Synth Site: Roland: XP-50: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.8 out of 5
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Mike Scholton a professional user from New Orleans writes:
Call me stupid but I find rocket science a heck of alot easier to understand than this anal synth. All of it's sounds are sampled so if you are starting out and want to have a proffessional sound this synth is NOT what you want. I can't even get rid of the stoopid thing for even half the money I put into it. The sounds are pretty good but they don't give a very original sound and even when you tweek the sounds they don't sound that great. I would recomend this system for people who like to do background music for films and pop artists or church organists but other than that I don't see how this machine can be helpful to anyone. Alot of good musicians can actually tell if you are using an XP synth from its distinct sound. I give it a 1 out of 5

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Sunday-Apr-18-1999 at 22:56
Tim Forster a part-timer user from United States writes:
Actually, it's a pretty good board. Basically it's like my JV1080's which are rather versatile only with the keyboard and on-board sequencer. The sequencer is pretty easy to use actually (I'm used to software sequencers such as Master Tracks Pro 6 and now Cakewalk's Metro 4 and it was actually easy to figure out). Also if you use a software sequencer primarily, you can transfer the sequence down to the XP-50 quite easily via pressing record on a track on the XP-50 and letting the sequence play on through your computer's sequencer.

The synth engine is probably one of the best... unfortunately Roland's marketing department decides to push the expansion boards and it takes a little brain power and thought to actually get the most out of the JV/XP synth engine ...probably this is why most people particularly ASR10/EPS16+ users tend to hate it. No sampling and you basically have to read the documentation on how the JV/XP series' synth engines work to get the basics. ASR10's and the like tend to take direct samples, from my experience, and manipulating those samples tend to be glorified effects if you ask me rather than true shaping of the sound. Either way if you're used to that way of sound modelling, you'll hate the XP-50.

Also for the guy who's having problems i.e. noise from the inputs, if it's in good condition you shouldn't have that problem too bad. You might want to check the cables you're using or also it could be that you have it plugged into a really dirty power line in which case plugging it into a power conditioner (i.e. a Furman) might help. Another thing, check your EFX settings ...if you have the DISTORTION/OVERDRIVE EFX on or have something that boosts the signal you will get clipping and some noise, but this is true of any effect of this nature on most synths.

Also no offense (to the guy who sounds like he's gonna be suing someone over this), the 2 outputs (well 3 if you count the headphone jack) are rather limiting anyways in a professional studio situation as you're jamming everything down just two outputs and are bound to have EQ problems unless you can separate things, like for example on my JV1080's (and I think the 2080,XP-60 and XP-80 have this as well, I send pads and things requiring an balanced effects mix out the primary outputs in stereo, Drums and other sounds that don't need to be effected as much or can be effected through other means through the dry stereo outputs and send various pads and other things out the wet outputs (which most of the time I have on board EFX set pretty subtle anyways when I use this third set of outputs). Just a thought

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Apr-12-1999 at 18:13
Eric a professional user from Long Island, NY, USA writes:
Since 1996 I have owned this thing as my main synth and sequencer. Believe me, my standards are high since I learned my trade surrounded by analog purists!!!! After the unbelievably high learning curve (due to to the wonderful documentation dept. at Roland) I found I could get sequences created rather quickly. This was great because I didn't have the capabilities at the time for a software-based platform. Also, it's a lot easier with the Performance select to bring the song back up quickly with all the proper sounds and effects. This was a big help to my first band since we were able to just bring this sucker on stage and not have to lug around a lot of other crap.

As far as the sounds go, well, no synth is perfect. I'd NEVER have a use for 56 electric pianos, and I only occasionally come across the need for some of the ethnic/orchestra sounds. But once you start editing sounds, you very quickly wish you had more than 128 patches to fill. This is made even more so because I have the Techno card. While many of the presets on the card are far too outdated to actually use I love how it gave me all of the raw waveforms of the MC-303,505, etc.

My basic setup is this thing, a Juno-106, and an ever-revolving array of stuff for beats. The drum sounds in the XP-50 are quite useless for actual beats, but I do like the fact you can edit the sounds the way you edit any other patch, and that they're available in standard Patch mode too. I have to say, though, that the techno card gave me some usability out of the drum kits again.

Overall, this is a good synth for someone who is just making the transition from beginner to pro. While you will probably outgrow it in a few years once you see the limitations of it, (2 outputs can be such a killer sometimes) It's a good reference point for a stand-alone setup.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Mar-21-1999 at 14:46
Gabriel Lehto Gomes a part-timer user from São Paulo, Brazil writes:
I like very much my XP-50 and I'am very satisfied with it. I would like to thanks Roland for it. I have three expansion boards; Orquestral, World and Vintage and the sounds, in general are very good and useful.I work with video production and the XP-50 helps me to develop tracks to be used in my videos.The range of sound are huge. I'am constantly looking for synths and in my opinion the XP-50 is insuperable. I know the Korg, Alesis, Yamaha synths but the XP-50 in general is more complete and, in my case, it supply my necessites of diversity of sounds. I have one Yamaha An1x too. I like very much of vintage synths I am looking for Juno 106, Prophet 5. Thanks and congratulations for your amazing site!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jan-10-1999 at 21:20
robert a professional user from ca writes:
The sounds are ok at best!Its just a bunch of recycled crap from roland,the fucking outputs on this thing are so noisy it sounds like rat shit!!disapointing and bad choice.Hey but look on the bright side you could always use it as a tv tray!!!!

posted Saturday-Dec-05-1998 at 00:18
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