Roland D-50 polyphonic MIDI synth

£50.00 plus VAT per day

The D-50 was launched in 1987 at a time when on-board effects and sampled sounds were a novelty. The quality of its sounds is still unique, and it is especially good at producing lush pad sounds. The polyphony is a respectable 16 notes but it is not multitimbral.

The D-50 was launched in 1987 at a time when on-board effects and sampled sounds were a novelty. The quality of its sounds is still unique, and it is especially good at producing lush pad sounds. The polyphony is a respectable 16 notes but it is not multitimbral.

The D-50 was the first affordable synthesizer to combine sample playback with digital synthesis, a process that Roland called Linear Arithmetic synthesis. The engineers at Roland determined that the most difficult component of an instrument’s sound to simulate realistically is the attack. To better emulate realistic sounds, the D-50 included almost 100 attack samples in ROM. The synthesizer played back an attack sample which was dove-tailed with more conventional subtractive synthesis to create the sustain of the sound. This dual-use method was required in 1987 since RAM was so expensive. Roland did, however, incorporate a number of “texture” samples that could be mixed into the synthesized sustain-part of a patch. These sustain samples gave many D-50 patches a lush and airy quality, particularly with its heavy use of choir, wind and string samples.The D-50 is probably the first virtual analog synthesizer. The D50 was also the first digital synthesizer to integrate onboard digital effects.

Features
16 voice polyphony
Digital LAS (Linear Arithmetic Synthesis) & PCM oscillators
Digital Effects
61 note keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
128 patch memory
MIDI