Roland S50 for $70

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OB-XaMinimoog
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Roland S50 for $70

Post by OB-XaMinimoog » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:28 am

Assuming its working, is that cheap or is that the going rate?

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Re: Roland S50 for $70

Post by synthroom » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:35 am

On the cheap side of going rate.

I like the S-50. Hook up a video monitor and it's like having a mini-Fairlight. And the entire Roland factory library is free online to get you going.
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Re: Roland S50 for $70

Post by OB-XaMinimoog » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:53 am

synthroom wrote:On the cheap side of going rate.

I like the S-50. Hook up a video monitor and it's like having a mini-Fairlight. And the entire Roland factory library is free online to get you going.
That sounds pretty cool! I just thought it might be something different and neat to play with.

Does it have to be a certain kind of monitor or can it be like a PC monitor?

This thing takes floppies, correct? I'm not too familiar with it.

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Re: Roland S50 for $70

Post by synthroom » Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:07 am

Disk - you want double sided / double density floppies (ds/dd). And a WinXP computer with an IDE-based floppy drive (not a USB drive) to make floppies from the disk images. Search for S-group to find the library.

The monitor - a PC monitor works, but you'll need the right cable. I have a S-50 and a couple S-550s and one has a Roland monitor, one a PC monitor, and the last has an Atari ST monitor. Each with a different cable design. All those give you a color display, but you can also get green monochrome using a monitor with a simple video input.
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Re: Roland S50 for $70

Post by OB-XaMinimoog » Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:38 am

synthroom wrote:Disk - you want double sided / double density floppies (ds/dd). And a WinXP computer with an IDE-based floppy drive (not a USB drive) to make floppies from the disk images. Search for S-group to find the library.

The monitor - a PC monitor works, but you'll need the right cable. I have a S-50 and a couple S-550s and one has a Roland monitor, one a PC monitor, and the last has an Atari ST monitor. Each with a different cable design. All those give you a color display, but you can also get green monochrome using a monitor with a simple video input.
Ahh ok. Well, I'll definitely look into the thing. Its at a Guitar Center but doesn't list if its working or not (there were actually 2 in the picture). I sent them an email so hopefully they should respond tomorrow.

Now does it work only with samples from its own library or you can it work with other samples, as long as its on a DD? I'd particularly be interested in Mellotron samples and a few Analog synth samples, unless it already has those in its library.

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Re: Roland S50 for $70

Post by synthroom » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:00 pm

The S-50 only works with samples from it's own library - it can't convert say Akai S1000 to Roland. But the entire Roland Library is public domain.

Here's the libraries that are on the S-Group:
http://www.sgroup.ca/archive/samples/
I see they have someone's Mellotron samples there too - I've not burned them to floppy so I can't say how they are...

http://www.sgroup.ca/archive/samples/Roland/
They have the S-550 and S-770 as well as S-50. (The S-550 can load S-50 as well as it's own library.)

And a listing of the S-50 disks in the Factory archive:
http://www.sgroup.ca/archive/samples/Ro ... rsblst.txt
There's a lot of analog synth samples in there, as well as some Fairlight stuff as well!

It's a high quality library and the sounds are good, even though it's a 12-bit sampler.
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Re: Roland S50 for $70

Post by OB-XaMinimoog » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:50 am

No longer available. Damn! Ah well, I'll keep an eye out and see if another one comes up. I really want one now. For the price its seems like something I could have some fun with. I've been searching on the web to see what other cheap 80s samplers are out there but the S-50 interests me more because I like that you can plug it into a monitor (theres even a little tablet you can get as well) and edit the sounds, like a poor man's Fairlight.

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Re: Roland S50 for $70

Post by synthroom » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:17 am

Poor man's Fairlight! That's what I thought when the S-50 came out right when I was getting into synths back in 1986.

The monitor setup is really cool, as is the drawing tablet. The monitor does make it pretty easy to use as you can see a bunch of menu items or settings at once. It's not as easy to use as the Fairlight, but pretty close - and a heck of a lot cheaper!
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Re: Roland S50 for $70

Post by stf-ran » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:20 pm

The keyboard makes an excellent controller. Very playable. I have an old S-10 that I only use for this purpose.

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Re: Roland S50 for $70

Post by _seph » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:39 pm

a friend recently offered me his S-50 for free and I turned him down. I personally don't think that they're worth the space that they occupy. had it the TVF filters of the S-550 then I'd love to have one but as it is almost any other keyboard sampler would be preferable.

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Re: Roland S50 for $70

Post by OB-XaMinimoog » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:02 am

_seph wrote:a friend recently offered me his S-50 for free and I turned him down. I personally don't think that they're worth the space that they occupy. had it the TVF filters of the S-550 then I'd love to have one but as it is almost any other keyboard sampler would be preferable.
Does your buddy still have it?! I'll take it! :lol: (seriously)

If it was in the price range of other 80s samplers (Ensoniqs, Kurzweils, etc) then I'd just get one of those. But if I can get one for like $50-$70 then why not. Thats what most cheap Yamaha and Casio "electronic keyboards" cost at Walmart or wherever. Like I've said its something different to play with. Sound quality isn't the best but its late 80s so its to be expected. Not to mention its cheesy as f**k, but I like a little cheese ;) :lol:

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Re: Roland S50 for $70

Post by Z » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:32 pm

You might also look into the Roland W-30 which superseded the S-50. It has a few samples in ROM and will read W-30, S-50 & S-550 disks, and has a 16 track sequencer. It has a larger screen than the S-50, but does not have the monitor output that the S-50/550 have. You can usually find them in the $100 - $200 range.

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Re: Roland S50 for $70

Post by _seph » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:20 pm

OB-XaMinimoog wrote:
_seph wrote:a friend recently offered me his S-50 for free and I turned him down. I personally don't think that they're worth the space that they occupy. had it the TVF filters of the S-550 then I'd love to have one but as it is almost any other keyboard sampler would be preferable.
Does your buddy still have it?! I'll take it! :lol: (seriously)

If it was in the price range of other 80s samplers (Ensoniqs, Kurzweils, etc) then I'd just get one of those. But if I can get one for like $50-$70 then why not. Thats what most cheap Yamaha and Casio "electronic keyboards" cost at Walmart or wherever. Like I've said its something different to play with. Sound quality isn't the best but its late 80s so its to be expected. Not to mention its cheesy as f**k, but I like a little cheese ;) :lol:
if you've got the extra space, sure. I'll see if he still has it and if he would like to let it go for shipping charges and a handling fee.

however, for around the +/- $100 range you might be better off with a cheap Yamaha/Casio... actually I'd much rather have a Casio SK and I love my free MT-520. that aside, you can often find Ensoniqs at this price and they are all much better and more fun than the S-50, which isn't fun at all (and I like the obtuse early digitals of this era).

I'm usually one that feels that if it's cheap and makes sound then it's worth picking up, but this is definitely an exception.

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