Roland has produced a very small run of limited-edition versions of their Juno-DS and FA-06 synthesizers. These “Black Edition” synths have all-black keys and come in small numbers. When they’ve gone, they’ve gone!
The Black Edition is only available on the 61 key version. The Juno-DS comes with more than 1200 preset sounds and 30 drum kits. There’s room for 256 user patches, 8 drum kits and you can create up to 128 performance patches. You can expand the sounds via a virtual Wave Expansion slot and free sounds are available from the Roland Axial website. You can also import your own samples. There are 8 Phrase pads for triggering samples or any other audio files from a USB flash drive.
For sequencing, there’s an 8-track pattern sequencer with continuous looping for getting ideas down fast. You can add some vocals using the microphone input with has some cool reverb, vocoder and pitch effects for when you are singing alongside.
The Juno-DS can act as a MIDI and audio interface to your DAW so it can easily be a one-stop workstation, synthesizer and controller solution.
The FA-06 is a music synthesizer and workstation with over 2000 Integra-7 sounds including SuperNATURAL synth and acoustic tones. The sound library is expandable just like the Juno-DS. But the FA-06 goes much further in almost every respect. The sequencing is 16 tracks with continuous looping and your tracks can be exported to SD cards as multi-track or stereo mixes. It has a full-on sampler built-in based on the SP-404SX and gives you 16 pads and 4 banks to bash away on using samples recorded to and played back from the SD cards.
There are 16 independent MFX engines, 6 compressors and EQ for drums, unique Total Effects, and a load of global effects. On the front panel there 6 assignable knobs that can be mapped to tones or effects or for MIDI control into your DAW. And don’t forget the D-Beam for some hand-waving performance action. When used as an audio interface for your DAW you also get guitar, microphone and line-level inputs.
The FA-06 is a very neat and comprehensive workstation solution with some great connectivity.
- The Juno-DS 61B is available here for €699 (affiliate link).
- The FA-06B is available here for €1049 (affiliate link).
- Roland Juno-DS 61B: Roland
- Roland FA-06B: Roland