It may be 909 day (9 September) but it's also 30 years since the D-50 synthesizer was released.
It should come as no surprise to synth buffs when Roland releases new versions of its classic hardware synthesizers in the new Boutique format. We've recently seen the TR-808, SH-101, TR-909, TB-303, VP-330, Jupiter-8, Juno 106, and JX-3P given new life using ACB (analog circuit behavior) as the underlying tech. And then there's the SE-02 analog mono... And now there's a new synth joining the Boutique family. Considering today is Roland's D-50 celebration day, there's no prizes for guessing what the new D-05 Linear synth is the reincarnation of...
Here's all the details we know about the new Roland D-05.
Los Angeles, CA, September 9, 2017 — Roland announces the D-05 Linear Synthesizer, the latest addition to the growing Roland Boutique electronic instrument lineup. The D-05 is a compact reproduction of Roland’s D-50 Linear Synthesizer from the late 1980s, one of the most influential synthesizers ever produced. Combining the newly developed Digital Circuit Behavior (DCB) sound generator with the actual samples used in the original instrument, the D-05 delivers the D-50’s iconic, highly recognizable sounds with complete authenticity, backed by all the modern conveniences of the compact and affordable Roland Boutique module format.
Released in 1987, the D-50 was Roland’s very first all-digital synthesizer. Powered by the revolutionary Linear Arithmetic (LA) Synthesis engine, the instrument’s unique mix of sampled attacks and synthesized sustaining waveforms – plus built-in chorus, reverb/delay, and EQ for studio-quality polish – made it a must-have synth for musicians around the world. The D-50’s bold new sounds and beautifully crafted presets inspired artists everywhere and quite literally dominated the popular music, film soundtracks, and commercial jingles of the era. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of this giant in the history of synthesis, Roland presents an inspiring recreation that brings the genuine D-50 experience to the music creators of today and beyond.
At the D-05’s core lies the first synthesizer with Roland’s DCB technology. Paired with the exact PCM attack and loop samples that were so vital to the D-50 sound, the D-05 precisely recreates every tonal nuance in stunning detail. The user interface is totally authentic as well, with the familiar D-50 panel layout and many direct-access controls. Even the all-important D-50 joystick is included, allowing users to smoothly morph between different mixes of Upper and Lower Tones in real time.
The D-05 also includes many modern enhancements not available with the original D-50. The 64-step polyphonic sequencer is ideal for performance and music creation and offers the ability to sequence shuffle and gate timing along with tempo and patch changes. There’s also a built-in arpeggiator for adding movement to the D-05’s already evocative LA Synthesis sounds.
Like all Roland Boutique modules, the D-05 is extremely portable, runs on USB bus power or batteries, and functions as a USB audio/MIDI interface for performing and producing with a computer. It also includes a built-in speaker for monitoring the sound in mobile situations. When mounted in the optional K-25m Keyboard Unit, the D-05 can be used as a compact, all-in-one synth with 25 velocity-sensitive keys.
Price: $349 USD
Learn more about the other Roland Boutique synthesizers in these AskAudio Academy videos.