Let’s discuss the best Jupiter & Juno Synth Plugin Emulations from various brands!
There is so much to talk about..
1. Roland JUNO-60
JUNO-60 is an emulation of the popular 80s analog synthesizer by Roland.
It’s punchy and fat and has a unique vintage sonic characteristic for which it is known. Roland bases the virtual synth on the original core technology, which was based on the ACB technology. In addition, the instrument derived its sound from its analog filter with switchable high pass filter voicing, Juno chorus effect, and classic CE-1, reverb, flanger, and other effects.
The maximum polyphony available is of eight voices, and the Digitally Controlled Oscillator has customizable controls like range, LFO modulation, PWM depth, PWM source, PWM level, SAW level, SUB level, and NOISE level. That allows you to have a fuller and deeper sound.
- In-depth sound shaping
The plugin allows you to apply two ADSRs, an HPF, a VCF, and a VCA for sonic sculpting. In addition, you can add the effects like overdrive, distortion, Juno chorus, and CE-1 and adjust their tone and depth. Furthermore, for the reverb and delay effects, you can select the types and adjust their time and level settings.
- High-quality sounds
The sampling frequency in which the synth is used can be selected as 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 176.4 kHz, or 192 kHz. At 192 kHz, you can be assured about the harmonic quality of the sounds.
The JUNO-60 is available in VST, AU, and AAX plugin formats and requires a minimum of macOS 10.14 or Windows 10 operating systems.
Roland has done a great job carrying on its legacy with the software version of the JUNO-60. The plugin also allows you to adjust the age of the synth by using the Condition knob. The GUI is fully resizeable and has a great resolution. You can get the complete authentic hardware experience of the synth by using it with SYSTEM-8.
2. Roland JUPITER 8
The Roland JUPITER 8 plugin is a modern and virtual recreation of the popular 80s polysynths.
The vintage analog synthesizer’s software reboot has 16 oscillators and eight voices of polyphony and is great for sounds like sparse and ambient pads, upfront leads, and thick bass textures. According to Roland, the plugin is a down-to-circuit-level accurate reproduction of the original. As a result, you can utilize synth for creating the trending synth wave, future pop, indietronica, and many modern-day pop genres.
- Synth Architecture
The plugin consists of 2 VCOs with shapes such as saw, triangle, PWM, sine, square, and noise. As a result, both sound sources sound quite analogous and warm. Further, a VCO Modulation option consists of an LFO, envelope, Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), and PWM -1 switch. Further, there’s a high pass filter, a Vintage Controlled Filter, a Vintage Controlled Amplifier, and two envelopes.
- Effects section
In addition, there’s a flexible effect unit with an adjustable effect type, a reverb section, and a delay/chorus section. However, you can change the reverb and the delay/chorus type. Plus, there’s an in-built arpeggiator, portamento knob, and legato switch for interesting movements and transitions.
The visual look of the plugin is exactly like the original Jupiter-8, and it has a resizeable GUI. You can easily browse through the plugins and tweak any parameters by manipulating their sliders, knobs, and switches. However, the controllers are a bit small, but you can zoom the plugin window to access each control.
You can click on the patch button to access the presets of the plugin. It allows you to add new banks, load/import a bank, delete it, and save/export it as a file. Each bank consists of 64 memories, and you can change the order of the memories in the bank and rename the bank.
The Roland JUPITER-8 is available as VST 2, VST 3, AU, and AAX plugin types, and the minimum operating system requirement is macOS 10.14 or Windows 8, with a minimum of 4 GB RAM and 100 MB of hard disk space. Further, you can use the plugin in SYSTEM-8 because of its plug-out feature.
The plugin does a great job reproducing the original warm, punchy, and analog sound of the Jupiter-8, making it an honest recreation. It’s one of the best analog synth recreations, and other good emulations are done by Spectrasonics Omnisphere, U-he Diva, Arturia Jup-8, Softube Model 84, and Togu Audio Line TAL-J-8.
3. Roland JUPITER-4
Jupiter 4 was the first JUPITER polyphonic analog synthesizer, and Roland recreates it in this plugin.
