Roland JU-06 – The Missing Manual

I love my JU-06. Despite much criticism by those who feel that only vintage synthesizers are valid, and others who are resentful that Roland are recycling the names of classic machines in modern instruments, I feel that the Roland Aira and Boutique line of synths are something very special.

On the one hand, it’s really true, there’s nothing like a real live TR-909, or an actual vintage Jupiter-8. Literally, there’s nothing like them… they are iconic, singular, and wonderful. Further, most of these sought after, very expensive, and magnificent synths and drum machines were initially commercial failures. When the TR-808 came out no one wanted one. When the TB-303 came out people were so befuddled by the idea that this convoluted little computer box was in any way meant to “accompany” a guitarist for singer songwriter fun by the fire, that it was absurd. The box was so far ahead of its time that no one knew they needed it yet, and as the result, they were giving them away free with purchase. They were a commercial flop.

On the other hand, once something fails commercially the price goes way down. They turn up in the back of pawn shops, and second hand stores misunderstood and eventually forgotten. This sounds sad, but it’s actually awesome. This is the democratization of technology. At a low price, and a low street value, these machines got into the hands of people who were able to explore them and produce music that perhaps the people who designed them hadn’t even anticipated. Then it became the music and its impact on the world which brought these machines into focus, made them beloved, and inevitably expensive.

So I love the whole idea of the Roland Boutique line. They are re democratizing the TR-909, TB-303, Juno-106, Jupiter-8, JX-3P, VP-03, and potentially much more. These iconic and wonderful tools are again available to the people at a very affordable price. Consider that the street price of a JUNO-6 in 1982 was $1,299 and the street price of the JU-06 today is about $249. Granted there are only 4 voices instead of 6, but there’s a sequencer, it is midi enabled, and a lot more going on in there. Plus… the best part… they sound fantastic.

Squinting at the leaflet that comes with the JU-06 the other day I asked myself two questions:
1. Why hasn’t someone undertaken the re writing (or actual writing) of the manual for this synthesizer? For all the boutique synths?

2. Based on just how amazingly simple it is to backup, share, and load up patches, why on earth is there virtually no community resource or even a scrap of evidence on the web of people sharing their sounds for these machines?

I decided that because I love a good manual, and we are always telling you to RTFM (which stands for read the fucking manual) I should stop wondering why, and start putting pen to paper.

I began with the JU-06 because it’s the easiest to draw. The manual taps the original JUNO-106 for style and illustration of how to use PWM, LFO, VCA and VCF but I’ve tried my best to maintain the integrity of both the classic manual format, as well as the modern instruction for how to do things.

I hope you re discover your JU-06 through this PDF and print it out and keep it at your side while you go through it and discover that the Roland Boutique JU-06 is a fantastic synthesizer with endless potential. Plus it’s got knobs and it’s modern, and it’s right there in front of you!

A USER’S GUIDE TO THE ROLAND JU-06
THE MISSING MANUAL
DOWNLOAD
PDF FORMAT – Version 0.06C Updated 21 August 2017

If you happen to have a Roland Boutique JP-08 you’re also in luck. I’ve re written and illustrated the user’s manual for that as well. You can score that missing manual right here.

I have also included a bank of patches for you to play with.

SUNSHINE JONES – JU-06 DEMONSTRATION PATCHES
[BANK 8 PRESET 1-8]
DOWNLOAD
COMPRESSED ZIP ARCHIVE

LEGEND & PREVIEW
[BANK 8 – PATCH 1] JUNO TRI PAD
Listen
[BANK 8 – PATCH 2] JUNO SAW PAD
Listen
[BANK 8 – PATCH 3] JUNO KEYS
Listen
[BANK 8 – PATCH 4] JUNO SAW BASS MOD
Listen
[BANK 8 – PATCH 5] JUNO HOLLOW BASS
Listen
[BANK 8 – PATCH 6] JUNO HI HAT
Listen
[BANK 8 – PATCH 7] JUNO NOISE SNARE
Listen
[BANK 8 – PATCH 8] JUNO KICK
Listen

[PATTERN 16 – SAW BASS WOBBLE]
Listen
[PATTERN 15 – JUNO DOWN ARP]
Listen

Here’s another set of sounds from Robtronik in Los Angeles

ROBTRONIK – JU-06 DEMONSTRATION PATCHES 2
[BANK 7 PRESET 1-8] [PATTERN 1-7]
DOWNLOAD
COMPRESSED ZIP ARCHIVE

[BANK 7 – PATCH 1] DANCING DOORS (Seq. 1)
[BANK 7 – PATCH 2] CREEPER SHOES (Seq. 2)
[BANK 7 – PATCH 3] ODE TO ST (Seq. 3)
[BANK 7 – PATCH 4] SABRETOOTH BASS (Seq. 4)
[BANK 7 – PATCH 5] ROUGH ACID (Seq. 5)
[BANK 7 – PATCH 6] TECHNO WEIRDO (Seq. 6)
[BANK 7 – PATCH 7] CHERRY BOTTOM BASS (Seq. 7)
[BANK 7 – PATCH 8] FILLER FLOOR

