U-NO 60 plug-in

Okay, JUNO lovers: while we ponder why Roland won’t reissue some of its classic JUNO models, you can get your fix from some very responsive indie developers, at least on Windows.

VST U-NO-60 from Togu Audio Line

Before we get into the specific features of the plug-in itself, let’s talk about the features of the developer: 1.) they’re giving this gem away free, 2.) they’re getting involved with the community of people actually using it, who have already created some terrific demos of its sound capabilities, and 3.) they’re very responsive to user comments. Best of all, they’ve done what seems to be a really terrific job.

Sasa writes us:

“Check this plugin out, sounds incredible and it’s free. The developer responds incredibly fast to people’s comments. See this thread at KVR:
There are almost daily updates and bugfixes. I think it deserves a place in CDM. Your readers will appreciate it.”

I agree. Now about the plug-in itself: it’s a simplified version of the JUNO, as the name implies, but still with some important features for making it useful, sonically speaking.

  • Six-voice, polyphonic, band-limited oscillators
  • One syncable LFO with five different waveforms

  • 24 dB lowpass filter capable of self-resonance (aka self-oscillation), just like the original, plus a non-resonant high-pass filter
  • ADSR envelopes, smooth cutoff changes (even with MIDI, so I suppose they’re upsampling to audio rate or otherwise smoothing the data), velocity-sensitive filter envelope
  • MIDI learn for everything
  • 20 presets

Not bad for a freebie — not in the least. Give it a go, let us know what happens (sound samples welcome), and if anyone wants to volunteer to port this to Mac, do get in touch.

And Roland, can’t you see we’re starved for synths that either reissue the classic JUNOs or truly incorporate their spirit and not just their color scheme / front-panel layout / logo? Maybe just one short-run JUNO? Do you really want eBay and VSTs to be the only solution?

  • It would be sweet if we could see a Mac port of this … preferably an Universal Binary build.

    I was just wondering the other day … where in the hell are all the cool new synths? I want something that's littered with knobs, and the KORG Radius seems to be the only new thing that's out there that has tons of crap to tweak on it.

  • The RADIAS is nice, but — no new synths other than that?

    What about these?

    Or, from earlier this year, these?

    Or, the one I'd sure love to have, this?

    And don't forget, we have this to look forward to later on.

    Not all the above are shipping yet, but hopefully they will be soon.

    I'd say there are knobs out there, waiting to be tweaked.

  • Oh Peter, you're soo much well informed than I am. That's why I love this place.

  • Adrian Anders

    "It would be sweet if we could see a Mac port of this" – The quitensential Mac software quote…

    Do I even need to start listing all the cool free plugs that Win/Lin(w/WINE) PC users can use that Mac OSX users are unlikely to even touch?

    D.R.E., just pick up a cheap PC box or bootcamp into WinXP sometime. Between all the freebees, FLStudio, Energy XT, z3ta+, etc. there are more than enough reasons to overlook the faults of the Windows OS (with the possible exception of Vista for obvious driver, compatibility, and performance related issues) for the sake of greater flexibility.


  • Hah … already someone starts knocking a NEW Mac user. I just bought a Macbook Pro 2 months ago and already I'm feeling the sting from the Windows fanboys. Sheesh … can't we all just get along? I built my PC … and it's a powerful beast … but I'd rather not use it anymore, just cause I'm tired of Windows. I still occasionally rock it tho …

    Peter, that Orign Synth looks HOT!!!! The Solaris looks pretty sweet too. I wish that I knew someone that had the Roland SH-201 … sure it's cheap and all … but it looks pretty fun. Have you messed around with one yet Peter? Anyone?

  • Hey, I'll say this — that's the kind of pro-Windows argument I like to hear. Enough of the fanboys on the gadget sites. Here at CDM, it's a soft synth throwdown.

    Or, to go even geekier: Mac users, can I get an audio device aggregation?

  • Adrian Anders

    BTW, I'm so not a "fanboy" of windows anymore, as I have flammed on Vista-related issues for the past x-number of months. That being said, I would much rather deal with a flaky OS (in XP) and have an almost infinite number of great & low-cost programs, synths, sequencers, etc. than have a great OS with almost nothing on it (sorry OSX guys)… I mean sure you guys have Logic, Metasynth, and a couple of other exclusives. Aside from that, everything that you guys have is also on the PC side, and often there is a MUCH cheaper PC-only alternative.

    I really hope WINE/Linux matures to the point where almost ALL Windows music software and plugs both free and commercial work 95% bug-free on it. At that point I may just ditch Windows for good… Until then WinXP FTW!


  • Ah good to see KVR get some coverage here on CDM. It has been my home for many years. The forums were started up by the boys at Muse Research who bought us the very cool 'Linux VST host in a rack' hardware Receptor.

    The folks on KVR tend to be a little more PC biased as it attracts a sizeable community from the UK (of the Cubase ilk) but it is great that it attracts the hobbyist soft-synth devs who like to (as with this juno emu) release freebies and get feedback straight from the users to continue developing their skills. I've discovered so many great virtual instruments from KVR so I'm thankful for such a great resource.

  • I thought KVR predated the Muse Research connection, but perhaps that was always the same people and I was mistaken?

    Adrian, not to burst your bubble, but my sense is that WINE is not headed in that direction for audio. And a lot of the PC-exclusive software is exclusive for a reason; i.e., not possible to port.

    That may mean fixing Vista becomes the top priority.

  • I will grab this and have a listen tonight ๐Ÿ™‚ Juno softsynth attempts are usually pretty fun to compare to the original, ranging from amusingly bad to pretty damn good.

    Speaking of amusingly bad…. how about anything Roland has done in the last 10 years? The Juno D was pretty much the nail in the coffin for my faith in the company. I choose to pretend they didnt roll out those SH re-issues. Its just so… sad. Even Alesis managed to knock out an Andromeda whilst slipping so visibly bankrupt. Why cant Roland pool its collective resources and stop making tacky gear with lame stepping digital filters and trading on the quickly expiring credit of the past?

    This is relevant because as of right now, yet another enthusiast has programmed something more interesting based on Roland's heritage then Roland themselves seem to be willing to.

  • I just played with a mini moog and it really sounds dangerous. It makes you feel like the electrical current from the wall is raging through the dials and exploding out the speakers in shards of sound.

    I'm really looking forward to trying this out tonight. I'm going to load up a few vst synths as I've removed them over the last couple months.

    I'm DJing with Dechadance right now using some d16 plugins (303 and 909) and bassline (303 emulator.

    I have this nagging feeling that I may be better off with vinyl and a couple pieces of external hardware.

  • bliss

    Well, there may be a tons and tons of crap to play with on the PC running Windows, but there are at least tons of free stuff to play with on Mac running OS X. The problem with these platform wars talks is that either side only argues from their limited perspectives. The one's that switch, either way, typically have to go through a period of grievance for their old platform, but they get through it, and soon enough the old platform doesn't even matter anymore.

    Yeah, there are some apps on Windows that I'd love to see on a Mac, but 99.9% of the time it's gear lust, nothing more. The stuff I need, free or commercial, already exists for Mac. What PC users consider to be the best apps on their platform, there tends to be an equivalent on the Mac. Except for games. So laff it up PC boys! You definitely have our Mac butts kicked for games, but hardly for much else. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Atari is best! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • It's a pretty neat plug-in, but soundwise I like his Vintager plug-in better.

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