8 Best Juno VST Plugins 2022

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Best Juno VST Plugins

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There are plenty of classic synths, be it the Yamaha DX7, Korg M1, or Sequential Prophet-5.

But the Roland JUNO-106 analog polysynth (and its various iterations) still stands as one of the most popular, thanks to its programmability and great sound.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, then, that there are plenty of competent emulations out there for those seeking out that classic sound.

In this guide, we’ll be looking at the best Juno VST plugins.

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Model 84 Polyphonic Synthesizer by Softube – Best Overall

Model 84 Polyphonic Synthesizer by Softube – Best Overall

Count on Softube to bring classic gear back to life and create convenient digital versions that are more accessible to the average producer. They applied their modelling expertise to the Model 84 Polyphonic Synthesizer as well, emulating all the little nuances and quirks that made the original what it was (imperfection is perfection, at least as applied to analog gear).

In addition to the faithfully modeled components, Model 84 Polyphonic Synthesizer comes with an extended unison mode, velocity and aftertouch support, and an expanded control panel with velocity and aftertouch parameters.

Softube also included the original presets in addition to new artist presets, seven integrated modules, chorus, LFO, DCO, low pass filter, pitch and modulation wheels, glide time and voice allocation, envelope generator, voltage-controlled amplifier, equalizer, and more.

In the video, you’ll get to hear a variety of sounds coming from the Model 84 Polyphonic Synthesizer. They all sound lush and highly usable to me, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to be the judge of that.

This synth, though, is the perfect meeting place of sound quality, features, and price point, making it our best overall pick.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Jun-6 V by Arturia – Best Premium Option

Jun-6 V by Arturia – Best Premium Option

If you know anything about Arturia, then you know they are rarely satisfied with anything less than a faithful recreation of the original hardware they set out to emulate.

Their Jun-6 V was of course based on the immortal Juno-6, complete with polysynth density and a straightforward interface to give you easy control over the synth.

To give you as authentic an experience as possible, Arturia built different levels of analog voice dispersion, to emulate subtle variations in voltage and room conditions.

A back-to-basics arpeggiator, of course, is part of the package, along with double-barreled filters, dual chorus, LFO, ADSR envelope, modwheel, velocity and aftertouch, chord mode, bender and unison, delay and reverb, in-app tutorials, preset browser, resizable GUI, 180+ factory presets, and much more.

Jun-6 V sounds incredible as you would expect. It comes with all the features you know and love the Juno-6 for, along with some feature additions that would only be possible with modern digital technology (this is a bit of a theme with entries in this category).

To get something sounding this good, you do need to spend a bit of change. But it’s well worth it if a Juno emulation is what you need. This is our best premium pick, no questions asked.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

DCO-106 by Cherry Audio – Best Budget Option

DCO-106 by Cherry Audio – Best Budget Option

Cherry Audio’s DCO-106 may be our best budget pick, but it’s no slouch. As with some of the other entries featured here, the DCO-106 not only recreates the original hardware synth in detail but it also comes with some modern features for added versatility.

The DCO-106 soft synth features over 330 presets, up to 16-voice polyphony, stereo chorus, three reverb modes, delay section with tempo sync, multiple voice assign modes, expanded LFO section with six waveforms and tempo sync, unison detune, MPE support, full MIDI control, and DAW automation. Plus, it’s compatibile with original 106 SysEx commands.

The video below compares the DCO-106 to the original Juno-106, which is a fun idea. Overall, the DCO-106 has a sound that’s comparable to the original it’s emulating, at least in terms of timbre. There are some subtle differences between the emulation and the real thing, mind you (as there usually are).

But it’s still well worth the asking price, making it our best budget option. The DCO-106 could stand in for a real Juno any day.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

TAL-U-NO-LX Synth by TAL

TAL-U-NO-LX Synth by TAL

From the graphical user interface, you can already tell exactly what the TAL-U-NO-LX Synth was modeled after – the Juno.

Along with zero feedback delay filters and calibrated controls, TAL-U-NO-LX supports portamento as well as different LFO waveforms. Also included is the arpeggiator with different sync modes, hold function, fast envelope with smooth roll-off, emulated inaccuracy (for added realism), and a smooth filter sound.

Altogether, you get self-resonating zero feedback delay filter (24dB LP), filter range up to 40KHz, MIDI learn / automation, alias free oscillators, arpeggiator with multiple sync modes (host, MIDI clock, not on), portamento and mono modes, LFO manual trigger button, sustain pedal support, up to 12 voices, file based preset system, over 300 factory presets, MPE support, and original hardware “Factory Bank A.”

Overall, TAL-U-NO-LX Synth sounds amazing. Check out the video below to hear it in action.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

RetroMod 106 by Tracktion

RetroMod 106 by Tracktion

In creating the RetroMod 106, the Roland Juno-60, Juno-106, and Alpha Juno 2 were sampled with an Avalon U5, A-Design Reddi, Apogee Rosetta 200, Focusrite ISA428, and VoVox Cables. For Juno lovers, that’s quite the value proposition.

