How the JUNO-DS Can Take You From Songwriting to the Stage

JUNO-DS Synthesizer

The JUNO-DS has become a very popular instrument for its huge palette of great sounds and simple design.

In this article, we’ll show you some key features of the Roland JUNO-DS, including inspirational sounds when writing songs, easy to use features to record your ideas as well as be the ideal tool to take your new music to a live performance.

When you’re writing a song, you either have a lyric idea or a concept for a song and start to put pen to paper or sing into your smart phone and record your ideas. If you play a keyboard you can speed up the song writing process and musical ideas can come a lot quicker.

If you’re playing sounds that are inspiring, even if it’s just chords, your memory of other songs can trigger a creative state of subliminal writing. You start jamming with your instrument and come up with some cool riffs, chords or beats that will inspire you for the song and its lyrics. You start to riff on a melody with some words and before you know it, you’re coming up with your own song.

Contributed by Mark Watson for Roland Corporation Australia


Using Phrase Pad to trigger song ideas

The JUNO-DS phrase pads make it super easy to select the different “tracks” that you have set up with the sounds you want. Then you can easily move around to select, mute or solo each of the sounds as you can see in this video. This makes it really conducive to coming up with more ideas for your song. By bringing sounds in and out this way, your mind starts to be triggered creatively and new musical ideas will automatically come to you.

The sequencer buttons for recording and playback are also here including pattern length, tempo and mixer. You can put down ideas for verses and choruses of your song with the very easy to use 8 track pattern sequencer including drum and bass grooves. This is a great way to quickly capturing your ideas.

Juno-DS Series
Writing a new song can be something that can come quickly, but sometimes it can take a while as well. Sometimes you might want to shelve an idea and work on another song that is “half way there”. With the sequencer, you can easily save your ideas, give them a title or even a version number. For example, “pop song 2, chorus idea #3”. Leave it for a while and come back to it later. Sometimes it’s better to let these ideas sit for a few days and come back with fresh ears. You’ll know what works best.

Finding sounds that inspire you.

Juno-DS Rich Sound
Selecting sounds on the Roland Juno-DS is straightforward and there is so many great sounds to choose from and be inspired by. There are nine category buttons, and the jog wheel makes it super easy to select the sound you want. To make things even easier, you can access a full list of sounds simply by pressing the enter button. 
Check out this video to see how easy it is.

Lots of sounds, for different styles of music

Roland Axial

And depending on what style of music you’re into, the JUNO-DS has access to even more sounds that you can download from

Here you’ll find everything from EDM and Hip-Hop loops, rich Orchestral sounds or even a wider choice of studio sounds to give you inspiration.

Click here to see the wide range of additional sounds you can get for the JUNO-DS, for free!

Play more than one sound at a time!

Sometimes when you’re writing music, you want to have a bass line or riff to accompany your chords. With the JUNO-DS you can easily create layers and splits of different sounds. When creating a split, you’re assigning two sounds to a different range of keys on the keyboard. This means you can play one instrument with your left hand, and another with your right hand. Creating splits is especially useful in situations where you want to play piano chords and a bass line at the same time.
Check it out here in this video.
With layering, you can layer patches over one another. Doing this will give a much fuller and dynamic sound to your performance which can also be really inspiring when you’re writing your song.


Taking your songs to the stage

Juno-DS Playing Live
You’ve written your songs, recorded them and now practising to share your music to the world with live performance. The JUNO-DS is great for performing your tracks because you can easily play back your backing tracks you’ve recorded in a very simple, easy to organise set that’s saved to USB. These sets can be organised into folders on your USB and easily accessed on the screen and triggered by hitting one of the pads.

Get creative with the Mic Input

You can also use the microphone input which will give you cool vocal options like a vocoder or auto pitch for fresh sounds and inspiration. The simple controls on the left-hand side of the JUNO-DS give you easy access to turning on your vocoder or auto pitch, sliders for adjusting volumes and knobs for controlling parameters of your synth, like filter cutoff or reverb, giving you more great performance control when you’re on stage. It actually looks cool if you emphasise your movements while turning a knob and the audience hears the big sweeping sound of a filter being adjusted!
Here’s a few more cool bonuses that the JUNO-DS brings to your live performances.

See your set list

Have your set of songs organised in the JUNO-DS favourites as individual presets for each song. Even if you use the same sound a couple of times (maybe saved using different effects like a different delay setting), your presets become your set list and it will make it easier to focus on your performance and your audience. Just name the preset tone with your song title and it’s a no brainer. Have them in order, just like a set list, and it will free you up to get lost in your music.
Juno-DS Presets

Add backing vocals and extra sounds

Make samples of extra harmonies and trigger them for a big vocal sound in the chorus of your song using the pads. Also, if your song has a complex intro with lots of parts, you can either trigger a sequence from the built in sequencer or again, play a sample back from your USB.

You could even have a sample playback of an ethereal drone and layers of pre-recorded sounds as an intro piece to your first song of your performance. A great way to create anticipation at the beginning of your concert.

On the move!

If you’re planning a lot of showcase gigs for your new songs, you might be performing in cafes, bars, or events at festivals, either way the JUNO-DS packs a lot of everything you need into a keyboard that’s light. Because it has a built-in microphone input, you could even get away with not having a mixer and just plug your JUNO straight into powered speakers or the house PA! This will definitely be something you’re grateful for if you’re on the move.

The Roland JUNO-DS – your stage and song writing companion

It’s easy to make music and then play your music to your fans with the JUNO-DS, and having great sounds at your fingertips without a complicated workflow makes it easy to focus on your performance and enjoy playing your music to your audience.

Related Product

Related Posts

Scroll to Top


Created by Roland V-Drums specialist Simon Ayton, these patches were designed using the internal factory sounds and many of the techniques covered in the TD-50 guide. Enjoy exploring the possibilities!