Roland CMU-810 CompuSynth

Roland CMU-810 Image

The CMU-810 is one of Roland's first Expander type modules. It basically has the same guts and sounds as the MC-202. The overall layout mirrors the MC-202 and SH-101 synthesizers very closely. Along the bottom row are sliders and switches for the Oscillators, 24dB VCF analog filter and ADSR VCA envelope sections. The upper row contains the LFO controls and a simple Mixer section. External audio can also be routed in (but not through the filter). Up to two external sources can be added and their levels mixed in.

This is a rare but capable analog mono-synth. It can generate true MC-202/SH-101 bass sounds which have become very popular in electronic music. The CMU-810's obscurity does not come with a heavy price tag either. In fact, they often make a cheaper alternative to the more common Roland bass/lead-synths. But you'll need some sort of CV/Gate to play any sounds. It has been used by Astral Projection.

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6 Visitor comments
Rod MacQuarrie
April 30, 2009 @ 7:49 am
This article is incorrect. I've owned two MC-202's, two SH-101's, and two CMU-810's and have compared them side by side, triggered from the same source.

1) I can tell you without a doubt that the CMU-810 has more in common with the sound of the SH-101 than the MC-202. It has deeper bass, whereas the MC-202 is more plastic sounding.

2) The layout does not completely mirror the SH-101 or MC-202. It is missing some features and has come additional features.

3) The price tag is actually quite heavy! They are not cheaper than the SH-101 or MC-202. They usually sell in the $750-1200 range and I've only seen a couple on eBay over the past 10 years or so.
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  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - Single VCO : Simultaneous sawtooth and square/pulse-width waveforms AND 1 Sub-Oscillator
  • LFO - 1 LFO
  • Filter - 24dB lowpass
  • VCA - Attack, Sustain, Decay, Release; Linear or Exponential modes
  • Keyboard - None (uses sequencer software)
  • Memory - None
  • Control - CV/Gate and CV-VCA control
  • Date Produced - 1983/84

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