Roland has recreated the original analog circuit behavior virtually with the plugin. It’s known for its massive sound; you could use it to create upfront leads and fat basslines. Plus, the built-in ensemble chorus effect lets you embody the lushness required in pad sounds and other atmospheric sonics.
In addition, the company made some additional changes from the original hardware after years of R&D and feedback. Overall it’s a flexible synthesizer that uses subtractive synthesis.
The Reverb effect in the plugin has ambiance, hall, room, plate, and modulation algorithms with time and level adjustments. The delay types include flanger, panning delay, chorus, and chorus + delay. Further, the other effects include overdrive, distortion, metal, ensemble, and phaser.
You can select LFO shapes like sin, tri, saw, square, etc., along with range, rate, and delay time. Further, the oscillator has LFO and Pulse width modulations when setting up your sound source. Plus, you have a chord feature in the arpeggiator, which used to be hidden in the hardware, wherein you can play multiple notes simultaneously.
Some great presets in the plugin are JH Star Piano and JH Dawn, giving you silky smooth and royal textures. The JH Pedal Board and JH Time preset have a nostalgic electronic texture. The Uno Bass preset is funky and plucky, giving Bruno Mars feels immediately. The melodic sounds are cheesy and soft, whereas the bass sounds are warm and punchy.
The Roland JUPITER-4 is available as VST 2, VST 3, AU, and AAX plugin types, and the minimum operating system requirement is macOS 10.14 or Windows 8, with a minimum of 4 GB RAM and 100 MB of hard disk space. Further, you can use the plugin in SYSTEM-8 because of its plug-out feature.
The plugin is great for vintage sounds and may give you a lot of nostalgia. The sounds, workflow, and UI are old-school, making the plugin even more fun. It’s velocity sensitive and can also capture release times, giving you the freedom to record expressive playing.
4. Roland JUNO-106
Juno-106 is the recreation of the vintage analog synthesizer which influenced modern pop music.
It consists of a DCO (Digitally Controlled Oscillator), an HPF (High Pass Filter), a VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter), a VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier), two envelopes/ADSRs, its well-known CHORUS effect, a delay effect, a reverb effect, and other effects. It also has a browsable patch window, arpeggiator, and articulation controllers like bend and portamento.
- Sound Sources
The DCO was created to stabilize the tuning of analog synthesizers, and it uses a VCO such that it’s driven by a control signal from a Digital-to-analog converter. You can control the LFO modulation and PWM modulation of the oscillator, PWM level, and SAW level and add depth to your sounds by adjusting the SUB level slider. You can also add noise to your sounds to add more frequency spectrum coverage to the sound.
The HPF allows you to control the cutoff frequency, while the VCF allows you to adjust the velocity sensitivity, cutoff frequency, resonance, envelope modulation, LFO modulation, and keyboard follow.
Apart from the delay, reverb, and chorus effects with adjustable controls, you also get access to effects like distortion, overdrive, Crusher, Phaser, and two types of Juno Chorus. That allows you to sonically shape your sound seven further by adjusting the harmonic content of the sounds and adding time-based effects.
The set of controllers in the plugin is immense, with bend sensitivity pitch and filter controllers, modulation sensitivity pitch and filter controllers, portamento knob, legato on/off switch, bend range, bend gain, tempo sync on/off switch, key assign mode, key hold switch, octave sector, and condition control.
The Juno 106 plugin is compatible with the SYSTEM-8 synthesizer and is available as VST 2, VST 3, AU, and AAX plugin versions. It requires the Intel® Core™ i5 or better or Apple M1 chip, along with at least 4 GB of hard disk and 100 MB of hard disk space.
The plugin has 64 presets that can help you get started with your sound selection or design. The plugin creates that sweet and cheesy sound of the original 106 faithfully that you can use in your arrangements. When it comes to the interface, it’s well-designed and easy to use, and looks exactly like the real hardware synthesizer.
Other alternatives to plugin versions of the Juno-106 are Yonu60, Tal-U-No 62, OS-251, Chorus JUN-6, Tyrell N6, and u-he Diva.
