11 thoughts on “Roland D-50 – Why It’s Still Popular After 30 Years

  1. Was working at Guitar Center at the time and got a D-550 at close to cost. See them on e-bay from time to time for like $400-500. I sold quite a few D-50s back in the day, IIRC, one was to Peter Tork?, people loved that Soundtrack patch and that bell tone patch that was in the first few presets or whatever it was lol.

  2. OK, this dude is saying the D-50 is important because it was the first Rompler and had amazing digitally sampled pianos and such.

    That is so wrong I don’t even think I can begin to refute it.

    The D-50 was as far as I can tell the first VA synth. It had brilliant digital recreations of square/pulse and saw waves, both with PWM, and the PWM of the saw wave was totally amazing since it wasn’t a saw wave at all! It was a sine wave multiplied by the PWM square wave! It also had two layers per part, and EQ and chorus/flange per layer, and two layers per patch, and reverb per patch and full MIDI guitar synth support so every voice had independent pitch control allowing for full keyboard microtonality, and it also had fractional key pitch scaling allowing direct support of several linear equal temperaments other than 12 (but including 19), and it also allowed layers with very brief digital transient presets, both synthetically and naturally derived. Those transient parts though didn’t make it a ROMpler at all. A ROMpler is a sampler that doesn’t allow sampling. The D-50 in no sense whatsoever was a ROMpler, contrary to the claims of this guy who obviously never had a D-50 in the day and also hadn’t bothered to look much into the D-05 that Roland sent him a few days before he uploaded this misleading video.

    It’s a crying shame Roland didn’t send me the review unit instead since I would have gotten it all right.

    1. Some misinformation in the vid that with a little bit of research and use of the instrument would make you realize…..but anyways I love the D-50. The D-05 is the 1 boutique Roland did right…..but I would have rather had a full (original) sized display and lost the control strips, anyways….cant wait to get a D-05. Trust me,it really does the D-50 justice…..it is still fully programmable, has over 900 patches including the originals,new, and all classic add on sounds from the cards.

      1. Yeah, my D-50 was stolen during a gig a few years back and I’ve been sore about it ever since. I’m planning to get the 05 to replace it. I kept my PG-1000, so I’ll be get to be one of the few absolute mad animals using the 05 with all the knobs. I particularly like the sound of the reverb and the PWM modulatable sawtooth, which is a very rare feature. I think it was the first instrument to pull off that stunt. The next one that could do that I think was the Minilogue, which does it a different way but is similarly useful. It seems like PWM random waveforms is appearing in a bunch of instruments these days though, which is great.

        1. I will be buying a PG-1000 when I get a D-05. Thats why im waiting to get it all at once when I finish the home renovation.

  3. I’m surprised it was released in boutique form. It seems an instrument for a different time. I had the D110 back in the day when we were all using midi sequencing and needed multitimbral tools, but today the DAW has changed the game. For nostalgia an original makes sense to a collector. If you look at some of Roland’s recent less flagship products you can discover some amazing technology under the hood. For instance the Juno Di that was sold as a cheap mobile keyboard has a fab synth engine under the hood via an editor that blows away a D50 or D-05. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

  4. I don’t care much for if a synth is FM, multi timbral or analogue. Not that im not interested in the technics behind the sound…but i lack the knowledge and time to read all about it. What i care for is that i, even with the most super duper synth there is, often still can hear that it is a synth instead of real violins. Or other instruments.

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