The ROLAND D-50 L.A. Synthesizer
(folowing information is courtesy of www.vintagesynth.com)

  Roland D-50 Image

An all-time favorite, just as popular today as when it first came out! This is a great synth for new and non-acoustic, percussive, ethereal and beautiful pads or sounds. This was once Roland's hottest digital synth and it is great! Easier to use than competitors like the Yamaha DX7. It has onboard effects, a joystick for data manipulation, intuitive layout and it just sounds great! By joining PCM samples with LAS synth-generated sounds, the D-50 is capable of unique and complex sounds. The "synth-section" sounds very analog, with subtractive synthesis and low-pass-resonant filters. There is also a rackmount version of the D-50 known as the D-550.

Both the D-50 and D-550 benefit from the PG-1000 external controller which gives you very plain and simple slider/fader type control of all adjustable parameters of the synth. The D-50 includes MIDI on all 16 channels but because it is monotimbral you can only use one channel at a time. There is an upgrade which will give the D-50 and its rackmount version a full 16 channels of simultaneous MIDI multitimbral data communication. This popular synth has been widely used in all forms of music. Eric Clapton, Enya, 808 State, Jean Michael Jarre, Vince Clarke, Apollo 440, Eat Static, LTJ Bukem, Fluke, Information Society, Lab-4, Gary Numan, and Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran are just a few of the many satisfied users.

Technical Info
Polyphony   16 voices (32 partials with 2 per voice); 8 voices (using 4 partials per voice in Dual or Split Mode)
Oscillators   Digital LAS (Linear Arithmetic Synthesis) & PCM, 32 osc.
LFO   YES (3 x 2tones = 6 LFOs)
VCF/VCA   FILTER: low-pass-resonant; AMP: ADSR envelopes
Effects   YES
#Instruments   Monotimbral (can be upgraded for multitimbrality)
Keyboard   61 note keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
Sequencer/ARP   None
Memory   64 patches
Control   MIDI
Dated   1987
Current$$   $400 - $600

Web-Links: ROLAND U.S.
Audionaut Selected Sound Patches

Original Images: SynthSite
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last update 18/1/03 13:28