A quick look at ebay tells me that a used Roland Juno 60 can run you in the neighborhood of $550 to $1,195. If you’re really lucky, you can pick one up that was used on tour by Ministry, with their own presets still intact! I once considered purchasing a used Juno 60 at a basement shop in Boston’s Kenmore Square circa 1996 because I’d recently enjoyed using one owned by the studio where Folk Implosion recorded the Kids soundtrack. I can’t remember how much it was, but I decided I couldn’t afford it, or perhaps that I would be repeating myself.
About a year ago, I read that this software designer named Patrick Kunz had made a free emulation of a Juno 60 called the TAL-U-No-6o that people seemed to like. I downloaded it and thought it didn’t sound much like the Juno 60 I remember using. It sounded thin, and didn’t have the brutally fast attack at the bottom end I was hoping to find again. I never recorded anything with it.
So when I read that TAL (http://kunz.corrupt.ch/Products) had come out with a new payware product called the TAL-U-No-LX (currently on sale for $40, regular price $60) that was supposed to be a significant upgrade over the free offering, I was skeptical. But after wallowing in the pit of quicksand that is officially known as Gearslutz, enough people swore it was “a completely different thing” that I downloaded the demo for this latest offering.
Never doubt a Gearslut. This is a completely different thing. It hits hard on the low end and behaves – or misbehaves – much like what I remember using back in 1995. My only regret was that I didn’t buy it right away, cuz I made several sounds while playing with the demo that I couldn’t save until I had purchased a license, and then I couldn’t quite recapture those sounds.
I went on to check out TAL’s second new payware product, an emulation of a Roland SH-101, and picked that up too, for again the princely sum of $40. Again, this is a synthesizer I had used in a studio that I never owned. (You can hear it on Pole Position and Wide Web from Dare To Be Surprised.) Again, TAL had previously released a freeware version that didn’t do much for me, called TAL Bass Line. Again, this payware version is “a totally different thing,” and a total blast to use. Highly recommended.
Sometimes you get (more than) what you pay for. Both instruments can be had for $20 off the regular $60 price for 2 months after their release, which I think was about a month or so ago. Meanwhile, I just saw vintage SH-101’s on ebay for $980 and $999. I guess I might actually be able to learn to play one of these things now that I can use them on a regular basis here at the home office.