Roland Jupiter 6 – calibration tips

Roland Jupiter 6
Roland Jupiter 6

The Jupiter 6 is one of Roland’s two most beloved 80’s polysynths, the other being the Jupiter 8. While I was looking for service documents for the Jupiter 6 though, I came across some absurdly aggressive forum posts from people who don’t like this synth and are pointlessly mad that a lot of other people like it a lot. Continue reading “Roland Jupiter 6 – calibration tips”

Roland Juno 106 (#5)

Roland Juno 106 - sold
Roland Juno 106 – sold

I just finished restoring the electronics on this beautiful Juno I bought directly from Japan, with all its voice cards failing, to restore and sell.  I was going to announce it as “for sale” here on the blog, but I had already posted it on our Reverb shop yesterday, and by the time I checked my email today it was already sold. Continue reading “Roland Juno 106 (#5)”

Korg Poly 61

Korg Poly 61 synthesizer
Korg Poly 61

This synth sounds FAT. It’s architecture is really simple, but it sounds really good. I can’t think of any 80s polysynth that is better at making fat, Moog-ish leads and basses.  Six voices of a patch like that sounds absolutely huge.  It has the 4 way joystick shared by the whole Korg “Poly” series which effectively gives you an extra (analog-controlled) LFO. The oscillators have a lot of low end and can sound really fuzzy, like Big Muff fuzzy.  It has a simple arpeggiator that allows you to tell it to run your arpeggio up and down the whole keyboard.  If you trigger an arpeggio by playing several notes in different octaves, it will alternate steps above each of them as it arpeggiates, allowing you to make some complex, interesting sequences. Continue reading “Korg Poly 61”

Roland JX-3P

Roland JX-3P
Roland JX-3P

When I started working on it, this JX-3P looked like a feral synthesizer that had lived in the forest.  It was rusty, the legends had been scraped off in many places, the plywood bottom piece was rotting requiring it to be held together with tape, and it was spattered with literal mud.  It had also been subjected to one of the strangest DIY repair attempts I’ve seen yet.  Someone tried to overcome some bad key contacts by squirting some of that yellow expanding spray foam insulation stuff into the tops of a few of the rubber key contact strips.  Guess what… it didn’t work. Continue reading “Roland JX-3P”

Ultimate Percussion K2-X

Ultimate Percussion KP-X analog drum synth
Ultimate Percussion KP-X drum synth

This is a very rare 8-channel analog drum synth from the 1980s. The person who brought it over told me it was designed in Germany, built in the UK and sold only in those two countries. There is very, very little info on it on the internet, and of course no service manual or schematics, but luckily all the voices are the same. The main problem was caused by the failure of the VCA in Channel 1. Continue reading “Ultimate Percussion K2-X”

Korg Delta

Korg delta string synthesizer
Korg Delta

The Korg Delta (or DL-50) is a string synth/polysynth hybrid from the late 1970s to early 80s, from the time when every synth company was focusing on those.  I’ve got an Arp Omni 2 and Roland RS-09 of the same era here in the workshop right now and the Delta is my favorite of all three, even just based on its string sounds (to be fair, the RS doesn’t have a “synth” section).   Continue reading “Korg Delta”

Sequential Circuits Drumtraks

This was for producer Gino Wong of ReRed Recording, but I was excited to get it working for my own reasons, so that I could sample the drum sounds into my Electribe. Once I did get it working, I discovered that the SCI Drumtraks is super easy and fun to make beats on! I didn’t know this before, but the sounds on here are not synthesized, but rather are low-fi samples each on their own EPROM. Continue reading “Sequential Circuits Drumtraks”

Moog Rogue

Moog "The Rogue"
Moog Rogue

The Moog Rogue is very, very similar to the Moog MG-1.  It has pretty much the same internal design in the synth section, but the designers made some questionable choices about which parameters to allow control of– so unlike the MG-1, both oscillators on the Rogue have to have the same waveform, and be in the same octave. Continue reading “Moog Rogue”