Roland D-550 Linear Synthesizer

This is an audio demo of the Roland D-550 (D-50 rack module) Linear Synthesizer. The Roland D-550 is a rackmount module version of the popular Roland D-50.

Here’s what Sound On Sound had to say about the D50’s synth engine:

So is a D50 worth tracking down? Well, as always, that is essentially down to the individual. If you’re after the aggressive bite of FM sounds, then the D50 is not going to satisfy. Similarly, if you want the squelch and immediacy of an analogue synth, then the D50 will probably disappoint. But I would defy anyone not to be impressed by the power and depth of many of the D50’s pad-type sounds — they swirl and swoosh in a most appealing manner, which few synths since have been able to emulate. It can’t be denied that there is a definite late-’80s edge to the D50’s sound, but that has much to do with the fact that the D50 was the late ’80s sound!

If you’ve used the D-550 synth module, leave a comment with your thoughts!


  • 16 voice polyphony (32 partials with 2 per voice), or 8 voices (using 4 partials per voice in Dual or Split Mode)
  • Oscillators: Digital (Linear Arithmetic Synthesis) ; PCM,
  • LFO :  (3 x 2 tones = 6 LFOs)
  • VCF/VCA FILTER: low-pass-resonant; ADSR envelopes
  • 61 note keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
  • 64 patch memory


8 thoughts on “Roland D-550 Linear Synthesizer

  1. I have the rack mount D-550 and I still love it. But I got a Karma recently, so I may want to part with it.

    Otherwise some of the incredible sounds it has are unique and in a zone of its own. I have used it for years and am still using it. It is very rich and deep and the velocity driven combos allow unique expressions with a far greater feel than samplers. Even without editing the sounds the variety is so great that you barely have to do anything. Of course I could not help myself. But I still have the original sounds on the original card.

    Exceptional toy. Interestingly I also have the S-50 Keyboard from Roland too. In its day it was great, but this is a different age…


  2. I also have an S-50 a Yamaha DX-7 and TX-7 and a Yamaha RX-11. Do you want any of those or all of them… ha ha ha …

  3. Still have the D-550? I am retiring this year and want to duplicate my school setup at home. It is the only piece I need yet. Love that synth!!

  4. Anyone knows how to check in Roland D-550 what system version i own and where i can find free the service manual in pdf to download so to fix the backlight display.
    Someone has tried to put a new 2×40 LCD with Led backlight ?
    Thank you.

  5. The D-550 is an awesome, awesome synth. It’s not always useful in my music, but it sounds great on its own, and I love to work with it. I may invest in a D-50 at some point to have the programming menu closer at hand.

  6. Got into this box because I got bored with Reason. If you don’t get a programmer, you will think this is an 80s synth. It’s so much more when you tweak it. I will never sell this synth.

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