Roland Juno-106 Beyond Effective Range

Roland Juno-106 – “Beyond Effective Range” Vocal – Retro 80’s Groove.

Had a lot of fun working with the AKai S3000XL this evening. I used Propellerhead’s Recycle to slice up a vocal phrase and send it directly via SCSI to the S3000XL. I have an old Windows 98 computer that that is connected to the AKAI S3000XL which is also connected to an MO drive. The Roland Fantom XF is controlling the S3000XL which I’m playing on the lower part of they keyboard. Everything in the video is improvised including the sequenced parts and drums which were put together this evening.

In the video I’m playing live:
Roland Juno-106 – Synth Lead ( Right Hand )
AKAI S3000XL Sampler ( Left Hand )

Roland MC-909 Sequenced:
Synth 1 – Roland D-550
Synth 2 – Roland MKS-50
Synth 3 – Roland SH-101

Drums were loop recorded with the Boss RC-300 Loop Station.

Akai S3000XL Sampler
Akai S3000XL Sampler

Korg ESX-1 Sampler – Back in the 80’s Groove

Korg ESX-1
Korg ESX-1

This week I found a great deal on a used red Korg ESX-1 Sampler. After watching a few videos on Youtube from “harlemnightsmusic” using the ESX-1 for creating those retro 80’s drum classics I became pretty intrigued by the possibilities of this retro red device. I also bought a Korg EMX-1 ( the blue one ) which has been fantastic with creating drum patterns and using to drive my Roland MKS-50. You can checkout the video below of “harlemnightsmusic” playing some beats along with Roland Juno 106 for some synth parts.

The Korg EXS-1 I bought was the original “SmartMedia” version. To my knowledge there is no difference between the SmartMedia and the SD Card version of the Korg ESX-1. I picked up the Korg ESX-1 Smartmedia version for $150 which is substantially less than the SD card one. I already have a sizable collection of Smartmedia cards so I figured the ESX-1 SM version would work well. My blue Korg EMX-1 also uses Smartmedia cards. In Japan they are quite cheap on the used market. I run across them quite often. I also still have the original tubes in the ESX-1 and may elect to upgrade them but for now it’s a great sampler with a lot of possibilities. I personally feel the Korg EMX-1 and ESX-1 are great little gems and along with my analog gear will use them quite a bit.

You can check out my article on the Korg EMX-1 here:

I also have the Korg ES1 MKII Sampler with an article here:

This is a great Youtube video of the Korg ESX-1 and Roland Juno 106 together in action. Great stuff!

SOS Band – Just be Good to Me (kick = LinnDrum)
Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing
Loose Ends – Hangin’ on a String
Klein & MBO – Dirty Talk
My Mine – Hypnotic Tango (solo clap = Oberheim DMX)
Yazoo (Yaz) – Situation
Yazoo – Don’t Go
Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force – Planet Rock
2 Live Crew – Me so Horny
Ice-T – Reckless

Boss RE-20 Space Echo Synthesizer Effect

Boss RE-20 Analog Syn Effects
Boss RE-20 Analog Syn Effects

I recently picked up a used Boss RE-20 Space Echo for my analog synthesizers. I spent quite a bit of time researching this twin effect pedal and finally decided to give it a try. I actually quite like it so far when used with my Korg Poly-61, Roland Juno 106, and other synths. the reverb is very usable and the delay/echo is excellent. I particularly like how the effect trails when playing which is one of the main reasons I bought it. You can also change synth patches and the trails will continue and not get cutoff.

I usually have my analog synths on an Ultimate Stand and I found that I could easily velcro the Boss RE-20 near the top of the stand propped up above my top synth. The knobs are tilted perfectly so I can tweak while playing any of the synths. I must say that the Boss RE-20 sounds really warm. I usually set the reverb in the low 25% range and up the bass a bit. You can also back off on the treble which can fatten things up a little bit. This pedal effect really enhances my analog synths tremendously and when bypassed I hardly notice that much tone loss. I know there is some, but I don’t really hear it that much.

The reverb I suppose can be tinny with a lot used, BUT, this can work well depending on what patch you are using in your synth. I also like the tape nuances in the pedal and the echo really compliments nicely with sounds from my Korg and Roland synths. After reading mostly excellent reviews of the Boss RE-20, I felt it would work nicely with my analog synths adding some delay, reverb, and a bit of extra flavor that the Boss RE-20 provides. I also like the input volume and the distortion you get when cranked which is pretty cool on some gritty synth patches. I feel there is much more to learn about this pedal and I’m happy with the purchase. It’s definitely a lot of fun and like others have mentioned, it does sound nice with analog synthesizers for sure.