RetroMod also comes with 291 presets and 15,000 samples to help you dial in all your favorite Juno tones. Thanks to the multi-oscillator design, you can layer tones and explore new dimensions of the Juno sound too.

There’s just one thing that’s a little disappointing:

The developer hasn’t provided a whole lot more information about the RetroMod 106. And whatever they have provided seems to be in broken English already.

But what we can tell from the interface is that there are many tweakable parameters, including global controls, two oscillators, VCF and VCA, Master, pad, as well as EQ and various effects like reverb, chorus, and distortion.

The video below gives you a snapshot of what RetroMod 106 is capable of, and I find it sounds quite good. For the price, this is a more than decent entry.

If you would like to explore more, Tracktion has an entire RetroMod collection, including LoFreq Wired, LoFreq Classic, LoFreq Modern, Digital 1, Lead, and Fat.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Diva by u-he

Diva by u-he

u-he’s Diva is one of those soft synths that shows up on countless best-of lists, because it does vintage analog emulation so well. It’s simply a great all-arounder, and must-have if you love classic synth sounds (and just about anything by u-he is at least worth a look).

It comes with all the essentials you’d expect from a super-powered synth – oscillators, filters, envelopes, effects, modifiers, trimmers, and even an oscilloscope. Also included are 1,200 presets organized by category, and the very essence of seven to eight vintage synth sounds all wrapped in a beautiful burgundy interface.

We’ve talked about these features ad nauseum in other guides, so be sure to check the product description if you want to learn about these features in more detail.

Now, if a Juno sound is all you need, then there are probably better options on this list. But if you love vintage synths and want to have access to infinitely more tonal possibilities (a larger timbre palette, if you will) then Diva is going to be right up your alley. They’re perfect for synthwave!

As the video below will demonstrate, the included sounds are exquisite. Diva does cost more than some synths, but when you consider that it can also do more than the average soft synth, it all adds up. Do give this one a listen.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Mercury-4 by Cherry Audio

Mercury-4 by Cherry Audio

Here’s another soft synth that falls under the “one of these things is not quite like the other category.” Cherry Audio’s Mercury-4 was created as a Roland Jupiter-4 emulation (and now you know where it got its name from). The Jupiter-4 is well known for its analog oscillators that offered up an aggressive, raw, raunchy tone rarely found elsewhere.

Cherry Audio went ahead and recreated everything that made Jupiter-4 what it was, complete with Roland’s famous stereo ensemble effect. They also added a Space Echo style tape echo effect for added flavor.

Overall, Mercury-4 features an authentically modeled oscillator and sub-oscillator, modeled filter characteristics (including low-frequency resonance), up to 16-voice polyphony, over 300 presets, arpeggio section, wide-range LFO modulation with inverted mod characteristics, and drift control.

You also get the stereo ensemble effect, tape echo with multiple reverb modes, tempo-syncable LFO, detonable unison mode, MPE support, full MIDI control, and more.

The Mecury-4 is affordably priced, sounds amazing, and is a highly usable soft synth, especially if you loved the Jupiter-4. For an authentic Juno emulation, pick something else in this guide, but as a complementary synth, this would not be a bad product to check out.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Equator2 by ROLI

Equator2 by ROLI

Like u-he’s Diva, this one might be a little different from the rest. If you’re looking specifically for a spot-on Juno style soft synth, you’ll likely prefer one of the other VST plugins mentioned already.

But if, on the other hand, you have a love for all the classic synths (including the Juno, of course), and enjoy combining a variety of sounds in different ways, the Equator2 limitless hybrid synthesizer has to be seen and heard to be believed.

ROLI’s MPE synthesizer, Equator2’s claim to fame is that it lets you create just about any sound you can imagine, with four sound engines (including wavetable, sampler, granular, and noise), and six source slots. This means you can combine any four synthesis engines across six source modules in any way you see fit.

Every source module comes with its own multimode filter, and dedicated sends to global filters too.

Equator2 features over 6 GB of detailed samples from over 40 acoustic, electric, and electronic instruments, be it vintage synths, organs, pianos, orchestral strings, sitars, Japanese Kotos, or otherwise.

The deep sampled synths include classics like the Roland VP-330, System-100, MKS-70, Oberheim OBXa, SH-2 and Juno-6, ARP Solina String Ensemble, as well as Sequential Circuits Pro One. ROLI was sure to capture multiple samples from each synth.

You can take advantage of the envelopes, LFOs, multi-mods, key tracking, and MPE to modulate everything you can possibly imagine. The built-in effects like compression, noise gate, distortion (two types), filter module, chorus, flanger, phaser, delay (three types), reverbs, and four effect rack routing schemes allow for further customization.

This might all seem a tad overwhelming, and understandably so. Fortunately, Equator2 also comes with 1,300 presets, 500 new sounds built for MPE, and 800 standard MIDI presets to help you get off to a running start. So, if endless tweaking isn’t your style, don’t worry, you’ve got more than a few patches to take advantage of.

