If you have already read the history of the Roland MKS50 elsewhere on the site, there's not much to say about the Roland Alpha Juno 2.

It followed on the tradition of the Juno series by offering a single DCO (digitally controlled oscillator) into a filter into an output amplifier with a simple LFO and envelope for control duties. Across the outputs was a chorus unit to beef the sound up.

However, the single oscillator could generate several octaves at once and had a rich and powerful PWM that could be used to fatten the sound quite considerably. Of course, it also had the crisp and punchy filters that the Junos were favoured for and that chorus unit helped give the thing a real richness that even some true two oscillator synths had trouble competing with!

The Alpha Juno 2 was (not surprisingly!) the successor to the Alpha Juno 1 but simply added an extra octave to the velocity sensitive keyboard - nothing else significant was added to the synth's specs.

If the Alpha Juno series had one failing it was its compromised user interface. Whereas previous Junos had a panel full of logically laid out sliders, sound editing/creation on the Alphas was achieved using parameter access and those parameter values were set using the 'Alpha wheel' (a data knob to you and me!). It was all a bit tedious compared with the immediacy of the previous Junos' panels. That said, the parameter access system did help get costs down making it more affordable especially for people who were new to synths and who were maybe a bit reluctant to do much in the way of editing - anyone who wanted to get their hands dirty with some serious knob twiddling could always buy the optional PG300 programmer.

I am extremely grateful to Greg Thomas, a singer/sogwriter and drummer who has meticulously sampled these sounds from his own Alpha Juno 2.

You can check out Greg's musical activities at and also You can also check out Greg's contribution to the Akai MPC1000 on-line sound library at Akai's International website.