Synth Site: Roland: RS-5: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.7 out of 5
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J.B a professional user from nippon writes:
my first impression was the price, this baby is cheap! unfortunately you can also tell this without knowing the pricetag..

the buildquality has a very plastic feeling to it, even tough its housed in a lightweight, rather nice looking, brushed metal case..

and I havent even mentioned the buttons and the display yet..! the display looks like a calculator from the 80's!! and the buttons has the same plastic feeling mentioned before.. no sir, I dont like this at all..

and now the important part.. the sound..

I have to be honest here, when I first heard about the synth, I thought this couldnt be true, sounds from the xv series, the jv and other great synths packaged in a nice looking box for the musician on budget??

except for the physical plasticity, none of this can be found in the sounds (almost none..) there are some great bass sounds here along with some cool trumpets and some lead sounds, but this is not a real good allround synth in my opinion, especially the controls (the cutoff & resonance) sounded like way to "digital" i.e. it doesnt sound smooth when tweaking.. and the 24/96 specs are just not to be taken seriously.. I've heard "ordinary" (16/44) synths sounding much better than this..

So all in all, if you are looking for a "electronic/techno" sounding synth I'd recommend the CS6X or Supernova II instead.

if you want good instruments & the feeling of playing a real piano, I'd say go for the S80..

if you have no money and absolutely must buy a new synth, pickup the RS5..

and finally if money is no problem, and time neither - wait for the yamaha MOTIF to arrive, from what I've heard this baby is the new Dodge Viper in disguise.. ;)

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Mar-29-2001 at 05:34
AvS a hobbyist user from Denmark writes:
Stendec>>You cannot compare the RS-5 with JP-8000 or Lead3. I just bought the RS-5, and i love it. Very good sounds. Cool bass an cool drums. I think that you get the best board for the money. Well said Steven.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Mar-26-2001 at 03:36
Steven a professional user from Washington, DC writes:
I received an RS-5 and the Yamaha S80 the same day for a recording. I got RS-5 just to control one of my old analog synths (I love the Roland pitch and modulation control/wheel.) I found myself using the RS-5 more than the S80. The sounds are very good and I like the real time controls.


IMO the RS-5 is the best board for the money.

If you are a “real” professional musician, the two best boards for performance are the Roland and Yamaha.

In comparison (My Opinion)

Korg: Too much money for unneeded stuff.... Mainly for people who can't afford a computer too.

Kurzweil: Very good piano, but unreliable. Great for studio use. I like to rent them when I’m on the road.

Alesis: Just not there yet!!!

These are the only other boards I performed with.

I think some people have personal problems with Roland and Yamaha. When it comes down to it.....I need good feel, sound, and reliability. I'd have to go with Roland & Yamaha.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Mar-18-2001 at 08:03
Stendec a hobbyist user from COlorado, USA writes:
Simply put, for the money, you can't get better. We'd all like a JP-8000 or Lead3, but we can't get those for 675US... This is not even a VA synth, realy, but it does rather well on those analogue sounds. That's why I got it (well, that and the TOTALLY COOL arpeggiator). The presents were just icing on the cake (The piano is convincing, but could be better. It kills Korg here. The strings are good the brass passable). The only thing that I could wish for would be more knobs for realtime control, but what's there is not bad once you get the hang of it.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Monday-Mar-12-2001 at 15:49
Michael a part-time user from United States writes:
I got mine about 5 days ago. And ive tried to push it in many ways already. Its sounds are good, but not the best out there. But if your good at tweaking Resonance and Cutoff knobs in real time. You can push a mediocre sound over the edge. The arpeggiator is a awesome installment. Make up your own patterns, or there are quite a few "about 35, 37,different combos" plus ones you can set however you want. Set the arpeggiator to Piano Backing. A play a few cords and move them around and you get a really cool sound. Also Reggae, Salsa and many other arpeggiator parameter sets can turn a bass part, or lead into a little something more special. When useing my external sequencer, it played back everything exactly as I played it, after touch, cutoff, Resonance, etc. Even if I turned the knobs it played it back the exact way I played it. Without effecting the other tracks. The RS 5 can be pushed also threw its Effects. It lays on 3. A basic Chorus and Reverb. And a added Multi FX, which can be one of 42 different effects. The problem hear is that you can only use one on all the tracks. So if you use a auto wah, or a flanger. It is played on all the tracks. But no problem to me. I used the auto wah on and turn the Multi FX off on all tracks except the tracks I wanted the wah on. So do the other tracks lose all the effects? No, they still get the chorus and reverb. Like I said 3 independent effect. Although some of the sounds "Patches for the experts" need the tweaking. Some of the other RS sounds are pretty good thow, even just on there own. There are some heavy industrial style synths and bass synths. And the drum kits you get arnt bad. With a 909 and 808 Bass drum kit for all who need some low end, funk or dance. Then there are basic sets for Rockers, or just regulars. I wont say much on the guitar. Because im a guitar player, and no keyboard to date has been able to get the real sound that I have gotten plugged in. So I wasn't looking for a good guitar sound, or any for that matter. And with My MD-8 track, The RS doesn't have to do all the work. I use it more as a backer for guitar work. And for the price it does its job quite well. I read to the post from the guy who said that you couldn't do industrial or trance on this thing. Well, if you get to know the machine well, you can. I had to do a track myself to see if it could be done. But its just more work finding the right mix of sounds. Id say this, If your only into trance and are a expert in that field, than stay away. But if your into a lot of other stuff too. Or new to the industrial, dance, trace, sorta thing "its all the same to me" And want some beef to back what ever else you play. For the price you cant beat this machine. Its actually not that hard to use. But the manual will drag you around for a few days making you think its is. Then you get it and its like "that's all I had to do" The Owners Manual has a way of making even the most basic thing seem like a handful. Horrible Manual. I don't play Trance stuff, but I did want to try and push the machine, and it held up well. But now its like a beauty to me as I lay back and use it for my purpose of a few base lines, Drums, and a few weird sounds hear and there. Behind my loads of my real guitar. Nice price nice package. Price, sounds, and performance, I give it a 4.4 on the whole package. Of course, if the Keys are your only thing, you can go blow 3,000 on a Triton LOL. I see it this way. If I want a Triton later, I'll by the rack mount version. And play it threw my RS.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Mar-07-2001 at 00:06
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