MPG-50 Programmer for Roland Alpha Juno 1 & 2, MKS-50
Retroaktiv MPG-50 is a fully featured MIDI programmer for the popular Roland Alpha Juno 1 and 2, and the MKS-50 rackmount synthesizer. The MPG-50 is a compact 370mm (14.5") x 149mm (6") x 40mm (1.5"). It features 37 sliders and knobs which control all of the features included on the original PG-300 plus more. The unit is housed in a metal enclosure.
The MPG-50 has full MIDI implementation, allowing for MIDI messages to be passed through to the Juno while also sending parameter control data. Each Juno sysex parameter can be controlled using MIDI CCs, which allows for slider movements to be recorded on a DAW. Also featured are an expression pedal input, and two AUX sliders, each of which, can be programmed to control up to 5 parameters simultaneously. The range and polarity of each SSIGN parameter is programmable, allowing for a slider to do something like open the filter, slightly increase the DCO LFO rate and amount, and change the attack setting all with one slider or pedal. The pedal and AUX slider assignments can be saved for use in performance, and can be recalled using MIDI program change messages.
A patch generator function allows for users to create new "scratch" programs (basic programs that serve as a starting point for creating sounds), a random patch generator, a manual function (transmits the position of all 39 front panel parameters), as well as a user configurable random generator that will randomize only parameters selected by the user. The patchgen menu features the following:
Random Tone Generator - Features multiple random categories, such as basses, polyphonic comp, bells/metal, percussion, pads, synth brass, strings, drones, noise FX, or completely random. The following sections of the synth can be selected to not be randomized (masked): DCO wave/level, DCO pitch mod, VCF level/rez, filter mod, VCA mod, chorus, LFO, Env times (T1, T2, T3, T4, Follow) and Env levels. (L1, L2, L3) The amount of randomness can also be dialed in, making the random tone generator on the MPG50 a powerful creative tool.
The MPG50 features 2 controller channels, MAIN and AUX. Users can switch between the MAIN and AUX channels to control multiple Alpha Juno/MKS50 synthesizers separately, or simultaneously. This feature allows two Junos to be seamlessly combined to create a 2 DCO "super Juno".
The PORTAMENTO ON/OFF button can be configured as a toggle or as a momentary button. When used as a momentary button, glide will only be active when the button is held down, which is useful when soloing.
HOLD feature will sustain all notes played on the Juno until HOLD is disabled.
3 assignable controllers (CTRL A, CTRL B, and Expression pedal) can be configured to control up to 5 Juno parameters each. Control range for each parameter can be set, and the controls can be inverted for each parameter. Each ASSIGN has a factory default as well as a user preset, allowing for 6 saveable ASSIGNs, alll of which can be recalled with a button press.
MIDI preferences can be saved with a button press, eliminating the need to reconfigure your settings on power up.
The unit can be set to transmit MIDI CC messages and sysex simultaneously, allowing for the MPG-50 slider movements to be recorded and played back on DAW. The MPG-50 will translate the recorded CC messages to juno sysex when the DAW plays the recorded CC track into the MPG-50. Any incoming note, aftertouch, mod wheel, pitch wheel etc is automatically passed through the MPG-50 to the Juno. Any CC messages can be translated into Juno sysex.
In the main menu, users can select MONO or POLY mode, adjust bend range, and save and recall AUX/Pedal assignment settings. For MKS-50 synths, there is a patch menu giving access to : Detune, transpose, upper range, lower range, tone number, and modulation sensitivity.
All menu information is displayed on a compact OLED screen, allowing for deep editing and the display of parameter values being transmitted.
MPG-50 offers all of the functionality of the original PG-300, plus a suite of modern performance and MIDI features that make this the most full featured Alpha Juno programmer on the market.
Orders placed during pre-order period will get a discount. MSRP will be $465 when pre-order ends. Shipping will be calculated and billed when orders begin shipping.
Update: Metal production ran a little behind schedule, so units will begin shipping at the end of Dec.