The Core Is Getting Soft.7: The Kunst of Kunz


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 ( 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.


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