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
August 12, 2011 @ 6:49 am
@Liam: I always exchange the 2pin connector with a standard 3pin in all the old machines that annoy the crap out of anybody if the cable is gone (did it on various synths)
A bit of soldering is required and in 90 of all cases the slightly larger connector fits into the whole in the chassis.
You should get them at Conrad (Germany) or Radioshack (US). I don't know names of similar companies in the UK, sorry. If you are not familiar with soldering and proper isolation, get a tech who does (I'm not taking any responsability for any damage that might occur because of me mentioning this hint here)
Liam Lankstead
July 28, 2011 @ 6:46 am
Hello everybody! I have a Roland S10 keyboard which I use hooked up thru midi to an Ensonique sound module instead of using the old 'floppy disc' type method of changing the sounds. Unfortunately, I have mislaid the two pin power lead required for the S10. Most if not all power leads are now 3 pin. I have searched high and low to get one, both here in Ireland and the UK. Does anyone have such a lead they no longer need or wish to sell? It would be a shame to have to just scrap the S10 for the want of a power lead! Please help!
June 25, 2011 @ 7:32 pm
I bought one of these units, when it first came out. I loved it. I recently pulled it out of the closet and the drive belt turned into a sticky like substance. So, Nomad, please contact me also. I need the drive belt and perhaps more. rcplaneflyer at comcast dot net.

Archie McLeod III
June 20, 2011 @ 10:14 am
Nomad, I'm in North Carolina (US) and I desparately need some drive belts for an S-10 Quick Disk. Got money in hand right now. How can i get them from you? Please e-mail ASAP. Can do paypal or pretty much any other payment medium you prefer.
March 25, 2011 @ 11:38 pm
I have a S-10 in great shape - hardley ever used it. Wondering if I should keep it or sell it? Any suggestions??
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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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