Roland has released the famed Chorus effect of the JUNO-60 as a software plug-in through Roland Cloud. Is it better than the various Juno chorus plug-ins already out there? You’ll have to decide for yourself. If you’re not a Roland Cloud Ultimate subscriber, it’s certainly the most expensive.
Roland JUNO-60 Chorus
The built-in chorus effect of the original Roland Juno series synthesizers of the early 1980s has a lot of fans. With just two buttons to unlock three distinct flavors of lush analog modulation, it was delightfully simple, which is one of the main reasons why it’s still cherished to this date. Several software developers have modeled the effect, most notably TAL (free!) and Arturia, and it also served as an inspiration for other plug-ins like Baby Audio Magic Switch and J_No Chorus (both free), not to mention pedals like Analog Chorus 60 and TC Electronic June-60.
This means that Roland’s own software recreation of the effect, the newly released JUNO-60 Chorus plug-in, is a bit late to the party. If you’re into the Juno Chorus sound, you’ve probably already got a plug-in that delivers it. And both TAL and Arturia have added features that the original didn’t offer: TAL-CHORUS-LX allows you to adjust the stereo width, while Arturia’s Chorus JUN-6 offers full control over the rate, depth, and phase. What does the Roland JUNO-60 Chorus plug-in have going for it, other than coming from Roland itself?
Not surprisingly, Roland says that “each of the three chorus modes is modeled in meticulous detail”. The plug-in has three buttons for activating the two modes I and II, plus the third “secret” setting that resulted from pressing both buttons simultaneously. Roland has expanded upon the original functionality by adding a slider that allows you to adjust the noise level, so you can dial in just how “vintage” you want the chorus to sound. There’s also a dry/wet mix slider and an output level control.
With an effect as simple as this, there’s only so much you can do to improve it. This means that it’ll come down to how accurate of an emulation it is. Roland’s emulations of its classic synths are pretty spot on, so we can expect the plug-in to sound very good. Good enough to beat TAL and Arturia and justify the high price (if you’re not a subscriber)? That’s up to you to decide.
Price and compatibility
Roland JUNO-60 Chorus is now available through Roland Cloud as part of the Ultimate subscription level. This means that you’ll receive it for free if you’re already an Ultimate subscriber. If you aren’t, you can purchase a lifetime key for USD 99. At that price, it better be pretty darn awesome.
The plug-in runs on macOS 10.15 or higher and Windows 10 or higher in VST3, AU and AAX formats (no AAX on Windows 11).