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”

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”

ARP Omni 2

Tantalum Capacitors in the Arp Omni 2
Tantalum Capacitors in the Arp Omni 2

This one belongs to Jeff Zeigler, a great musician who also runs the studio Uniform Recording. The ARP Omni 2 is a synth where a lot can go wrong, but it has a very, very repetitive internal architecture so it’s often the same problems over and over– bad logic ICs and bad tantalum capacitors (blue circles in photo above).  That doesn’t mean it’s easy to fix though!

Continue reading “ARP Omni 2”