Roland XP-50

Roland XP-50 Image

The XP-50 is not just another synthesizer workstation, it's basically a JV-1080 with a built-in keyboard and a 16-track sequencer! It is a digital synthesizer using sampled ROM waveforms. Superb sound quality capable of emulating most any instrument imaginable plus totally fat analog synth type sounds and loads of percussion! It has 64 voices of polyphony and is 16-part multitimbral. The XP-50 makes a great beginner's pro-quality workstation.

It has 8MB of sounds and it also offers a lot of expandability with 4 expansion slots and 2 data card memory slots. You can get up to 42MB of sounds by adding any of the popular SR-JV80 expansion cards suited for Techno, World Instruments, Orchestral or Synthesizers. There's also plenty of multi-effects, reverbs, choruses and filters for creative flexibility, motion control and extensive MIDI implementation.

Some of the features the XP-50 brings (to the JV-1080) are a standard 61-note keyboard with velocity and aftertouch. The MRC-PRO 16-track sequencer which features 60,000 note capacity and can hold 100 patterns and 1 song. Several recording features (loop, step, realtime), quantization and editing features are available too. A built-in 3.5 inch disk drive facilitates storage of your sequences and MIDI data. With a 'bang for your buck' value the XP-50 still makes a great keyboard alternative to the JV-1080. That means you get some of Roland's best sounds in a performance workstation that is as affordable as 'pro-quality' can get (beyond which come the XP-60 and XP-80 mega-synths). It has been used by The Cure.

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45 Visitor comments
September 15, 2011 @ 6:32 am
My synth on the road for over 15 years now, I bought one when they first came out and have used it since as my main synth. Super sounds, lovely choruses with the Vocal Expansion Board. The diskette drive is a bit clunky indeed, but what do you expect after 15 years on the road, in smoke, beer and dirt :) Now happily retiring in the home studio, I sampled a lot of patches via AutoSampler on my MacbookPro, so I can still take its legacy on the road in a more modern version.

Always loved this synth, still do...

March 23, 2011 @ 6:33 pm
I bought an XP-50 at a pawn shop back in 2004 for $350. Not a bad deal at all. I was new to keys and synth and was learning on a Moog MG-1 and a Korg DW-8000. The XP-50 was quite a different animal and it often left me confused and frustrated. Eventhough It had some killer sounds and a substantial sequencer, I was a newbie and stuck to the presets and did very little editing. I downloaded the manual, and it didn't help much. I never used the disk drive, and never stored my own sounds. It was a great machine, but it just wasn't a great machine for me at the time. Not sure if I miss it or not.
D Ross
January 16, 2011 @ 1:58 pm
I recently got a great deal on an xp50 and retired my Roland w30 workstation that I've used heavily (with no repairs needed) for over 20 years.
The xp50 manual isn't very clear on how to leave the sequencer settings for track 1 when I move on to track 2. I like to do drum, bass and key tracks and then guitar solo like a fool. Anybody with me??
Evan Long
September 20, 2010 @ 10:56 am
A major weakness of this unit is the disk drive. If it happens to wear out over time as disk drives can, finding a replacement is very difficult. Roland, who reportedly once sold them for $100 shipped, no longer has these available. According to their database, the Teac part number is FD-235HF-5327 although there are a few other equally rare model numbers (the last four digits in the code above) cited by various unofficial sources on-line.
Kim Herrick
August 17, 2010 @ 9:38 pm
I've performed professionally with my Roland XP-50 for at least 12 years. It was used when I purchased it and has proven to be very road worthy. It's been my #1 synth since I first bought it. Only recently added a Nord for the more advanced Organ and L100 technology. Gonna find a synth expansion board soon and already use the Organ expansion board. I love this keyboard. We've spent a lot of great time together.
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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 - 64 Voices
  • Oscillators - 32 bit custom RISC chips for Digital Acoustic simulation; 512 on-board waveforms (plus up to four 8MB SRJV80 series expansion boards)
  • LFO - Up to 8 MIDI syncable LFOs
  • Filter - TVF (lowpass, bandpass, high pass, peak) with cutoff, resonance, key follow and velocity sensitivity
  • Effects - 40 multi-effects, reverb, chorus
  • Memory - 640 Patches, 128 performances
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (responds to velocity and aftertouch)
  • Control - MIDI (16-parts)
  • Date Produced - 1995
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