MY FAVORITE AXE With Tyler Quist of JAW GEMS

BACKGROUND

I’ve been playing keys for 25 years in lots of different styles, but really focused on soul/hip-hop. I started working with synthesizers 11 years ago and developed an affinity for them, as they provide a wide variety of sounds, and have specific controls to alter different aspects of the sound with precision.

MAKE & MODEL

1984 Roland Juno-106

Tyler Quist of Jaw Gems and his Roland Juno-106

Tyler Quist of Jaw Gems and his Roland Juno-106, photo by Lyle Divinsky

WHAT IT MEANS TO ME

It’s such a versatile board; it has the ability to sound like so many different things. Of course you cannot truly replicate a Rhodes, piano or organ, but that’s not all it’s about with the Juno. In my eyes it was made for discovery and exploration, to seek new sounds and apply it in new ways.

WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE

Everything! You can sound like a string section, a flute, or a steel drum. You can make bird sounds, water bubble sounds, or a chainsaw. I like to use it for drum sounds sometimes; you can make it sound like an 808 if you want to.

SPECIAL FEATURES

It has polyphonic portamento, which is rare and pretty neat, and it has 128 memory slots so you can save your sounds. It also has MIDI which was rare for a 6-voice polysynth at the time. I haven’t done any mods, but I do fix them myself – like repairing slider potentiometers and vco/vcf chips and other things that can go wrong with 30-year-old equipment…

USED BY

Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, A-ha, and countless other synth-pop artists of the 1980s.

LISTEN NOW at jawgems.bandcamp.com and follow on Twitter @jawgems

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Tyler from Jaw Gems

Tyler from Jaw Gems, from the “Star Visor’ music video

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