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MKS-50 / Alpha Juno-1 / Alpha Juno-2 - New Website!
Old 9th February 2015
  #1
MKS-50 / Alpha Juno-1 / Alpha Juno-2 - New Website!

A new MKS-50 / Alpha Juno-1 / Alpha Juno-2 website just went live this evening. Tons of stuff here!

It's a one-stop resource for MKS-50 and Alpha Juno Tones, Utilities, Info, DIY's, Reference Materials, Accessories, Links and Trends... everything you need.

The most important link is at the Tones page. I have attempted to sort out all the Tone bank files available on the Internet and categorized everything including;
  • Descriptions of every *.SYX file
  • Credits to the original programmers
  • A list of all Tones in every *.SYX file
  • Supply the original MKS-50 Patch Parameters and Chord Memory file, if available
  • Placing all known *.SYX files in one place for easy downloading
  • For standardization, used original filenames for files according to the date they were originally uploaded to the Internet
  • Documented any previous loading issues and fixed the problem(s)

1300+ Tones / Twenty-seven Tone Bank Collections

Get Your MKS-50, Alpha Juno-1 and Alpha Juno-2 Library Organized!

MKS-50 SYNTHESIZER HOMEPAGE
. .. ... .... ..... ...... ....... ........ ........ ....... ...... ..... .... ... .. .
Old 9th February 2015
  #2
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

Awesome!

The Alpha Juno-2 was my first analog synth -- purchased new in 1986.

Long live the Alpha Juno!
Old 9th February 2015
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
Awesome!

The Alpha Juno-2 was my first analog synth -- purchased new in 1986.

Long live the Alpha Juno!
Juno-1 was my first synth and then I traded it for an MKS-50.

Still love those sounds! .
Old 9th February 2015
  #4
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tehlord's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
Awesome!

The Alpha Juno-2 was my first analog synth -- purchased new in 1986.

Long live the Alpha Juno!
Same here in about '88

I had no idea it was analogue though, didn't even know the difference
Old 9th February 2015
  #5
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tehlord View Post
I had no idea it was analogue though, didn't even know the difference
That's funny. My very first synth was actually a DX-7. When I got it I was like "Cool synth but… why doesn't it sound like Pink Floyd?"
Old 9th February 2015
  #6
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tehlord's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
That's funny. My very first synth was actually a DX-7. When I got it I was like "Cool synth but… why doesn't it sound like Pink Floyd?"
lulz

My second synth was a DX7

I was not impressed

It also did not sound like Pet Shop Boys
Old 9th February 2015
  #7
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Soundsauca's Avatar
 

Got my 2 Juno 2s. One in need of surgery so lives against the wall! Lovely synth. Totally underrated.
Old 9th February 2015
  #8
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tehlord's Avatar
 

Who's using the iPad editor with the Juno's?

I do have a hankering for another, but I do not have a hankering to program them from the UI!
Old 9th February 2015
  #9
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blinky909's Avatar
well done site.
Old 9th February 2015
  #10
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ImNotDedyet's Avatar
I'll be a frequent visitor. Thx for the heads up!

BCR2000 w/ the Junos is so nice once you get it configured. Don't need no stinking iPad.
Old 9th February 2015
  #11
Good stuff
Old 9th February 2015
  #12
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Thunderkyss's Avatar
Thanks
Old 9th February 2015
  #13
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Septik's Avatar
Awesome, thanks for this! Need to take my mks50 in to get it fixed since it clips and introduces nasty distortion at minimal settings >_< love it though
Old 9th February 2015
  #14
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Catabolic's Avatar
 

Great job on the site!
Old 9th February 2015
  #15
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Fantastic work.