[PATTERN 1 – 7]

Please be sure to backup your existing patches before writing these to memory.
In the BACKUP folder the patches are numbered differently. Rather than Bank 1-8, they are named for their sequential placement in the midi program change protocol
ex: JU06_PATCH01 – JU06_PATCH64.

NOTE – Be sure you backup JU06_PATCH57 – JU06_PATCH64 and PATTERN BQ_PTN7 and BQ_PTN8 BEFORE you begin this exercise.

PROCEDURE:
In accordance with the new, clearly written manual on page 10, follow these instructions to backup your sounds before you begin.

1. Power up the JU-06 holding the BANK 2 button
2. Connect a USB cable between the JU-06 and your computer
3. A little drive should apprear on your desktop named JU-06
4. Within this drive you will find two folders:
1. BACKUP
This contains all your sounds and sequences
2. RESTORE
This is where you drop files in order to load them into your JU-06
5. Create a backup folder for your sounds, and drop them all onto it and copy them over to your desktop.
This is in case something goes wrong, or it get’s all messed up, or weird, you can always just go back.

HOW TO COPY THE NEW FILES TO YOUR JU-06:
1. Follow the procedure above for mounting the JU-06 to your desktop.
2. Copy the contents of the BANK 8 folder you downloaded from me into the RESTORE folder.
3. Eject the JU-06 drive
4. On the JU-06 Module – Press MANUAL
Lights will bllink and things will happen.
5. When the lights stop blinking the screen should say OK.
6. Power cycle your JU-06
7. Press BANK 8 and PATCH 8

Play a note. This should be the kick patch I gave you.

Refer to the legend above to see what I was attempting to create, and enjoy, modify, or discard these patches. They are yours to do with what you will. The idea here was not to style you out with some amazing freebies, but rather to engage you with your own equipment, and show you just how easy it is to save, backup, and share patches for these amazing little synthesizers. I hope you dig it, and are already planning a huge patch swap in the very near future.

Enjoy the manual, and the sounds. I hope they inspire you half as much as it has inspired me to re write it, and to illustrate it.

LOVE

41 Comments

  1. Jonathan Addy:

    Wow! Next level! The dichotomy of student and master!

  2. Richard Martin:

    Great stuff! But the OCD in me wants to straighten out all those lines in the diagram of the synth!

  3. William Hansen:

    Thankyou!!!

  4. Hesohi:

    Great! – I am glad i kept mine.

  5. Tee Cardaci:

    Well done, Sunshine. That’s the vibe. DiY and share the <3 !

  6. Rich Borys:

    I’m in! maybe I’ll keep mine now

  7. Grodon Macarena:

    I don’t have a JU-6 but would be really curious to see these patches……might try and get one because I do have a real one and would like to try a mini substitute for taking out live…..great idea with the manual

  8. Silent Sister:

    Oh yeah, the “manual” … rather, leaflet for the boutiques requires magnifying lens! Can you make one up for the JP-08 while you’re at it??

  9. Ben J. Braun:

    Awesome!

  10. Mike Latigid Addis:

    This is why I love you dude

  11. Joe Carroll:

    If the rumored Boutique SH-10 (101) is true, Roland should send you one for free for this wonderful effort you are making here!

  12. Sol Dolly:

    I can’t begin to tell you how rad I think you are for creating and sharing this…plus the fun patches and added perspective…
    You’re a freak! I fucking love you!
    Was sitting around this afternoon in a hopeful but resisting some melancholy because I’m trying to put out to the universe how hungry I feel and don’t always know what to eat or how to find it.
    Thanks for leading the path… ♥

  13. Steve Zumone:

    You make me want a JU-06. Got the tb-03 after your review and love it.

  14. Sara Hornbeck:

    I have so much respect for those who “get” or “make” the science that makes my body move and my spirit happy – thank you for enriching my life so I have an outlet to do what I do… to keep me sane personally and the music therapy I promote for Alzheimer’s patients – you would be pleasantly surprised at how receptive the over 55 crowd is …

  15. Jason Walker:

    Nice one Bruva!

