Roland Alpha Juno-1, Alpha Juno-2, and MKS-50 Editors Now in Patch Base

by Chadwick Wood •  January 17th, 2020

"Simple and classic" is how I would describe the Roland Alpha Junos. Like the Korg DW-8000, they don't have too many moving parts: your standard subtractive synth setup, and with only a single envelope and a single LFO. Not a lot of modulation capabilities. But the sound of the oscillators and the resonant low-pass filter give you a classic Roland sound, and the minimal parameters let you quickly explore a lot of different sonic spaces. You can get round and punchy basses, hollow leads, and soft pads all with ease. And everything sounds sweeter with the Chorus turned on; it's a Juno.

Roland Alpha Juno-1 Editor

The MKS-50 (photographed above by Lauren Slusher) is the same inside as the Alpha Junos, but with a little more in terms of performance setups, utilizing the weird "Patch" structure that Roland also used in the D-110, which is like a precursor to the idea of "Performances". But that aside, you've got the same sound capabilities as the Alpha Juno keyboards.

Roland MKS-50 Editor

Patch Base gives you quick and easy control over all of the sound parameters inside these synths; no menu-diving or wheel-jogging required.

Thanks again to Stefan George for lending me his Roland MKS-50 for development work, and Cody Johnson for his Roland HS-10 (an Alpha Juno-1 in different clothing).