Juno DS61 v. Fantom X/G

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Hello! I'll first start off by saying I know this is an opinion based question, and ultimately the answer comes down to my needs, but I just wanted to get a feel from people with much more knowledge and experience than I have. I recently got a great deal on a used Roland JUNO DS61, and I love a lot about it. I use it primarily as an auxiliary keyboard for synths, pads, strings, or leads when I'm playing the organ, but the workflow of this board is not the most effective for what I use it for. I need to be able to quickly bring up and bring down the levels of individual patches in a performance, but the faders only allow you to do this with the first two parts in a performance. I assigned some of the knobs for parts adjustment, but having to cycle through the menus to get to the assigned knobs, as well as not being able to use those knobs to adjust EQ is pretty annoying.

I said all that to ask this: would an older Fantom X6 or G6 still be worth it in my situation? I know they're older and have little to no technical support nowadays, but I'm really a fan of all the sounds from the Fantom engine (except the pianos), which is why I chose the Juno over something like the FA-06 in the first place. Also, the new Fantom's aren't in a price range that I'm willing to pay right now. I'd of course prefer a G6 between the two for the bigger screen and easily accessible faders, but the X6 is much easier to get a hold of (at least in my searches), so I was wondering how easy the workflow of the X6 was to adjust performances easily compared to the Juno. I don't have any hands on experience with the Fantom's, so I apologize if my terminology isn't correct, but I'd really appreciate any assistance you can give me. If you need any more information from me about my situation, I'd be happy to give it to you. Thanks so much! (Sorry for the long post as well lol)
 
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If the only thing that is really bothering you about the Juno DS is the inability to easily adjust the volumes of all the Patches in a Performance (especially if you don't want to give up the use of the knobs for other purposes), maybe an external "box of faders" could do what you need. Assuming your Performances are setup using the default assignments, patches 1-16 should be controllable on MIDI channels 1-16 accordingly, so anything that can be set up to send MIDI Volume on different channels from different sliders should do what you want, with the caveat that you want something with a 5-pin DIN MIDI Out, which is hard to find these days. That probably means either looking for something used, or adding a MIDI USB host box to make the conversion from USB, or doing that conversion via bluetooth, which you can do by putting a CME WIDI Uhost on the USB device, which would mate with one of their WIDI jack or WIWI Master devices which would attach to the 5-pin connectors of the Juno. Any of these approaches should work, though I haven't done them myself.

BTW, while you're correct that the Juno DS soundset is largely derived from those older Fantoms, the new Fantom does not actually include these sounds, AFAIK.
 
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Thanks for the quick reply! If I went the route of the MIDI USB Host Box, I could theoretically get something like a Korg NanoKontrol2 and map the faders/knobs to at least 8 patches in a performance? If that is the case, I honestly have no clue how to map MIDI channels, so is that something I could find in a manual of the Juno or would it be in the manual of whatever controller I purchase?

Also, I didn't realize that about the newer Fantoms, so thanks for letting me know!
 
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One more approach... you should be able to use an iPad and an app to give you 16 touchscreen sliders/knobs to control the volumes of the 16 parts. Not as nice as physical controls, but might be an almost-free solution if you happen to already own an iPad.

And even then, you can even consider adding physical knobs to the iPad.
 
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Awesome! Is there a specific app you are referring to, or should I just look around for one on the App Store?
 
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If I went the route of the MIDI USB Host Box, I could theoretically get something like a Korg NanoKontrol2 and map the faders/knobs to at least 8 patches in a performance?
yes

If that is the case, I honestly have no clue how to map MIDI channels, so is that something I could find in a manual of the Juno or would it be in the manual of whatever controller I purchase?
the controller. In the case of that Korg, it's done with an editor, which you can download from their site and check out even before you buy the device.
 
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Hello! I'll first start off by saying I know this is an opinion based question, and ultimately the answer comes down to my needs, but I just wanted to get a feel from people with much more knowledge and experience than I have. I recently got a great deal on a used Roland JUNO DS61, and I love a lot about it. I use it primarily as an auxiliary keyboard for synths, pads, strings, or leads when I'm playing the organ, but the workflow of this board is not the most effective for what I use it for. I need to be able to quickly bring up and bring down the levels of individual patches in a performance, but the faders only allow you to do this with the first two parts in a performance. I assigned some of the knobs for parts adjustment, but having to cycle through the menus to get to the assigned knobs, as well as not being able to use those knobs to adjust EQ is pretty annoying.

I said all that to ask this: would an older Fantom X6 or G6 still be worth it in my situation? I know they're older and have little to no technical support nowadays, but I'm really a fan of all the sounds from the Fantom engine (except the pianos), which is why I chose the Juno over something like the FA-06 in the first place. Also, the new Fantom's aren't in a price range that I'm willing to pay right now. I'd of course prefer a G6 between the two for the bigger screen and easily accessible faders, but the X6 is much easier to get a hold of (at least in my searches), so I was wondering how easy the workflow of the X6 was to adjust performances easily compared to the Juno. I don't have any hands on experience with the Fantom's, so I apologize if my terminology isn't correct, but I'd really appreciate any assistance you can give me. If you need any more information from me about my situation, I'd be happy to give it to you. Thanks so much! (Sorry for the long post as well lol)
In 2004 I decided to get into the world of the workstation - would it be Triton, Motif, or Fantom? I chose Fantom (X6 and Xa) - there was a website called "Fantomized" where I learned a lot about these synthesizers that the manuals didn't write about. Since then, I have written / collaborated / produced over 500 songs - many have done well on upload sites and streaming businesses. These Fantoms still work today - 18 years later. I can't complain at all.
 

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