  16. Ashi Taaka:

    Thanks dude!! Nice work

  17. Jose Antonio Tobar:

    Thank you so much.. proud JU owner here ♥

  18. Sunshine:

    Manual is updated V0.6B:

    1. Diagram description image is adjusted to deliver satisfying straight lines on a measured grid
    (Some folks had a problem with my hasty angles and as a designer, I had to agree. so it’s all straight and lined up now.)

    2. Acknowledgements are added to the front (as opposed to the back) in order to disclaim any ownership, and to express the CC always free, never for sale license.

    3. Roland logos are removed.

    4. Note is added regarding the lack of USB port available for a Mac Classic ™ computer (following this obvious fact being pointed out.)

    5. How to remove tied steps in the sequencer is added

    6. Antiquated FCC regulations for placement of device to avoid interference with Television and Radio reception is removed (although I thought that was lovely, and funny, and so strange.)

  19. Josh Reineke:

    This is great! Thanks!

  20. Scott Swanson:

    Wow, this is fantastic. Thanks for taking the time to do this!

  21. Tim Rizvanov:

    That looks incredible! Thanks so much!
    Is there a chance of doing one for JP-08 ?

  22. Sunshine Jones:

    @Tim Rizanov – I’m ready to create a companion manual like this for the JP-08 and the JX-03 as well.

    I don’t think they are wildly different in terms of technical references, but the controls vary, and also the philosophy of the synthesizers are different – thus the illustrations and guide to synthesis will be very different.

    I’m in the middle of an album right now, 8 down and 3 to go, and took this past weekend to undertake this because I was up against an internal wall and wanted a vicious distraction to clear my head.

    I hit those walls from time to time, so maybe it’ll be sooner than later… hahahaha.

  23. Cailan Smith:

    This is amazingggg

  24. Raja Azar:

    Right on! Thanks! And I second the motion for a JP-08 manual

  25. Cailan Smith:

    The synthesis note pad at the end so you can draw your settings is SICK

  26. Nick Kelly:

    You are a good man!

  27. Tyrone Warner:

    Thank you!!

  28. Bruce Oliver:

    That is a great contribution! Thanks buddy!

  29. Martin Andersén:

    Fantastic work, thanks!

  30. Jonathan Nuss:

    Raad !

  31. Martin Sundström:

    Amazing work, thank you for this!

  32. John Laumen:

    This is an amazing piece of work , great man !!!!!

  33. Giubo Lacamarra:

    Thanks!

  34. Ian Wilson:

    Great job.
    I have one for the JP-08 and JU-06 here.
    http://analoguesque.x10host.com/
    Sorry no JX-03 though.

  35. Tim Rizvanov:

    Thank you! More, the merrier!

  36. Lawrence Vaughan:

    Just masterful. So much work has gone into this.

  37. Ollie Stench:

    AWESOME!!! Thanks for the time and effort you put into this.

  38. Really like these patches! I shared a few of mine on the web editor: https://data.dynareg.se/breadandbutter/JU06.html
    86 My Fingers
    86 Ooh Gee
    86 Special Power

  39. Sunshine:

    August 21st 2017 – Manual is updated to version 0.06C
    Reflecting the DUAL VOICE MODE operations.

  40. Stas Werno:

    Great manual!

    One thing still bugs me though, and seeing it not addressed here either makes me think I’m probably not understanding something quite basic.

    What is the point of the “Restore” folder? Why not copy patch files straight to the “Back Up” folder? What happens to the files placed in the “Restore” folder? Seems far more logical to just have the one folder on the JU-06, unless of course you can switch between patches placed in the “Restore” folder and “Back Up” folder, which I don’t believe I’ve read is possible.

  41. Sunshine:

    @STAS WERNO – That’s a good question. The software side of things is way over my head, and I think the programmers and engineers are Roland might live on another planet. I also think they are kind of overlooked champions too.

    The RESTORE folder is how we tell the Boutique device that “this is what we want to load.”
    Since we don’t get to actually see the contents of the device’s memory, we aren’t able to copy and replace the active contents of the synth, instead we have to more or less load it into a buffer and then instruct our device to perform the operation.

    So the replacing is done once we eject the synth from the computer, and then press the button and tell it to “go!”

    I think that’s the point of it. But it is a curious extra step. I look at it as a positive, there’s always time to change my mind…

    Still, the process of loading and backing up patches is so easy with desktop access that this makes patch sharing and trying a lot more fun than the olden days of hooking up a cassette recorder and pressing play. I’m not sure it’s “better” than a dedicated patch librarian/editor – I used to love Sound Diver, but I really do love all the impetus to get away from my computer, and take it as encouragement to put my eyes and my hands on my synths.

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