The Roland Alpha Juno series of keyboards are analog polyphonic synthesizers with a digitally controlled oscillator manufactured by Roland Corporation in 1985 to 1986.
Two models were released: the Alpha Juno 1 (JU-1) (1985), and the Alpha Juno 2 (JU-2) (1985), which added one octave of notes, a cartridge slot and touch-sensitivity. Alpha Juno synthesizers were notable for their reduced user interface compared to other synths of the day, with a single Alpha Dial replacing many sliders and knobs. The keyboard features MIDI in, out and thru, mono, stereo and headphone sockets. It also supports an external footpedal controller, and tape backup.
The MKS-50 (1986) is a rack-mount version of the Alpha Juno. It has the same synth engine and architecture, with some added features like 16 programmable chord memories, the ability to store velocity, volume, panning, de-tune, portamento and other similar parameters within each patch you create.
The Alpha Juno is notable for its combination of the stability of its digitally controlled oscillator with the arguably more pleasant quality of analog filters. Both Alpha Junos can create the Hoover sound, a notable sound used in jungle and rave music. Artists who have used the Alpha Juno include The Prodigy, hardcore/gabber music from the Thunderdome albums and a great many other rave acts.
|Oscillator||1 DCO per voice
(pulse, saw, square and noise, plus suboscillator)
|Synthesis type||Analog Subtractive|
|Filter||Analog 24dB/oct resonant
|Attenuator||ADSR envelope generator|
|Aftertouch expression||No (JU-1)/Yes (JU-2)|
|Velocity expression||No (JU-1)/Yes (JU-2)|
|Storage memory||128 patches
(64 user, 64 preset)
|Keyboard||49 (JU-1)/61 (JU-2)|
The Gear Rack