Synth Site: Roland: S-550 sampler: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.9 out of 5
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john a part-timer user from USA writes:
wow everyone at Roland must have been smoking crack in the late 80s... great sampler...but i never studied rocket science, so it's all coming together pretty slow for me i bought two of them, system disks, mouse, and monitor all for $450, so i figured it had to be a good deal make sure you are a stable person if u decide to purchase an S-550, for there have been several occasions where i've wanted to throw my entire rack out the window overall sound quality is pretty good definately beats the newer cheapo crap Roland/Boss has been releasing ease of use.....hmmm.....i'll get back to you when my brain stops bleeding!

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Friday-Jan-08-1999 at 02:08
Jacob Wedin from Sweden writes:
Good for the price. Strange memory handling. Complicated to use. Crap manual makes it even more complicated...But if you're reasonably clever and has some synth experience You should be able to figure it out. 8 outputs - excellent. Total of 29/58s of memory (depending on sample rate). You need the mouse (dunno if it's a special mouse or not - the plug looks like a regular serial PC plug. Anybody knows?) and a monitor (anything with a video in will do, if you're satisfied with B/W display). Quite powerful, compared to for example an Akai S900. It even has a (non realtime) HP/LP resonant filter (in addition to the normal LP resonant filter with envelope (Time Variable Filter, Roland calls it...). There's a removable plate on the back of that maybe where the SCSI's supposed to sit? Was there ever a SCSI interface released for the S550 ? I paid 3250Sek ('bout 400 bucks) for mine (good condition), with a lot of sound disks. It's annoyingly deep in the rack, though...

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Oct-29-1998 at 12:55
Martin Henderson a hobbyist user from USA writes:
The S-550 gives you some nice pro featers and I feel it is under rated. The use of the mouse and monitor simplify things two fold! The S-550 however needs the monitor to be able to see all of the editing functions. In play mode the monitor is not required so you can gig it without the monitor. It has 4 main banks for sampling. Each bank can sample about 7 seconds worth of audio, these can be doubled if you lower the sample rate. Each of the four banks can be subdivided into many more samples or ponters to samples with different VCF,VCA,LFO, and other paramenter variations. You create patches by setting up keyboard layouts of the samples or pointers across an 7 (I think) octive keyboard, assigning a sample or pointer to a key or a range of keys. The S-550 is set up to play up to 8 patches at once (only 16 note polyphony however) on 8 different midi channels or you can doulbe up patches by assigning them the same midi channel. On each midi channel the S-550 resonds to volume changes, program changes (patches), pitch bend, velocity, aftertouch, and ect. I have not personally used SysEx with it but the manual has several pages dedicated to the stuff. Enjoy!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:09
Teejay a part time user from USA writes:
Like any Roland product, the S-500 is a fine, highly engineered unit. Also, like any Roland product, the manual suck, and you'd better be packing an IQ of 180+ if you think you're actually going to use the thing beyond it's most basic capabilities. If you buy one, you can count on many happy hours of enjoyment trying to figure it out, with or without the sick joke they've packaged as a "User Guide". Please do yourself the courtesy of not scheduling any "make or break" gigs for at least six months after purchasing one. Am I frustrated yet?!

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:09
ROB INDGE a part time user from WALES writes:
Exellent synthesis capabilities, knocks the socks of all todays budget samplers in this area. I also found it great as an educational tool, as the built output and monitor gave a good graphical representation of the sample and synthesis technniques being used. Only downside is the sapmling time and sampling rates which were good for the time but not so good now.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:09
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