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
July 19, 2009 @ 11:20 pm
Funny that cos I got my D-50 for £80 a year or so ago... I'd never pay the same (or more) for a inferior D-20.
May 22, 2009 @ 3:58 pm
i got my d20 for 80 pounds in 2008 and use it puerele for dirty orgon sounds but un like the d50 the d20 onley has 2 spacy sounds in it [sound track and space horn]
April 5, 2009 @ 5:15 am
February 28, 2009 @ 4:13 pm
Yes the D20 was the poor man's D50 but it was great for just using multitimbrally in the sequencer. It lacked chorus/flanger as the D50 did but the Rhythm section was adequate. It was like a MT32 but with keyboard. The sequencer was totally basic. With no real editting. It was quite a warm synth.
February 23, 2009 @ 3:58 pm
I hadn't listened to my old Roland D-20 for ages bit I thought I'd dust it off and load up some of the songs I'd written some 18 years ago and I was amazed at how good some of the more analogue sounds were.- and I programmed them! I'd spent pretty much 3 years of my life, night and day, playing this thing and getting some fantastic sounds out of it. Ok, the effects were pretty poor and the drum sounds were poor, but you could always do what Kraftwerk did, and make your own, which I did. One neat trick was that you could put any internal sound, made up of up to 4 tones, into the rhythm section. Great for big effects sounds. My XP80, that I upgraded to, can't do that! In part its the nostalgia of this being my first synth, but all in all this was and still is a very powerful and expressive workstation.
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  • 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
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