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Roland D-50

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Description
The ROLAND D-50 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 diffrent 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 involved. 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-50 has now changed all that. Thanks to a new custom designed 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.

However, the true power of LA Synthesis lies within the digital Synthesizer section of the D— 50. Remember, first of all, that this is a totally digital instrument, even though the sound would seem to suggest far more. Through LA synthesis, the D— 50 appears to have four powerful synthesizers built in. Each of these hypothetical synthesizers could behave like a conventional analog syntheizer, or a PCM sampled synthesizer. Consequently, they are referred to as PARTIALS, since they are far more than just a pure synthesizer. These Partials are combined in pairs to form a TONE. A Tone could either be a mix of the two Partials, 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.
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Technical Specifications
Type: Digital
Synthesis: Linear Arithmetic, ROM
Oscillators: 4
Waveforms: ROM
Envelopes: 1
Evelope Paramerters: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
Filters
Filters: 1
Types: Low Pass
LFO: 6
LFO Parameters: Sample & Hold, Saw Down, Square, Triangle
Polyphony & Tuning
Polyphony: 16
Timbrality: 1
Tuning: Standard
Modes: Mono, Polyphonic, Split
Patches
Patches RAM: 64
Patches ROM: 64
Storage: Internal
Editing: MIDI
Effects
16 Reverb types
Case
Case: Keyboard
Keyboard: 61 keys
Controls: Aftertouch, Breath, Velocity, Faders, Knobs, Joy Stick, Pedal - Volume
Display Type: LED, Backlit
Dimensions (WxDxH): 38-3/8 x 13- 1/16 x 3- 11/16
Weight: 231b 3oz
Connections
Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Stereo Main, Stereo Headphone
Audio Output Count: 3
MIDI Ports: IN, OUT, THRU
DAC Bits: 12
Power: 22w
Production
Year Released: 1986
Year Discontinued: 1989
Used By
Enya, 808 State, Jean Michel Jarre, Vince Clarke, Apollo 440, Eat Static, LTJ Bukem, Fluke, Information Society, Lab-4, Gary Numan, Rick Wakeman, Kitaro, Rush, Vangelis, Richard Barbieri, Boston
Manuals & Documents
Pricing
MSRP List Price: $2,000 - convert
Retail Street Price: $1,800 - convert
Used Price: $500 - convert
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