Roland S-220

Roland S-220 Image

The S-220 is an upgraded rackmount version of the original S-10 sampling keyboard with polyphony that has been doubled to 16 voices. Like the S-10, it is still a very limited consumer-grade 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). The S-220 also features 4 part multitimbrality and up to 5 audio outputs.

Roland has created some nice libraries for the S-10 on disk which are compatible with the S-220. Creating your own samples is pretty easy and was designed for any novice to intermediate player. 30kHz or 15kHz sampling is available, and the S-220 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. Though the S-220 is an entry-level sampler, S-330 is a more advanced system with professional appeal.

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7 Visitor comments
March 8, 2009 @ 8:43 pm
Fortunately, I don’t share the same opinion as REV, this is a hot little number, it produces some gritty LO_FI noise. I’ve been using it for the last 2 years and whilst it’s not as simple as some other samplers, it’s certainly worth spending the time on to achieve some amazing results.
Remember plugging in the power cord, pressing buttons and hoping for the best, rarely gets good results.... And just for the record I am not aiming this comment at you REV or disrespecting you in public :)
February 18, 2009 @ 11:35 am
I had one of these things as my first sampler. The thing was a nightmare-editing sounds was less enjoyable than having or administering a colonoscopy. It used these ditsy, ridiculous mini-floppy discs that only it and a Brother Typewriter used, and the disc drive was so sensitive that if you moved the unit about two inches it took a week for it to work again. If you see one on eBay for less than $10, it might be worth it to buy to re-create the fax machine scene in "Office Space."
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User Rating

Rated 2.87 (111 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 - 16 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 - None
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1987
  • Resources & Credits
  • Christopher Baumbach, found at Synth Site.

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