The Jupiter 6 was one of Roland's last truly analogue polysynth.

Launched (presumably) as a budget Jupiter 8, it had many of the features of the JP8 including two oscillators, noise generator, a versatile multi-mode filter, envelopes and two LFOs (one simple vibrato LFO and another, more comprehensive LFO for PWM, filter sweeps, etc.). It also had an arpeggiator and could manage simple keyboard splits and layering

It appeared on the market just as MIDI emerged and it had the now ubiquitous 5-pin DINs on the back. However, its MIDI implementation was pretty poor (though you could get an upgrade from Roland at the time).

However, it also appeared on the market at around the same time as the DX7 and that was to sound the death knell for the Jupiter 6!

The Jupiter 6 was a nice synth - from my limited experience with it, the Jupiter 6 sounded good and was relatively easy to use but its 6 voices and its then 'old fashioned' sound were not enough to compete with the 16-voice DX7 with its sparkling new FM electric pianos, marimbas, vibes and so on. The JP6 also lacked a velocity sensitive keyboard (which was a compelling feature of the DX7) and, to top it all, it was quite a bit more expensive than the DX7! Hardly any wonder that the JP6 was not the success Roland had anticipated!

Of course, now the JP6 is seen as a bargain - it does most of what a Jupiter 8 can do (although some claim it doesn't sound quite the same) but without the reverential price tag.

The Nostalgia JP6 sound was multi-sampled with the Jupiter 6 in 'unison' mode (i.e. all 12 oscillators stacked on top of each other with detune) and the result is truly thick and glorious string/pad sound that works well in any number of circumstances and musical styles.

Samples kindly donated by Jon Katz