November 13, 2012

Roland Alpha Juno

If you take a look at old technologies that have sort of morphed into new devices according to present day demands – the camera stands out the most.  Thirty years ago instant cameras were the new thing in town.  Polaroid pictures were looked at like the future of photography.  But if you fast forward to today, you’ll have a hard time finding one of these on the shelves at the store.  That’s because technology and consumers together have fundamentally dictated the future of photography, leaving some of these old technology in the dust.  Roland’s ventures in the synthesizer market have seemed to take a similar route.

The Roland Alpha Juno, which was produced in 1985, works using simple architecture and was known for producing some great sounds due to the uses of analog filters and chorus effects.  If you look at Roland today, they still produce keyboards like the Jupiter-80 synthesizer – but these modern renditions function more like a computer than a traditional synthesizer.  In a sense, they have added too much functionality and have taken away from the very basic requirements that make up a good synthesizer.  This is not to say that Roland isn’t advancing through the industry, it’s just that the industry is doing more to shape Roland than the other way around.