Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
JHatzia
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 121
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:05 pm

Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Post by JHatzia » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:13 pm

About a year ago I was lucky enough to catch a Roland Alpha Juno 2 just as it was posted on Craiglist. I scored it for around $180, the thing is in great condition and the only known problems is that one of the keys is faulty w/ velocity problems. However, I'm not into the dial system the Juno 2 employs and would much rather have faders. I found the PG 300 but it seems like it's often sold for much more than the actual synth. On ebay there's an iPhone app being sold that can control the Juno 2's parameters for only $10. It seems as if it'd be cheaper to buy a used iPad and this app than to purchase the PG 300, which just sounds ridiculous.

For those of you out there who have the PG 300.. Does it make the Juno 2 just as attractive as a 106?

User avatar
Sir Nose
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:54 pm
Real name: Bob
Gear: Machinedrum, Octatrack, Moog LP, x0xb0x, Elka Solist 505, Simmons SDS-400
Location: PA

Re: Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Post by Sir Nose » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:20 pm

Behringer BCF2000. The faders are fantastic for the alpha Juno's style of envelopes. I put a template up on the yahoo group for the bc2000 series of controllers. I mapped all sysex controls and the few CCs available.

Or

The bitstream 3x if you want higher quality (and many more features).
Funkadelic wrote: nothing is good unless you play with it
all that is good is nasty

User avatar
walkathon
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 489
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:57 am
Gear: LionTamer 3.1

Re: Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Post by walkathon » Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:51 pm

Ayup, or even a Peavey PC1600x.

JHatzia
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 121
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:05 pm

Re: Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Post by JHatzia » Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:47 pm

I've seen a few videos of people using the Behringer controllers. Looks legit, but are there enough knobs and faders on the BCF2000 to control every parameter on the Juno 2? Generally how much do these run? Thanks for the fast and informative responses.

User avatar
Solderman
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1799
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:43 pm

Re: Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Post by Solderman » Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:54 pm

Still one advantage of the PG300: Knowing at a glance where all the sliders are and hitting the Manual button to switch to fully visual patching. Agreed these greedy f**k out there charging more for the programmer than the synth itself: they should be poked in the eye repeatedly with knitting needles. I called one out on ebay once and his excuse was it was a "historical piece", and was therefore priced as such. A pox on all of them and their kind.
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

User avatar
EmptySet
VSE Review Contributor
VSE Review Contributor
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:33 am
Gear: MS20, x0xb0x, JV-1080, JX-3P, JX-8P(PG800), Juno Stage, VFX-SD, VL-1, ARP Omni I, D-50, DW6000
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Post by EmptySet » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:16 am

I don't consider those sellers "greedy" if someone is willing to pay the price. It's just how the market works. Yes, I would love for them to be cheap too, but I don't think you can blame sellers. They're a little rare. And will only get more so.

As for getting a PG300, it's totally not a necessity. As others have pointed out, there are behringer and peavey options. And if you have a computer, there's a ton of different computer-based editors out there. Most free even. (and if knobs are really the issue… you can also send knob data from any controller through the freebie computer based software options) And now there's iPad remote control. etc.

But, if you're really into vintage synths (as the title of this website seems to imply), then I'd go for the PG300. That's why I bought mine at least. I'm almost as much into the collecting and admiration of the old gear as I am into its sound. I realize that this might make some people sick, but to each his own. Do you only care about adjusting the sound? Then go for one of the various options available to you. Or are you more interested in having a "complete set" AND having the ability to adjust the sound, then get the PG300. I think I fall into the latter group. I just like having the originals. I realize it's completely irrational with less expensive options available to me. (same deal for my PG800) But that's just how I roll I guess. The same thing happens in lots of other vintage/collectible areas. Some people will ONLY use vintage STOCK parts on their reconditioned VW Bug or fill_in_the_blank, while others just want the thing and are willing to do mods, different paint jobs, etc…

My last PG to track down for my current setup is a PG200. :)

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:15 am

Solderman wrote:Still one advantage of the PG300: Knowing at a glance where all the sliders are and hitting the Manual button to switch to fully visual patching. Agreed these greedy f**k out there charging more for the programmer than the synth itself: they should be poked in the eye repeatedly with knitting needles. I called one out on ebay once and his excuse was it was a "historical piece", and was therefore priced as such. A pox on all of them and their kind.
Hi, welcome to Economics 101!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply_and_demand

There's more people who want them than people who have them, so the price goes up. If you don't want to pay that much for one then don't, if everyone else thinks the same as you do then the price will go down.

