Roland Intros Four New System-500 Analog Eurorack Modules

Ahead of Superbooth 2018, scheduled for May 3-5 in Berlin, Roland has announced four new modules in its System-500 Analog Modular Synthesizer line.

Here’s what they have to say about the new Roland System-500 synth modules;

The SYSTEM-500 distills the original era of analog Roland synthesis into nine Eurorack modules. These modules have been designed for the music creator looking to add the “Roland Sound” to their setup with unlimited sound design potential that the Eurorack format delivers.

The four new modules are:

Here’s what they have to say about the 510 Synth module:

With the SYSTEM-500 510 module, designing your first modular setup or integrating classic Roland sound into your existing modular rig has never been easier. Based on the vintage SYSTEM-100m’s 110 VCO, VCF, and VCA module, the SYSTEM-500 510 module brings together the best aspects of the SYSTEM-500 into a single voice module.

It contains three pristine oscillator waveforms, classic Roland low pass filter with hi-pass switches, and a VCA with multiple outputs. It has inputs for external signals and modulation, and output jacks for both Eurorack and line-level audio. At 20hp and internally normalled for cableless operation, the SYS-510 is an essential building block, whether you’re an experienced user or just diving into modular synthesis.

The 555 Lag/S&H module is a five-in-one module that brings core utility functions to your modular setup, but with some new and interesting twists.

If offers ring modulation, versatile sample and hold with seven waveforms and internal LPF, pink and white noise modes, LFO with internal ENV and VCA, and two CV controlled portamento circuits.

The SYSTEM-500 531 Mix module brings six high-quality inputs, each with level slider, pan knob, and performance-friendly mute button. It has high-fidelity sound with low noise, ensuring that your modular rig sounds its best.

The six pan knobs are CV controlled and there’s even a boutique-quality stereo preamp, so you can bring in mic or line level signals–or get overdriven tones.

The headphone section has a dedicated volume knob as does the multi-format output section that lets you use both 1/4″ and 1/8” cables. There’s also an LED level indicator for visual feedback.

The SYSTEM-500 555 VCF module is a filter, based on the sound of the Roland SH-5.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

Combining a multi-mode filter with a band-pass filter, it produced a sound that has propelled it to “favorite filter ever” territory for many. It maintains its bass response with a meaty resonance growl.

With switchable outputs, built-in VCAs, and CV control of cutoff, resonance, this dual filter gives you two different vintage filter characters in a flexible and compact 16hp module.

Here’s an example of the System-500 modules in action with a Roland TR-8S drum machine:

See the Roland site for more details.

7 thoughts on “Roland Intros Four New System-500 Analog Eurorack Modules

    1. I don’t think Roland has gotten credit yet for how good their Eurorack modules are.

      Their AIRA Euro effects modules are absolutely killer. Apparently, they’ve killed those off, but you see them used going for new prices or more. I think they were too deep for people to grasp in a short period of time, and Roland didn’t give them enough runway to take off.

      The System-500 modules are fantastic, too. I think they’re the Euro equivalent of what Moog has been doing, but at $300/module instead of $1,000/module or whatever Moog’s cost.

      I’m very interested to see if Behringer delivers on their Roland module clones:

      Those look interesting, if not very original. I wonder if they’re bargain-basement pricing will suck the oxygen out of the market for Roland’s modules.

    2. And the very picture reminds me succinctly why I would never ever invest in modular systems from anyone. All of those bloody wires….how is this the future.

      1. I was thinking the same thing. How could you know what kind of sound you were making?? Once you found a good patch you’d be terrified to change it. I think it takes a very particular mind to grasp modular. I have a System 100 (101 & 102) which is only semi modular and I find that tricky enough!!

        1. I could not agree with you more, and I certainly understand the appeal of customising your sound even though thousands may have the same identical set up and the variations are slight at best. However the mess of cables, lack of recallability, and just being able to see the what you have actually done….I just can’t. And never will.

      2. Perhaps you are looking for something other than a modular analog synthesizer. I would therefore recommend that you look into the Native Instruments option. One of the main problems with virtual modular systems as they currently exist is [1] their reliance on MIDI with its rather coarse resolution, and [2] the more problematic one of not having direct access to 50 or 100 control points in the patch.

        Playing live with a large modular system is not a simple plug’n’play option. The patch/es get built and developed over a period of time. To gain proficiency in this is a matter of deep understanding of modular synthesis

        Having introduced hundreds of people to synthesis fundamentals, my experience is that those who are interested in the sonic possibilities of analog modular develop their ears in building their sounds. One of the things that many have come to understand after a couple of months of building patches is that every patch can be extended.

        There is also the understanding that there is no ‘preferred’ order of patching signals, so the lowpass output of a VCF could be applied, through a VCA, as a controller input on an oscillator. My analogy is that I don’t go to the hamburger place to buy a screwdriver. The right tool for the job.


  1. 510 seems like a really good idea depending on the price.

    And damn, the 555 is a lot of module.

    The mixer is the only disappointing one to me. Wish the mute buttons would allow you to switch the outputs. So instead of three stereo outputs with the same exact signal on them (1/8, 1/4 and phones), you could hit mute to toggle between output A and output B (like some Mackie mixers). At least as an option. At first I thought CV to pan instead of volume was sort of weird but if you go mono you could use it to do what I’m talking about. And if one of the outputs is to an effect or something, you could essentially use it as an effect send.

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