1983, Very Basic Midi, 12 oscillator polyphonic analogue synthesizer
Well, where do I start… This is by far the most powerful synthesiser I have ever owned. It is the usual weapon of choice when we have oscilloscope sessions due to it’s massive versatility. Almost every time somebody tweaks this beast they find sounds that are unlike anything I have ever heard the synth make before. Hours of fun and expression, knob tweaking heaven.
It is a very unique sounding bit of kit and capable of a very wide range of sounds. Some of my favourite sounds have been its wondering arpeggios, pads, harps and mellow stringsy stuff, dark portamento acid riffs, huge fat synth basses for old skool, warm subtle controlled bass sounds that would replace a bass guitar in a lot of situations, resonant theraminy sweeps and general noisy modulated messes etc, the potential of this machine is endless.
I have also used the Jupiter for very musical lead sounds, it has the standard Roland pitch bender but with a separate button above for LFO which I find very expressive indeed. Really nice for playing the synth like Dave Gilmour plays a guitar, seriously! You can truly fall in love with the tender side of this synthesizer.
Tuning is stable enough though I have to remember to hit the tune button before recording parts as sometimes an oscillator will wonder off course. You can actually hit the tune button via midi apparently, ideal if it is being run as part of a live sequence.
The arpeggiator is excellent and is often the inspiration for a riff. I recreate the arpeggio manually in Cubase to replace the Jupiters arpeggio but do the same job, this ensures the notes are tight and start in the right place etc. I can then record the whole take in audio while tweaking the synth if required.
The Jupiter 6 does have a MIDI input but the idea of MIDI protocol was so new at the time they hadn’t even included a method of selecting the receive channel. I have a channel filter box on the incoming MIDI to knock out all other channels except the desired channel 14 for controlling this synth. Pitch bend/modulation control are not supported either. This doesn’t bother me at all as most of the parts I use are either played entirely live or sequenced and tweaked live.