Free Alpha Juno clone (Mac 64bit) with factory presets?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
90 posts since 22 Nov, 2015

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:20 am


I am searching for a free emulation of the Roland Alpha Juno / MKS-50 synth.
I have found a few emulations, but most seem to be outdated, paid, or Windows/Linux/32bit only.. hence why I am here, asking what my best bets in 2021 are.

It should be faithful to the original in sound, come with its presets (or able to load the original sysex banks) and run on Mac 64bit. Ideally the GUI is laid out like the PG-300 programmer, but other layouts are ok too (if not too convoluted). Something like the PG-8X emulation of the JX-8P, but for the Alpha Juno, would be perfect. Does that exist? Or what comes closest?

Thanks :)

631 posts since 9 Aug, 2018

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:30 am

I might be mistaken, but when it comes to vintage Roland synth emulation plugins, it could be you’d have to do the classic “3 things, pick any 2”: Free, Mac, Alpha Juno.


Topic Starter

90 posts since 22 Nov, 2015

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:35 am

Hmm.. seems like the only serious one for Mac is ReDominator by audiorealism... but that one costs 95€.
I currently can not justify that expense because there is software more important to my work on the to-buy list, but maybe one day in future when I have some extra cash. Just got my hopes up because the free jx-8p emulation is so good, but apparently it is really an exception to what people provide for free.

8350 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 10:42 am

Yeah, creating any kind of accurate emulation (that's more than just like SynthEdit modules) is hard work. Then to do it for free and support Mac, which is constantly changing up the code base and breaking things...that's a tough one. It would take a really talented dev, with a lot of passion towards the instrument.

ReDominator is your best bet IMO. Probably your only bet.

554 posts since 9 Jan, 2018

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:42 pm

June-21 is a free vst3 with a Mac installer. Has the original presets, if I recall.

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4029 posts since 22 Mar, 2009 from gent

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:43 pm

If you have reaktor , try the jasper broecks ensembles (pulsecraft) ..they are awesome and pretty accurate .
NOt just wiring primary modules together , and slapping on a fancy gui and call it an emulation
Noppes the guy has the dsp-skills , all done in core
Here is the alpha juno ... how/12517/
Eyeball exchanging
Soul calibrating ..frequencies

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7583 posts since 11 Jun, 2006

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:02 pm

pg8x does many of the sounds the AJuno does minus the PW on the saw wave ie; hoover sounds.
Phutura is a decent free offering, imho but only win x32 :shrug:


Topic Starter

90 posts since 22 Nov, 2015

Post Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:16 am

@Funkybot's Evil Twin - Yeah I am aware that a hardware emulation is very hard work to do and it actually is very surprising that some devs are willing to offer it for free. I think I (and many others) are just spoilt by all the unbelievable stuff that can be found for free nowadays. ReDominator seems very good indeed and probably well worth the price. I don't really need it enough to spend money on it now (it's more for inspiration/jamming and occasionally to use in one or the other song) but probably at some point I am going to buy it.

@Watchful - Thanks, the June-21 looks interesting but I can't get the installer to work on Mac :/

@gentleclockdivider - I have Reaktor (as part of Komplete) but tbh never dug into it. I just downloaded Pulsecraft ChroAlpha and it works, but it seems to be only mono. Not sure if there is some setting inside Reaktor that causes this or some problem with the emulation itself.. but the lush stereo sound of the chorus is essential for me so as of now it doesn't cut it..

@layzer - tbh no PWM kind of defeats the purpose. It's mostly those classic 90's sharp, sizzling rave sounds that I am after with the Alpha Juno, whereas the JX-8P is more for the warm but crystalline 80's sound. (Availability of) Factory presets is also somewhat important, because they in part define the synths and how they were used and I don't really intend to do a lot of heavy sounddesigning on them which could deliver similar results among them (more convenient modern VAs around for that). I'd rather start with the nostalgic presets, jam with them and tweak them according to my inspiration.
Also Phutura looks very promising but win x32 really makes it no-go for me :/

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