Peter Atmadzhov is passionate about all things deep, melodic and melancholy. With a string of releases under his belt on the likes of Manual and Agara Music, Petar is no stranger to creating lush soundscapes and brooding melodies in his studio. To tie in with his recent Sample Magic release ‘Ambient House‘, we thought we would catch up with the man himself to discuss his love for an analogue classic…
Hey Petar. The Juno-60 is generally regarded as a cult classic. For those who maybe aren’t aware of it, would you mind telling us a little bit about it?
Juno-60 is a truly amazing 6-voice polyphonic synthesiser manufactured by Roland in the early 80s. It looks beautiful and sounds even better. It is simple to program, I would say build quality is very good, and it carries the famous Roland chorus effect. It has only one digitally controlled oscillator, but both waveforms (sawtooth and square/pulse) can be used together with the sub-oscillator at the same time. In addition to this there is a white noise generator that gives plenty of character to the bass, or a nice lo-fi feeling to textures. The filter resonance sounds amazing and delivers a lot of colour. There is also a simple arpeggiator that is very useful. The lack of MIDI control is a problem nowadays, but there are plenty of solutions (I recommend the Tubbutec upgrade). As with any vintage synth, after buying it should be serviced by professionals so one can obtain the full power of these machines.
Analogue synths have made a massive comeback in recent times. Just what is it that you love about this piece so much?
There is (almost) nothing I don’t love about my Juno. The sound is rich and warm, the killer chorus gives endless possibilities, and the filter is brilliant; gentle when required but squelchy when pushed, it just shines! Another thing I love is the ‘Hold’ button. When pressed the sound remains even after keys are released, which can be used to create fantastic drone sounds. Some people say the Juno is limited but for me it is the perfect synth, it’s what analog is all about.
Are there any ‘dream pairings’ (fx or instruments) that you always find yourself using in conjunction with this synth?
Effects are essential part of audio processing and delay is probably the most commonly used one. No doubt the Juno-60 is one of the best poly synths, and running it through one of the best (if not the very best) vintage delays leads to nothing but an eargasm. I own a Roland Space Echo RE-201 and the combination of these two is beyond any words, it just adds a new sonic experience. So, what more can you add to the duo? How about the monster MS-20 filter? Juno through MS-20 through Space Echo. Yeah it’s a bit noisy at times, but who cares?
What are kind of sounds are you generally making with the Juno? It is obviously renowned for its pad sounds, but do you have any other personal favourites?
I use it for everything – bass, pads, synths, fx and even hats. I love the bass of most Roland synths; warm and gritty, it just kicks ass! But I can’t ignore the fact that what I love the most are the Juno’s pad sounds. They are juicy and rich, and together with the chorus nothing will ever imitate this sonic perfection.
Petar’s music can be found here.
Article by Tom Bailey
Answers and Images by Petar Atmadzhov