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
March 9, 2011 @ 4:53 pm
I am interested in contacting nomad who repairs QD Drives. please contact me on sfdeer(at)gmail(dot)com
March 1, 2011 @ 1:34 pm
I repair the QD drives. Have many parts and new belts. Contact me and I'll try to help.
September 15, 2010 @ 7:32 am
Saw it in a pawn shop had to buy it just to mess around with short sample time but an easy machine to use. Makes for some really nice samples complementing grooves laid out buy my other synths. not a big production tool but very handy in the studio. Drive is still working fine got it with 17 of those pesky quickdisks and a hard case match that with my other tx16 via midi and i have quite a sampling station.
September 11, 2010 @ 3:18 pm
My S-10 worked great but had the common belt problem on the QD drive. I built up a collection of 40 Quick Disks (combo of Roland sounds and blank/rewritable). I have taken apart the drive but have given up trying to fix I think. Feel free to email me with any questions.
emptydoubleyou (at) gmail (dot) com
August 10, 2010 @ 4:52 am
If anyone has a S-10 with a working QD drive and an oscilloscope or logic analyzer, I would be interested making a QD drive emulator. My S-10 has a broken QD drive so I don't know how to emulate the signals.
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User Rating

Rated 2.95 (179 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.
  • 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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