Today I bought a Juno-106 in very good condition. It works perfectly, cosmetically I would say it’s 8/10. Selling the JX-8P was a bit hard for me, but I believe four JX-engines are enough. I can still get the same sounds on the JX-10 and MKS-70. The TX81Z has Lately Bass, but it’s nothing compared to the TX-816. If it wasn’t for the lack of rack space I’d probably kept the TX81Z.
Back to the Juno-106 – my first impression is that it sounds very early 80’s, and that’s something good. My second impressions is how simple it is to program with it’s sliders and simple structure. It’s obvious that the Juno-106 was engineered before the FM boom and that it’s analog and proud of it. Compare this to the JX that has a lot of presets that mimics
DX7 presets like marimba and electric pianos. The JX is like an ashamed analog that wanted to be born digital! All respect to the JX – it is a great analog whether it wanted to be or not back in the mid 80’s! It’s just a matter of programming, and that matter is actually the second problem with the JX. The Juno has very hands on programming, the JX uses buttons and menus, if you want sliders you have to get the overly-expensive PG-800 programmer or a Behringer BCR-2000. The BCR-2000 works great, but it’s still not the same thing.
The reasons explained above are the reasons the Junos are more expensive than JXs. Remember, that when new, the pricing was the other way around! The JX is technically more superior with it’s two oscillators per voice, more high end and more complicated. It’s this complicity that is the problem! I like them both – in different ways!
On the forum “99musik” where all the Swedish synth nerds hang, there was a thread titled “Axel F with different synths”. When I saw that, I recalled that I about half a year ago while drunk did a test recording with the JX-8P and Alesis HR-16. Everything was played from memory so the key is not right, the tempo is quite right.
I opened the Logic-project and realized that the drums sounded like crap. They needed to be replaced. For this I had two choices, the Oberheim DMX or my newly aquired SCI Drumtraks. Since I haven’t installed the midi mod on the DMX yet and the SCI Drumtraks kick and snare are more Linn-like, I chose the Drumtraks. My JX-8P was not connected so I decided to use the old recording and just loop it. Would of course have been more 80’s to play it live! Here’s the result:
Both the brass and bass are stock patches from the JX-8P. All drums are stock Drumtraks. Note how I test the different the different sounds on the percussive channel of the Drumtraks in the end. Claps, tamb, cowbell and cabasa are on the same channel and cannot be played simultaneously. The delay is a classic 80’s trick to get around that limitation.
I just got the BCR-2000 working with the Roland JX-8P and JX-10. I found a JX-8P preset by a guy named Rainer Keizer that works fine! It’s downloadable from the bc2000 Yahoo! Group. However, it took me a couple of hours to realize that it actually works, and the reason was how Logic 9 handles incoming SysEx data. By default, Logic only records SysEx, it doesn’t send it to the MIDI out live. When playing the recorded SysEx back then it transmits the SysEx data. Very, very confusing… The key is to go to Project Settings, Midi and then tick SysEx through. Now SysEx is transmitted through Logic out to the external midi as well.
There are some settings that must be set on the synths for them to recieve.
The JX-8P requires that System Exclusive is on. Press the MIDI button, the enter 26 and set it it to EXCLUSIVE ON with the EDIT slider. The receiving MIDI CHANNEL must also be set, it’s parameter 11. The BCR template from Rainer is working on channel 16, so this must be matched on the JX-8P.
The steps are quite similar on the JX-10 but with one quite big exception. Its’ firmware has to be upgraded to an unofficial version since SysEx is broken on the official firmware! Read about it here. As far as I know, SysEx is always activated with the new firmware, no need to turn it on like on the JX-8P. I’m currently working on translating the whole BCR-2000 JX-8P preset to the JX-10, but have so far only done the filter section. It’s actually only one value that differs, namely the model number, so it’s not that difficult. It’s just tedious. By the way, the MKS-70 (rack version of JX-10) has the same SysEx model number, so this template should also work on the MKS-70.
When finished with the JX-10 modification, I’ll take on the Microwave and the K3.