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 Roland  Juno 60 

Remarkable for being: Poor man's Jupiter-8.
 



The Juno-60 pictured above is a custom Jexus-Satanik version painted black, the original has brown side panels.



The bass kicks ass. Well... the filter & chorus are so juicy & rich sounding that pretty each & every sound from this synth kicks ass. The bass sounds like a chunk of meat splashing into hot, spicy stew. The pad sounds like an all-embracing storm cloud or tornado carrying electrical insects that burrow into your ears. Eargasm. Nothing will ever imitate these unique sounds. Not just the austere, bare waves which get visualized in the boringly recurring patterns on a fucking oscilloscope. I mean these sounds.

The appeal of its natural tone is inexhaustible. I'll say more: the appeal of its very existence is inexhaustible. I not only love it as a synth, I love it as a thing - a beautiful piece of craft that decorates my flat and fills it with pleasurable sound and a spirit of a bygone era. And believe me when I say that I dislike to love things, I'd rather only love people. But here I am... sticking my penis each night into the Juno input socket - just kidding. The utter perfection of this synth isn't limited to the exterior and the sound - unscrew and open your Juno, and you will see yet another layer of perfection - orderly, ergonomic & serviceable layout of all the electrical wires and chips.

I guess this is what a collector feels (the "beautiful piece of craft that decorates my flat and fills..." part) and strives for when building his collection. I'm no collector, yet I do feel it with this synth. That is why, despite being severely limited, this model is superb for me. (To retain 100% of objective fairness in relation to all the other synths, it should be marked "proper". I hope you forgive me this unique instance when I allow myself the liberty of an unbridled emotional trip). The design+sound package enormously makes up for the engine / versatility gaps, and inspires each little cell in my body. That's why I have behaved and will behave irrationally when it comes to this model (according to my last will I will have it laid down in my grave next to my body - but don't dig!).

You could ask "then what about the Nord Lead, isn't it the same case of great sound winning over the limited engine?" Well, since the Nord Lead is a not-that-cheap, modern VA synth, for my defense I'll say that I expect somewhat more of it; this one tiny level of technical depth & organization. On the other hand, due to fucking-nerd-assault on Jupiter-8 over the last few years (2008-2013), the Juno-60 has gained considerably in value (because it's basically "a poor man's Jupiter" so it's being pulled up by the Jupiter's gravitational force). This way my argument is being eroded. Well, whatever.

Some people say the Juno-60 is simply a Juno-106 without MIDI, but let me tell you: the difference in the sound is quite intangible, yet it makes the two sufficiently different. The JU-60 sound is so vintage, agile & organic, that I get goosebumps. The JU-106 auditioned afterwards makes me gnash my teeth. An experience like seeing your girlfriend after a plastic surgery gone bad a bit. You need to hear it yourself to believe. Just don't get carried away with this approach; the difference is really tiny, yet big enough for me to simply choose the 60 over the 106 if I have such a choice. Or maybe... could it be that not the sound but the design: color scheme and the slanted, thick panel wins my love?... No, I don't think so. At the end of the day, those analog envelopes on the JU-60 definitely give it a softer tone (and going back to the Jupiters, kill me but I have to say it with all certitude: the Juno 6/60 sounds 300% groovier and fuller than the Jupiter-6, so paying 300% or more of the Juno price to get a Jupiter is one of the most economically unsound, epic-fail deals in my view).

A friend of mine prefers the Alpha Juno because he finds the Juno-60 sound too "boring, bland and samey", whereas I love the sound of the Juno-60 because it sounds as if it was flowing through a decaying leaf. And I find natural phenomena and unstoppable forces very interesting and inspiring, but at the same time appaling and unjust - I love it and I rebel against it simultaneously. And the Juno-60 sound is aggressive-but-fragile & imprecise-but-explicit at the same time. This is what makes it an extremely alluring synth in my view, and one that best defines my notion of what "analog" feels like. Analog is not Vangelis, or the Moog filter, or the VCO. It's decay on a warm autumn day.

 


 Behaving irrational
 

 

Audio demos:
[ mp3 demo - my patches ]
[ mp3 demo - my patches - external control ]

 


 

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