Roland D-20

Roland D-20 Image

The D-20 makes a great budget or alternative D-50. It's more closely related to the D-10 and D-110 synthesizers but adds an 8-voice sequencer with a rhythm track. The D-20 is a digital synth that employs linear arithmetic synthesis (LAS). It's a confusing synthesis / editing method composed of tones, partials and timbres. Basically it all boils down to tricky programming which, if you know what you are doing, can have interesting and unique results. Reverb effects and internal / external memory storage are also available on the D-20. Definitely worth a listen.

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81 Visitor comments
June 13, 2014 @ 10:00 am
@andy buying a D-50 to attempt to find/use 'decent samples' is ridiculous. The D-50 sounds so special precisely because of what else it offers (the live waveform generator saw/square) and it's filter/pwm sound. This is struct 1/2 mode stuff and 9/10 the best modern D-50 sounds (warm, lush, inspiring) come from using the pure synth engine not the sampled (crap) piano or the chiffy bottle blowing...............

Anyway at least you are right about D-50 being way better than D-20. No other D is like the D-50 and no other D is worth owning other than D-50. Fact I'm afraid.
Russ B
April 30, 2014 @ 7:40 am
without question, this end of the D series was a huge let down. much in the same way the DX9 the 21 and 11 were all awful stripped down engines, the D50 had something very special. not just the larger architecture and effects, it just HAD IT. for all its flaws its an important synth.
Now D20?? its a great sketch book of yesteryear. it wouldnt make any sense at all to hunt it down nowdays. way too many better options. plus your likely to find most of them pretty used and abused. its budget super saver sounding Roland with little to lure you in
March 21, 2014 @ 7:26 am
Just bought a D20 out of curiosity and am selling it ASAP. Let's talk D50 first. It's the keyboard you want because it was late 80's/ 90's music history until you realize that although it sounds huge/analog it bores after awhile with its cheesy low bit samples. There are absolutely no convincing samples on the D50. It can't even produce a decent useable electric piano, but it is famous mostly for its horns and atmospheric sounds. The D20 is a way trimmed down D50. Roland egged the masses with the D10/20/110 products and no demanding musician would keep one. It's cutesy though
March 16, 2014 @ 8:36 am
I have one of these for sale. Melbourne, Australia.
December 8, 2013 @ 10:28 pm
Here is a video with some amazing D-20 sounds that show what the board is capable of:
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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 - 32 voices
  • Oscillators - Digital LAS (Linear Arithmetic Synthesis) & ROM Samples
  • Effects - 8 Effects
  • Multitimbral - 9 parts
  • Drums - 1 kit, 63 sounds
  • Memory - 128 preset patches, 64 user patches 128 performances
  • Keyboard - 61 keys with velocity
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1988
  • Resources & Credits
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