Note that the Boss RE-20 is not an analog effect, rather I use it on analog synthesizers. The Boss RE-20 is all digital, but sounds very warm with my analog synths. It’s actually quite a popular twin pedal for analog synth enthusiasts and for the dub crowd which I recently discovered. I’m not particularly into Dub Music, but it’s pretty useful for that genre. The Boss RE-20 is also popular among guitar players of course and I’ve even heard vocalists us it for creating a unique sound for their voice. You can use this for Dub vocals too.

Where to buy IC Sockets Online for Voice Chips?

I am currently looking into installing IC Sockets for my Roland Juno 106 to install some new Clones. I will be testing various Voice Ships both original and in clone format. I wish to reduce the amount of soldering and desoldering of the various chips. Despite removing failing ( but working ) Voice Chips from my Juno 106, I cannot get the new Analogue Renaissance Voice Chip Clones to work. So I figured if I could install IC Sockets, I could makes tests and try some originals my friend has. I am located in Japan and wish to purchase these online somewhere but have yet to find them. Any ideas? Thanks.

Roland Juno 106 IC Sockets
Roland Juno 106 IC Sockets

UPDATE: This website came recommended for Snappable IC Sockets. There are a couple of reviews on the site as well. I’ll post the type and location where I buy mine once I get them. If anyone has any recommendations, please comment. Much appreciated.

Snappable 30 PIN SIP Socket
Snappable 30 PIN Machined-Pin IC sockets

Replacement Carbon Contacts for Dead Keys on Roland Juno 106

On my newly acquired Roland Juno 106, I discovered I had a dead key (E) on the lowest octave. I researched and found out how to open, remove, and clean the carbon contacts ( upper and lower ) for the dead key. When put back into order I still had the dead key problem. So I then figured the carbon contact located on the Silicon rubber had to be wiped out. So I looked around on the Internet and found a gentleman who was selling just what I needed. They were “stick on” Carbon Contacts for Silicon Rubber with Dead Keys. They were not tested on a Juno 106, but for $25 bucks a sheet I decided to pick some up for a possible fix or future use. I attached two photos of what I received in the mail last week.

Carbon Contacts Dead Keys Roland Juno 106
Carbon Contacts for Dead Keys on Roland Juno 106

I opened up the Roland Juno 106 and once again took out the dead lower E key. I gently placed a new Carbon Contact from the sheet onto the Rubber Silicon. You need to be careful when doing this as they do fly off the tweezers quite easily. It happened to me once, but luckily I found it. Then I closed up the Juno 106 and gave it a try. It didn’t work…laugh. Seriously it didn’t work at all. This means that the Carbon Contact either didn’t work ( unlikely, I’ll explain later ) or that I have now isolated the problem to the actual contact on the board below the keys. I now most likely will have to remove all of the keys, and trace the patch to the dead key to try and find a break in the connection. For now, I can live with the dead key as I don’t use it much and I can always midi up a controller with aftertouch and everything else that the Juno 106 doesn’t have.

Dead Key Carbon Contact Replacements Roland Synthesizers
Dead Key Carbon Contact Replacements on Synthesizers

I did however as a test tried putting a Carbon Contact on a key that already worked and that worked fine. The Carbon Contact from the new sheet completely covered the old contact. I am assuming that if the Carbon Contact itself didn’t work, then it would block the original causing the key to become weak or even fail. Thus I am willing to bet that if and when an actual Silicon Rubber contact fails, these new replacement Contacts should work just fine.

The Gentleman whom I purchased these from at is a great guy and very sincere. He was extremely helpful and his website has quite a bit of useful information on Synth repair. He also has replacement parts for sale. I highly recommend trying these new Carbon Contact Replacements for your dead keys provided you only have a problem with the Silicon Rubber part. If you have an issue on the board itself, then you’ll need to isolate the problem and perhaps do a bit of soldering to reconnect the dead key. I have read about this being done on the Roland Juno 106 and other synthesizers so it shouldn’t be too difficult.

If you are actually missing Roland Juno 106 keys and need replacements for physical broken keys, I have seen many on Ebay. However, they are often sold one at a time, so it could be expensive if you need many keys. As always, you should weight the option of buying a second used Juno 106 for spare parts instead of selectively buying parts. Good Luck!