AfroDJMac has released his latest Ableton Live pack (link). This time it’s for the Roland Juno 106. An old friend of mine Jay Serken let me use his 106 in my studio for years. It was eventually stolen. I used save a row of patches each just slightly different than each other. Next I would have Cubase (then on an Atari ST) send patch changes every to the Juno every 16th note. This would emulate an analog sequencer changing CV filter. You can hear the 106 going though various guitar pedals and my Electrocomp-101 on most of my early records.
“Ableton Live Pack of 22 instruments created with the Roland Juno 106 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer. Each instrument was sampled from a custom patch on the Juno 106 and contains 8 macro knobs with its own unique effects to further twist and manipulate this diverse collection of sounds.” – afrodjmac.spinshop.com
Here’s a quick beginner tip that may save you from loosing a sound. If your using hardware and you want to remember what patch you are using label your Ableton clip with the same patch number! Some hardware will respond to a MIDI Program change. In Ableton double click a MIDI clip to enter Clip View and in the Notes section you will see Bank, Sub-Bank and Program. That’s where you can pick and save the corresponding hardware’s patch number.
When I used DR. T’s KCS and a Roland Juno-106 I would create a sound then slightly change it, save it over 16 patch locations and then have DR. T’s cycle through each patch using Program Change messages. With different filter settings saved in each Patch the Juno sounded like a more expensive synth. Imagine old school Depeche Mode arpeggio patterns with filters opening and closing. It was a pain to set up but worth it in the end.
My studio in the early 90s was full of hardware mixers and long patch cable strung all over the place. Before computers with fast CPUs the way to get an original sound was simply plugging hardware boxes into each other. Electrocomp-101 synthesizer into a Boss Pedal into a Korg Digital Delay and so forth. I always felt like a pioneer pushing the equipment to unintended limits.
My favorite trick that I never actually heard anyone else do was something I called the “Wicked 106”. I created 16 slightly different patches on a Roland Juno-106. Next, I would create a 16th note pattern in Dr. Ts KCS. Here’s the trick: I would then put a different Program Change (number) on each of the steps. You never heard a Juno-106 sound so interesting. It really made the 106 sound like a modular going through a step sequencer.
“What most don’t know about the original TR-808, aside from it’s original voices (sounds) there is a “pulse” sound that you can hear when plugging a cable from the ACcent trigger out, it generates a metallic “zap” sound very similar to a Hi Q (sound from the Roland R-8) This sound was used in “Egypt Egypt” and “Funkbox” from Masterdon. THIS IS HOW THE SOUND IS DONE!!!!” – intromix
Do you remember an old hardware trick you used to do?
Sometime around 1996 I was living in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn (actually I was in Midwood). I came home from a European gig to find myself locked out of my apartment. My keys wouldn’t open the door as they did many times before. I quickly realized someone had tried or possibly succeded in breaking in. I called the police and six officers entered my small one bedroom. I was told to remain in the hall. The female officer of the group came and and told me, “It’s not pretty in there. You’re going to be a little upset.”.
That was the understatement of the year. Everything was gone except my DAT (Wikipedia: DAT Recorder) tapes and Electrocomp-101. Now when I mean everything I mean everything. They took my food, underwear, soap and bed too. Gearwise two TB-303’s and a ton of other pieces you would find in a typical 90s techno guy studio were gone including a loved Roland Juno-106. So this morning I smile knowing I’m safe, I have my old tunes on DAT tapes and my Electrocomp is still as large and heavy as ever. Needless to say all my studios since have been armed and alarmed.