Analog-digital hybrid synthesizer


A popular analog synthesizer.  Often used by techno/house artists, in virtue of its excellent bass sounds, creamy leads, and warm strings/pads (usually when people refer to "Juno pad", they mean the 106).

Although based on the same architecture of the earlier Juno-60, the 106 sounds seem to be more varied, and the sonic character also seems to differ.  The general consensus is that "the Juno-60 sounds warmer", but I find that the 106 sounds roughly just as warm as the 60.

The sounds the Juno-106 produces bring you straight back to the 1980s.  If you listen hard enough, you'll recognize the Juno-106's signature sounds in many songs of the '80s.


Roland Juno-106 audio demos

Note the huge variety of sounds one can get out of a simple mono-osc synth like this:


Factory Preset Group A

Stream all audio examples below

Preset name with audio demo My comments
11 Brass Quintessential analog brass.  Notice how harmonically rich this sound is.  A staple of '80s synth-pop.
12 Brass Swell A gentler, muted variation of the brass sound.
13 Trumpet For a trumpet sound, it didn't get much better than this in 1984 (unless you owned one of the big samplers of the era, that is (Fairlight, Synclavier, Emulator...)
14 Flutes Very well-programmed flute sound.  Works well as an ensemble also, 'a la "Strawberry Fields Forever".
15 Moving Strings Aaaaaahhhh....here we have one of the 106's signature sounds.. the string pad, where an abundant dose of the famous Roland Chorus (position II) is used.
16 Brass & Strings This one showcases the Chorus in position I (slower).
17 Choir Beautiful, haunting syn-choir sound.
18 Piano I Great programming - with some imagination, :-),  this reminds of a piano.  Great analog sound nonetheless.
21 Organ I The Leslie effect here is achieved with PWM, the Chorus is not on.  Cool sound.
22 Organ II Variation of the above, more trebly and with Chorus I.
23 Combo Organ "House of the Rising Sun" is a good example to use with this Farfisa/Vox type sound.
24 Calliope Circus-like.
25 Donald Pluck A play on words on the fact that this sounds like Donald Duck, and it is a plucked-type sound.  Duck sounds are actually pretty easy to make on a synth, just play around with the resonance control - I remember it was super-easy to do on my old CZ-1000...
26 Celeste Beautiful, haunting sound... an arpeggiator here would help immensely... but that's on the Juno-60, not here, unfortunately.
27 Elect. Piano I A Wurlitzer-like piano sound, with obligatory tremolo.  Very well programmed.
28 Elect. Piano II And here we get into Rhodes territory.  A darker, mellower variation (as it was in vogue during the early eighties.
31 Clock Chimes Hypnotic... but ideally you need FM to do these types of sounds
32 Steel Drums Awesome.  Well programmed.  Standard Jamaica/Calipso sound.
33 Xylophone Ok.
34 Brass III Works well as pad.
35 Fanfare Outstanding, analog, full-bodied...
36 Strings III Again, the classic "Juno Strings" are here.  A+.
37 Pizzicato The envelope is too short.
38 High Strings These are surprisingly realistic strings.
41 Bass Clarinet Fantastic!  The programming here is good in every detail - embouchure, vibrato, envelope...
42 English Horn Typical nasal horn sound.
43 Brass Ensemble Mellow.  Useful sound.
44 Guitar Definitely a good emulation.
45 Koto Beautiful rendition of this famous Japanese instrument.
46 Dark Pluck Marvelous, mysterious synthesizer sound!
47 Funky I Check out how powerful and full the Juno-106 basses are..
48 Synth Bass I Typical '80s synth bass sound.  When the 106 is in unison mode, it sounds like this: Synth Bass I unison
51 Lead I Typical Minimoog-style solo sound
52 Lead II Brassier version of the above.
53 Lead III Yet another version of the above.  Check out the portamento effect.
54 Funky II Solid, funky bass.
55 Synth Bass II FAT!  synth bass sound.
56 Funky III This would work well for Techno
57 Thud Wah Nice effect synth.
58 Going Up The obligatory sci-fi synth effects...
61 Piano II Brighter variation of the piano sound - good for Rock 'N' Roll.
62 Clav. Outstanding emulation of a Hohner Clavinet!
63 Frontier Organ Nice reproduction of a Farfisa organ.  Why Frontier?  Maybe meaning "California" organ, a la Ray Manzarek?
64 Snare Drum Classic example of analog percussion.  Reminds me of the beginning of "Decades" by Joy Division.  Works well in unison mode.
65 Tom Toms Simmons-style toms.
66 Timpani Great sound, powerful, with a lot of body..
67 Shaker Very good emulation.
68 Synth Pad Beautiful sound!  Pads are one of the three things (with bass and strings) that the Juno does best.
71 Sweep I Standard resonating synth sweep.
72 Pluck Sweep Very '80s, dark.
73 Repeater Cool envelope shaping.
74 Sweep II Rich, powerful synthesizer sound.
75 Pluck Bell Beauty.
76 Dark Synth Piano Another typical '80s sound - this will fit perfectly in a mix.
77 Sustainer This is pure analog... interesting use of the PWM that resembles a Leslie.
78 Wah Release Comical sound, with reso-release.
81 Gong Ok..
82 Resonance Funk Typical example of analog bass drum - the same technique used (and taken to perfection) in the TR-808 and 909.
83 Drum Booms Powerful.
84 Dust Storm Another special effect, the wind in the desert dunes.
85 Rocket Men More wind for everybody.
86 Hand Claps Bravo, bravo!
87 FX Sweep Awesome U.F.O. SFX
88 Caverns Drips in a cavern