5. Arturia Jup-8 V
Arturia’s take on this classic synthesizer is sure to take you back in time when the change from analog to digital was the most evident in the history of music.
The esteemed manufacturer Roland introduced the Jupiter 8 synthesizer in early 1981. So, you could say it pretty much kickstarted the 80s sound. Arturia’s Jup-8 V plugin aims to recreate the same synth in great detail.
And I must say it’s quite a wild success, both sonically and visually. It has a thick, powerful sound and every ounce of the original synth’s versatility.
The plugin uses component-level modeling and sampling to deliver all of the controls in the original hardware. Furthermore, Jup-8 V modernizes the classic with added quirks and features.
Go beyond the antique limitations with multiple LFOs, better modulation, contemporary sequencing, effects, and 16-voice polyphony.
- Dual VCOs
Like the original hardware, the plugin features two oscillators. The first oscillator allows you to change the range and waveform, whereas the second features a fine-tune knob too. You can also switch to a low range to use the second VCO as a sub. Another notable feature is cross-modulation from the second oscillator to the first, creating sci-fi and powerful sonic landscapes to explore.
Similarly, you can set either oscillator as the sync leader or disable the feature altogether. Syncing forces the follower oscillator to retrigger every time the sync leader’s oscillator cycle (waveform) ends, regardless of the follower’s position. It results in a harmonically rich sound.
The original Jupiter 8 synth was much loved for its dual filter design. And this faithful emulation by Arturia features the same. You’ll find a 6 dB/oct high-pass filter with a cutoff fader and a low-pass filter. The low-pass has faders for cutoff, resonance, key follow, etc. You can also switch the low-pass filter’s slope steepness between 12 dB/octave and 24 dB/octave.
First, the plugin features an LFO that controls the pitch at the top left of the user interface. It lets you add subtle vibrato or even wobbles. Similarly, it employs two envelope generators with the standard attack, decay, sustain, and release controls. Moreover, the first envelope can modulate the pitch, pulse-width modulation (PWM), and low-pass filter’s cutoff, whereas the second one can modulate the pitch, cutoff, and volume. You can select what to modulate using toggle switches on the target sections.
You’ll also find two more LFOs in the advanced panel, which weren’t available in the original hardware. Similarly, an advanced modulation mixer lets you use various algorithms to sum multiple modulation sources and manipulate three destinations. The result is evolving synth pads or chaotic basslines.
- Arpeggiator & Sequencer
Jup-8 V employs the Jupiter 8’s arpeggiator with a range of four octaves and some new modes that weren’t available originally. The arpeggio modes include up, down, played order, reversed, up-down including highest/lowest notes, up-down excluding the highest/lowest notes, and random.
Furthermore, Jup-8 V features a 32-step sequencer alongside a modulation sequencer. You can create dynamic backing melodies that work together with the modulation sequencer. Similarly, you can choose a scale for the sequencer; set up accent settings, glide, octave range, pitch routing between (first, second, or both oscillators).
- Effect Processors
While the 16-voice oscillators alongside Arturia’s unison detuning make the synth sound grand by itself, these additional effects bring yet another layer of beauty to your sound. It has three FX slots and eleven digital effects, including reverb, delay, compressor, chorus, bit-crusher, etc. Of course, if you prefer the old-school sounds, you can turn off these effects with the click of a button.
Arturia Jup-8 V is available for Windows 8.1 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
Roland Jupiter 8 is one of the most important synthesizers of the 80s. It shaped the sound of many hit albums and even films. So, the excellent emulation in Arturia’s Jup-8 V allows you to bring classic sounds to your DAW instantly.
Furthermore, it features many modern additions like unison, more modulation possibilities, sequencer, etc. Similarly, the “note dispersion” feature emulates the subtle changes that voltage fluctuations in the synthesizer’s components bring.
It helps make the plugin sound even closer to the original hardware.
6. TAL Software TAL-U-No-LX
The TAL-U-No-LX complements the Jupiter 8 emulation on my list, providing incredibly authentic analog sounds.
