Roland D-50 Linear Synthesizer VSTI Now Available Via Roland Cloud

Roland has announced the availability of a D-50 Linear Synthesizer VSTi via Roland Cloud.

The D-50 Linear Arithmetic (LA) Synthesizer, introduced in 1987, helped to define the sound of the late 80’s.

The Roland D-50 uses a mixture of short, sampled “attack transient” waveforms, blended with digitally-synthesized sustaining sounds. This technique, which Roland dubbed “LA Synthesis” offered the realism of expensive (at that time) digital samplers, the expressiveness of a synth, and the polish of digital effects. The combination made the D-50 one of the best-selling professional keyboards ever.

With the new Roland D-50 DCB Software Synthesizer, the sound of the D-50 is now available to Roland Cloud users.


  • Recreation of D-50 from the company that made the original
  • Digital Circuit Behavior (DCB) faithfully captures every detail
  • Authentic user interface with all original controls and parameters (including those found on the sought-after Roland PG-1000 hardware programmer)
  • All the original presets plus new sounds
  • 32-bit and 64-bit VST2, VST3 and AU support
  • Simple installation and updates via Roland Cloud Manager

Pricing and Availability

The new D-50 VSTi is available as part of Roland Cloud, a software service now in ‘beta’. Pricing starts at about US $20/month.

53 thoughts on “Roland D-50 Linear Synthesizer VSTI Now Available Via Roland Cloud

  1. I’d rather give up playing altogether than subscribe for cloud based synths. There’s no way I’d pay monthly to rent a soft synth. Roland should realize that this rubs people the wrong way like Adobe’s cloud.

  2. I had a play with this last night. Pretty damn awesome… way better than the Anthology version. Having the ability to layer those samples is really what makes a D-50 worth having. And with the patch editor in place, it makes me wonder why they even bothered making an Anthology version in the first place.

    I owned a D-50 for years and it sounds every bit as good. Particularly when playing patches in lower octaves where that low-end really shines. It feels and sounds exactly the same.

    Heres to hoping they come out with a collection of all the SR cards for vst format in the near future. Id jump on that in a heart beat.

  3. This is amazing. I can continue paying for a VSTi forever. The old system of buy once sucked. I hated it. This will fit in nicely with subscriptions for other software, utility payments etc.

  4. I am already waiting on the first price raise and we will see what happens then. The whole point is to make things more expensive on the long run by adding stuff which some may find okay but others never need. I would have purchased the D50 right away, but “no thanks” to cloud-only offers.

  5. With their “boutique” line, I’d actually be interested in like a d-550 boutique if it had a much better UI than the original.

    I’d rather have the hardware than a cloud subscription.

    1. that is actually what I was thinking too when this came out – or maybe do a boutique like that takes plugouts and then you could have something like this – what would be great is a boutique plugout that takes an SD and allows you to switch on the fly w/o being hooked up to a computer….

  6. “rent-a-software”, usage only with online connection, and if Roland pulls the plug for whatever reason the synth is no more in my projects?
    No, thanks….

  7. These cloud-based subscription services are inevitable, because they’re awesome for new users that don’t want to invest thousands of dollars in software. For those users, it’s a deal to pay $20/month and get everything.

    For people that are used to buying a software synth for $100 and then using it for 5 years before an upgrade comes out, the cloud services are going to be a hard sell. I think a lot of people are used to the ‘impulse buy’ approach of buying a few cool soft synths or apps each year, which is a lot different than making a monthly commitment to one vendor.

    We’ll see how this plays out – but cloud services are inevitable and as much as people complained about Adobe, I think they got a ton of converts.

    1. For software like Adobe CC it makes sense because the programs are expensive and routinely used by companies or freelances for whom accounting and taxes become more convenient if renting or leasing their tools instead of outright buying them. For an amateur user it makes little to no sense to rent software. It makes a lot of sense for the producer though as such a business model provides a steady revenue stream.

    2. 20$ is the beta price. Normal will be 30$ – for 360$ per year I could buy several plugins and use them until the end of my life…..

      1. Random Chance, WOK

        Good points – and I agree that Roland has their work cut out for them to make this worth $20/month, let alone more, for a mass of users.

        What they have to be aiming for is the same thing that Adobe is doing – eliminating the upfront barrier to entry for people, so you can get a lot of people subscribing.

        With music software, though, there are tons of inexpensive tools available that are very capable, so Roland will have to offer a really compelling package if they want this to fly.

