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Rating and Reviews: Roland JUNO-Gi Keyboard

Compose and capture your songs with the JUNO-Gi keyboard's 8-track digital recorder, over 1,300 sounds and reliable Roland construction.

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"More than I'll probably ever use." submitted March 18, 2012

By Boyd Martin in San Diego, CA
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Musical Background: Professional musician for 35 years, touring and studio, mainly drums, some bass, some keyboards.
Music Style: Blues, soul, old school R&B when on tour. "New age" or "yoga groove" for composing.
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Overall: I bought this unit for composing music in the studio, and I've been very impressed with the versatility and potential of this key-synth. It interfaces seamlessly with my Alesis drumkit and my PC, with over a thousand onboard sounds, and ways of combining and altering them. This is an instrument that really gets the creative juices flowing! If there's a weakness at all it's in the percussion sounds area, but since I've got a kit and a PC to interface with, it's not a problem. It's strength is in the solid consistency of the sound patches, and the creative ways to alter them--it's pretty much endless. For the price, this unit exceeds my expectations.
9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Absolutely no regrets." submitted June 7, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Student and Hobbyist
Music Style: Ambient
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Sound: The number of live sets on this instrument will take forever to get familiar with. But the preview button will give you a good, brief feel of each tone offered. Needless to say, it'll be awhile before you run out of things to discover. Feature: The split/layer feature offers near endless tone customization. The D Beam makes for a much more unique experience. I was afraid my 2 tier keyboard stand would constantly set it off, however the D Beam sensitivity can be adjusted. Ease of Use: The keyboard is as complex as you are. If you are a beginner, it offers a very straightforward experience. But if you like to dig deeper for a more custom sound, it has plenty of advanced settings to modify. The 8 track recorder is solid, however editing recorded music isn't as smooth as it could be. Quality: I have no doubt that this keyboard will last me for quite a long time. As long as it is treated properly, it will hold up well. The keyboard arrived with no noticeable flaws or blemishes, and was packaged solidly. Value: For all the features this keyboard offers, it is an amazing value. But I would only recommend it if you can picture yourself using those features. If you don't think you'll ever use the 8-track recorder, for example, you might find a better value elsewhere. For my needs, it was everything I wanted at an amazing deal. Manufacturer Support: No service has been needed so far. The Wow Factor: The second I became familiar with the Roland JUNO series, I immediately knew I would have one someday. And when the new Gi model was announced, I had sleepless nights just thinking about owning it. It is literally a dream come true for me. Overall: This keyboard, treated responsibly, could last the rest of my life. It offers everything I need now, and for the foreseeable future. Rarely do I spend 4 figures on a single item. This is the only time I have absolutely no regrets.
26 of 27 people (96.3%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Best synth at this price range!!" submitted September 24, 2012

By hari kurup
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Musical Background: Serious amateur!
Music Style: All tyes
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Overall: Wow! this synth keyboard is a bomb!! It is packed with superb synth and Fx sounds. The traditional EP, and Grand Piano sounds are also good. The Special Live Sets are really constructed by the Roland Team after a lot of thought. I appreciate the sound engine too. The build quality is okay, though i feel the knobs are too flimsy - to be delicately handled, please! Now, the key question - which is the best at this price range? I have worked extensively on the Yamaha PSR S 710 and 910 series, and on the Roland Juno Gi. Juno Gi is definitely the better of these. It also depends on what type of sounds you prefer. Roland is the best when it comes to synth sounds and pads. However, acoustic sounds guitar shine thru in the Yamaha workstations. But that said, Juno Gi is the perfect pick for a person who is into funky, contemporary sounds.
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"Super Power In A Small Package!!!" submitted December 25, 2011

