Synth Site: Roland: MT-32 Synthesizer Module: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.7 out of 5
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a part-time user writes:
I got one of these back in 1990. It was my first digital synth, and my first synth module (I was broke at the time). I still have it and use it. I have yet to come across an editor for it, so I just use the presets. Yes, most of them by themselves are pretty ghastly. So why do I still have this unit and still use it? A year after I bought it, I got an old Akai Note Splitter unit. Combining the MT32 with this, I can get up to four sounds at once out of the MT, while only gobbling up one MIDI channel. By itself, the MT gobbles up Channels 2-10 whether I like it or not. Using this set-up, I have got some truly rumbling drone basses out of it - something that my romplers are very bad at - and other useful sounds. Most sounds by themselves are pretty mediocre (or worse), but there are one or two decent ones. One that stands out is French Horn 1. I use this any time I need French Horns. It's way better than any other french horn sound I've heard.

Power supply is a line-lump. 0 out of 10 for this. I will never again buy anything using a line lump. I've had nothing but trouble from them, including the one for my MT32.

Basically I use it because I still have it, it's still going, and it is still useful. It stands out for French Horns and drone basses, but I won't be trying to replace it when it dies.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Friday-Apr-06-2007 at 22:32
Chris E a hobbyist user from Australia writes:
I picked up one from eBay for AUD 76. but it was a little bashed so I got the store to refund me the postage costs. It is a RWI modded device to it keeps its memory after power down (nice), two extra sets of outputs but I don't know how to use them. I dropped Robin Whittle an email this morning and he promises to send me the mod documents (what a nice man - love the Devil Fish BTW).

I have owned a Kawai K4 for over a decade and it is interesting to compare the two versions of S+S (the K4 was released two years later). First up the K4 has full samples, attack and loop, not just minute attacks, so it gets much closer to the real sound. It has nearly a hundred cyclic waveforms. It allows the samples to be filtered, not so the Roland. It has more effects. So where does the MT do well? Four filters, four pitch envelopes (great with ring mod) - per voice, pulse width velocity, better multi sample loops, a nice syn snare, a more complex envelope, the filter attack is faster (the k4 tends to pop on fast attacks).

In conclusion the K4 and K4r are far better instruments, but are more expensive. The MT 32 was a revelation when released, but was always aimed at home users. I always wanted an LA synth and I am enjoying having a tinker, but it is an effort to get any distinctive sounds, useable sounds. If you can get one cheap it will provide some nice, basic analogue type sounds.

If I have under valued the unit, then my poor programming may be at fault - if someone has some decent timbre sysex files then email them to me at

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-May-10-2006 at 20:39
dano a hobbyist user from Japan writes:
I recently bought one of these for $20, and I really like it. I use factory presets like Echo Pan, Soundtrack, and epiano. I blend the epiano with the epiano on Yamaha TX81z and it sounds great. The Yamaha has better attack, and the Roland has a lush presence and decay. The Echo Pan patch blends nicely with other synths and has a wonderful analog bass sound when arpeggiated below C3.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-May-03-2006 at 19:11
Paul Midi a professional user from USA writes:
Bought one in 1987 for $500, had it updated w the memory and improved S/N upgrades and sold it for $100 in 1997...wish i kept it..had the same nice pads as the D50....

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Feb-11-2001 at 14:01
Tim a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Well, I have to add my 2cents worth. I actually like the MT32, although I don't use it for more than a couple organs and the strings are okay.The thing I Like about this unit is that with a good editor you can access 4 partials per voice. Each with its own 8 stage envelopes, 3 per partial. One LFO for pitch on each partial. It has a resonant filter which can give out some cool grinding timbres. As well as silky smooth ones. So try this, create some whacked out sound on the first partial using square, saw or pcm waves, detuning, all envelopes, filter which can be assigned to velocity, you can assign key ranges to each partial. Now invent some thing on each new partial, Use ring mod on a couple. Now put them all together and find out what this pre-GM module is really capable of.!! Imagine 12 independant ENV's 4 independant pith LFO's and looped waves of the rhythmic variety all going off at once. Ahhhh. I use an editor which accesses all of the parameters (many) and use the MT32 for twisted background sounds,Sweeps, techno basses and other items not accessible from the front panel. I wish it had memory- it resets at power-down but save your work to a sysex file and call 'em up later For most uses I give it a 3 but for experimentation and gaining some orignal sounds that are over the top I give it a 4.5 With LFO's for filter and more LFO waveforms I 'd give it a 6

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Feb-11-2001 at 13:29
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