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Roland D-550

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    The ROLAND D-550 is very different from any other synthesizer,
    past or present, and as such heralds the dawn of a new era in
    synthesis. In the past, synthesizers have progressed through several
    very diffrcnl stages. Firstly, there were ANALOG synthesizers, which
    relied on a variety of components, such as, VCO's. VCF's, and
    VCA's. These analog building blocks were relatively easy to
    understand and program, and they could produce sounds of remarkable
    warmth and character. However, when it came to accurately
    simulating acoustic sounds, the process could easily become too

    On the other hand, the next breed of synthesizers, known as DIGITAL
    synthesizers, could easily simulate acoustic sounds, yet they were far
    more difficult to program. Furthermore, the digital technology behind
    these instruments seemed to imply that a different type of sound
    should occur. In general, just as an analog synthesizer would be
    described as "warm" in character, the digital counterpart was very
    often "thin". Essentially, the two types complemented each other, one
    being easy to program, the other capable of accurate simulation.
    The ROLAND D-550 has now changed all that. Thanks to a new
    custom disigned Integrated Circuit known as the 'LA CHIP*. Here, LA
    stands for Linear Arithmetic synthesis which is the heart of the new
    technology. LA synthesis involves a great many technological
    advances resulting not only in a superior sound quality but also an
    improved ease of programming. In this way, Roland has succeeded in
    maintaining a high degree of familiarity to the user despite the
    technical wizardry involved.

    To explain the D—550 in a very simple manner, we must begin by
    saying that it is the next step in DIGITAL synthesizers. This means
    that the sound is entirely computer generated. In fact, the D--50 has
    four distinct sections :

    Remember, first of all. that this isa totally digital instrument,
    even though the sound would seem to
    suggest far more. Through LA synthesis, the D-550 appears, to have
    four powerful synthesizers built in. Each of these hypothetical
    synthesizers could behave like a conventional analog synthcizcr,
    or a PCM sampled synthesizer. Consequently, they are referred to as
    PARTIALS. since they are far more than just a pure synthesizer.
    These Parlials are combined in pairs to form a TONE. A Tone could
    cither be a mix of the two Parlials. or they could take advantage of
    the LA version of cross modulation. In this way, some of today*
    s more popular digital sounds are remarkably easy to achieve.

    However, it is the performance characteristics such as after— touch, and
    the control of every aspect of the sound that makes the D — 550 a
    totally new instrument. These things and a sound that can only be
    described as unique, the LA sound.

    Type: Digital
    Synthesis: Linear Arithmetic, ROM
    Oscillators: 4
    Waveforms: ROM
    Envelopes: 1
    Evelope Paramerters: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
    Filters: 1
    Types: Low Pass
    LFO: 1
    Polyphony & Tuning
    Polyphony: 16
    Timbrality: 1
    Tuning: Standard
    Modes: Mono, Polyphonic, Split
    Patches RAM: 64
    Patches ROM: 64
    Storage: Internal, RAM Cartridge, ROM Cartridge
    Editing: MIDI
    16 reverb types
    Case: Rack
    Rack Size: 19", 2U, Full
    Controls: Aftertouch, Velocity
    Display Type: LCD, Backlit
    Display Count H: 2
    Display Count V: 40
    Dimensions (WxDxH): 18 – 7 / 8 x 16 – 1 / 8 x 3 – 7 / 16
    Weight: 14 lb 6 oz
    Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Stereo Main, Stereo Headphone
    Audio Output Count: 3
    MIDI Ports: IN, OUT, THRU
    Power: 15w
    Year Released: 1987
    Manuals & Documents
    Used Price: $275-450 - convert
    YouTube Videos
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