The RS-50 is a 2003 synthesizer by Roland that was released at an entry-level price and aimed at musicians who want to "forget about MIDI and focus on playing." Roland touted the all-new collection fo CD-quality sounds sported by the RS-50 as well as the performance features, such as simple Direct Access buttons for patch selection as highlights of this synth.
The RS-50 was a decent option for musicians who cared more about easy live performances than endless tweaking in their studio. Roland focussed most on refining the sounds that are important for a live keyboard, such as piano, strings, brass, and organ. For patch editing on the RS-50, you can choose from the pre-programmed instrumental sounds and then adjust the brightness, attack and decay, modulation, and effects. It is also possible to layer two tones if you wanted to create a rich sound. The RS-50 is also compact and light, to ensure you can easily carry it to wherever you need to perform. It weighs only 12 lbs. 3 oz. and is 40-11/16 inches wide with a depth of 11-5/8 inches.
The Roland RS-50 has a 61 key keyboard with velocity, and it also supports chord memory function to play a registered chord via a single key. It also features Phrase/Arpeggio template with over 200 selections and a rhythm guide metronome with preset patterns and variations. Also, the RS-50 has a pitch bend, modulation wheel, and D-Beam controller. Included with the synth is editing software for both the PC and Mac.
In terms of technical specifications, the Roland RS-50 has 64 voices maximum polyphony and 16 multitimbral parts. Two tones can be assigned to each part and can be split or layered. It has 32 MB of wave memory and 640 original tones in its preset memory. For patches, it has 384 original patches and 256 General MIDI 2 patches. This synth also comes with two rhythm sets and eight performances in preset memory. It has 128 patches, two rhythm sets, and eight performances available in user memory. For effects, users have access to 47 types of multi-effects, eight types of reverb, and eight types of chorus.
The RS-50 has a backlit LCD that can show 20 characters on two lines. For connectors, it has L/Mono and R output jacks, a headphones jack, MIDI In, Out connectors, a control pedal jack and hold pedal jack.