Ashe37
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3808
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 pm
Real name: Unpronounceable
Gear: Ensoniq SD-1/32,SQR,VFX,ESQm
Virus Indigo, M3-61 , MS2000BR, Volca Bass
Emu XL-7, Matrix 6r
TG-33, K3m, Blofeld, Micron, Mopho, BS II, JV-1080
Band: Eridani V
Location: Central VA

Re: Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Post by Ashe37 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:55 am

A Novation Remote can be used as well (I have a Remote Zero mk I)

User avatar
Alex E
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2235
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:07 am
Gear: Virus C, Super Bass Station, M1r, TX81z, S760, Nord Rack 2, Nord Lead 3, JP-8000, JV-2080, SY99, Trinity Plus, EMX1, TB-03. Live 9, iMac MC309XX/A
Location: Anaheim, CA

Re: Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Post by Alex E » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:06 am

I used a free virtual PG-300 I ran on my computer. I found a great Mac version but there's another that runs on PC.

It was fast, immediate, and it cost me nothing. Couldn't ask for more, really. Sure, it's as hands on I guess, but all the parameters are there, and I still liked using the Alpha Dial from time to time. :)
soundcloud.com/vectron


User avatar
stf-ran
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:00 am
Gear: Voyager, DSI P12, Cubase.
Location: Louisville

Re: Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Post by stf-ran » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:33 am

I paid $300 for my PG300 a couple of years ago. At the time, that was at the upper end of the price range. I thought "oh well, that's what they were when they were new in the 80's". Glad I bought one then. If you only paid $180 for the board, together they are still less expensive than something new. How much is a new 6 voice 2 DCO synth with knobs?
Kiwi Patch Editor is also a good choice.

User avatar
synthparts
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 779
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:05 pm
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Contact:

Re: Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Post by synthparts » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:35 pm

The BCR2000 is perfect. Every param on one page and only $100 or so..
Vintage Synth Parts - http://www.synthparts.com

User avatar
Solderman
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1799
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:43 pm

Re: Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Post by Solderman » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:51 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:Hi, welcome to Economics 101!
Pfff. Economics schmeconomics, it still sucks. I'd trade my retirement fund for 1990 prices of pre-digital synths again. I'm tired of waiting for the demand to plummet(if that ever happens, thanks youtube) so that all of these people who bought them for such high prices who go broke are forced to price them to move, and there are other things much more important right now to spend the extra $200 on that it's not worth.

And uh yeah, virtual PG-300's are easy to make. I did one on an Atari ST version of Cubase once. As mentioned, if it's sliders or knobs you crave, options are slimmer. I use EZ-Alpha, but you have to use the synth's keys to play it while editing that way.
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

User avatar
Pro5
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1000
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:30 pm
Gear: OB-6 | SH-2 | JX-3P | JD-800 | Performer
Location: U.K

Re: Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Post by Pro5 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:14 am

I used my BCR2000 (knobs not faders) fine with my Alpha J2 before I smashed the J2 to bits to use it's keybed in my Polysix :) (ok sort of joking - the AJ2 had a terminal problem so was being parted out).

I also hooked it up to the MKS-50 I think.... hmm didn't have the rack too long.

ANYONE paying HIGH prices for a PG-xxx Programmer is a little like what Clark Griswold called his family in National Lampoons Vacation when they suggest turning round and not going to wally world. :mrgreen: :roll:

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:49 am

Solderman wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:Hi, welcome to Economics 101!
Pfff. Economics schmeconomics, it still sucks. I'd trade my retirement fund for 1990 prices of pre-digital synths again. I'm tired of waiting for the demand to plummet(if that ever happens, thanks youtube) so that all of these people who bought them for such high prices who go broke are forced to price them to move, and there are other things much more important right now to spend the extra $200 on that it's not worth.
It sucks, but you know it sucks for a reason, not just because everyone with a PG decided they'd jack the price up. Prices aren't going down in a hurry, at least on old analogue stuff. At least we've got options now like the DSI stuff, Vermonas, Monotribe, Minibrute soon, Acidlabs, x0xb0x and everything else so it's not like people can't afford to make music.

The analogue stuff was cheap when it was really out of fashion, if anyone wants bargains now they should look at things like SY-77 and SY-85s, K5000s, SH-32s, MS2000s and V-Synths, but only if they like the sounds they make.

User avatar
vin14
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 146
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 7:07 pm
Gear: ∂Juno1 / BassStation Rack / CS-5 / D-50 / DX7 / Juno-106 / M1 / Minibrute / SK20 / SY85 / Trident / Voyager OS / Minimonsta / ImpOSCar
Band: oddball
Location: Ireland
Contact:

Re: Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Post by vin14 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:24 pm

For those of you out there who have the PG 300.. Does it make the Juno 2 just as attractive as a 106?

I have an Alpha Juno 1 and a Juno 106 but no PG300.
For me that would be a no even with the PG300.
Even though the Alpha can do things the 106 can't (envelope/waveforms)
I just think the 106 just sounds better.

I got a free alpha Juno editor for mac, which works great, put I find it easy enough to program with out it.

Post Reply