Roland S-550: clean/dirty?

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Sir Ruff
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Roland S-550: clean/dirty?

Post by Sir Ruff » Sat May 22, 2010 8:49 pm

Been trying to read up on the s550, and though there's definitely been some talk of it here in the past, I'm not sure that I've gotten the full picture as far as how clean or dirty it sounds? If anyone's paid attention to my previous sampler posts, they will know that I crave aliasing in the SP tradition, and am always looking for a cheap substitute for that sound.
I currently have a s612 (which I love, but not because of it's sound necessarily), and an SCI p2002+ which, while very clean, CAN be pushed to get some nice high-end aliasing.
So my question is, where does the s550 fall in relation to these two? I've always loved the idea of rocking one of these things with the monitor and everything, but ultimately, if the sound is only so-so, or too clean, then I probably wouldn't use it. Someone here regarded the s550 as being in no-man's land in terms of being one of the cleanest of the 12-bit samplers (and thus closer to 16-bit)...

Any thoughts?
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Re: Roland S-550: clean/dirty?

Post by ColorForm2113 » Mon May 31, 2010 1:17 am

Although I haven't spent as much time as I should have with the s550 yet (lack of monitor...) and im not familiar with your previous sample posts...id have to say that you can get your samples sounding pretty gnarly when you start modifing their wave forms (or draw your own) and playing with the filter.
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Re: Roland S-550: clean/dirty?

Post by Spadz » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:46 pm

Hey Sir Ruff... Haven't been much around the past months, and I just saw this thread.

I have a S-550, with monitor, mouse and... SCSI (lucky me).

I haven't spent 100 hours on it, but it came a a huge pile of floppies, and I tested modifying the waves etc.

It does sound clean for a 12bit machine, BUT, it also sound pretty warm for digital filters, it's really cool to use with the monitor. Just that, and the price they go for, is great. My whole rig is in parts cause I'm moving, but my
next experiment would be using 15khz samples in place of the 30khz that all the disks I have use.

Truth is, when I bought it, I wanted something lower-fi and grittier than my E4 and A3000... After a few floppies I had a mixed feeling. In a way i was "deceived" because it sounded too good, but than I started to read the manual and began playing the utilities , modifying Tones, and it's the use itself that turned me on. I got a junk 8 inch monitor with it... I connected it to a 22" LCD TV and holly s**t! It's an experience. I can never sell that thing, it's way too much fun.

Like ColorForm said, you can add dirtyness to the samples manually, it would be an idea. There are ways to mix waves and stuff. I guess it depends how you use samplers in general. I'm not much into loops and stuff. I'm more into creating short samples from mixing other synths together and adding surrounding noise, effects... To me a sampler is just a synth with an no limits in the number of possible wave source.

I was used to manipulate waves with Wavelab then dump them on my E-Synth with 128mb. This machine is a big fun toy to me and is a big change in memory management as well.
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Re: Roland S-550: clean/dirty?

Post by PPG_HOSHII! » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:55 am

I'm a former owner of the Prophet 2002 and I used it along with my friends Roland S-550 for a while.
I think that if you already own the Prophet 2002, the S-550 doesn't have much new to offer. The sound is clean but compared to the Prophet 2002, I find it to be too cold/sterile. I would consider owning both of them together to be overkill since the Prophet 2002 already does so much. The prophet 2002 is just such a champ in terms of both clean and warm sounding 12-bit samplers, and although I no longer use either (I use the ensoniQ mirage these days); I would recommend the Prophet 2002 over the S-550 any day of the week.

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