Roland combines vintage and modern for 3-in-1 Juno-X synth
Roland has announced the Juno-X programmable polyphonic synthesizer, which combines the power of the company's Zen-Core synth engine with authentic recreations of the legacy Juno-60 and Juno-106 models for three powerful synthesizers in one.
Synthesized sounds and electronic beats were at the heart of numerous 80s pop music hits, and Roland's Juno-60 and Juno-106 six-voice analog synths with digitally controlled oscillators were the weapon of choice for many artists throughout that decade and beyond.
The digital essences of both these now classic models have been loaded into the Juno-X's Model sound generators, along with others from the company's legacy lineup – including a Vocoder, a bunch of acoustic piano emulations from the RD series and more than 900 PCM-based presets from the XV-5080 module. Even more historic models can be loaded in from the Roland Cloud, together with samples, sounds and creative tools.
The Juno-X has its own sonic tricks too, courtesy of the ZEN-Core synth engine and boasts a Super Saw waveform, velocity sensitivity, pitch envelope control and much, much more. Players have access to 4,000+ preset tones, 256 user tones and more than 90 drum kits. A bunch of effects can also be called upon to enrich the tones, including two chorus modes from the 80s originals, eight types of reverb, four delay modes and overdrive.
Possibly the most pleasing aspect of the new Juno is that it wears a very similar overall aesthetic to the Junos of old, putting everything needed to create sounds and textures within the player's reach.
There's a 61-key keyboard with channel aftertouch and a pitch/modulation lever, assignable sliders and switches to the left, a multi-part arpeggiator of the kind introduced in the Jupiter-X makes traditional arpeggio sounds available along with algorithm-driven creations, synth model banks and effects banks flank a 128 x 64-dot LCD graphical display and there are faders galore to control oscillators and filters.
Connectivity shapes up with balanced and unbalanced outputs, a combo microphone input to add vocals to performances or for vocoder possibilities, a stereo aux input, MIDI in/out ports and USB. Bluetooth 4.2 is cooked in to wirelessly feed in backing tracks from a mobile device, and Bluetooth MIDI is supported too. And data can be saved to USB flash drive, which needs to be purchased separately. Sounds can also be output locally via two built-in 4-W speakers or headphone jacks.
The 1,072 x 33 x 118-mm (42 x 1.2 x 4.6-in), 11.6 kg (25.5-lb) Juno-X sonic powerhouse is due to go on sale in May for US$1,999.99. The video below has more.
Product page: Juno-X