Synth Site: Roland: D-50 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.4 out of 5
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JKMeeker a part-timer user from USA writes:
The ultimate digital synthesizer. A digital so powerful that I, as an analog purist, would be proud to own. (In fact, it is on my hit list.) The following review is based on my many hours of playing with a D50/PG1000 at a local music store.

The D50 requires no introduction, as it stands among the most popular of all synthesizers ever along with the Yamaha DX7 and Korg Wavestation.

Soundwise, the D50's presets have been used to death and sound cliche' nowadays (as does the Wavestation's). Although the DX7 sounds more visceral and alive than the D50, the D50 has one attribute that blows away the Yamaha--the PG1000 programmer.

With the PG1000 programmer, synthesists are given the opportunity to quickly and painlessly edit (with practice) sounds on the D50--creating complex digital patches of innumerable variety. This ability to edit with the PG1000 makes the D50 the most powerful of all digital synthesizers.

Compared to the D50, the Korg Wavestation and its many clones sound muddy and wheezing. Personally, the D50 kills the Triton regarding sound quality (I compared them side-to-side out of the same speaker set, with no effects). The digital harshness and roughness of the D50, compared to a modern digital synth, actually makes the D50 sound more lifelike and vital than anything contemporary.

However, I still think the Yamaha DX7 sounds better than the D50--but, without an equivalent programming unit, the D50 is a better purchase. (However, there was a European made DX7 programmer made by Jellinghaus--I would kill for one of these! In absence of availability, the D50 wins by default.)

The bottom line is that, for my purposes of creating music, the D50 crushes anything modern with a combination of guts and easy programmability. A classic, that keeps getting better (once you delete all the presets and make your own). A must have for my collection.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Oct-17-1999 at 17:50
Andreas Nyström a hobbyist user from Sweden writes:
I've just got one (traded one for a Emax), and what can I say?. Its great!. I just love old digital-synthesizers!. They make such a cool sound, that it creeps all over my body. I've never been an Analog-sound fan, but this synth does those sounds to!, and very impressive. I cant see why some people thinks that its the big brother of D110.. the D110 is lightyears away from the D50 in sounds!. (ive got a D110 too), but the D110 is a great synth to.)

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Aug-29-1999 at 04:06
Henk a hobbyist user from Netherlands writes:
Just included a patcheditor with my librarian program for the D50, download at:

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Aug-01-1999 at 07:13
Attila a hobbyist user from Sweden writes:
Ten years ago I owned one but I had to sell 'cause my economy. Now I bougth another D50 and I won't sell it any more.I'm always surprised over the crispy sounds it can deliver, a little minus for the sucking pianos and strings.This is the SYNTH; I used to compare new equipment to it," aha, this synth had something of the D50 sound...".It was almost worth to get through a 4.500 000 000 years of evolution just for to be able to manufacture a D50.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jul-21-1999 at 14:18
Eric Sauppe a hobbyist user from Altadena, Ca. writes:
The D-50 is perfect for new age type smooth pad types of sounds which works with my music well. The only way to program your own sounds is to get a editor/ librarian program. I have one for the Amiga of all computers and it works really well to make some incredible sounds. I just recenly downloaded some new patches from a web site which make my D-50 like a brand new synth. The PG-1000 programmer is VERY confusing and weird to program with.

The aftertouch is AWESOME and the control of soloing sounds with aftertouch is really fun.

I agree that a lot of the non-pad type sounds really stink. Get an editor program and make your own.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Jul-19-1999 at 18:28
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