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Rating and Reviews: Roland JUNO DS-61 Synth

This under-12-pound synth gives you 61 keys and fast access to 1500+ patches, including the JUNO-Di soundset. Add your own samples on a USB stick!

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"Well worth the price!" submitted November 6, 2015

By William Blanchard in Phoenix, NY
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Musical Background: Professional musician/recording artist
Music Style: All styles
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
VERIFIED BUYER
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Sound: Fantastic sounds on this board, especially the organs. I mean really WOW on the organs, they are fantastic! This board has some really nice vintage sounds on it as well. Decent clavs and 'moogish' sounding leads make it a lot of fun to play. Roland already has 3 new sound packs that you download (for free) for this board as well. Feature: I plugged a microphone into it last night at band practice and I have to say that the built in reverb/delay for the mix through vocals is quite nice. I only played with the vocoder feature for a short time but it sounded pretty awesome. My band mates were super impressed with that. I LOVE the usb stick memory feature. So much easier than saving to tape like on my Juno-60. :p Ease of Use: I don't anticipate having to tweak this board much. There are a boatload of very useful sounds in this thing. The 'Favorites' feature will definitely come in handy, I just have to get used to using that part. Moving from one sound directly to another intended sound should be easier once I master that. Editing can be as expected for a non-touch screen keyboard. It's a lot like programming the Korg Triton-Le; a lot of cursor moves here and there but you can get the job done. I have yet to work with USB/PC sound editor yet. I downloaded it and installed it but haven't fired it up yet. Quality: It is built quite well which is very surprising for being such a lightweight keyboard (only 11 lbs.). The sliders and faders are really good quality and don't feel cheap. The only downside is the key bed. It feels like the keys are a tad bit 'shorter' than most and they have a shorter depth of 'key press' but in some odd way it 'feels' okay with most of the sounds. Value: WELL worth the value. This board is great for live performances and it would be very useful in the studio as well. The USB out also allows to be a DAW controller which you can specify your DAW software in the utilities section of the board (very nice). Manufacturer Support: I have dealt with Roland support many years ago with my old D-20 and they were decent back then. I just hope I don't really have to find out how good or bad they are now. The Wow Factor: WOW on the earlier than expected delivery and awesome service from Zzounds (my wife is becoming increasingly suspicious of my love for Zzounds as each day passes). Wow on the organ patches! And a big WOW on how cool this keyboard looks! The touch pads light up and you can even change the default colors on them in the settings. This thing looks pretty cool in a dim room so I imagine it will look awesome on stage as well. Overall: I've been a fan of the Roland Juno line for many years now. I've owned three Juno boards and I still have my 1982 Juno-60 in perfect working condition. I pre-ordered this board from Zzounds sight unseen (literally) just based on my prior experiences with the Juno line of keyboards. When I ordered the Juno DS there really wasn't much out there in YouTube land to look at or listen to as far as demos go so I took a chance. I'm happy of the choice I made taking that chance. This board does not disappoint. At the time of writing this review I've only had the board less than 24 hours (two days earlier than predicted by Zzounds - Yay Zzounds!!!) but I am pretty impressed with what I see it can do so far.
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"Roland juno ds-61" submitted November 14, 2015

By Bill Sykes in Manchester, NH
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Overall: Roland has a real winner here. I had the juno di which was good but the juno ds is a better improvement. The controls are on the left side which I like better. the pads button are nice. they included more new organs which sound excellent. and there is a few more added sounds which also sound excellent.also you can get the EXP1+2 and so on from the roland website to download for more great sounds. it's also lighter than the di. the 8 track sequencer is easy to use. and you also have a vocoder which allows you to select different waveforms to vocode. well worth $700
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