Roland U-20 / U-220

Roland U-20 Image

The U-20 is nothing special. It is a digital synthesizer that uses ROM samples of pianos, brass, strings, bass, drums, etc. However it is built for professional use and is truly a quality instrument, even though its sounds may seem like dated-eighties synth pop cheese. It's got nice piano sounds, but they're not the real thing.

The U-20 features 6 part multitimbrality with a 7th drum part, plus 2 direct outputs and 2 stereo outputs. The 30 note polyphony helps if you take advantage of this synths multitimbrality for creating entire performances and ensembles. Digital reverb, chorus and delay effects liven up your sounds. Editing is simple, but there are no filters. With several performance features, the U-20 has a full 61 note keyboard with velocity and aftertouch. There's an on-board arpeggiator, a chord-memory feature and the U-20 accepts Roland SNU-110 sound library cards. It has been used by Prodigy and Astral Projection.

Roland U-220 Image

The Roland U-220 (pictured above) is simply a rack-mount version of the U-20. It has all the same sounds and features packaged in a compact single-space sound module.

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Comments

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62 Visitor comments
Jason Basson
November 29, 2012 @ 1:11 pm
In my music room I have still my U-220 around, and plan to make a song with it again soon.The U-220 was the first synthmodule I owned.It has great sounds and good drumkits.You make a complete track with it.Roland = decent musical instruments! I own also the D-10, JD-800, SH-32, MC-303, W-30, TR-505, TR-606(X2) and the TR-707.On my wishlist: the SH-7, complete Roland System 100, SH-201, SH-09.You can see more of my gear on You Tube(Jason Basson) Greetz Jason
JOE
November 26, 2012 @ 2:22 pm
My keyboard U-20 some keys left side a

re not sounding anymore., ?
alim
October 22, 2012 @ 2:40 pm
This keyboard is trash!!! Why did Roland go down this route after the brilliant D-50 and glorious JD-800? Those are the only 2 decent digital synths from Roland of that era.

It sounds bad, just don't waste any cash on this and save for a D-50 instead (or JD-800)
Enrico
August 26, 2012 @ 9:31 pm
Hello all! This unit has a great piano sound, with GREAT dynamics. The muted guitar was my go-to back then. I still have it and want to get back into using it has got a bad LCD display. Lights up well, but the characters are all scrambled. Any hint on where to get a replacement? Many thanks
Gene
August 22, 2012 @ 8:41 am
Bit of a shame that these instruments are measured by todays standards.
Historically these machines were extremely significant.
There was nothing like it when it was released in 1989.
The Proteus was its only competitor and the U220 was miles ahead in terms of sounds.
 
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • 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 - 30 voices
  • Oscillators - 4MB ROM samples
  • Multitimbral - 6 parts + 1 drum part
  • Filter - None
  • Effects - Reverb, Delay, Chorus; arpeggiator
  • Memory - 64 patches, expandable to 128 with external RAM card
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (w/ velocity & aftertouch)
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1989

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