Junkie XL On The Roland S-50

Composer Tom Holkenborg (Junkie XL) shared this look at the Roland S-50, a vintage sampling keyboard from the 80s.

Holkenborg describes the S-50 as “A great synthesizer from the mid 80’s… known for making great character in the low end.” 

He also explains a couple of mods that he’s had done to the keyboard.

If you’ve used the Roland S-50, leave a comment and share your thoughts on it!

10 thoughts on “Junkie XL On The Roland S-50

  1. Together with an Atari 1040ST running Cubase and an old Yamaha Electone combo,
    the S-50 was my main axe throughout the nineties. So little memory, nice filters, crunchy bottom end – so much for so little. Think I wore out the alpha dial. I miss it to this day…

  2. is he wearing the same t-shirt in all of them? could it be that he just filmed all of gear of the WEAK in just one DAY? one hour maybe? this could explain the shitty audio and the fact that the format never changes in spite of actual gear fans not really getting the point of these short, dare I say superficial, videos.

    1. If you think that it makes sense for one of the most in-demand film composers in the world to spend days making synth demo videos for synth geeks, you haven’t thought this through very well.

      All he’s trying to do with these videos is share the perspective of a professional composer on the strengths of various synths and and to give his personal perspective on the synth’s strengths.

      I actually think the videos are pretty interesting, for what they are, and it’s also really interesting to get the perspective of somebody that has obviously worked with a ton of different types of synths.

  3. Had an S-50 since the late ´90s. Kind of in storage for the moment. Great instrument indeed. Even used it in gigs, frantically loading disks between songs! Too bad the RAM cannot be expanded, because it severely limits its usability. I still have a very large library of sounds for it and they can be surprisingly good for 12-bit samples. The video output was way ahead of its time! Also, the instrument’s keyboard has a great feel to it. Should look into that USB mod…

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