Roland U-110

Roland U-110 Image

The U-110 is a basic rack-mount sound module consisting of acoustic-oriented PCM samples with preset settings, limited flexibility, and boring late eighties sounds. It's nothing to get excited about. It has 2MB of ROM-based sampled sounds, none of which sound great. The U-110 is fairly noisy as well. Its palette of sounds could be grossly expanded with up to four expansion cards, but good luck finding those today!

The U-110's biggest distinction, really, is that it was Roland's first totally digital sample-based synth. At the time, that was a break-through - look at all the realistic sounds you get in a single rack space MIDI module! Nowadays, it's hard to wonder why anybody would want one of these. The U-110 was available in a prototype form as the T-110. But the U-110 was soon replaced by the U-20 keyboard and U-220 module. Astral Projection used a U-110 before they switched to the U-220.

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28 Visitor comments
October 25, 2011 @ 5:36 pm
I used to have two of these in my rack. I ran them as layered, single channel sound sources, layering up to 6 parts. You can achieve some really sweet sounds. Brass ensembles, String ensembles, weird evolving synth soundscapes, could do it all - with some programming (which is typical Roland, OK when you get used to it). used to call them my M1 killers. Ran them inline through some multi-effects (REX 50 and a QuadraVerb GT) - don't use the onboard chorus, it adds noise.
September 22, 2011 @ 9:14 am
I finally decided to fire up my U110. I plugged the computer into it and only 1 channel will work at a time. Cakewalk has been no help and my D 20 works fine with the tunes. I rebooted the U 110.. no change. I have tried activating the other channels, but still the unit only responds to one channel at a time. Help !!!
Dan logic
September 21, 2011 @ 11:14 am
these are graet machines , if you are into retro sounds , the presets are sweet , nice drum kit , nice jazz sounds , you can pick 1 up in perfect nick for 20£ cant go wrong for that price , ive had mine for a lil while now , got all 25 pcm cards and love it. if u hate this then u are just silly. the only thing this module is made for is love.
August 2, 2011 @ 8:17 am
"Nowadays, it's hard to wonder why anybody would want one of these": the U-110 has four PCM card slots while the U-220/U-20 has only two.
June 16, 2011 @ 2:15 pm
I bought one in the Mid-80's to complement my Ensoniq ESQ'1 with realistic sampled sounds, and combined the two were awesome for MIDI music production (using the ESQ's built-in sequencer, and later Dr. T's KCS on an Amiga Computer).
With just 2 machines I had the best of both worlds, up to 39 notes polyphony and 14 parts - you couldn't have more at the time, for that kind of money!
The aliasing noises at the end of the sampled sounds were really bad though when not hidden within the arrangement, and when played live, there was a noticable latency the more notes you played simultaneously.
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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.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 31 voices (6-part multi-timbral)
  • Oscillators - 2MB ROM samples, expandable to 4MB
  • Multitimbral - 6 parts
  • Filter - None
  • Envelopes - Amp envelope attack/release can be edited, among the limited parameters.
  • Effects - 2 FX - chorus and auto-pan.
  • Memory - Expandable with PCM cards: Up to 4 cards can be used simultaneously.
  • Keyboard - None
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1988

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