MIDI Club has introduced its first hardware product, the JunoCtrl.
The JunoCtrl is a custom MIDI controller, designed to ‘unleash the full potential’ of five analog Roland synthesizers: The Alpha Juno 1, Alpha Juno 2, MKS-50, HS-10, and HS-80.
The JunoCtrl has all of the features of the Roland PG-300 and more, allowing more complete integration of your synthesizer and DAW/Sequencer.
- MIDI In port allows passthrough of all MIDI messages to the synthesizer
Three modes of operation:
- CTRL Mode: Conventional synthesizer control as well as built-in CC conversion allowing synthesizer parameters to be controlled by almost any DAW/sequencer through CC messages
- CC Mode: JunoCtrl functions as a generic MIDI controller, sending out CC messages over MIDI to control any hardware/software device or any DAW/Sequencer
- DUAL mode: Conventional synthesizer control coupled with CC output and conversion, allowing DAW/sequencer to receive, record and playback physical knob manipulation in real time
- For all modes, CC messages and channels are fully assignable
- Internal Chord Memory allows for faster chord memory setup and playback on the MKS-50
- Snapshot and Snapshot Trigger functions allows for all parameters or a specific set of parameters to be updated simultaneously”
The MIDI Club JunoCTRL is priced at $229 and is expected to be available June 1, 2015.
16 thoughts on “JunoCtrl Brings Hands-On Control To Roland Alpha Juno Synths”
Nice. Makes me want to pick up an alpha juno again.
I think this is great, fantastic analog polys will now have hands on control and you know it’s going to cause Alpha Junos to jump in price.
I used to use AU300 audio unit for controlling my MKS50. And as it ran in LogicPro, it was really easy to program the synthesizer from the iPad running TouchOSC Logic template.
Hopefully someone id working on a jd-xi control is in the works ; )
Or you could get a 2nd hand behringer BCR 2000, load it with one of the many freely available alpha Juno preset layouts, label the controls and you’re set for less than half the price. It works for me.
Or you could buy a Roland PG-300, which is the box Roland made to control the Alpha 1, 2, HS, and MKS version of these synths.
That box goes for about the same…barring the assholes with overpriced Buy It Nows that sit there forever.
The PG-300 is not ever cheap, even if you bid for it on ebay your paying at least around 320 USD.
No thanks, I’d rather spend less money on something that’s actually been improved and is new with warranty, instead of a 30 years old piece of hardware.
I like custom boxes like this because control layout matters. I wish this did a more creative job with control layout though!
Yea the behringer is a good option. The JunoCTRL just offers more of a complete package. You get a built in midi merger, actual potentiometers as opposed to endless encoders like the behringer has, on-board chord memory, a special “dual mode” which allows you to link your Alpha Juno to your DAW for things like real-time automation recording and playback, and then you also get a dedicated switch for turning into a regular midi controller. There are other features like a mono and poly chord mode, which you can read about more in depth in the manual. Cheers!
I’m really surprised by this. I had a Alpha 1 and a Alpha 2 for years and never really got much out of them that I couldn’t get with other gear. They were ok as MIDI main boards, but nothing that stands out in my mind
Is there really an uptick in these value and use wise suddenly? Or is it just one of the last lines of cheaper gear left from the earlier days?
The cost of an Alpha and a controller would almost be up to the next tier of synths – like Korg Polys for ex.
Actually, that’s not true. An Alpha Juno or MKS-50 can be found anywhere from 200-350 USD, now let’s say you also purchase the JunoCTRL controller (229 USD), you’re looking at roughly 500- 600 USD, which is far cheaper than a Korg Polysix (1200 USD at least). I really can’t think of any polyphonic synthesizer that you can buy with hands on control and good midi implementation for under 900 USD. The JX-8P with the PG-800 hovers around the 700-900 USD these days.
Regarding the sound of the Alpha Juno/MKS-50 I think it really shines in the world of techno. It’s got an interesting warm but clean but then also kind of ethereal quality. There no other synth that can make a hoover like the Alpha Juno. Mentasm by Joey Beltram, Charly by Prodigy, and Dominator by Human Resource all use that synth to make that signature sound. Plug-in emulations still don’t do it justice compared the hardware (I’ve tested this myself with my MKS-50 vs ReDominator and DIVA). But of course it’s not for everyone, I just personally am a fan of this synth.
The Roland Alpha Juno series sounds great. They would be way more sought after if they had a second envelope generator and a more flexible high-pass filter.
I use my BCR2000 to control my Alpha Juno 2 synths presently, but this little unit is a welcome addition.
I just bought a BCR2000 for my MKS-50 and tried to get it work. I have uploaded the “Synthgraphics” setup to the BCR2000, made sure that Midi-Channel is proper set, and I route the BCR through my MOTU MTP AV correctly. I made sure that sysex in the MKS-50 is on, want to edit Patch sounds (not tones), but I do not get any parameter edited.
It even looks as if the BCR2000 would not send any data when I turn at one of the knobs as the Midi-In LED is not flashing at the MOTU.
I did not find any “general advice” how to set everything properly to get it work. Do you have some advise for me now you manage your Alpha Juno with the BCR?
I use the same BCR2000 template for my Alpha Juno. I can’t recall exactly, but I vaguely remember updating my BCR2000 to the latest firmware before installing the Alpha Juno template, perhaps something to try.
Little programmable sequencer and arpeggiator would be great improvement to just a knobby box.