Tag Archives: Dtronics

LinnDrum midi kit from Dtronics

I recently ordered a “Linnterface” midi kit from Dtronics and a kit for the Juno-60 from them as well. To be honest, a big part of the joy with the LinnDrum is using the internal sequencer and its’ shuffled timing . You can always sync it to your DAW using clock pulses. But in some cases it’s convenient to have midi.

The kit is not as advanced as the Forat or JL Cooper ones, on the other hand it’s just a fraction of the price. It simply has a GM midi-mapping and supports only note on/off. It’s only midi in, not out.

It works by simply hijacking the signals between the cpu-board and voice board of the LinnDrum.  This is done by placing a new midi board inside the LinnDrum, disconnect the flat cable between the LinnDrum’s cpu board and voice board an connect it to the midi board instead. From the midi board a similar flat cable is then connected to the voice board. The kit comes complete with all mounts and a midi connector and no non-reversible modification is required on the LinnDrum. You have to solder power and ground to the kit, but thats all.

The first midi board I got had some kind of problem, when the LinnDrum was turned on, all leds lit up and the numbers 00 were shown. This was very scary – had I destroyed my LinnDrum? Panic! I emailed Dtronics who were very helpful and immediately sent me a new board. I installed it and it has been working flawlessly ever since. I recommed these guys, the do great products and are very supportive!

I decided not to write a step-by-step guide of my installation since there’s already a nice one at Dtronics web site.

Roland Juno-60 midi kit

Last night I upgraded my Juno-60 with the MDCB60 midi kit from D-tronics. Even though I prefer not to use midi, there are situations where midi is nice to have, for example when doing quick sketches that you want to save, or try different sounds without manually having to play the same sequence over and over.

The DCB port

The Juno-60 was an upgraded version of the Juno-6, with the main difference that it had memory section, just like it’s main competitor Polysix. Another addition was the DCB port, which was Rolands predecessor to midi. Remember, this was back in 1982 and midi was first introduced in 1983. Before midi, Roland had DCB, Oberheim had it’s own proprietary protocol etc. Too my knowledge, only the Juno-60 and some of the Jupiter 8s had DCB . The JX-3P was the first Roland synth with midi, so DCB didn’t live more than a year or two. We should be thankful that the manufacturers actually managed to agree on the midi standard, that still lives 32 years later, even though it has its flaws.

Luckily, DCB is quite primitive and therefore simple to convert to midi. The MDCB60 only adds note on/note off, so there’s no pitch bend, program change, arpeggiator sync etc.


The installation was very straight forward:

  1. Open the Juno
  2. Remove the DCB-connector from the back
  3. Cut one zip tie so the DCB-connector reaches outside the synth
  4. Unsolder all wires
  5. Insulate the green and purple wires
  6. Solder the wires to the MDCB60
  7. Screw it to the back of the Juno-60
  8. Add a new zip tie
  9. Solder the wire from the MDCB60 to the gate pin on the Juno-60 board for 5V power

There’s a video here describing the installation, however, they seem to take the 5V power from another place than the gate pin.

The installation took less than an hour in total, and it worked straight away! I recommend this kit if you need basic midi on your Juno-60.