As you probably guessed by its name, this plugin emulates the Roland JUNO 60 polyphonic synthesizer. It’s essentially a younger sibling of the Jupiter 8 and came with a more streamlined interface.
TAL-U-No-LX sports a user interface similar to the original design but has noticeably gone under some reordering alongside added features.
The plugin features detailed character emulation alongside carefully calibrated controls. So, you can essentially dial in preset patches from your old JUNO 60 preset book and get near-identical results, making the TAL-U-No-LX an excellent counterpart or even replacement for the original hardware.
Furthermore, added idiosyncrasies like portamento and filter LFO waveforms push the ambition of this beloved synth even more.
The plugin features a single oscillator with a pulse and saw wave generator. It lets you control the pulse width when set to pulse wave. Similarly, you can enable a square wave sub-oscillator and a noise generator, which feature individual volume controls. Since TAL-U-No-LX is a single oscillator synth, the oscillator has no pitch control. However, you’ll find a master tune and level control.
TAL-U-No-LX features a high-pass filter next to the oscillator section. Then, the next section is a low-pass filter with frequency and resonance controls. It features keyboard tracking to change the frequency cutoff depending on the note you play. Both of these filters have a fixed 24 dB/octave slope.
The plugin employs a single envelope and an LFO. You can set the envelope to control the volume, the filter frequency, and the pulse width. You can also modulate the envelope amount using velocity. Similarly, the LFO can control the oscillator pitch and the pulse width. You can change the LFO shape, add a delay before the LFO starts, and invert the shape. And finally, the portamento section lets you add pitch glide.
This section has seen a few changes compared to the original design. Like in JUNO 60, you have three modes of arpeggiation: up, up & down, and down. It has up to three octaves of range. And you can sync the arpeggiator to your DAW and enable hold or latch. Originally, the JUNO 60 didn’t support MIDI, which meant you couldn’t sync the synth to a MIDI clock. So, the sync feature is a welcome change.
You’ll find the original JUNO chorus effect, which defined the synth’s sound for many users, at the top right of the interface. However, deviating from the hardware design again, TAL introduces two extra effect processors at the bottom right of the user interface: a delay and a reverb. The delay can sync to the DAW and provides a spread feature to widen your stereo image. Similarly, the reverb effect is a simple yet effective digital reverb with fundamental controls only.
TTAL U-No-LX By TAL Software is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
TAL-U-No-LX is a 12-voice iteration of the Roland JUNO 60, and it’s incredible how close they sound to each other. It comes with over three hundred factory presets and includes the original Factory Bank A patch library.
Furthermore, the synth supports micro-tuning, MPE, and parameter automation, allowing a world of exploration for contemporary music producers.
If you’ve been looking for a replica of the JUNO 60 synthesizer in software form, the TAL-U-No-LX plugin is undoubtedly one of, if not the best.
7. Cherry Audio DCO-106
Something about the Roland Juno-106 makes it one of the most-loved synths ever built. Cherry Audio reimagines the icon with a painstakingly accurate emulation in software form. DCO-106 also adds a few new features like the reverb, delay, chord memory, 16-voice polyphony, etc., making the plugin fit for a modern-day music production workflow.
The plugin also features over 330 presets, including the original hardware’s 106 factory presets, which add to the nostalgia. And before we talk more about the features, you might be interested in Cherry Audio’s CA2600 synth, which models the classic ARP 2600.
DCO-106 features a single oscillator like the original hardware. It faithfully simulates the original Juno synth oscillators’ distinctive master clock and divider design, as well as the waveform quirks. You can select pulse, sawtooth, or both.
The plugin has a high-pass filter that you can set between 0 to 800 Hz. However, the high-pass is extremely subtle, making it more of a sound-thickness control. Secondly, you’ll find a 24 dB/oct low-pass filter, a focal point of the hardware emulation.
For modulating the volume or the low-pass filters, you’ll find an envelope and an LFO. The envelope is a relatively simple feature, but the LFO employs six kinds of waveforms: triangle, saw, inverted saw, square, random, and sine. You can also sync it with your host tempo.
