Roland D-10 Synthesizer and Drum Machine

Roland D10 Synthesizer
Roland D10 Synthesizer

Over the weekend I scored a free Yamaha DX-21 and at another shop nearby I also found a Roland D-10 in amazing condition with an internal battery problem. As I often find in Nagano, the sales clerk didn’t want to be dealing with an internal battery issue, so he decided to dump the Roland D-10 on me for a price I couldn’t refuse. Case and all, the Roland D-10 got a new home and I have really found it to be a fun synth to play. The internal battery was quite easy to replace and pretty quickly I was able to get it back on it’s feet. The overall condition of this beauty is superb!

What I really like about the Roland D-10 is it’s functionality. I can quickly sit down, turn it on, play a drum track, and then start playing a split keyboard with the bass on the left and an EP sound on the right. Sure, the sound quality takes you back to the 80’s, but as an 80’s music fan I don’t mind that at all. In fact it’s quite nostalgic for me because back in High School I paid a fortune for the Roland D-110 rack module when it first came out. The D-10 is the synth version and after playing it I wish I had paid a little extra and bought the D-10. At that time, it would have been great to have a built in drum machine with the ability to layer or split the keyboard. The 32 note polyphony is not that bad either, plus you get some decent basic effects.

Here’s a fantasic Youtube video of the Roland D-10 in action. This video is another reason why I bought the D-10. To each their own I know, but I love this sound!!

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9 thoughts on “Roland D-10 Synthesizer and Drum Machine

  1. HELP MR ATWOOD _ I AM JUST AN OLD GUY WHO LIKES OLD SYNTHS TO BACK UP MY SING WITH YOUNG KIDS _ I PLAY ROCK WITH -LIKE U I DUST FOUND A GREAT SOUNDING WORKING D-IO SYNTH PERFECT FOR ME TO CONTROL MY KURRZWEIL !000 AND 1200) ROLAND u220 –s-330- YAMAHA tx81z .AND OTHER THINGS -I HAVE REPAIRED -s-50 TOO-.BUT D-!) AND MANUAL HAVE ME FLUMMOXED ! _IS PROBABLY EAS SOLUTION -,BUT IN 178 PAGES OF MANUAL -ONLY FOCUSES ON MY PROBLEM ONCE -U LIKE PRESET SPLITS -BUT I WANT FULL KEYBOARDS SOUNDS LIKE STRINGS PIANOS ORGANS -HAVE ONLY one preset WHOLE OR DUAL .AND CANT AFFORD ANY SOUND CARDS ! U KNOW THIS SYNTHS SOUNDS AND ROLAND -ISSUES -MAIN QUESTION ?HOW DO U OR ANYONE UNSPLIT THE PRESETS TO USE- SAY WHOLE KEYBOARD FOR PLUCK GUITAR OR MAYBE CELLO /PIANO -M?MANUAL FOCUSES TONS ON DRUM MACHINE NILL ON SOUNDS-TONES AND UN SPLITTING -RATHER HAVE 32 full usable SOUNDS THAN 64 HALF BOARDS! – THANK U JIM DUGAS PITTSBURGH -PA !ROLAND IS NO HELP! CAN U ?PLEEEESE! THANK U ..READ U ALL TIME!

  2. Robert VanLane

    picked up a d10 yesterday in Aomori Japan
    I was looking for a cheap keyboard with drums
    I started piano and music lessons this month and wanted something to practise with

    It has some static and noise
    But it is on and off
    You said in your D50 article that you sprayed Deoxit
    My question is where did you spray?
    Do you open the case or just spay through the head phone jack?
    I am not a techie , just a bass and mandolin player

    thanks

    Robert

    ps I love living in Japan, so many great bargains on used gear and so easy to play concerts

    1. Hello Robert! Congrats on finding a D10. I really enjoy mine quite a bit. The first place I check for static is with the output jacks (including phone jacks) and sliders. I spray inside the jacks and will use a cotton swab to gently rub everything clean. With the sliders you take off the caps and spray some deoxit inside while moving the sliders up and down. Also note that sometimes the deoxit will immediately stop the static. Other times it may take a few minutes or even up to an hour for everything to work itself out. After spraying I usually keep the synth on for an hour or so to get it all nice and warm. If you still get static then let me know. Enjoy! – Jim

  3. derek wright

    HI just wanted to say I love your review and demo of the old Roland d10. I found one in Burlington, Ontario. Canada on Kijiji for $160 but I waited too long and it got scooped up. I hope to find one somewhere down the road eventually. Thanks again, Derek Wright

  4. Chris

    Hi JIm, tripped over this artical while looking for a list of sounds on the D10. Question, Where can I find (if there is one) an old “hammond” type sound on the D10.

  5. Alen

    Hey Jim, love the sound in the video. But it doesn’t begin to show what these “lesser” D-series models (D-10, D-20, D-110) are capable of. They can do a lot more than thin eighties synth-pop sounds, as great as those are (I share the view that popular music reached its zenith in the eighties). They can do some Jupiter type sounds, some Oberheim type sounds, some signature D-50 sounds, great organs, electric pianos and even a few reasonably convincing acoustic emulations (horns in particular, but of course NOT acoustic piano). But you do have to go beyond the factory presets. These are vastly underrated synthesizers.

  6. Frances

    Hi Jim, you mentioned being able to split the keyboard with drum backing, bass on one side, and leads on the higher end, how would one go about doing this? And is it possible with the D-10 to program a bass sequence or would it have to be played manually. Sorry, I know beginners probably are biting off more than they can chew when trying this machine, but a friend gave me theirs and I’m still figuring it out. Also is it possible to program your drums? Or when you use the above mentioned feature do you use the factory presets?

  7. Alen

    @Frances,
    If I may be so bold as to answer you myself, you can play two timbres on a split keyboard in Performance mode or in Multi-Timbral mode. Wrt a bass line, you could program one by modifying the Rhythm Setup used by the rhythm sequencer, selecting a suitable bass tone instead of various rhythm tones for a range of keys. The rhythm/pattern sequencer is eight-note polyphonic so it can easily trigger drums and bass on the same beats when required. All the information is in the manuals – just Google “Roland D-10 manual”.

  8. Running Shadow

    Hey jim what kind of battery did you replace in the D-10 ??? My D – 10 keyboard is flashing the “check internal battery” and its probably due for a replacement …..is it hard to installl? THANKS

    RS

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