Monday, June 18, 2012

New Equipment: Roland HS-60

The Roland HS-60 is an analogue synthesizer with digitally-controlled oscillators (meaning they aren't prone to drifting out of tune like fully analogue oscillators have been known to). In effect, this is the same synthesizer as the Juno 106 (in Japan this model was marketed as the Juno 106S), but with built-in stereo speakers and an amplifier to drive them

This example was rescued from a thrift store, and works surprisingly well considering it was made in 1984 and doesn't appear to have ever been serviced. All six voices (which equate to the number of notes you can play at once) work, and the patch storage memory is intact. Two sliders were bent and the cap was missing from one, some lint and other gunge had built-up inside the end-cheeks, and there was some goo resembling congealed cola on the casing here and there. All this cleaned up nicely.

There's still an issue with the wiring inside: one of the connectors refuses to remain seated, and it affects the speakers and outputs. For now I have mono output, so I can't make full use of the chorus effect (which is stereo). Also, the Decay slider in the ADSR envelope is only 50% functional.

I've already made use of it on a track. There'll be more about that later in the week. For those interested in a look at the maintenance work, you can find the pictures and write-up on my website: (Zone 2, in the 'Studio' section), or follow this direct link.

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