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:
- Open the Juno
- Remove the DCB-connector from the back
- Cut one zip tie so the DCB-connector reaches outside the synth
- Unsolder all wires
- Insulate the green and purple wires
- Solder the wires to the MDCB60
- Screw it to the back of the Juno-60
- Add a new zip tie
- 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.