The Mercury is rising as Cherry Audio unveils its supercharged Roland Jupiter-6 synth emulation

Considered by many to be the underrated dark horse of the vintage Roland Jupiter polysynth herd, the Jupiter-6 is getting some deserved time in the spotlight thanks to a new plugin emulation from Cherry Audio: the Mercury-6.

Released in 1983, the Jupiter-6 might have had two fewer voices than the Jupiter-8, but it set itself apart by offering an aggressive true multimode filter with 24dB/oct lowpass, 24dB/oct highpass and 12dB/oct bandpass modes. This harder edge makes it great for creating biting techno and electro.

Other notable features included support for multiple simultaneous waveforms in the oscillators and extensive modulation possibilities courtesy of the two LFOs and cross-mod capabilities. There were solo and poly unison modes, too.

Cherry Audio’s reboot promises all of this, while also addressing some of the Jupiter-6’s limitations. To wit, Mercury-6 offers velocity sensitivity, an improved split mode, and a layer mode that enables you to stack two different sounds simultaneously with per-layer stereo panning, detuning and sustain.

Polyphony has been upped to 16 notes - a no-brainer, really - and not only does the arpeggiator emulate the original’s down/up mode, but it also has a new random mode and MIDI tempo sync. Chord memory enables you to save multiple notes to a single keypress and play them back, and the aforementioned LFOs have a retrigger for LFO-1 and an always-on option for LFO-2, both syncable to MIDI tempo.

There’s now a dedicated effects panel that offers access to the distortion, phaser, flanger/chorus, delay and reverb processors, while further features include per-layer drift control, 500 presets and MIDI mapping.

Mercury-6 looks like a fine marriage of the vintage and the modern, then, and if Cherry Audio’s previous emulations are anything to go by, it should sound pretty good, too.

Find out more and download a demo on the Cherry Audio website. Mercury-6 runs on PC and Mac in VST/AU/AAX formats and is currently available for the introductory price of $49 (regular price $69). 

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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