By a customer from cfl.rr.com
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Musical Background: 30 years self taught. I play keyboards and piano. I play professionally.
Music Style: Pop, Rock, Country, Classical, Christian, Electronic.
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Sound: I have always been an avid fan of Roland keyboard products. I have owned various Roland keyboards over the years and the Juno Gi fits right into the mix. It has a lot of reproduction sounds from various past synths including the Jupiter-8, the classic Juno analogs, and the XP and JV series. The sound quality is broad as the instrument has over 1300 customizable sounds and along with the built-in effects processor it rocks. I like the fact that many of the sounds in the Gi were derived and updated from the XP via Rolands new sound engine and live sets. I own both the Roland XP-80 and the JV-1000 so I do not have to lug both of these around with me since many of the sounds from these instruments are available in the Gi which is a light and compact synth. Feature: The most useful features in the Gi include the digital recorder, large display, customizable arpeggiator, and eq. The least useful features are in inability to record directly to the USB thumb drive. Although, coupled with the included Cakewalk Sonar X1 LE DAW, I have found a way around this. I first lay down tracks in the digital recorder, then record them into Sonar where I can put the song parts together into a finished sequence on the PC and then transfer it back to the digital song player on the Gi. Through the Gi's midi/USB interface, the connection to the PC has been seamless. Ease of Use: For the first time in Roland's history, I have to say that the owner and instructor manuals were easy to read, follow, and understand. Having owned Roland products in the past this was the least favorite part of the process in getting to know how the instrument really functions. Like all new, unfamiliar products, there is always a learning curve, but somehow, Roland put the buttons and knobs in all the right places on this one. It is extremely easy to use. I have to admit I was shocked by how small the keyboard looks compared to the one's I currently own and owned in the past. I first thought it looked like a toy until I fired it up the first time and heard the sounds. The sound is what convinced me. Quality: While the housing of the Gi is plastic I feel that it will hold up for quite a while just so long as it is gently used and not abused. The buttons and knobs feel like the real deal back from the days of owning a Jupiter 8. I know, I know, I am kicking my own butt for having ever gotten rid of it, so let's not go there. I still shed crocodile tears over that one but when times are hard, you have got to do what you have got to do. Value: I do not feel that the digital recorder in the Gi is worth approximately $400 more than the Di which is basically the same instrument just lacking the recorder. However, because I have always stood behind and believed in Roland products and as mentioned above, the quality of the product is well worth the extra $400.00. Manufacturer Support: I have never had to deal with Roland Support because they have always made top quality instruments. I have never had any problems with any of their products and I do not forsee having one with the Gi. The Wow Factor: Having owned a Juno-106 previously, I wanted to introduce the classic, rich sounds of the Gi back into my mix. This is doable through the Gi because you can layer up to 4 sounds to get that fat, "almost" analog sound back that was so popular throughout the 1980s. Because many of the number one hits of the 1980s used the Jupiter 8, you, or at least I can nearly always pick out the Roland sound from any song. That fat analog sound is what Roland is all about and the Gi sound is really close. Overall: I expect to be satisfied with the Gi indefinitely. I do plan to update my current rig with the Fantom G-8 and Jupiter-80 in the very near future but I will keep the Gi in the current line up as well. If the Gi were lost or stolen, I would replace it.
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"As a recording tool it's a good keyboard and with practiced moves (engineering wise and running the functions) it could be okay" submitted September 28, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Pro "part time"
Music Style: everything but rap
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Sound: It's hard for me to give a "10" to anything less than perfection but all in all the sounds are abundant and cool in this keyboard, after touch would have been nice on this one and I am surprised they did not throw that one in. On the subject of the "piano", even though there are at least a hundred or more different types of piano's, the basic grand piano lacks luster and the richness of a "grand piano" acoustic or electronic. When buried in a multi-track recording it's fine but as a stand alone, it has issues. Compared to my Yamaha ypg series the grand piano sound comes up way short. Feature: You will love the guitar effects, plugging your axe into the keyboard gives you a small but power packed array of guitar voices your sure to love. As well as the guitar voices available in the keyboard itself, they are pretty good most of them. One other issue that seems to be a pain is the slider's in the record section, even though they are billed as "great", this is not true. They are very sensitive and the travel they offer (up/down) makes making small adjustments in the mix challenging. Ease of Use: One of the major problems with this keyboard using it in the "midi" mode is especially using the drum section can be challenging. Since the "drum machine" portion of this keyboard is based in the recorder section, using midi to control it, create's channel and communication problems. I have repeatedly tried to get it sync'd up to my Roland VS 1824 and using the Gi as a slave simply won't work. At least for the drums. When using the keyboard plugged "usb" into my computer, the midi does work fine (except for the drums section). Quality: This is a solid feeling keyboard and gives you the sense that it's made well. The key's respond well but they are not weighted and so it play's like a keyboard/controller and not a piano. I would gig with this but not without my Yamaha along for the grand piano sound. The usb player/memory section works okay, it's a bit tricky matching up the volumes with the usb section verses the keyboard section, so playing live along with the usb section because of differing levels in midi and recorded tracks is going to be a bit tricky (sort of a sound check for each tune played live) and that will be annoying to the crowd. Overall: When taken as a whole, the Gi is a good keyboard and the amount of voices and the fact that there are so many is partially what attracted me to it. I have used a bunch of them working on my new album. That being said the size of the keyboard 61 keys (all I could afford) the midi issues with the drum section (embedded in the recording section) and the volume issues between the usb player and the live keyboard make it not a viable performance keyboard that I was hoping for. So no I would not sell it but if given the opportunity to do it again, I would probably save up and buy the fantom instead. I have tried to keep my review to the Gi on the things that bug me about this keyboard but overall I like it...
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"Does the job on the road, in studio, and then some!" submitted February 8, 2013

