The Roland Jupiter-6 – “The Dystopian Synth

In his latest video, synthesist Alex Ball takes a look at the Roland Jupiter-6, a keyboard he describes as “The Dystopia Synth”.

“A Jupiter-6 stopped by for a few days, so I thought I’d complete the trinity, having done videos on the Jupiter-4 and Jupiter-8 last year,” notes Ball. “This synth has a reputation for having a ‘cold’ sound, and it’s always been the more dystopian Jupiter ,in my mind. I wanted to explore whether there are any reasons for that and whether they’re legitimate, imagined or a bit of both.”

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro Jam
0:57 The Jupiter-6
1:27 Demo 1: Two-By-Four
2:02 VCO & Filter Chips
3:00 Demo 2: Pole-Dark
3:34 Modulation
4:39 Demo 3: LV-426
5:13 Demo 4: Gamaclang
5:28 Cost Cutting
6:34 Demo 5: Thumper
6:52 Demo 6: Cassette Memory
7:10 Presupposition?
7:34 Summary
9:12 Outro Jam

Does the Jupiter-6 deserve the ‘dystopian’ moniker? Check out the video and share your thoughts on it in the comments!

9 thoughts on “The Roland Jupiter-6 – “The Dystopian Synth

  1. definitely the first time ive ever heard someone describe the jup6 as “dystopian”… which mainly leads me to wonder about the author’s grasp on the English language, rather than wondering about what kind of “insights” he has about this synthesizer

    typically this was described with the ultimate analog insult of being called “thin”… as well as “cold” which seems to be similar in terms of descriptors of that sort

    but yeh man, sour grapes and sweet lemons abound in these days of endless bananas

    1. It’s clear in the video that he uses the word dystopian to describe the type of experimental soundscapes you’d typically hear in dystopian sci-fi films (as well as Thomas the Tank). And it’s true that this synth excels in making those kinds of sounds. No need to wonder about Alex Ball’s grasp of anything…

  2. One thing very nice about the JP6 is it’s ability to enter very experimental territory. It’s very capable of sonic adventures outside of normal applications, and being analog…has extremely deep bass. Slightly noisy, but it’s all part of the charm.

    1. Ah good. So the real thing does actually have a decent low end? Because I was thinking that the bass in this video was a bit anemic-sounding. (may simply be the speakers on which i’m listening to it, though.)

      1. I own a Troika 3 OSC euro module, very hi end and capable of sonic destruction in the low end. But I have had some patches on the JP6 that simply blow it away. It’s (Jp6) impressive!

        I def see why some ppl don’t get the machine, and since it’s a relic and expensive it’s not totally accessible. And lots of demos don’t do the device justice. For what I use it for it feels like a one of a kind synth.

  3. Hey ROLAND!!!

    The next time you’re looking for a synth to revamp into your Boutique line, we could all likely do with a JP-06.

    (at least try to get to it before behringer does that one for you. 😉 )

  4. I miss mine, waiting for a proper VA of it, it has a rather strong personality, that’s what I like about it. It’s a little angry and bonkers. Kinda like me. 😉

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