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4. Roland 'S' Series samplers
Roland's S-10 introduced a phenomenal series of samplers that excited and engrossed an entire generation of users in the mid 80's.
Roland used a basic marketing model (affordable digital sampling) to introduce a whole range of products over a number of years. The S-220, a rack version of the S-10 was followed by the S-50 keyboard and S-330 rackmount which were superseded by the S-550 and S-770. The â€˜Sâ€™ series were renowned for their lush libraries and generous number of outputs. The operating system, although sometimes tiresome to navigate was advanced for the time and helped considerably by the introduction of a mouse and monitor giving the â€˜Sâ€™ range direct lineage to the later computer driven samplers. Features included waveform smoothing, auto looping and a â€˜previousâ€™ function, which allowed you to sample input on-the-fly. They also included Time Variant filters (like the LA-type synths), which made the TVAâ€™s and TVFâ€™s more precise.
They sampled into 2 banks: A and B (a necessary feature which often caused confusion), and saved onto 3.5 floppies. The utility disks also came on a floppy.
They also sported a very basic sequencer. The S-550 came with 1.5meg memory in a 2U rack and the S-770 squeezed into 4U. The S-760 came along in 1994. This 1U was expandable to 32meg and had digital I/Oâ€™s. It could also read the Akai S1000 and S1100 sample libraries. Thatâ€™s it for this week. Join us again in 2 weeks time when we will be revealing the all time greatest sampler... Ever!
See you then!