Synth Site: Roland: D-70: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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Dana Solomon a professional user from usa(PA) writes:
I'm a professional keyboardist, and have had my D70 for about 3 years now, and it suits my needs excellently. In my opinion the Grand Piano still sounds as good, if not better than the majority of the synths being sold today. I do a lot of studio recording, and live performance, and my D70 just fits perfect in any of my tracks I record to tape. I really don't see why everyone expects keyboards to have the sound of a Synclavier!!! If you want professional acoustic instruments, buy a professional sampler and sample the real thing. It's really unrealistic to expect keyboards that only accomodate about 4 - 8 megs of ram, to have instruments that sound like 40 meg samples. People, get real!!!! I just said that to say that all the sounds in the keyboards being sold today all have 95% of the same preset sounds, and I don't really see myself being disappointed with the D70. However, Roland did make it a little cumbersome to program, and I wouldn't recommend this keyboard to someone too lazy to take the time to program their own sounds. As well, the D70 is a little sluggish compared to current synths, but then again this keyboard was built almost a decade a go when all midi instruments were slower and of a lower fidelity than midi instruments today. I haven't really used it as a master controller, but I like this keyboard. Sold my Korg M1 to get.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:11
Marc Rundervoort a part time user from Netherlands writes:
This thing really kicks ass. I have had it for 2 months now and I'm totally in love with it. I have also a JV880, from which the piano is better, but the D70 is really FAT!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:11
Mark a hobbyist user from US writes:
To all you good folks considering picking up one of these babies, you might want to save your money. I sold my D-70 some years ago. 76 keys are nice and would make a decent controller, but the factory sounds are pretty lame. I know there are several outfits (voice crystal, etc...) that make sound cards. I could'nt tell you if these sounds are any better. All in all I had more fun with my Ensoniq EPS, so what does that tell you?

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:11
Jay Storey a part time user from usa writes:
I sold my D-70 a couple of years ago because it was the most bug- laden, hard to use piece of crap I have seen in recent memory. I refer to the D-70 as the "Jaguar of Synths" - it was expensive (originally), prone to breaking down, complicated, and made you want to smash it on occassion. Although the sounds were pretty good (expecially for 1990) and it had some nice controller features, the program interface was obviously designed by about 6 groups of people who never talked to each other. The screens were arranged in a very linear fashion, where you would get stuck 4 - 5 screens down when editing, and not be able to get out without backing out through the same 5 screens you just went through. My D-70 also crashed all the time, and I was unable to use the patch editor functions of my Midi-Quest software to edit patches (you could edit performances, but the D-70 would crash when you tried to edit patches. THIS WAS THE ONLY KEYBOARD OR MODULE OUT OF 10 IN MY SYSTEM THAT I HAD ANY PROBLEMS WITH THE EDITING SOFTWARE, SO I KNOW IT WASN'T A MIDI QUEST PROBLEM. The other really frustrating thing was that I bought the D-70 for it's controller functions, and planned on using the four zone buttons to toggle zones on and off. This procedure was described in the manual, and in a video tape (from Roland) that I bought, BUT IT NEVER WORKED ON MY SYNTH. I put the unit in the shop, had the software ROM chip updated and everything, and it still never would work. I would have to go into the performance zone screens and cut the zones on/off manually. About the only thing I liked about the D-70 was the lower/upper zone configurations, which let you program things like different sustain pedal functions on either side of a split. Most newer boards short of a K-2500 won't let you do this. The display was nice too, but I heard they eventually burn out, and replacements are $250!! (ouch!!!). The Midi-Quest people suggested that I get rid of the D-70, as it had been one of their bigger headaches. I thought they were blowing me off, until I talked to Roland about some of the software bugs and problems I was having, and the tech said, "well the D-70 was a synth that should have never been released, or they should have waited another year or two to work the problems out; they were under pressure to follow up the D-50 with something to beat the Korg M-1 and it just wasn't ready for prime time" I had bought the D-70 in 1993 as a closeout deal, for only $1250 (they had originally sold for around $2000 - $2200). Later on I found out why they were selling it so cheap. When even the company tech reps tell you it's a dog, it's time to throw in the towel. Anyway, I sold the D-70 two years ago and bought a JV-90, which I'm very happy with. As a case in point, I could not effectively program patches with the D-70 after owning it for two years. After buying the JV-90, I was programming patches within a month. The guy I sold it to is happy with it, but he only calls up preset sounds, doesn't edit, doesn't use it in a midi rig. He just calls up a piano, piano/string, or organ sound and plays it through a keyboard amp. If this is all you want to do with a D-70, I could recommend it, but as a controller, main keyboard in a midi system it will drive you nuts.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:11
Dasher a professional user from USA writes:
I stopped playing acoustic piano years ago, when I discovered how load the B3 was! So I do not like a fully-weighted action. I find the D-70 a great compromise between the plastic, DX7 keys and the KX88-heavy weighted keys I find most of the sounds useless for the kinds of music I play live, though as a 'new age' post=D50 synth, it's OK. I primarily use it as a controller, to access an Alesis S4 Plus module (don't like most of its sounds, either, but i love the electric pianos, and the acoustic is pretty good.) My usual rig is set up sothe D70 acts as a controller with one of two patches as master template. A D-70 patch can have four zones-elements that can be turned on or off with the buttons beneath the sliders to the left. I have created a piano master, with strings, vocal pad, bell pad and dark sweep-like sounds, set up with all sounds off, and a second for lead, with a bright, buzzy, breathy and sine-ish option done similarly. The MIDI selection lets me pick my primary sound from the module and add or remove these additional sounds at will. It works beautifully, as programmed. HOWEVER: The sliders are NOT re-assignable in any meaningful way. They only put out data on th 'master channel'. Altogether wierd. Still, it's not bad...

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:11
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