Exploring the Roland D-50

The Roland D-50 was released in 1987 and quickly replaced the Yamaha DX7 as the most popular synth on the market, going on to appear in countless pop songs and soundtracks, as well as defining the sound of the late 80s / early 90s era. The at-the-time revolutionary synthesizer used a complex new form of synthesis called ‘Linear Arithmetic’ synthesis, that combines real-instrument samples with synthesised waveforms. The unit featured a joystick for easy sound manipulation, an onboard chorus effect and was the first synth to feature onboard reverb. It was revered by producers and composers for its ability to easily emulate real instruments and has many classic patches. Like the DX7, it went on to be described as one of those ‘hated’ keyboards, as it’s responsible for some very cheesy new-age sounds, as well as fake slap-basses. Nevertheless, it is still one of the most complex synthesizers ever made, it's sounds are incredible, and it is now making a comeback.

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