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Roland D-50 | D-550

The Roland D-50 is an LA synthesizer introduced in 1987. It has 16 voices of polyphony and operates at 12-bit/32 kHz resolution. The D-550 is the rack mount version of the D-50.

Roland D-50

The D-50 was one of the best-selling digital synthesizers of all time, and was one of the first virtual analog synthesizers on the market. It combined digital sampling with subtractive synthesis in what Roland called "Linear Arithmetic." Short PCM samples were layered with digitally synthesized waveforms, allowing for realistic sounds that used very little sample memory. The D-50 was also the first commercial synthesizer to include an onboard effects engine with EQ, reverb, and chorus. Its factory presets were programmed by Eric Persing and Adrian Scott.

The D-50 has been used by a wide range of artists from the late 80's through the early 90's, including Bangles, Billy Ocean, Bobby Brown, Boston, The Cars, Chicago, David Lee Roth, Duran Duran, Enya, Eric Clapton, Foreigner, Gary Numan, George Michael, Jean Michel Jarre, Kitaro, Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, New Edition, New Order, Paula Abdul, Phil Collins, Prince, Rick Astley, Rick Wakeman, Rush, Seal, Serge Gainsbourg, Tangerine Dream, Taylor Dayne, and Vangelis.

This page contains patch banks for the D-50 and D-550 in SysEx format. All archives are complete collections, checked and labeled for accuracy. Many thanks to Bobby Blues for his work in documenting thousands of commercial sounds on his D-50 page, which was an invaluable resource while compiling these banks. Please note that these sounds require the original hardware or a VST emulation to play.

Factory Patches

Roland PND series 1-4 (320 patches), Best Choice (64 patches) and D-550 factory bank (64 patches).

Aftermarket Patches

Beachtown Sounds soundbank (64 patches), programmed by Will Brady.
Pro I-III and Top Forty soundbanks (256 patches).
Voltage Drift & Descent into Madness (128 patches).
Definitive Library volumes 1-6 (384 patches), programmed by Nick Longo.
Studio soundbank (64 patches), programmed by Paul Naton.
Crim Media Projekt soundbank (64 patches), programmed by Roald Christensen.
Volume 1 (64 patches).
Volumes 1-2 (128 patches).
Atari Caged Artist's D-50 Editor (128 patches).
Volumes 1-3 (192 patches) and Einsteins Power (64 patches).
Volumes 1-3 (192 patches).
Volumes 1-2 (128 patches).
ROM1-ROM4 and RAM1-RAM4 (512 patches).
Volumes 1-6 (384 patches).
Music Pack Volume 2 (128 patches).
Set #1 (1,037 patches) and Set #2 (1,157 patches).
Volumes 1-7 (448 patches).
SoundSet 1-8 (512 patches).
Pro British Voices (128 patches), Pro Swedish Voices (128 patches, programmed by Niclas Luthman), Japan (64 patches, programmed by Michael Hotop), USA (64 patches) and Soundtrack 1-4 (256 patches, programmed by Simon Bull).
Volumes 1-2 (128 patches).
New Man Studios soundbank (64 patches).
Volumes 1-3 (384 patches).
RDROM 1-4 (256 patches).
Sardonic Sounds soundbank (64 patches), programmed by Gregory Simpson.
10 soundbanks (640 sounds).
Classic Synthesizers Volume 1 (64 patches).
Volumes 1-5 (304 patches).
Volumes 1-3 (192 patches).
Sound Packs 1-3 (192 patches), programmed by Scott Verret.
Atmospheres Volume 1 (64 patches).
Cards 1-6 (384 patches).
International Gold Series D-501-D-504 (256 patches), ORGANizer Series (256 patches) and Studio Series (448 patches).
Volumes 1-4 (256 patches).
Additional patches are available from CL-Projects and Espen Kraft.

MIDI Quest Libraries

MIDI Quest allows you to label, organize, and search your sounds, which is invaluable when dealing with massive patch collections. Below are links to D-50 patch libraries in MIDI Quest format, with labels for sound type, author, ROM, and patch number. As labeling must be done manually, these libraries are only available for select patch banks.

*COMING SOON*

Missing Sounds

We're looking for the following patch banks:

Elekton (Pop/Rock, Best Of), Maartists (Volume 1), Mediacraft (Volumes 3-7), MIDImouse (Sonicflight Sounds Volume 4), Musitronics (Soundbank 2), Patch/Works (D-Spectrum Volume 3), Rec'Up, Sound Source Unlimited (D501R-D510R)

If you have any of these banks (or any sounds not listed here), please send an email to:

All sounds that are available for purchase have been linked to their official websites. If we've mistakenly hosted any sounds that are still for sale, send us an email and we'll redirect our link.

Use

We recommend the following SysEx librarians:

Roland has developed a VST emulation of the D-50 which is able to load patches via SysEx:

Service

Musictronics produces an M.EX expansion board that gives the D-50 & D-550 multi-timbral capabilities, as well as a Speed System upgrade which improves its timing:

Syntaur and Vintage Synth Parts carry replacement parts for the Roland D-50 & D-550.

More Info