Im gonna use some of these presets as starting points and make a proper electro track this week.
Old 9th February 2015
  #16
Wow, great resource. I may have to dust off the old warhorse and try out some new patches.
Old 9th February 2015
  #17
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Gnalvl's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImNotDedyet View Post
BCR2000 w/ the Junos is so nice once you get it configured. Don't need no stinking iPad.
Speaking of which, this would be worth the OP adding to the accessories section of his page, alongside the Kiwi editor:

BCR2000 Programmer Overlay for Roland Juno-1 & 2

That being said, I had two BCR's die consecutively in a month, and thus switched to a Novation Remote SL (original series, not the MkII). I find its template editor much easier to use than either the 1st or 3rd party editors for the BCR, though AFAIK it has no "learn" function so you have to find and input the sysex commends yourself.

The 37 key SL partnered with an MKS-50 is the best way to have a compact/portable format for the Alpha Juno engine. The keys are solid and feel very comparable to the original Alpha Juno-2 keys, it has a full 3 octaves, enough knobs to cover all parameters, and the mod stick can be set up to emulate either the original Roland spring action, or traditional Minimoog style "set it and forget" modwheel action.

If the OP has any info to add on the "pg300v" 3rd party programmers floating around ebay, I'd be curious to read it.
Old 9th February 2015
  #18
Nice one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tehlord View Post
Who's using the iPad editor with the Juno's?

I do have a hankering for another, but I do not have a hankering to program them from the UI!
I do, I think there's more than one possibly but I've had success with

The PG-300 emu for MidiDesigner, nice and simple, like a virtual version of the real thing.

I don't think I use my AJ2 enough, although it can sound nice when you get it in the sweet spot - it's quite laid back but the filter can be nice when it's bubbling away from velocity.

Should probably load or program some new patches into it. I've not used it a lot although I've had it for ages - one of my first proper synths. Now I hang onto it for fear replacing any synth that's remotely analog will only cost more in the future!
Old 9th February 2015
  #19
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tehlord's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisJB View Post
Nice one!



I do, I think there's more than one possibly but I've had success with

The PG-300 emu for MidiDesigner, nice and simple, like a virtual version of the real thing.

I don't think I use my AJ2 enough, although it can sound nice when you get it in the sweet spot - it's quite laid back but the filter can be nice when it's bubbling away from velocity.

Should probably load or program some new patches into it. I've not used it a lot although I've had it for ages - one of my first proper synths. Now I hang onto it for fear replacing any synth that's remotely analog will only cost more in the future!
Ok cool thanks.

Midi Designer is such a fantastic tool to have.

I used to use my AJ for bass and pad duties most. I think it's the used synth markets best kept secret.

So can we lock this thread now please?
Old 9th February 2015
  #20
mmm would the alpha 2 make an ok midi controller also?
Old 9th February 2015
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
mmm would the alpha 2 make an ok midi controller also?
I use my Juno 2 as my main keyboard midi controller because it has the nicest keys of my modest synth setup. So I say yeah.
Old 9th February 2015
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by booksy View Post
I use my Juno 2 as my main keyboard midi controller because it has the nicest keys of my modest synth setup. So I say yeah.
same here, well it + the x-station for lots of controller knobs and sliders.

my only snag is my middle c stopped working on the AJ2 - I will fix it next time I get the urge to take it apart...
Old 9th February 2015
  #23
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

A photo of my Juno-2.
Attached Thumbnails
MKS-50 / Alpha Juno-1 / Alpha Juno-2 - New Website!-juno-2.jpg  
Old 9th February 2015
  #24
Awesome !!!! Alpha juno 1 here ....




PEACE




MORDICUS
Old 9th February 2015
  #25
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Gnalvl's Avatar
 

It depends on your needs...

On one hand, the keys are very nice, very sturdy, and the velocity response is tempered so that there's a big difference between hitting them medium, hard, and extra hard.

One the other hand, aftertouch won't work unless you open it up, pull out the keys, and wipe all the corrosion off the aftertouch strip. The pitch bender can be pressed forward to send mod wheel messages, but the stroke area is so small that it basically goes off and on with no middle values, and it springs back when you let go. So if you like to use aftertouch or traditional modwheel functionality, you will be SOL on that.

