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Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 01:04 am

Synth Glossary

A modular synthesizer is one where the structure of the synthesizer isn't fixed. There are a variety of modules available which can be plugged into each other. Tradionally these modules were physical boxes, but they can now be emulated with software and patched with on-screen cables....


Alpha Juno-1
Roland's Alpha Juno-1 is another great keyboard from the mid 80's. The Juno line is known for its great analogue filters and the Alpha is no exception. The keyboard sounds very thick, probably because of its added sub OSC along with the usual DCO, so bass sounds are no problem. The DCO can generate four varied waveforms: pulse, sawtooth, sub, and noise. With the pulse, sawtooth, and sub waveforms there is a setting for Pulse Width Modulation and different variations of the waveforms that change the spectrum. There is only one LFO and it can be assigned to the VCF and the DCO. However, it can be set extremely low for those great long drawn out sweeps. The envelopes are not the largest ones I have seen, it only has four points. These are broken up into Time 1, Level 1, Time 2, Level 2, Time 3, Level 3, and Time 4. This simple architecture makes it easy to program (PG-300 is an external programmer for the Alpha 1/2 and MKS-50). Unlike most keyboards equipped with knobs or sliders the Alpha has a large round dial that is used for all the data entries, Alpha Dial hence Alpha Juno. The keyboard itself has no velocity or after touch response but the Juno can respond to both of these through midi. The foot size of this keyboard is great. It is small enough to carry but large enough to play accurately.

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