While the musical gear available a few decades ago made it a bit uncomfortable for musicians to reach their various gig destinations, today’s market offers lots of musical instruments and pieces of equipment that provide even on-the-road musicians with convenience.
Synthesizers have undergone various enhancements since their invention and have now come to feature relatively compact and lightweight designs. Whether you’re a music producer or just a casual musician, the Roland Juno DS88 Synthesizer is worth considering.
The unit comes packed with a set of noteworthy features, yet provides users with a simple and easy operation. What’s more, it makes a good choice even for musicians on the move.
The purpose of such a product is to enable users to create music or play well-known songs in high-quality audio. This is where this synthesizer does a nice job. It is equipped with a rich library of sounds that renders this unit great for a variety of musical genres and musicians of all levels and different interests.
Packed with over a thousand sounds, this unit will help you explore various sonic realms and get creative. Besides the sounds also featured by the Juno-Di model, the synthesizer comes updated with electric and acoustic piano, bass, guitar, and organ sounds, just to name a few. Variety is a keyword when it comes to this item.
What’s more, the Roland Juno DS88 Synthesizer offers a variety of sound effects that will further customize the sonic output you desire. You will get water, river, and lighting sounds, but also the usual chorus, reverb, and phaser effects.
Plus, you can take your performance one step further with the piano resonance filters and pitch shifters available. To enrich your musical possibilities, the unit offers a playback function that allows you to play WAV audio files and thus practice all the songs you like.
It is difficult to say anything bad about this particular model since it offers a generous set of features that you can hardly get at this price. However, there would be one thing that might make the Juno DS88 lose a few points, namely, its display.
The menu and interface are intuitive and will make it easy even for beginners to use it, yet the display is a bit too small. Other than that, the speakers might not live up to a professional’s expectations, but they are still decent and perform better than the ones provided by other models in this line of products.Buy from Amazon.com for ($1159.99)
Main features explained
If what you want from your next synthesizer is sound versatility, ease of use, and a realistic feel, this model from Roland should not go unchecked. We have highlighted below some of the features of this model, so you can make a more informed decision.
Weighted keys and durable build
The reason why some beginners might be reluctant to start on a digital piano is that many such items don’t have weighted keys, which might make it difficult to transition to an acoustic piano once they’ve mastered the fundamentals. You don’t have to worry about that when using this synthesizer from Roland, though.
The 88 weighted-action keys featured are committed to providing you with a realistic feel and making you forget that you’re not playing an acoustic piano. The hammer action contributes to this benefit significantly. By using such a keyboard to study, you will get some resistance when you press the keys and getting used to it will make it easier for you when playing a real piano.
To further enhance this realistic feel, the keyboard comes with “ivory-feel” keytops and a matte finish that will prevent your fingers from slipping. Since musicians and keyboard users often complain about the plastic feel of many keyboards, this addition gains even greater importance.
A superior and complete experience includes not only high sound quality and versatility but also a pleasant tactile encounter. Furthermore, the unit does not feel cheap and is built with materials that promise to stand many practice sessions and gigs.
Given its dimensions, the synthesizer is worth considering even if you often find yourself traveling. It measures 55.75 x 13.43 x 5.69 inches and weighs 35 pounds, which means that it is lightweight enough to ensure convenient transportation.
A lighter version would have been even better, yet keep in mind that this unit is packed with many nice features, and it is a digital piano, after all.
Sound library and versatility
A synthesizer might feel nice but it won’t be enough without high sound quality and variety. Rest assured that you get all that when it comes to this unit from Roland. What makes it stand out is the very sound library it features. It not only comes with a set of over a thousand sounds from the previous-generation JUNO-Di but also with lots of new sounds and effects.
The sound enhancements and additions take versatility one step further. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional music producer, this unit is bound to help you express your creativity and personality in many sonic ways.
The product ensures a rich library of electric/acoustic piano, bass, guitar, and organ sounds as well as sound effects. The synth comes with reverb/chorus/phaser effects, piano resonance filters, and pitch shifters.
You can thus easily explore your musical path and engage in either solo or band performances. The instant access to so many sounds and their quality place this model at the top of many musicians’ priority lists.
Another feature worth mentioning is the fact that you can import your favorite songs in standard WAV formal files for practice. Also, the wave expansion slot will enable you to download new sound waveforms.
Considering all this, rest assured that you won’t get bored with this synthesizer. It offers various possibilities as far as music production is regarded. Add the portable design to all that and you will easily understand why this model has gathered positive feedback.
Layout, operation, and flexibility
The rich sound library and weighted keys are coupled with an easy-to-use design. To help you get the most out of this unit, the synthesizer boasts an intuitive interface and menu. It is enough to take a look at it to understand its various functions and the controls you need to use to customize your experience.
The simple design enables even first-time users to employ the item easily. There are various onboard knobs and sliders for quick adjustments. The unit was designed to ensure easy programming as well. However, the pack should include a manual to simplify the setup process even further and help you get started.
The idea behind this simple interface is to make it possible for artists to focus on creating music. The Juno DS88 also features an LCD graphic display that shows information regarding the various settings you use. The display is a bit small and might be challenging for people with poor eyesight, but it’s still a nice feature to have. Even if it is small, it won’t affect your performance.
As we’ve said, the synthesizer was also built with flexibility and portability in mind. That’s why it can be powered by batteries alone or using an AC adapter and connecting it to a power source. The fact that you can use batteries to enjoy its various benefits is a feature that will make on-the-road musicians happy.
The Juno DS88 boasts some of the features provided by the models in the Di series, yet many of them have been improved for a better experience. A difference between this model and the ones in the previous series, though, regards the Phrase pads. The 8-track sequencer will make it easier for you to load songs and audio samples from your USB.
You can use the Phrase pads as a live sampler if you intend to engage in live performances with this unit. Just load them up with sound effects or vocals and then trigger them to spice up your sonic outputs.
In addition to everything we’ve mentioned above, the unit is coupled with a variety of functions that will widen the sonic possibilities ensured. For example, you will be able to play two sound types simultaneously by pressing just one key thanks to the layer function. So, if you want to use piano and organ sounds at the same time, it is enough to activate this function to do so.
Due to the playback function, you can play standard WAV files, which means that you can practice using the songs you like best or the ones you want to play properly.
Other functions that are worth mentioning include the transpose function that ensures standard transposing and the rhythm function that comes with 72 rhythm types. Also, thanks to the free app provided with the product, you can easily connect it to your smartphone or tablet.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($1159.99)