Roland S-10

Roland S-10 Image

The Roland S-10 is a very limited consumer-grade keyboard sampler. Its sampling specs are limited to a 12-bit, 30kHz sample-rate. With only 256k of internal memory spread over 4 banks (64k per bank) you get a maximum sample time of 4.4 seconds (1.1 seconds per bank). That's hardly enough for any serious music production. Samples can be stored and loaded on a built-in 2.8" floppy disk system called the Quick Disk drive (which isn't very quick by today's standards). Fortunately the 4 sample banks translate to 4-part multitimbrality in which the 4 banks can be played simultaneously, split and layered across the keyboard and so on.

Roland has created some nice libraries for the S-10 which are on disk. If you find yourself looking for a very cheap sampling keyboard for general fun and use, make sure you get these sample libraries with the S-10. To create your own samples, although the S-10 has its limits, sampling is pretty easy and was designed for any novice to intermediate player. 30kHz or 15kHz sampling is available, and the S-10 has a pretty good auto-loop feature. The 12-bit resolution and 30-15kHz sample-rates mean lo-fi quality (which you might find desirable). Further edit parameters include sample trimming, looping, reverse, tuning, envelope editing, filtering, velocity effects and hi-pass or low-pass filtering. All this editing is achieved by assigning the parameters to a dial or wheel just like the Alpha Juno series.

The MKS-100 is a rackmount version of the S-10, but the S-220 is an upgraded and enhanced rackmount version of the S-10 / MKS-100 that appeared in 1987. Both the S-10, MKS-100 and S-220 make ideal entry-level instruments for anyone interested in keyboard samplers. The S-10 has been used by D:ream.

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36 Visitor comments
February 24, 2009 @ 8:02 am
Hi Rico,

there's no SCSI port on it. You must consider, this is a very old keyboard. I bought my S-10 in 1986! My QD also don't work anymore, seems they don't live very long. What do you hear when you put a QD in its drive? There should some kind of "Reading sounds".
February 6, 2009 @ 6:59 am
I just bought an S-10..and honestly, although I got it at a fair price (but very heavy on shipment cost) I have no idea on whether the QD will work or not, or whether I can find QD disks if the drive works...

So many questions going on in my head right there any SCSI port on it? Can I load samples through my computer? Man, I am such in an anxiety state of mind right now, any comment will be most appreciated on this issue, please...

(frankly, I think I just bought a 'vegetable'..I am scared to death right now..but I believe it will serve well as a controller)

Please help...
the goat
October 16, 2008 @ 10:43 am
I bought this within a month of it coming into the shops. A perfect package - affordable, great editing facility on the sampler, and while the quality/spec is naff by today's standards, it did very well for what I needed. The QD floppies were slow and small, but with a little practice, I was able to use them on stage without trouble.
Possibly the nicest keyboard I every owned, for feel and playability.
Could never quite get why the S-50 didn't have the arpeggiator, and whether this was a trade off against them using the better quality disk storage on the S-10.
Being able to load four sounds at once, layered, played in sequence, or just a better quality sound across the keyboard was great.
October 9, 2008 @ 10:21 am
i have this keyboard, not my first, but is one of my favorites. got it in 1996, heavy duty machine. though the sampler is a tube fuse (easily replaced when overloaded) and the QD drives are fixable (if you find the right tech from roland. QD cards (120 qd cards) you can overlay / upload some cards together to create a duel tone; these cards are marked which area of the keyboard the notes (samples) are assigned to(a/b, c/d). load a disk a/b of one instrument and a disk c/d of another, it overlays the instuments some times with duel tone (one follows the other. they must be loaded in order a,b,c,d; this machine being midi gives it a chance to survive the digital revolution. i often use it with a D110 rack unit , quicker to change sounds, check it out myspace/ohausfranswa
September 21, 2008 @ 11:20 am
Out dated miles by todays means. Great feel and weight. Ideal for controller if bought at the right price. It's trigger in facility works a jam in sync to my TR-606. DUM-DUM-CLAP- "Time to jack" . Thats the stuff we're talking.
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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.
  • Demos & Media
  • Manual - Roland has made manuals for most of their products available as free PDF downloads.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voices
  • Sampler - 12-bit, 30kHz
  • Multitimbral - 4-parts
  • Memory - 256k, 4.4 seconds total sample time
  • Filter - Hi-pass, Low-pass filters
  • Arpeg/Seq - Arpeggiator
  • Keyboard - 49 Keys (w/ velocity)
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1986

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