Roland Juno-X Review: A Nostalgic Workhorse

Roland Juno-X Review: A Nostalgic Workhorse Leave a comment

Some sounds by no means die. Whether it’s basic rock guitarists coveting decades-old guitars and amps or Mac DeMarco messing with ’80s Casio keyboards, there’s one thing about classic sounds that goes past nostalgia. Old guitars, synths, amps, and drums have a sure tone that we haven’t essentially moved previous. It might be the slight analog distortion, age in supplies, or simply the way in which they bodily really feel once we use them—there are actual, non-vapid the explanation why many musicians hunt down particular instruments from particular eras.

The downside with previous keyboards like Roland’s iconic Juno-6 and Juno-60 fashions (with sounds chargeable for a ton of the hits you like from the Nineteen Eighties) is that if you would like an actual one, you’re going to should pay 1000’s of {dollars}, and you then’re going to have to take care of a 40-year-old, comparatively fragile piece of apparatus. It’s an annoying proposition.

But in case you’ve been looking for the right trendy keyboard to scratch your classic itch, look no additional than Roland’s new Juno-X, which appears like a classic Juno, seems like a classic Juno, however is simpler to make use of (and extra versatile) within the trendy world.

The Sound of the ’80s

Photograph: Roland

Originally constructed as a lower-cost different to Roland’s higher-end Jupiter-8 someplace between 1982 and 1984, the Juno-6 (later the Juno-60 and Juno-106) is famed for its iconic refrain sound. It was used with spectacular effect on hits like “Time After Time” and “Take On Me,” amongst many others. After its preliminary stint in pop music, the Juno (as all iterations would come to be identified) grew to become a favourite of home and dance music artists within the ’90s and 2000s, who appreciated the way it layered in between bass and excessive notes. These days, it’s thought-about one of many must-have synths for any nerd—aforementioned indie rocker Mac DeMarco loves his.

The synth is polyphonic, which means you possibly can play a number of notes without delay—comparatively costly tech on the time it got here out. The larger Roland Jupiter-8 was the primary to introduce this to Roland merchandise and value $5,000 on launch, however the Juno-6 was meant to carry that to the lots, with an authentic beginning worth of $1,295. A a part of the rationale it discovered quick success was that it featured digitally managed oscillators, which meant the synth stayed in tune between gigs, one thing that was additionally uncommon on the time. You might plug it in and it will be in tune! Nineteen Eighties magic!

Original Junos by no means actually fell in worth a lot. To this present day, an actual Juno-106 will value you somewhat over $2,000 on the used market, which practically matches inflation with its authentic checklist worth and is equal to this new Juno-X. That’s why I’m so excited.

The Juno-X packs considerably extra tech and much more sounds. You get spot-on emulations of the Juno-6, Juno-60, and Juno-106 (every had barely totally different presets and tones), together with three totally different variations of Roland’s legendary Juno refrain to combine and match with. The keyboard comes with a myriad of different wonderful Roland keyboard sounds and even a built-in drum sequencer. You is perhaps aware of Roland’s iconic TR-808 drum machine—this has an equally wonderful drum sequencer on board.

Couple that with a pair of balanced XLR outputs, MIDI enter and output, and even a mic enter for the included vocoder (!), and you may actually do something you need on this piece of beautiful ’80s design. It even has built-in audio system—a characteristic of a rarer, pupil mannequin Juno—to play sounds with out an amp, audio system, or headphones. You may even flip them on once you play reside to behave as a small stage monitor on your piano tones.

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