Roland Jupiter-6


The Roland Jupiter 6 is a 6 voice polyphonic analog synthesizer that was made from 1983 until 1985. While the Jupiter 8 offers more voices, the Jupiter 6 boasts primitive MIDI control and the ability to assign all 12 oscillators to one monotimbral sound (as well as split the oscillators into groups).

The Jupiter 6 uses two VCOs per each of its six voices. VCO 1 can produce sawtooth, triangle, square, and pulse waveforms, while VCO 2 swaps the square wave for a noise generator. A mixer panel allows blending of the two VCOs. Also unlike the Jupiter 8, the JP-6 lets you select multiple waveforms on each oscillator at the same time. The resonant analog multimode filter can be set to a 24 dB/octave lowpass or highpass option or a 12dB/octave bandpass mode. The cutoff can be controlled using either one of two ADSR envelope generators.

While the Jupiter 6 lacks onboard effects, it did come with two glide modes (portamento and glissando), an arpegiator, and a 48 patch memory. While the MIDI system can perform basic functions like triggering notes, it cannot sync to external MIDI clock. Aftermarket modifications exist that remedy this. The 61 key keyboard, like the rest of Roland’s early 80s offerings, lacks velocity sensitivity and aftertouch.

The Jupiter 6 has become one of the most iconic synthesizers of all time, and as a result its price tag is several thousand dollars. While Roland has reproduced the unit digitally in plugin and tabletop boutique module formats, fans say there’s no recreating the lush character and warble of the original JP-6.

Technical Specifications

Year of release: 1983 Polyphony: 6
Oscillators: 2 VCOs per voice Modular: No
Multitimbral Parts: 2 Filter: 1 multimode VCF
Format: Synthesizer Keys: 61
Effects: None Control: MIDI


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Roland Jupiter-6