      2. O gosh. You may die soon then, because the chances are very strong that the Roland Cloud won’t be around shortly.

    3. ‘…invest thousands of dollars in software’ ?
      Now that’s rather overexaggerated!
      Ever heard the term ‘Freeware’ ? 😉

  8. Ok Roland where is the option to buy it because I don’t even use Internet on my music PC and I would not like to spend $200 on this for a year’s use.

  9. I know where Roland is coming from with the subscription stuff. The hot buzzword with companies today is “recurring revenue”. Makes it easier for them to predict incoming revenue vs selling a product one time. Lots of companies are doing it these days and in many cases it makes sense. Support is generally better, features are implemented quickly (they want to keep you!) and you only pay as long as you use the service.

    What I don’t like about Roland’s plan is that music isn’t something I do to pay the bills. As a hobby there’s no (real) revenue for me from my music. I don’t want to pay a monthly fee forever so I can open old projects or collaborate. Unlike other cloud subscription services like storage I can’t just swap out the Roland VSTs for something else equal easily. Paying $100-$200 one time for a VST makes more sense to me, or even using any of the new rent-to-own services. I suspect a majority of fellow musicians are in the same non-paying boat these days. If I was pro it might be a different story. Even Roland’s “Keep one every year!” idea doesn’t sound appealing. At $20/mo. it ends up being a $240 VST. I don’t see anything they offer being worth that much. Same problems if I leave the service for all of the other VSTs I didn’t get to keep too.

    1. Mike, you are spot on regarding recurring revenue, however I am absolutely not with you on the other points you have mentioned. Better support? Please show me with Adobe, Microsoft etc. There is absolutely no better support, on the contrary, resellers (who did offer localized support) are either thrown out of the business or generate less income so that they have to cut costs (remember 10% off 30 EUR each month is worse in terms of accounting etc. than being able to invoice 36 EUR en bloc).
      As far as features go, I have seen a lot of companies with cloud-based products, which are exponentially growing features only to justify upcoming price increases. They can tell the customer: Hey, we are working like mad and provide you so much more value for a little more money. Sadly, I have also seen that so many of these “features” are hardly interesting for the customers, but since they are bound to the cloud model, the *must* pay.

      1. Yeah, you’re probably right about Adobe and MS’s cloud services. I don’t have any experience with them. I mostly deal with this stuff in business where the shift to cloud-based services has been happening fast (even my company started offering our services via the ‘cloud’ not too long ago too). So far we’ve had pretty good experiences, and the services that don’t deliver get dropped quick. I’d prefer just demoing/purchasing what I like, but options for just buying the software we want are starting to dry up. I shouldn’t have assumed the same was true in the consumer realm. For them it’s probably more about being able to offer a product at a greatly reduced cost (“Hey, here’s the Creative Suite for $20/mo vs a $2000 one-time cost”).

        You’re right about the cost increase stuff too. That’s the part that’s really going to hurt people that jump right in. Really no way around that either. Once you’re locked in it’s either pay the higher price or give up loading old projects. Cost of infrastructure goes up, people want more salary, inflation, justifying new features, etc. I’ll be avoiding all of this cloud stuff for my music hobby as long as possible.

  10. I’d rather buy the hardware and sell it after a year for 60 less… I was excited for this until I saw cloud based…. I’m if I’m working on an album for a year I do not want to have to pay $240 just to have it ready when I need it… Can you imagine a world where you have 10 plug ins for rent and you get pop ups every telling you your subscription has run out…. what a racket, I want this plug in to succeed… I would have even bought it, but I want the platform to fail.

  11. I’d consider this if the GUI had tiny little knobs on it. Teeny tiny little ant-sized knobs. That’s what it needs. We all enjoy minuscule physical interfaces now and that’s what we are all crying out for in the software emulation realm too. A knob half the width of my pinky, a button like a fly’s eye. Come on Roland.


  12. I’d really like to hear the far edges, including aliasing and all rawness of the original D50 on that. Hoping for a series of audio demo’s with the original factory sounds from this vst.
    It would be very nice if you could exchange direct data dumps via web midi between this emulation / recreation and the original. In that case I would play with it for demo, or even up to a month.
    I would never part from my original D50 though.

  13. Cloud based with a monthly payment is a No-Go for me also. Everyone is going for the monthly revenue. Some companies like soundsonline/eastwest symphonic orchestra have the option to buy or go cloud. I pay for the module outright and not for the cloud with the monthly payment. I already have a half a dozen monthly services and refuse to pay for more if I don’t have to. There is plenty more in hardware that will do the same thing or in software.

