The Roland D-05 Linear Synthesiser – the D-50 is back!

The Roland D-05 Linear Synthesiser has been announced. On my day off. Still, the Roland D-05 is sufficiently exciting to take me away from going to get an almond croissant and the paper and sit down with a cafetiere of dark roast and my favourite mug to tell you about it.

Roland D-05 Linear Synthesiser

The Roland D-05 Linear Synthesiser

The Roland D-05 brings back the legendary sounds of the D-50 and puts them in the desktop-friendly Boutique format, meaning you’re free to use it as a module, or combine it with the usual Boutique accessory subjects.

The Roland D-50 was released in 1987, and is just one of those classic synths that ended up everywhere, from film soundtracks to Enya.

But what was it that made the D-50 so interesting? The D-50 used a novel blend of short, sampled attack transient waveforms carefully mixed with digitally synthesised, sustaining sounds. This method of synthesis, which would be called Linear Arithmetic (LA) synthesis, offered the real-world sound of sampling, the flexibility and expression of a synthesiser, that could be sculpted into a professional studio sound using the onboard effects.

The Roland D-05 puts LA synthesis back into the modern player’s and producer’s toolkit.

Roland D-05 Linear Synthesiser specifications

Let’s take these straight from the datasheet:

  • Perfect sonic recreation of the D-50 from the makers of the original
  • Digital Circuit Behavior (DCB) faithfully captures every detail
  • Authentic user interface including joystick control
  • All the original presets plus fresh new sounds
  • Compatible with original D-50 patches
  • 64-step, polyphonic onboard sequencer and arpeggiator
  • Rugged construction with metal front panel
  • Highly portable for mobile music making
  • Battery operated (4 x AA) or USB powered
  • Built-in powered mini-speaker for instant enjoyment
  • Compatible with optional Roland Boutique accessories

Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? We’re expecting the Roland D-05 to arrive with us in the second half of October, with a price of £349, so get in touch to pre-order yours today, as we imagine initial shipments won’t hang around long!


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Fynn Callum

producer, guitarist, engineer & dj
From indie guitarist to deep house producer via Northern Soul dj; mix engineer, producer and gear enthusiast. Jaffa Cake aficionado.

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