It won’t take much digging to discover just how powerful and great sounding Equator2 is. It is a tad pricey, and it’s certainly not going to be for those who aren’t interested in going beyond the Juno, but as a fringe pick, it’s an exceptional synth.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

What Should I Look For In A Juno VST Plugin?

We really are spoiled when it comes to Juno emulations. After all, it’s not a matter of whether you can find a competent one, it’s more a matter of how much you’re willing to spend to get as close to that classic, beloved sound as possible.

At base, nothing compares to the sound of the original hardware. There are subtleties that are hard to model and emulate, and slight variations in timbre, gain, and behavior are par for the course. But it’s fair to say that modern plugins come well within shooting range of classic analog gear. Day by day, we seem to be coming closer and closer.

And we can’t forget that software is generally more convenient and affordable. There are plenty of studios that keep countless classic keyboards stashed in their environment, and while it’s the dream of many a producer, they’re often heavy to carry, cumbersome to set up, and tedious to record (at least by today’s standards).

For a fraction of the price, you can get a great sounding emulation that will sound right at home within the context of a mix. For most producers, that’s where it really counts.

But when it comes to purchasing a VST plugin, there are a few factors you would do well to consider. They are as follows:

  • Sound and authenticity
  • Features
  • Budget

Here’s a deeper look at each.

Sound & Authenticity

It’s fair to say all VST plugins featured here offer up sounds that are close to the original hardware. Whether they hold up to closer examination and rigorous scrutiny is another matter entirely, but it’s fair to say you shouldn’t end up with a bad sounding plugin if you purchase from this guide.

One thing to consider is that you’re probably going to get closer to an authentic sound if you’re willing to spend a little more. There are some very competent plugins on the affordable end of the spectrum, so this isn’t to say you won’t get a satisfactory result with these. But it’s always a good idea to set proper expectations.

So, how do we know if the sound is any good? Well, for the most part it’s wise to trust your own ears. I could tell you which of the plugins I like best, but at the end of the day, you’re the one who is going to be using them, so a bit of personal bias, in this case, is a good thing!

All plugins have at least one video demo or review (if not more), as well as numerous audio samples. You can get well acquainted with each without using up all your free time.

Authenticity should be considered alongside sound quality, but it’s not necessarily in the manner you might expect. See, I’m not specifically asking you to consider whether the VST plugin is totally authentic to the original Juno. Rather, I’m suggesting that you should consider what level of authenticity you’d be satisfied with.

Most synths featured here basically have all the same parameters the original Juno had, if not more. Their behavior may not be modelled to the nth degree, but you have at least some assurances that you’re not buying some cheap “knockoff” that looks a bit like the original but is inferior in practically every way imaginable.

So, sound and authenticity are criteria worth examining when buying a plugin, to the degree that they matter to you.

Features

If you’re already familiar with the Juno, as I suspect you are, then you know well the various parameters the original keyboard came with. And you can easily see what parameters are included in the plugins featured here as well (if not from the images, then the accompanying videos).

Most plugins have been “enhanced” by the developer in some way, shape, or form with additional features – parameters, effects, or otherwise. This means you get some features that weren’t included in the original Juno.

In some cases, these may be value propositions. In other cases, you may not find them especially worthwhile. Basically, it depends on whether you value such features.

Some buyers are certainly going to prefer plugins that come as close as possible to the original Juno keyboards, while others aren’t going to value this as highly, and will simply buy based on sound. There is no right or wrong here, only what works for you.

In the case of the last three soft synths featured here – Diva, Mercury-4, and Equator2 – these are basically different beasts altogether. They either feature sounds modeled after the Juno or other Roland classics, but they’re built to be able to do considerably more.

These soft synths will appeal to you if you want access to a broader palette of sounds. Do keep in mind, though, that their workflow is bound to be a little different from the Juno, so be willing to take the time necessary to learn if you’re leaning in this direction.

Budget

The synths mentioned in this guide aren’t overly expensive. They range from about $40 all the way up to $250. Of course, if you end up buying more than one VST plugin, the cost can add up fast. And we encourage you to keep an eye on your spending.

While it’s easy to look at software and hardware purchases as essential, and they can often be written off as business expenses for tax purposes, we still don’t advise going into debt for purchases such as these.

Use your budget as a filter, and if you’ve settled on a more expensive plugin that’s a little out of reach right now, take your time, and save up for it. The added benefit is that the process of working towards something you want is far more rewarding than the actual getting of it.

Spend responsibly and enjoy your purchases!

Top Juno VST Plugins, Final Thoughts

The Juno sure is an amazing piece of gear. It’s crazy how some of the best sounds we have today are still some of the classics invented decades ago.

Whether you’re making rock, pop, EDM, hip-hop, synthwave, or another electronic genre, the Juno sound is worth adding to your library, because the tones are ageless, and they sound just as good today as they did when they originally graced the world.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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