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Why Do We Still Care About the Juno?

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This is question-begging.

Did I "care about" the Juno in the first place, and if I did, do I still? 😁

I think back in the days when I lusted after a polysynth, I was into Sequential Circuits. I thought the Prophet 600 was pretty cool. It had a built-in latchable arpeggiator (arps are still pretty central for me). Then I got into playing bass and guitar and didn't think about owning a synth for another 15 years. When I finally got one, it was the Yamaha CS6x that currently sits before me as my main controller.

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I don't get the Juno love either. Had a Juno-6 back in the '90s and gave it away for free at some point after I got my Quadrasynth.

Don't regret it in the least. Like most of the '70s & early '80s synths, it just didn't sound all that good unless you had the outboard effects to add the 'yum' factor. Like, say a Strymon BigSky that had magically fallen into a wormhole so as to appear 40 years ahead of time.

And if we're talking VSTs, which I assume we are, why bother with the budget model when Jupiter 8 VSTs exist?

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Related. One of my fave videos, in which Mr. Synthmania demonstrates a BigSky on a number of synths, including the (crap) Casio VL-1 toy.

With predictable results. Delicious reverb can fix anything!

 

 

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I had a Juno-106 back in the day. I just used it as a string synthesizer, slaved via MIDI to my main instrument, a Jupiter-6. The two were a good pairing, as both used the same sound generators. The Juno, though, had a vastly simpler UI that you could learn in minutes. Plus it was smaller and lighter. 

When I sold the Jupiter, I threw in the Juno, a Yamaha TG-33 and a Roland drum machine to sweeten the deal, just because I thought I was "done" with music and wanted everything gone before it lost all of its value. Synths had no place in my world, a world of suits and ties and 12-hour workdays and Serious Business. Nowadays, I hate people like that.

Aside from its brilliant simplicity, the Juno just had just one feature that made it likeable, a pleasant chorus effect that made even the most basic patches sound good. Today, you can get that chorus effect as a free plugin.

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13 hours ago, John Bradley said:

I don't get the Juno love either.

As in the video, it was obviously the simplicity of the synth. Everything was on "one page", and you could dial in a sound in seconds. That was a "usability" factor that many loved.

And a lesson that many modern VST instrument developers should be aware of.

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I walked into a local music store in the mid-80's, determined to walk out with my first synthesizer. I had a recent overtime check burning a hole in my pocket (my first GAS attack). So the salesman showed me two synths in my budget range. A Juno-6, and a Casio CZ-1000.

Guess which one I bought after trying them both out?

Hint: it had 8 voices, stored program memory, and was MIDI capable. :)

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6 hours ago, bitflipper said:

the Juno just had just one feature that made it likeable, a pleasant chorus effect that made even the most basic patches sound good. Today, you can get that chorus effect as a free plugin

You are referring to Magic Switch?

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19 hours ago, John Bradley said:

(crap) Casio VL-1 toy.

How can you say such a thing about the VL-1 🙂

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, bitflipper said:

pleasant chorus effect that made even the most basic patches sound good

Which was handy, given that the synth’s simple architecture was pretty much only capable of basic patches. 😏

If they’d have glued on some sort of built-in reverb they’d have ruled the world!

Edited by John Bradley

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3 hours ago, John Bradley said:

If they’d have glued on some sort of built-in reverb they’d have ruled the world!

Everyone want to rule the world.

(Their keyboardist owned the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, Fairlight CMI, Roland Jupiter 8, Yamaha DX7 synthesizer and PPG Wave. So no telling what was used on this track. Classic mid-80's synth pop). :)

 

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The Juno with that midi adapter box was the very first synth I used. It belonged to the music program teacher. He later bought the one with midi built in. I got him set up with an Atari ST and the kids learned a bit about midi , synths and sequencers. I still have some recordings we made with the kids ( now in their 40,s) and that Juno is a big part of the sound. 
 

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I've still got one!! I use it from time to time, but I've had it so long, it's like a friend - I'm really glad I never threw any of my old synths out  - I know a lot of people  who did throw theirs out, saying Computers had made them obsolete; I had some room so used to offer to take them for nothing🤪

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On 8/1/2022 at 10:01 AM, Bajan Blue said:

I know a lot of people  who did throw theirs out, saying Computers had made them obsolete

Technically, the majority of modern synths are computers. My Korg Kronos takes two full minutes to boot up, which is inconvenient when somebody steps on your power cable in the middle of a song. And yet, replacing a synth with a laptop and a MIDI controller is frustratingly impractical, e.g. when Microsoft decides it's time to reboot just as the band launches into its opening number. (Both examples based on actual events, btw.)

Imagine being on stage ready to entertain an audience, and when you load up Omnisphere you get this:

 

error1.png

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5 hours ago, bitflipper said:

Imagine being on stage ready to entertain an audience, and when you load up Omnisphere you get this:

Something to said for a Martin D-18 in a small coffee house that requires no PA?

  • Great Idea 1

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19 hours ago, bitflipper said:

Technically, the majority of modern synths are computers. My Korg Kronos takes two full minutes to boot up, which is inconvenient when somebody steps on your power cable in the middle of a song. And yet, replacing a synth with a laptop and a MIDI controller is frustratingly impractical, e.g. when Microsoft decides it's time to reboot just as the band launches into its opening number. (Both examples based on actual events, btw.)

Imagine being on stage ready to entertain an audience, and when you load up Omnisphere you get this:

 

error1.png

I got stung by computers on stage a long time ago, and I've not done it since. I'm sure they're much more reliable nowadays - I know Marillion's Mark Kelly uses a PC live on stage with soft-synths, but PC's on stage isn't for me!

I've not played live for a long time now, but I use one of these when I'm out of the studio:

image.png.a8d728745dbb26719e587553d85605dd.png

It's too under powered IMO for running most VSTi's, but I can sample all my hardware/software synths and use the V-Machine version of SampleLord to play them back.  I use SampleRobot to do the sampling. I've got both 44.1Khz & 22Khz versions of most of my sampled synths, so I can choose between quality / speed of loading. It's surprising how acceptable the quality of the 22KHz versions are for live use.

 

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Tangerine Dream performing live in concert in 2007 with computers & soft synths (Absynth, Atmosphere, FM7, & editor/librarian for Creamware Minimax ) . I wonder if they had a plan B?

Sounds great, no dropouts!!! :)

 

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On 7/20/2022 at 5:43 AM, John Bradley said:

Related. One of my fave videos, in which Mr. Synthmania demonstrates a BigSky on a number of synths, including the (crap) Casio VL-1 toy.

With predictable results. Delicious reverb can fix anything!

I agree with you, good modulation, great space, and a little saturation could have saved the Roman Empire, if they had had any.

Good effects are everything to a tone, in electric instruments. The best example is the electric guitar, which is nothing - if anything it's a blank, not an instrument yet, sound wise - without effects. It sounds like a bad acoustic guitar, until you add the effects - amp saturation and compression included. And then it becomes an instrument, in fact, dozens of instruments, any instrument you like. It's one of the things I love about it.

One thing most people miss when they shape their tone is that they don't choose what instrument that is, before thinking about miking and the rest of it.

Edited by Olaf
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I'd go so far to say the solid-body electric guitar isn't an instrument at all, it's a controller.

The instrument, the object you're actually playing, is the amp rig and fx setup. And the speaker cabinet and room, if you're playing at volume. The guitar itself is largely irrelevant once it's of sufficient quality that it's not actively impeding you. You can do nearly anything with anything.

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