Roland S-750 / S-770

Roland S-750 / S-770 Image

Roland S-770 (released 1989)

The S-7XX series were the flagship models of Roland's digital sampler line-up of the early 1990's. Unlike previous S-series samplers, these featured 16-bit sampling at rates up to 48 KHz. Compared to the grittiness of the 12-bit S-550 and W-30, these have a clean, professional and warm sound quality. The S-750 features 2 Mbytes of sample memory (enough for about 22 seconds at 44.1 KHz), a floppy disk drive, an external SCSI bus for adding more drives, a very large built-in text/graphics LCD display, stereo input and output, six assignable analog outs, a mouse and external video monitor connections for enhanced control. The higher-end S-770 included an internal 40 Mbyte SCSI drive and S/PDIF outputs.

The S-750/770 features 24 voices of polyphony and 16-part multitimbrality, allowing many samples and voices to be layered. A patch can contain up to 8 layered or split samples. Each voice has a time-variant filter (TVF) and amplifier (TVA), each with its own 5-segment envelope, and a shared LFO. The resonant digital filter is multimode (low-pass, high-pass, band-pass) and uses the same excellent algorithm as the Roland D- and JD-series synthesizers.

Sampler inputs are located on the front, which is actually quite handy. The ADC converters are excellent and combined with 20-bit internal processing, the S-750/770 has an incredibly warm, smooth and present sound character not found in many of today's mainstream samplers.

Extensive sample looping, cutting, pasting, and editing capabilities are available. A few non-real-time effects are present, including sample-rate conversion, compression/expansion, pitch shift, and time stretch. Most sample-altering operations have an undo capability. On-the-fly resampling, with a selection of sample-combining algorithms, is also available. All operations can be accomplished from the front panel controls, but are made much easier via the mouse and external monitor or with the optional RC-100 remote control which duplicates the panel controls and adds some features such as a numeric keypad—handy when you need to enter an exact value for a 6-digit word number. Sample library disks from the W-30, S-330, and S-550 (but not S-50) can be converted (if necessary) and loaded as well.

Roland S-750 / S-770 Image

Roland S-750 (released 1991)

The OS is complex and requires time to study and learn, but is very powerful once mastered. The primary limitation of these models is memory and storage; the factory-installed 2 Mbyte is not very much by today's standards and inadequate for long phrase sampling. (There is an almost-impossible-to-find memory expansion board that allows memory to be expanded to 18 Mbytes.) The OS also contains a limit on the maximum disk size that it can deal with—540 Mbytes. Also, the S-750's lack of an internal drive means it needs the OS to be loaded from floppy disk. Internal effects are non-existent, although the assignable outputs make it easy to set up routings to external effects. If you want to use an external monitor, you need one that can accept CGA signals and the correct cable, or you can use the composite video out, but that will be monochrome only; only the CGA output is in color.

The S-750 and S-770 were ahead of their time in the early 1990's and rival the capabilities of software samplers today. While it may not seem relevant to use an early 90's hardware sampler today, the S-750/770 has a unique sound quality that can not be found in modern digital samplers. Their excellent converters coupled with great sounding filters made for a really warm and rich sounding instrument. Add to that the large sound library that can be used with it and you have yourself one of Roland's finest and historic digital samplers.

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15 Visitor comments
Sir Dejan Djordjevic
January 19, 2013 @ 7:34 am
I bought my Roland S-750 early 90s to replace older S-330 and AKAI samplers and made lots of self-made samples with it as that is what this digital sampler has been built for, and sometimes I still use my good old Japanese S-750,especially for choir,strings,orchestra sampled instruments,drum sounds etc,all that I can enjoy playing on the keyboard in my studio instead of having expensive session musiicians round. www.myspace.com/sirdejandjordjevic. Regards,Sir Dejan Djordjevic,Basement Flat Rear,
189SandgateRd,Folkestone,Kent,CT20 2HJ,UK
anarose
January 12, 2013 @ 5:36 am
Yes that 's a beautiful old sampler with a beautiful sound . Very easy to work with a monitor.
So you can use a CF reader SCSI Compact Flash to replace the HD intern .That's working perfectly . But YOU MUST use Translator (chickenSystem) to Format Compact Flash
I use it with 1 giga CF and no problem .
Maxwell1981
January 2, 2013 @ 11:19 pm
Good Lord.

It's like the lovechild of a synthesizer and an old PC.
Mike Huckaby
November 26, 2012 @ 2:47 am
I swear by this sampler. aThats all i gotta say. Indeed, the filters are really warm on this sampler.
Dave Cornutt
November 12, 2012 @ 12:01 pm
There's one statement about loading the OS that needs to be clarified. It's true that the S-750 has to have its OS loaded from floppy if it does not have an external SCSI drive connected. However, once an external drive is connected and the OS is loaded, it can be saved to the external drive. After that, on subsequent startups it will load from the external drive and the floppy is not needed. The S-770 can also save and load the OS from an external drive if the internal drive is not working.
 
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  • The link above will take you to a 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 - 24 voices
  • Multitimbral - 16 parts
  • Sampler - 16-bit, 2 Mbyte (expandable up to 18 Mbyte). Sample editing includes truncate, sustain and release loops (7 modes), cut/splice, mix/combine, level adjust, resampling, compressor/expander, pitch shift, time stretch, rate conversion
  • Sample Rate - variable from 22 kHz to 48 kHz
  • LFO - 1 LFO, assigns to pitch, filter, amp with delay (waveforms: sine, tri, square, random, up, down)
  • Filter - 1 TVF resonant low, high or band pass with 5-segment envelope
  • Envelope - 1 TVA with 5-segment envelope
  • Effects - None
  • Sequencer - None
  • Arpeggiator - None
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - 128 patches, 64 Multi patches
  • Control - MIDI, external monitor, mouse, optional RC-100
  • Date Produced - 1989 - 1993

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