Roland D 50

Making its debut in 1987, the D-50 was the first fully digital synthesizer from Roland. Linear Arithmetic (LA) Synthesis, which combines traditional subtractive synthesis with harmonically-complex sampled (PCM) waveforms, proved to be a sonic breakthrough. And, as the first performance synthesizer to integrate DSP effects, the Roland D-50 delivered instant studio-quality sounds to keyboard players around the world.

Well ahead of its time, the D-50 combined samples and synthesis, resulting in sounds that ranged from warm analog to dynamic acoustic and cutting-edge digital; all given a wonderful spacious sparkle by the integrated digital effects. D-50 preset patches such as “Fantasia” and “Calliope” showcased the potential of LA synthesis and, along with many others, became signature sounds for some of the biggest pop hits of the era (and continue to be used by artists today).

Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of this legendary synthesizer, this page explores the history of the Roland D-50, and features interviews with some of the original engineers, sound designers, and musicians that brought the iconic instrument to life. Now, join us as we revisit how it felt to be Designing The Future way back in 1987.

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Keyboard 61 velocity and channel after touch sensitive
Polyphony 16 Voices
Sound Source LA Synthesis
Effects 2 Band semi-parametric EQ
Internal Memory Patch 64
Reverb Patches 16
Tone 64
PCM waveforms 100
MIDI 1 Zone Control
LCD 2 x 40 LCD backlit
OUTPUTS 2 – 2 1/4″ L/R

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