By Dan Howell in Colorado Springs, CO
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Musical Background: Piano/ keyboards. 30 years (on and off)
Music Style: Rock
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Overall: Really appreciate the flexibility this instrument delivers. Is a perfect companion to my stage piano and Ax. I play two piano solos live backed my multi-track recordings I've composed within the unit. It is by far the best in class with its features and benefits at the price. Only minor drawback is I personally find it a bit cumbersome to navagate betweens sounds live, but that is a nominal negative. I've married it up with the Gator case on the road. Roland and Zzounds keeps it rockin'- Dragontowndan
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"The Juno Gi simply rocks, for what I need it for!" submitted June 25, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Been playing multiple instruments and recording over 30 years
Music Style: All kinds of music
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: First I will preface this with saying I don't rate anything at a 10. That being said the sound (sound engine) and the sounds (voices) in this keyboard are incredible and so many to choose from. The first time I plugged this in I reviewed the piano voices and holy cow there are are like 123 piano voices alone, from strait grand piano to Elec piano and the way they set this up is with so many variations, once you find your favorites you can program them into your favorites bank and in a couple of buttons get right to them, so they are very usable. That also being said Roland makes a great sounding grand piano but if you are a purest there are fuller and better sounding grand piano's out there. In my opinion my Yamaha ypg625 has one of the best sounding electronic grands out there. That being said everything else about the Roland simply rocks. Bottom line, the capabilities in this keyboard make it a perfect keyboard for studio or live playing, recording to your PC/lap, building custom sounds and the 8 track recorder far outstretches anything I have had the pleasure of recording on in a keyboard in a digital format. Feature: The features go on and on in this keyboard, since they are already listed in it's sales page I won't bore you with all the details. Performance and recording wise all the advertised features work as advertised and they are very user friendly, in addition the manual (not always the case for other Roland products) is intuitive and easy to navigate through. Ease of Use: Plugging the Gi into your lap top and using the included cakewalk/sonar le software is seamless (really I mean this) I spent several years with (an earlier version) Sonar with other keyboards/instruments and hardware (PC sound cards etc...) and was always running into hardware vrs software config problems. As soon as you plug the Gi into your computer it's pure digital bliss, they work great together. If you are familiar with Roland products (and keyboards in general) the learning curve is not to bad, like i said it's pretty intuitive but if your not it may take you a short while but it's worth the effort... Play ability on the Gi is a mixed bag, I have been and do play and own full sized keyboards and it's nice having the keys to do the little tricks and fun runs but that being said they did add a nice active button right on the panel for octave up and down and that helps for certain tunes that don't fit in the 61 keys limitations. Overall finding and playing the myriad of sounds on this is really pretty easy, however if they had included a # pad it would have been even easier. Quality: I would say this keyboard is made well and it came packaged very well, I really like how they included a bunch of active sliders/buttons/knobs to interface with the functions in this keyboard most especially the recorder. I would gig with this without worry of a backup but then I usually gig with more than one keyboard. Compared to my other keyboards I own and have owned I really like the fact that this is so lightweight. Value: It never ceases to amaze me how technology comes out and at first is usually too expensive for most of us to purchase. Then after a few years the competition drives the prices down (thank God for America and free enterprise). That being said this Gi is way worth it's purchase price and compared to other keyboards I have owned and own, the features far outweigh others I have purchased for more money. For quite a while I was lusting after the Yamaha MO8 but in a side by side comparison I think the Roland simply has it beat. Manufacturer Support: Of all the Roland products I have owned I have never had to contact them. I will say this about Zzounds though, I just love their program where you can make 4 separate payments, it gives those of us who don't have cash just lying around to purchase our gear an opportunity to play now and pay as we go. Thanks Zzounds! The Wow Factor: It's a good looking keyboard overall Overall: There are so many amazing things about this keyboard and one of the reasons I chose it is to be able to load up the thousands of midi files I have and use them in my live performances and play along for a more fuller solo show. With the sonar software it's easy to strip out a keyboard part in a midi file and play along and the addition of a mic/guitar (jack in back) makes it so much better to do small shows and also not to have to haul around so much gear. If I were looking for any other features to add to this keyboard It would be more keys...
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"Awesome toy" submitted April 3, 2014

By Vivaldi 789
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Overall: I am really happy with the JunoGi. It has plenty of sounds for all genres and artists. The only down side to the Juno is that it doesn't have auto accompaniment tracks, just drum beats. Which I knew that going in, but still would be nice to have. Guess I'll have to get the Roland BK for that.
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"Great product. Great value." submitted August 8, 2011