Factory Preset Group B

Stream all audio examples below


Preset name with audio demo My comments
11 Strings Beautiful, dreaming synth strings.
12 Violin Well programmed emulation of a violin, with natural vibrato
13 Chorus Vibes Beautiful synth sound
14 Organ I Nice Hammond with key-click, good for jazz.  Works for pop-dance too.
15 Harpsichord I Realistic and usable classical sound.
16 Recorder A bit static without vibrato - add it manually.
17 Perc. Pluck These are the 1980's!!!  These types of sounds were heard all over the place in 1985.
18 Noise Sweep Powerful noise-based synth effect.
21 Space Chimes Very interesting synth sound, sounds almost like a dose of ring modulation were applied - but the Juno doesn't have it.
22 Nylon Guitar Very bright guitar sound.
23 Orchestral Pad Marvelous and full synthesizer orchestra.
24 Bright Pluck Very analog-sounding plucky sound.
25 Organ Bell Another organ variation.
26 Accordion Fantastic, realistic emulation of the real instrument.
27 FX Rise 1 This type of effect is still widely used.
28 FX Rise 2 And this one too, in sci-fi movies.
31 Brass Phenomenal syn-brass, up there with the best synthesizers of the era.
32 Helicopter It's better in its predecessor, the Juno-60.
33 Lute The lute is a wonderful, wonderful Medieval string instrument that derives from the Arab "Ud", another fantastic instrument.  It would be very nice to have the real thing, but the 106 does a good job in recreating the hypnotic feel of this instrument.
34 Chorus Funk Powerful!!!  This is analog bass at its best, my friends.
35 Tomita Uncanny recreation of a particular synth sound used by Tomita.
36 FX Sweep 1 Sounds like a dentist drill
37 Sharp Reed Happy sound.
38 Bass Pluck This preset has been heard in many '80s songs.
41 Resonant Rise Showcases the richness of the Juno's VCF.
42 Harpsichord 2 Even better variation of Harpsichord I.
43 Dark Ensemble Great as a pad, dark, ominous..
44 Contact Wah Very cool funky sound, expressive.
45 Noise Sweep 2 Clean, useful FX type sound.
46 Glassy Wah Reminds of the sounds used by Wendy Carlos.
47 Phase Ensemble Classy, beautiful phased strings.
48 Chorused Bell Bread and butter bell sound.
51 Clav Nice emulation.
52 Organ 2 Cool rendition of a Hammond mic'ed at the cabinet.
53 Bassoon This also was better rendered in the Juno-60
54 Auto Release Noise Sweep Another standard FX.
55 Brass Ensemble Again, very '80s.
56 Ethereal Beautiful, evolving, haunting synth pad!!!  Add quality reverb and make some great ambient music.
57 Chorus Bell 2 Great to score mystery movie soundtracks.
58 Blizzard Very, very good programming, uncanny recreation.
61 E. Piano with Tremolo Beautiful tremolo.
62 Clarinet Realistic synthesis of this staple orchestral instrument.
63 Thunder Mix it with the "Blizzard" preset above, and you have the recipe for a perfect storm
64 Reedy Organ Variety sound.
65 Flute - Horn Warm, full analog ensemble!
66 Toy Rhodes Different.
67 Surf's Up On a beach, at night.
68 OW Bass Outstanding!!!  This is an excellent ARP Odyssey emulation.
71 Piccolo Very good.
72 Melodic Taps OK for sound fx.
73 Meow Bass For this example I'm playing the theme for a cartoon with cats made of clay that I used to watch as a child - it was called "Mio Mao".  But this is in effect a good '70s early poly-synthesizer sound.
74 Violin (high) Spot-on rendition.
75 High Bells Again, slap in quality reverb, and you are set for ambient/soundtrack work.
76 Rolling Wah Beautiful, hypnotic LFO synth.
77 Ping Bell Cross between organ and bell.
78 Brassy Organ Powerful ensemble.
81 Low Dark Strings A classy preset.  Analog.
82 Piccolo Trumpet Surprisingly rich and powerful.
83 Cello Well-programmed.
84 HIgh Strings Ok.
85 Rocket Men More SFX.
86 Forbidden Planet Beautiful, unique synth sound!
87 Froggy This really sounds like an old frog!
88 Owgan Awesome all-purpose techno synth.


Software for the Roland Juno-106

Björn Nordström wrote a free Java based editor librarian for the Juno-106: 



Roland Juno-106 photos (click on thumbnails to enlarge)


Roland Juno-106 manual

can be found here:  The Juno-106 Connection

Roland Juno-106 features
  • great analog sound - many classic '80s sounds
  • super-easy to use, thanks to the front panel sliders;
  • plenty of patch storage space;
  • the famous Roland chorus effect

Bottom line:  Great for synth-pop and techno.

Year of release: 1984
Polyphony: 6
Sound generation method: analog
Preset memories 2 banks of 128
MIDI: in, out, thru
Sound expansion capabilities: cassette tape
Sequencer no
Arpeggiator no
Effects chorus (two types)
Velocity no
Aftertouch no
Portamento yes


  • Review in "Keyboard magazine" janfebmarch, 198____




SITE Type of resource DESCRIPTION
The Juno-106 Connection dedicated info One of the best Juno-106 sites on the Internet