Tuesday, July 14th, 2020 12:28 pm
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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