Page 1 of 3

Alpha Juno Owners and the Decisions We Have to Make

Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:13 pm
by JHatzia
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?

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

Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:20 pm
by Sir Nose
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).

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

Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:51 pm
by walkathon
Ayup, or even a Peavey PC1600x.

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

Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:47 pm
by JHatzia
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.

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

Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:54 pm
by Solderman
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.

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

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:16 am
by EmptySet
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. :)

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

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:15 am
by Stab Frenzy
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.

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

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:55 am
by Ashe37
A Novation Remote can be used as well (I have a Remote Zero mk I)

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

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:06 am
by Alex E
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. :)

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

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:33 am
by stf-ran
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.

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

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:35 pm
by synthparts
The BCR2000 is perfect. Every param on one page and only $100 or so..

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

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:51 pm
by Solderman
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.

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

Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:14 am
by Pro5
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:

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

Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:49 am
by Stab Frenzy
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.

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

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:24 pm
by vin14
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.