Roland RS-505 Paraphonic Strings

Roland Paraphonic-505 Image

The RS-505 Paraphonic Strings replaced the classic RS-202 and combined strings, a basic polysynth section and a bass section. The keyboard was shortened to 49 keys and is split down the middle to assign different sounds to the left and right sides of the keyboard.

The Synth section has four waveforms (selected by the large white buttons) and its own VCF with cutoff and resonance sliders, VCA ADSR sliders and LFO features. The Bass section has three preset bass sound types to choose via the big red buttons. It has its own VCA Attack and Release sliders and Vibrato controls. The String section has two String preset sounds - selectable via the big green buttons - and other features borrowed from the RS-202.

Sounds from the three tone sections can be blended for interesting results and the built-in Ensemble chorusing effect really warms, thickens and lushes up the sounds! The Paraphonic 505 also features an external audio input (mono) so you could run another synth through the quadruple-BBD Ensemble chorus. A new little performance control section to the left of the keyboard provides convenient volume, tune, glide and pitch bender controls. Similar to the ARP Omni, the Paraphonic 505 is considered one of Roland's finest string synths of its era.

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11 Visitor comments
w.t. salmela
January 23, 2014 @ 4:39 pm
One word: BASS!! It's huge and it even owns the Moog Taurus. I tested them both side by side. Luckily the synth section offers tabs for the bass also, so you can apply some stereo ensemble to part of the bass to make it even huger.
I mostly use it for bass and hope the envelope was more complex like the synth part.
Synth is basic too but offers outstanding sound character and is highly usable for many synth sounds from leads to blade runner stuff. Strings are also great.
One of the synths that will be the last one to sell (with Korg Trident).
The ensemble input is a bliss. Stereo!
January 20, 2014 @ 12:47 pm
I'm interested in selling vintage a roland synthesizer...paraphonic 505, the last analog synth
they made. Excellent condition. Recently cleaned and tuned by British audio in Nashville. if interested
dave stein
May 17, 2011 @ 2:48 pm
anyone have any parts for a RS505??
January 17, 2011 @ 9:49 am
The most surprising and wonderful part of this beauty is the Bass section, simply amazing. Strings are better than the more famous brother, VP-330 and the synth section is an added bonus. Simple structure actually adds to the accessability of this synth, don't sleep on the external souce ensemble and the individual outs for Bass/String sections.
January 12, 2011 @ 6:57 pm
I found this synth VERY hard to place in any mixes. To over powering, not in a good way.
I am a big fan of 70s string machines but this did not make one record for me in 2 years of having it in the studio.
Good for sparse moody film sequences maybe.
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Rated 3.8 (163 Votes)

  • 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 - Full
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO per section (Synth, Bass, Strings)
  • LFO - Yes (in Synth section)
  • Filter - Yes w/ cutoff, resonance (in Synth section)
  • VCA - ADSR in Synth, AR in Bass.
  • Memory - 2 Preset Strings, 3 Preset Bass, 4 Preset Synth Waveforms
  • Keyboard - 49 keys
  • Control - VCF CV In, Trigger, Gate
  • Date Produced - 1978
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Sound on Sound

    Reviewed November 2007.

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