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Opinions on the Roland W30?

Posted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:14 am
by Corpse Thrower
I just bought one.

So far, not that impressed! It's mono!

Takes ages to load the demo discs. Sound quality not that special, either.

Will I learn to love it?

Interested to hear opinions on this unit before I invest time into learning how to use it.

Re: Opinions on the Roland W30?

Posted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:05 am
by synthroom
Well, they are 12 bit, so they are not going to be as clean as more modern samplers.

I've an S-50 and two S-550s - and yes, it does take a long time to load, especially if you load two disks into the S-550. One of mine has SCSI, so that's a bit faster.

Did you get a library with it? There are S-50 and S-550 libraries online - you might have to convert them for your machine, though.

I've not used a W-30, so I can't speak to that directly, but perhaps this will give you some more inspiration:

Re: Opinions on the Roland W30?

Posted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:41 pm
by Z
Welcome to 1991!

The W-30 was an awesome workstation for its time. Now, my iPad does more except for the 8 individual outs.

I still have mine, but it pains me to sell something I paid $1800 (plus credit card interest) for 22 years ago for only $200 or so.

Re: Opinions on the Roland W30?

Posted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:37 pm
by AzueroSound
I bought one years ago for $100, the entire bottom panel was held on by one screw.
I can't bring myself to get rid of it, because it's got a sound and a few features that my other samplers don't have.
It's not 12 bit like an S950 or SP1200, there's some sort-of 12bit sampling 16bit playback malarky going on that smooths it out in a hazy way.

I often use it to sample vinyl or synths - non-rhythmic chord/melody bits - using the old play at 45 and pitch way down trick.
The filter is *great*, I like to set it to respond to the (very stiff) aftertouch. The multistage envelopes for the filter and amp are cool. I'll also set samples to fwd/reverse looping, and do a bit of unison detune. It just sounds good.


If you hadn't already owned it, I woudn't have recommended parting with any cash, but it's worth using as a sound processer!

The sound at the beginning and end of this track is all a single W-30 patch. Sampled from the good/bad/ugly soundtrack. Not my favourite W30 example, but just something I have online right now.

Re: Opinions on the Roland W30?

Posted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:25 am
by Corpse Thrower
Well, I paid $250 AUD for it, with all the discs plus spare blank ones, SCSI Zip drive (apparently need different system disc version for it) spare zip discs, etc.

Thanks for the tip about the sound processing of it, I might play with it a bit when I have the time.....but I really do hate the fact that it's mono!! Now I ave to learn to use that effects rack I bought ten years ago!

Re: Opinions on the Roland W30?

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:26 am
by synthroom
Mono - load up some stereo samples into separate vices and then route the voices to separate outputs.