The highly sought-after Roland Juno 106 is a 6 voice analog polysynth. And has the classic Roland chorus effect built in. The sound of the 106 features on so many pop and electronic music productions.
It’s a highly accessible synth too that can be found easily on the second-hand market, but it is sensitive to failures from time to time, and for the price you can get just as good keyboard synthesizers if not two alternatives for the price of one Juno 106.
Expect to pay (dependant on the condition) anything from £600 – £1500 UK sterling for one of these bad boys for your production studio.
It has a closely matched design under the hood to the Roland Juno 60, it has a very early implementation of midi that can be improved by installing a Kiwi Technics chip upgrade: A full list of the Kiwi106 upgrade features can be opened in a new window here.
The Juno 106 synthesis engine grants you one DCO per voice, pulse wave, sawtooth and square waves. An LFO with delay added to it, an envelope with Attack, decay, sustain and release (ADSR) controls. Unfortunately there is no arpeggiator or sequencer on the original but this could be done with a DAW or external control over midi or if you have the cash upgrade the synthesizer with the Kiwi 106 upgrade.
It’s a very easy synth to use as pretty much everything is on the surface apart from a few controls on the rear of the unit for manipulating data sends such as: Keyboard, Hold, Pitch Bender, Patch selection data or All data that sends SysEx along down your cable…
All controls can be mapped to MIDI to capture your real time movements in a DAW. The hands-on feel is what appealed to many early adopters of the synth and it continues to excite dance music producers to this very day. Add to that a decent build quality and fantastic sound played using a 61-note keyboard and you have this classic.
A classic synthesizer that may be rated better than it is specs wise for the money, the Juno 106 is still a highly sought-after instrument. Alternative cheap keyboard synthesizers are: the Roland Alpha Juno 1, Roland Alpha Juno 2, Roland HS-60 and the Roland JX3P.