- Effect Processors
The plugin features two kinds of chorus effects borrowed directly from the Juno hardware. And it also employs a delay unit and a reverb with three types. The reverb types include room, plate, and hall. Try the plate mode for a little nostalgic seasoning!
- Bender And Arpeggiator
The Bender section allows control of the oscillator, filter, and amp sections using the pitch bend wheel or joystick on your midi keyboard/piano roll. Next, the arpeggiator, which wasn’t originally on the JUNO-106, is a standard analog arpeggiator that you’d find on JUNO-60. It has a range of four octaves and offers up, down, up-down, and random directions.
The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
If you’re someone who likes the sound of analog synths, DCO-106 is something you really don’t want to miss out on. While the single oscillator may not create the most evolving pads, the arpeggiator and the classic filter make it ideal for backing rhythms. Furthermore, try a detuned sound for larger-than-life leads and stabs.
TAL-U-NO-62 is one of the most famous free vintage analog synth plugins, much loved for classic yet high-quality sound.
As the name suggests, not at all subtly, TAL-U-NO-62 is an emulation of the Roland JUNO 60 synthesizer. It provides a minimalistic user interface encompassing all of the controls necessary in an analog synth. You’ll find one oscillator with a sub-oscillator and noise generator.
And the Juno-style chorus will provide the tell-tale sound of many hits from the mid and late-80s.
TAL-U-NO-62’s sound is most suitable for creating pad and arpeggio sounds. For example, create a short, plucky saw sound, add some sub oscillator sound and a low-pass filter, and change the filter envelope.
Next, write some arpeggio sequences in the piano roll or use a MIDI sequencer plugin. You’ll instantly find yourself taken to a retro-future with neon colors.
As you can see from the screenshot, the plugin features one oscillator that can generate saw and square waves. The square wave employs a pulse width control. Furthermore, you can add a sub-oscillator and a white noise generator, each with a separate volume fader. The sub-oscillator produces a square wave an octave below the main oscillator.
Filters are the heart of analog synths. A digital oscillator can sound much livelier, thanks to analog filters. So, like the original JUNO 60 design, the plugin employs a 24 dB/oct high-pass filter with only a cutoff frequency fader. Next to it, you’ll find a low-pass filter with cutoff, resonance, and keyboard tracking. The 24 dB/oct slope steepness makes any filter sweep sound intense and captures the feel of the hardware sound.
The plugin features one envelope and an LFO. The envelope applies to both the amplitude and the filter. However, you can set it to only one using a toggle switch on each section. Similarly, the LFO can modulate the oscillator’s pitch and the filter cutoff parameter. You can sync the LFO with your DAW and change the waveform as required.
- Authentic Chorus
From its appearance to the sound, you’ll find the authentic Juno 60-style chorus built into this software synth. Type I features a slow chorus, best suited for synth pads and other evolving sounds. Conversely, type II provides a much faster chorus effect. Similarly, you can activate both buttons simultaneously to get an even faster vibrato-style effect. Individually, the choruses use a triangle waveform, whereas the third mode changes the movement into a sine wave.
This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10 or higher, both 32-bit only. It comes in VST 2 and AU formats.
TAL-U-NO-62 is a polyphonic analog software synthesizer that uses a real Roland JUNO 60 for reference. The filters provide a unique sound with an envelope and LFO modulation. Furthermore, you can invert the envelope shape in the filter section to get creative results. Similarly, since the filter is an analog-modeled design, you can automate it and still get ultra-smooth results. Overall, this plugin is an excellent download for anyone enthusiastic about hardware synthesizers.
Shaurya Bhatia, is an Indian Music Producer, Composer, Rapper & Performer, who goes by the stage name MC SNUB, and is also 1/2 of the Indian pop music duo, called “babyface”. A certified Audio Engineer & Music Producer, and a practicing musician & rapper for more than 6 years, Shaurya has worked on projects of various genres and has also been a teaching faculty at Spin Gurus DJ Academy.