Also, the velocity curve can be annoying on some synths with high velocity values in the patch. Basically unless you bang the keys with maximum strength every time, all patches may sound too quiet or too dark until you tweak them. Any patches you tweak or create whie playing on the Alpha Juno may sound too bright when you go to another keyboard, due to your compensation for the AJ's particular velocity response.

Lastly, the Alpha Juno 2 is a heavy mofo compared to cheap standalone midi keyboards. If you are used to keeping your master keyboard on your computer desk and just brushing it aside when it's in your way, you will have to adjust your habits. It's not gonna budge unless you stand up and lift it with two hands.

I originally bought the Alpha Juno-2 thinking it would serve me as a master keyboard as well as a synth, but I wound up deciding to replace it with an MKS-50 and a separate keyboard. The keys on my Novation Remote SL 37 feel very similar to the Alpha Juno-2's solid keys, but without the aftertouch, mod stick, velocity, or weight issues. For 49 keys or up, the Roland A-Pro series would probably be better.

If you don't care about modwheel or aftertouch at all, if you don't mind some initial setup tweaking the velocity on your patches, and if you plan to put it on a keyboard stand or something where it won't be in your way and won't need to be moved much, then the Alpha Juno-2 would be fine.
Old 9th February 2015
  #26
yeah I wouldn't use it as sole 'controller' keyboard as it has no controls for starters. The mod wheel is a bit poor for sure. That's why I use at least 2 synth/controllers, but the keys are smooth and quiet too. Didn't know about cleaning the aftertouch strip.
Sure, it's definitely not a 'portable controller keyboard', that I'm sure we can all agree! :D
Old 9th February 2015
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnalvl View Post
That being said, I had two BCR's die consecutively in a month, and thus switched to a Novation Remote SL (original series, not the MkII).
+1

The Zero SL mk1 is a great tool for controlling the AJ-2. It has enough knobs, buttons and sliders to effectively address all parameters, and there is a template for it HERE. I adjusted the template a little and it works like a charm.

Excellent work on the website! It seems like the Alpha and the JX-10 have been given new life with recent website launches and SysEx patch file archives. One can never have enough new patches!
Old 9th February 2015
  #28
Novation make good controllers I use the x-station, it may be small and plastic, but it has a lot of controls on it! All map-able, have made templates for mostly all my synths now. Almost essential with the AJ2 given it's absence of controller, although he above mentioned iPad pg-300 controller works a treat too.
Old 9th February 2015
  #29
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Gnalvl's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by junglebrah View Post
The Zero SL mk1 is a great tool for controlling the AJ-2. It has enough knobs, buttons and sliders to effectively address all parameters, and there is a template for it HERE. I adjusted the template a little and it works like a charm.
Yes, that's the template I started out with too. I was really pleasantly surprised how easy it is to swap controls just by dragging and dropping from one knob to the other. I Actually wound up changing the order of the envelope controls so that traditional ADSR parameters are on the left side faders, and the extra L1/L2/T2 parameters are separated to the right. This makes it easier for people like my girlfriend who are totally confused by "Break" and having 7 EG parameters.

Only problem is that as far as I can tell the Portamento switch only works with the MKS-50 and not the JU-1/JU-2 due to different sysex. I am also trying to figure out the hex code to add Chord Memory and one or two other minor controls.
Old 9th February 2015
  #30
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Synthbuilder's Avatar
One other to remember when trying to use the Alpha Junos as a midi controller is that they both send midi controller CC123 (all notes off) when you take your hands off the keys. This is often misinterpreted by many synths as the panic message 'all sounds off' and you'll find that release tails are truncated the moment you stop playing.

I've never found cleaning to work on the aftertouch sensor. I prefer to whip it out and replace it with a new strip.

Nice site though.

Tony
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