Roland Revives D-50 Synth with D-05 Boutique Module

Last month, on 808 day, Roland announced reissues of the TR808 drum machine and SH-101 synth in the form of the TR-08 and SH-01A boutique modules.

Today, the historic Japanese firm comes back to the table with yet another diminutive reissue of a classic: the D-05 module, which recreates the massively successful D-50 digital synth of the late-'80s.

Originally launched in 1987, the D-50 was pioneering in its use of what what Roland called "Linear Arithmetic synthesis" — a method that combined PCM-based attack transient samples with synthesized waveforms. The result was a synth that could achieve wider range of complex sounds unlike anything heard previously.

The D-05 module uses this same system with the same samples to absolutely nail the sounds of the original. The control layout is also essentially the same down to the waveform diagrams and instantly recognizable joystick controller.

According to Roland, the new module does offer a few useful changes from the original design beyond the obviously different form factor. A 64-step sequencer and new arpeggiator come stock, along with a modern suite of ins and outs including USB and MIDI to integrate with your laptop and the rest of the Roland Boutique Series.


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