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist. Perpetual novice.
Music Style: Blues. Rock.
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Sound: The pianos, both acoustic and electric, sound fantastic to my ears. Even my wife says that the "88 Key Grand" sounds very good. Organs? Eh, not so much. Still, there are LOTS of usable sounds in this thing. I read a ton of reviews on a ton of keyboards and one of the common characteristics of the better 'boards was that it spurred creativity, and in the brief time I've been able to mess around with this thing, I've gotten about a million song ideas. Feature: For me, this product is ideal. I travel frequently, and the 8 track digital recorder allows me to lay down tracks wherever I am. This thing and a mic (and maybe a guitar, if you can swing it) and you've got a pretty robust recording capability. If you don't have a need for the recorder there are probably better options for you in this price range, but again, for me and my purposes, it's ideal. Ease of Use: There IS a bit of a learning curve, but I've figured out the basics with some fooling around, so it can't be that hard. Quality: Some of the knobs seem a little flimsy. I'll have to be very careful with this thing. I think a hardshell case is in my future. Value: Purchased a "Blem" from Zzounds! Awesome! Manufacturer Support: Haven't needed it. The Wow Factor: Looks cool. Does things other 'boards don't. Overall: I'll be happy with this keyboard for the forseeable future. I'm a guitarist, but I wanted to expand my sound library in my home recording studio. It can also function as a midi controller, so as long as the 'board holds up, I can add soft-synth sounds.
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"Good but not great." submitted June 10, 2012

By E. Smith in Chicago, IL
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Musical Background: I've been playing guitar for over 25 years and beginner pianist. Looking to form a band...
Music Style: R&B; funk; hip-hop; blues; rock; metal & progressive rock.
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Sound: I must say I was a little disappointed with the overall sound quality of the Roland Juno Gi; especially given Roland's reputation. The bass were buzzy & didn't have a lot of low end "thump". Also, some of the audio was inaudiable. The brass had a lot of hissing & static in it. I'm a tone snob, I prefer the analog sounds of the "synths" from the past. With the thousands of sounds available I only found a handful that suited me. But, I must say compared to the much hyped Korg M50, the Juno Gi sounds much better. Feature: I'm not that knowledgeable when it comes to computer/electronic music, but the digital recorder is the Juno Gi's best feature. It allows you to record new ideas without too much effort. I like the fact that you can record vocals & guitar. It's not great but I think this ability separates the Juno Gi from other workstations. The guitar effects & the amp modeling selections are horrible. I'm a guitar player, there's nothing like good old fashioned stomp boxes. They definitely could improve on this. Ease of Use: I'm still trying to discover how to get great sounds out of my Juno Gi. This is the first synthesizer/workstation I've ever owned, so I have a lot to learn. But, obviously I haven't found this feature extremely easy. It's very to layer & split sounds, but I'm still trying to learn how to tweak and shape the sounds I want to hear. Quality: I read a lot negative reviews criticizing the durability of the Juno Gi, but I'm completely satisfied. One said that the sliders, knobs & buttons were flimsy. Well, I'm not heavy handed & I try to take care of my merchandise; so this isn't a problem for me. I also read a couple saying that the keys were too stiff, not springy enough & didn't have after touch. The only fault that I have with the Juno Gi's keys are that they are too small. None of today's keyboards/synthesizer can hold a candle to the vintage synths of yesteryear. The keyboards from the past were more solid & built to last. Today's boards are made from cheap plastic. Value: This is my first synthesizer/workstation that I've purchased, will it be my last? I can't say. But since I'm a beginner, I did a lot of research on other comparable workstations and I feel like I made the best decision. Manufacturer Support: So far I haven't had to deal with Roland and hopefully I never will. Unless they want me to endorse some their products :D! The Wow Factor: I have always been a fan of Roland keyboards and synthesizers. Does the Juno Gi compare to the Jupiter 4 or Jupiter 8? No! But compared to the more hyped Korg M50, I think the Juno Gi sounds 100% better. Overall: To begin with, I'm a guitar player. Therefore, I'm not well versed in the world of computer/electronic music. In fact, I'm just learning how to play the piano & keyboards. That being said, I've been playing guitar for 25 years and I discovered that I'm a much better keyboard player than guitar player. Learning to play piano is a whole lot easier than guitar. The Roland Juno Gi is the first synthesizer I ever played or owned. I had a tough time trying to decide to purchase the Juno Gi or the Korg M50. I did a lot of research. Thanks to YouTube and a visit to Guitar Center (I will never purchase from G.C. ever again!), I was able to make my final decision. Although the Korg M50 was more highly touted, I liked the Juno Gi better. The sounds of today's synths aren't that great (you'd think with today's technology the sound synthesis would be much better), but the Juno Gi's blows the Korg M50 out of the water. The only advantage the M50 has over the Juno Gi is the LED touchscreen and maybe it's sequencer; but with the Juno Gi's digital recorder and the ability to record vocals/guitars make the Juno Gi the winner in my opinion. There's many rhythm & drum sounds to choose from, but I wish you could have more control over them other than in the recording mode.
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