  14. If I pay for hardware or software, I want to own it. Renting 20 € / month a vst, means having an annual fee of 240 €, but if I do not pay for a month, I can no longer use that synth. Absurd, a policy that I think will not succeed. I like korg, which proposes its synths for ios at very interesting prices. You pay once and one can use that synth forever on all your devices (iphone, ipad pro, ipad air …). Roland’s policy is hateful. For the same year-price i can buy a special offer fot Native Komplete or Arturia V-Collection. For 250 € i can buy the real thing

  15. Even though a subscription model might be more likely to attract “serious” users, it repels just as many of them. For this reason, it won’t be as likely to find a wider user-base.

    I think a better model would be to build simultaneously for desktop and for iOS/AU3. The iOS community would sell to a much wider group (especially at $20 or lower). They could sell some additional sounds as IAPs.

    They could keep compiling updates in those platforms.

  16. “… Digital Circuit Behavior (DCB) faithfully captures every detail …”
    The original is already completely digital, including the TVF filter, so it’s no great feat to emulate that in a VST. The only unique component is the original attack, transient , sustain samples.

    As for $20 /mo
    Lower that to $10 or $5 and more fish would take the bait !

  17. I guess we’ll know if this model works if they keep it going instead of reverting to pay up-front. I started paying for Serum monthly, but when I had the spare cash I paid it off. With the Roland one you own the D50 after a year if you want. About the same cost as Serum, but Serum offers more value to me.

    I was a keen mobile gamer on iOS and regularly bought the apps at anything from 99p to 9.99. However, once “free” to play came out I lost interest. Some of my favourite games changed their latest version to f2p and I kept hitting points at which the game would say “unlock this bit for 2.99” or “speed up the wait time for 4.99”. I thought, “stuff this. It’s a stupid model that won’t work.”

    Seems I was wrong, and they do indeed make more money by pricing as f2p (why isn’t it called “keep on paying to play”?) and just about every game is now released as f2p, and every big console/PC release seems to have locked functionality you can pay to unlock, despite already paying full-wack for the game. However I have never bought an f2p game and never intend to.

    1. Agree with you. Keep in mind the Roland Cloud cost will go up. $20/mo is beta pricing so in not too long that $240 D-50 VST will turn into a $360 one. On the other hand, the rent-to-own model makes a lot more sense, even for newbs. At least you’re paying something off and if someone loses interest in music it’s no huge loss. If they get into it they’re already halfway to paying VSTs off that they will own.

      I’m no fan of free-to-play either. It’s picking up momentum because people are totally obsessed with getting something for free. The nutty part is they don’t even care if they end up paying more than they would for a standalone purchase. Or that they purchased $150 worth of virtual clothes for their player (“But I got the game for FREEEE!!!!”). I’m glad I don’t play many games anymore. Can’t wait until we have VSTs you have to pay to unlock LFOs. That will be my sign to move to hardware only. (Though part of me hopes people wake up to this nonsense I’m not holding my breath)

  18. DCB …. ACB redefined. Models a whole Intel 80’s CPU, some ROM and RAM. Wow. ~~~

    Really ?

    Not just VA + some sample memory ?

  19. No way no how will I have a monthly bill for VSTs. If more companies do this, I’ll quit upgrading and move even more towards hardware. I’ve got more than enough tools in my box to make music.

  20. I am willing to spend, and have spent, decent amounts of money on VSTs I like. But I would never “rent” them like they are pushing toward. If anyone from Roland reads these comments, for the record I have purchased every single plugout synth, but I’m not willing to spend $1 on a subscription. I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

  21. Does anyone know how to get the 32bit version? Previously you could select this through their website but now you are forced to download the plugins through this crappy cloudmanager which BY DEFAULT installs the 64bit version.

  22. I would pay 100-150 $ for the D-50 plugin, but not 20 $ per month : I spend around 250 $ per year for software (music and others). No need of the others plug-ins of the Roland Cloud, no want use my annual budget for only one plug-in. So, what to do ? Waiting that Roland sells the D-50 in a no-rent-way or waiting found it in another but no legal way ?

    I hate the non-legal way, but clearly Roland is very incitative…

  23. No subscriptions to me. No Adobe, no Slate Digital, no Roland. I might buy a Roland D550 hardware module instead, just to stick with my principles, and probably save money long-term.

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