I recently found a Roland D-50 Linear Synthesizer in near mint condition for $180 at a somewhat remote used music shop here in Nagano-city, Japan. It really was in near mint condition with all of the documentation, case, cables, memory cards, etc. Somebody clearly had taken great care of the D-50 and I felt I couldn’t let this one get away. Back in the 80’s I remember purchasing a brand new Yamaha DX-7 mkI when they came out. Soon thereafter the Roland D-50 was released and I remember I always kind of wished I had bought one instead of the DX-7. However, I always reminded myself that the Roland D-50 wasn’t around when the DX-7 was first released. I had saved my paper route money for the DX-7 and at that time as a kid it would have probably been difficult to sell and convince my parents that I wanted a Roland D-50. I just remember that when the Roland D-50 was out, everyone wanted one that played the keys in high school. It was just a cool synth. I’m now glad to have one sitting alongside my Yamaha DX-7 synth. Both are still amazing synthesizers after all these years and the number of patches available is practically endless.
There is also a really cool Roland D-50 Librarian and Sound Editor available that really adds to the D-50 fun and experience as well. Check it out and please comment if you know of any other great resources for the Roland D-50. I know there are quite a few Roland D-50 librarians and editors out there. Thank you!
Roland D-50 Librarian
It features a library which can be used to store all your patches in one convenient place.
Patches can be transferred easily between the D50 Librarian and the D-50 / D-550 via MIDI.
Patches can be edited in real-time via one or two real-time editors including a virtual version of the PG-1000.
It’s also worth mentioning that I’m very inspired by an 80’s synthpop enthusiast who goes by “synthfreq” on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/user/TheSynthFreq . She uses the Roland D-50 extensively in her live and studio setup. She also writes her own patches for the Roland D-50. What’s amazing is how very well she captures that 80’s synth feel that I grew up with as a kid. Here is an example video of a tune she does called “Night”. The Roland D-50 is the upper most synth played in the video. Check out her other videos too for more great Roland D-50 80’s style sounds and playing. Simply fantastic!!
Night- 80s synth-pop composition.
Synths used- roland D-50 (preset patch), JV-880- lead sax, Alpha Juno-1- synth bass w/delay fx, Motif6- midi to CZ-5000 (strings), Yamaha DX-9- midi to JV-880.
Korg EMX-1- new 80s pattern.
Please enjoy! 🙂