BT On His First Synth, The Roland Juno 106, And Its Rebirth As A Kiwi-106

In this video, via Syntegrator, synthesis and producer BT tells the story of his first synth, a Roland Juno 106 – how he saved lawn mowing money to buy it, how it was stolen when he was on tour and how the story of his first synth has a happy ending. BT’s story starts at about the 2:00 mark.

The Kiwi-106 is a hardware upgrade to the classic Juno 106 that adds a variety of upgrades, ranging from 512 patch memory to patch editor control of parameters to additional envelope generators and LFOs. 

Here’s a playlist that covers the Kiwi-106 in more detail:

Information on the Kiwi 106 upgrade for the Juno 106 is available at the Kiwi Technics site.

13 thoughts on “BT On His First Synth, The Roland Juno 106, And Its Rebirth As A Kiwi-106

  1. I am curious to know how the ebay seller came to own the 106?

    I wonder if BT ever reported the robbery to police, with details of serials?
    Then if the seller said “I’ve had it for about 20 years… ” BT could’ve reported them to police!

  2. Perhaps BT’s 106 had been sold and bought multiple times over the years. I’ve talked to a lot of keyboard players that mentioned that they had a 106 as one of their earliest synths and sold it off because they had replaced it with newer and more useful synths and couldn’t spare the space to store the 106 anymore. It’s a super common story, 106s change hands very often. He probably could have flagged it as stolen but if the seller had bought it himself it would have been an exercise in passing on the bad feelings of a stolen item. BT played it right by closing a negative loop, props to him. Who knows, maybe some other kid learned how to play the keys on that 106. It certainly looks like it was at least well cared for.

    1. While it’s cool that BT didn’t flag it as stolen etc., and karmic whispers and whatnot, but the seller was still selling stolen goods, statute of limitations probably up, and if BT had it reported AND had sn#, he should have gotten his rightful property back for nothing (he already paid for it mowing lawns etc!), and if he was cool, perhaps not pressed charges etc… Cool of him, perhaps doesn’t need the money, perhaps, and probably the seller was unaware it was stolen, and probably had passed hands a few times, … but it was still stolen… Just because I bought a car from a buddy who bought it from another guy who bought it from another guy, it is still a hot vehicle….. Glad for the happy ending. But I have had so much gear stolen over the years, it would probably just bring me back to the heartbreaking realization and feeling that my sampler, or gibson les paul, or poly six etc was stolen and I don’t think I would be as zen to just pay full price to get it back…. but again, perhaps that karma is what brought it back to him in the first place…

    1. We’ve got more than a new soundset coming: V2 firmware upgrade, updated editor and all new factory patches designed by our crack team of early adopters. We’re hoping to get some signature BT patches in there too.


  3. I’d rather put in a gang switch than just the swap-back sockets, and run it to a toggle on the panel. I wonder if people using their telephones for all video means we will never see a video that uses that intelligent device the tripod ever again. We will forever see people fumbling through video demos with one hand and a sometimes nauseatingly shaky point of view.

  4. Great story from BT, almost made me teary!

    I feel exactly the same way about my Pro One – got it in college and still have it twenty years later.. And it still sounds great and is worth three times what I paid for it!

    I don’t have a dramatic story to tell about it, but I’d be crushed if it got ripped off or damaged!

  5. My first synth both impressed and angered me … the Alesis Micron incredible powerful, incredible condensed version of the Alesis Ion and then some… it was just so hard to navigate and create patches with any speed. My very first investment however was a korg electribe dmx 1… i guess this counts as my real first synth even if it is a groove box… which i think is awesome.

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