work for 1, 2, or MKS. I won't say that it takes these synths to any new "level" but actually being able to hands on create new patches is SO relieving. Programming these synths had been such a chore I just wasn't doing it. Now I'm actually having fun getting and tweaking sounds during the process of making music!

Highly recommended.

Back to my poorly stated filter business. Running the Alpha Juno into the Korg Monotribe gives it a more classic, deeper vibe. I was actually able to approach the Atoms for Peace "Ingenue" sound using that filter after the Alpha Juno. If I had to take a guess, that track sounds like a Prophet to me. The Juno's PWM, LFO, and Chorus all helped to add some "wobble" to the sound, and the DCOs sounded fine, I used a bit of the saw wave along with the main square. Getting the envelope just right, and using an appropriate filter, was the key to that sound. Kinda pushed the limit of what I thought the AJ could do, a little.

In comparison to that "MS20" recreation filter on the Monotribe, the Alpha Juno LPF indeed thins out (loses bass) when the resonance is raised, this has been noted in other threads on here. It is not a filter for fat, deep tones. It seems to tilt more to brightness, bell tones, mellow smaller sounds, that's just how it is. It's good at that stuff though and it does sound "warm" or whatever.
Old 22nd November 2013
Gear Guru
monkeyxx's Avatar
Here's, in order, the DX7 doing some harp/brassy chords, the Monotribe comes in with drums and bass, and then the Alpha Juno carries the melody on a clarinet patch

Old 22nd November 2013
If I HAD to pick one, I'd go with Alpha Juno.

There's so many DX7s on the market, you can come back to it later or use an ITB solution for now.

Then again, I only had a DX7 and no analog for the longest time and the grass was greener...

There's more depth to the possibilities on a DX7, there's more girth on an Alpha Juno.

Keep in mind that going Alpha Juno, you'll just hate the keyboard entry if you're already into synthesis. If you're not used to FM synthesis, it'll blow your mind but it'll take you down a deep, dark path that will bring you past all of the cheesiest sounds of the 1980s. That keyboard was literally everywhere. It's like the 90s when the TB-303 was EVERYWHERE.

I've got a Poly-800 for my analog poly needs rather than an Alpha Juno. I have a session with an AJ2 next weekend where we're going to pair with the DX7 and TX81z heavily. If you want updates, you can go "like" Get Off My Lawn Records on either Facebook or Google+, we'll be live-blogging on those two (maybe some twitter @donaldmohr) and hangouts during the less stressful times might be opened up.
Old 22nd November 2013
Gear Maniac

From my experience, its way more easy to create new patches on DX7 rather on any tabletop or rack dx unit - you have dedicated buttons for all parameters
And no, it's not that difficult to make your own sounds on it - of course, its hard to recreate complex Rhodes sounds, but who needs another one Rhodes patch. The main thing is strange, weird, noisy or mellow sounds, that you will create from init voice or from presets. Results are always unpredictable
Old 23rd November 2013
Here for the gear
Cool Guy J's Avatar

Thanks for all the replies guys! As it turns out I'm going to go look at a 106 tomorrow(I posted about it in another thread) and if all goes well I'm gonna get it, and hopefully that will get me started down the road of 80s synths. Still got my eye on that DX though. I'll let you guys know how it goes.
Old 23rd November 2013
Lives for gear
had all the DX7s (MK1, S, II-D) and a few other FM units. Had a few each of the Junos (except the 106 which is my least favourite - not going into why AGAIN). There's really only tastes and preference between them which is down to you. Alpha Juno has got a great sound when you dig in, though quite tame by analog standards. DX7 can do some really cool things, but isn't always great fun to program. They do compliment each other. For you, the 106 with all the hands on will I'm sure be plenty of fun and from an inspiration POV 'better' than either the alphas or the DX's. Check the voice chips are ok.

DW-8000 has a cool sound at times too (the best filter of the mentioned synths - quite aggressive analog filter on digital waves), D-50 is beautiful sounding and has a good variety of sounds, overall it would be my favourite of the synths mentioned but only if you want the D-50 sound - very characteristic. Remember there is more to it than PCM, it's got a virtual analog style subtractive synth engine inside but is of course totally digital. Personally the JD-800 wins out for me over ALL of these synths, sound, interface, looks, filter (yes I prefer the digital filter on the JD to the one on the Alpha Junos) and it is a beautiful looking machine too. Can do the widest variety of (usuable - DX7 can do tons of weird stuff) sounds of all of these synths, yet still has some of the vintage 80s vibe (for a 91 synth) if you program it right.

Alpha junos have some interesting waveforms/oscs etc... I have had Juno 6 and 60 and they sound nice, but time and time again I just run out of uses for their limited pallette! (for which I prefer the JX-3P for some of that analog roland juice)
Old 23rd November 2013
Gear Addict
Alpha Juno sounds great.. But that one I system! Lol Although I'm sure I'm missing out on loads of classic sounds I'll stick with 1 knob per function synths thanks.
Old 24th November 2013
Here for the gear
Cool Guy J's Avatar

Went with the Juno 106 and boy is thing off the wall!!! I think I made a great choice, and feel I will have alot of fun making music on it.
Old 29th November 2013
Here for the gear

Juno 60 wipes the floor with a 106. Super expressive synth for only having 1 osc.
As far as the OQ ...apples and oranges.
I personally don't find programming either to be difficult, just somewhat tedious is all. The alpha gets a bad rap largely due to two things
1. User misconception. Roland should've named it something other than "juno," because it's shares little in common with its predecessors.
2. User laziness. Programming it requires pressing a couple of buttons and turning a jog wheel. NOT THAT HARD. Just sayin.

When it comes to pretty much any synth that lacks realtime parameter controls, like most things, you're only going to get back what you put in. Every one of them has the capability to be awesome.
Old 29th November 2013
Lives for gear
GeminIAm's Avatar
Originally Posted by Cool Guy J View Post
Went with the Juno 106 and boy is thing off the wall!!! I think I made a great choice, and feel I will have alot of fun making music on it.
Great choice! You'll love it! I'm jealous now!

Sent from my SoftwinerEvb
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