Roland’s Vintage & Modern Modular Systems Compared

In his latest video, synthesist Alex Ball does a head-to-head comparison of Roland’s analog modular (or semi-modular) systems, including:

  • System 100 Model 101 (1975)
  • System 700 Blocks 1, 6 and 7 (1976)
  • System 100m Complete (1979) except 182 replaced with Ryk 185
  • System 500 “Complete Set” (2016)

“What a marvelous collection of instruments!” notes Ball. “What I love about them most is that they manage to sound cohesive and in a ‘sweet spot’, even when you’re patching quite a lot of stuff together.”

“They seem to have designed these with musical outcomes in mind,” adds Ball, “and I really think they nailed it. “

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro
0:41 60 seconds with the System 100
1:54 60 seconds with the System 700
3:11 60 seconds with the System 100m
4:25 60 seconds with the System 500
5:32 Oscillators
6:22 Filters, Filter Bank and EQ
10:45 Envelopes
12:10 Effects
16:16 Specs and Summary
17:02 Outro Jam

Check it out and share your thoughts on Roland’s modular instruments in the comments!


7 thoughts on “Roland’s Vintage & Modern Modular Systems Compared

    1. Baby mama System 500 sounds just as good and is 1/10th the price.

      The most interesting modules (the Aira Euro modules) got left out, though.

      1. nope. system 500 are 100m clones. not that they are bad but system 700 is a different thing with a beefier sound. a shame Roland didn’t clone the system 700 modules.

        1. system 500 modules I wouldn’t just call clones seeing as Roland and Malekko teamed up and are made in Japan.

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