Thoughts on the Alpha Juno?

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Thoughts on the Alpha Juno?

Post by Alex E » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:15 am

When I was about 15, I found an Alpha Juno 2 in terrible shape at some sort of rummage sale in Hudson, NY. When I came back a few days later with some money hoping for some sort of okay deal, I discovered it was not actually for sale. Kinda made me itchy cause I really wanted to hear it and try it out. I had never really thought much of the Alpha Junos until I thought I had found one.


But on monday I picked up a very clean Alpha Juno 1 for about $200 when you factor in the power cord I had to buy separately. The editing interface is s**t, but hey, I have the virtual editor up and running right now. And most importantly it sounds pretty good! Anyone else have one of these things?
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Re: Thoughts on the Alpha Juno?

Post by dustinh » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:56 am

Yeah. I have one and really like it a lot. Where else can you get a good sounding analog poly for only $100-200? I use the virtual editor as well and have a nice collection of my own sounds. I mostly use it for pads and bass, although you can get some nice lead sounds too, especially if you use the chord memory to have it play in octaves as a mono synth. It's almost like having two oscillators with one tuned an octave higher.

It compliments my SQ80 quite well as they are both very different sounding synths. I don't feel any need to get another poly between those two. And I only paid $300 total for both of them!

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Re: Thoughts on the Alpha Juno?

Post by THEODICY » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:06 am

Had one. It was kinda cool but didn't really fit into the music I was making at the time. I remembered it having a kinda washed out sound in relation to the other junos and even the Jx stuff. Love the Hoover and the envelopes and the saw pwm. Didn't like the interface or the washy sound for most thIngs. Got some stellar pads out of it with the inverted envelope and the LFO delay.

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Re: Thoughts on the Alpha Juno?

Post by mharris80 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:25 am

I've got an MKS-50. I like the sound of it, though there's a certain characteristic to it that's kind of hard to escape. If you don't like said characteristic, the charm will wear off quite quickly. I've also found that the MKS and the JX-8P can both be programmed to compliment each other quite nicely. I use JSynthLib to program mine, as the MKS is even more painful to program on its own than the Alpha Juno.

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Re: Thoughts on the Alpha Juno?

Post by ryryoftokyo » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:16 am

Very big fan. Chord memory is always a welcome feature. I wish there were maybe 2 or more dials to work with, but having the "brilliance" button a touch away generally keeps me satisfied. People tend to complain about it not being able to produce any "low end" but I couldn't disagree more. I can make most amps tremble with my "DEEEEP" patch. Also capable of producing a brilliant Farfisa organ tone along with some sharp leads. For it's low cost, it's too good to pass up.
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Re: Thoughts on the Alpha Juno?

Post by Phenom » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:57 pm

I'm a fan as well, very well built and reliable little poly. It doesn't sound as big as a Juno 60 (I had both sitting beside each other for a few years) but it has a far more unique sonic character I've never really heard replicated in other synths. It was never a synth I turned to for basses, but it did nice leads, chord memory and portamento (if I remember correctly), drones were great with that languid lfo, and good pads too, sustained notes seem to have a certain transparancy within them, almost digital like.I really feel you can hear intricate movement in an Alpha Juno pad.

I wouldn't mind picking up another one actually..

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Re: Thoughts on the Alpha Juno?

Post by Sexor » Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:16 pm

The JU-1 was my first analog synth. Bought it for the equivalent of less than $100 back in 2002.

It's weird, where I'm from, the Alpha Junos are genuinely popular and well-appreciated synths. Everyone I know has one or wants one...

I use a BCR-2000 for editing, which is quite nice, although it's not possible to implement it 100% the way a PG-300 would work. The parameters on the alpha-dial are in my muscle memory, after 10 years of programming, but the BCR is great to have.

Oh yeah talk about the PG-300... had one. Sold it. Bought a Juno-106 for the money I got for the PG. It's really ridiculous how much they go for.

These days my Alpha's main role is in my live set. You really can't find a more portable analog poly than the JU-1, unless you go for keyboardless modules but that doesn't work for my set. I wanted all the synths in my set to be analog, but still portable. Thus, I opted for two small monosynths plus the Alpha.

These guys are very keen on the Alpha Juno.

The pad in the beginning is typical AJ, nothing else sounds like that.
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Re: Thoughts on the Alpha Juno?

Post by walkathon » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:12 pm

Picked one up for a song a while back ... cracked case, busted key and all. Was worth the salvage effort, could record a whole track w/ one if need be.

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Re: Thoughts on the Alpha Juno?

Post by Scories » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:50 pm

I know that Gusgus are big fans of the Juno2, which has been used to emulate an organ right at the beginning of this song :

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Re: Thoughts on the Alpha Juno?

Post by tekkentool » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:52 pm

My thoughts on the alpha juno?


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Re: Thoughts on the Alpha Juno?

Post by Shleed » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:21 am

Really wanted one for a long time, simply for it's "What The?" patch. I still kinda do, but the kind of music I make means it has no real use. Besides, I have made hoover patches that to me sound close enough to leave me satisfied.

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Re: Thoughts on the Alpha Juno?

Post by Solderman » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:47 am

I've had a Ju-1 for 15 years. Do some searching on the forum if you want my opinions. I once did an A/B comparison between Juno60 and Ju-1. I came to the conclusion that the JU-1 thins out severely in comparison with resonance up, but otherwise they are both great single oscillator polysynths, and I've always liked its character.

When opening up the filter on pad sounds, I set my MKS-50 to the same patch, set the release long, turn off the the chorus on each, detune one of them and set vibrato speed slightly differently, and get some quite powerful pad/string sounds.
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Re: Thoughts on the Alpha Juno?

Post by James Mandible » Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:14 am

Had one for a while, sold it on not that long ago. I quite liked it's sound, but found it far too polite to really fit into my music. Used the money to buy a JX 3P which fits the bill much better for me. If I didn't already have an 8P I'd have probably kept it for the pads alone.

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Re: Thoughts on the Alpha Juno?

Post by Sexor » Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:38 am

Shleed wrote:Really wanted one for a long time, simply for it's "What The?" patch. I still kinda do, but the kind of music I make means it has no real use. Besides, I have made hoover patches that to me sound close enough to leave me satisfied.
It's a shame that so many people only recognize the Alpha for that one sound.

In the same way that the DX7 is only capable of making cheesy electric piano sounds...
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Re: Thoughts on the Alpha Juno?

Post by GuyaGuy » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:44 am

James Mandible wrote:Had one for a while, sold it on not that long ago. I quite liked it's sound, but found it far too polite to really fit into my music. Used the money to buy a JX 3P which fits the bill much better for me. If I didn't already have an 8P I'd have probably kept it for the pads alone.
How do the Alpha and JX-8P differ? Is the filter more "polite?"

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