The Roland D-50 is a polyphonic bi-timberal synthesizer released in 1987. The D-50 features a unique blend of 8-bit Pulse Code Modulation synthesis and Roland's own Linear Arithmetic synthesis. An array of envelope and attack settings, designed to help simulate real instruments more accurately, made this synthesizer one of the most versatile analogue-digital hybrids of its time. Many synth-pop stars such as Gary Numan and Duran Duran used this unique keyboard. In the early '90s MIDImon was introduced and eventually reprogrammed and expanded into MIDI-OX, a workhorse MIDI data handler.
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Things you need
- USB to MIDI converter
- MIDI cables
Connect your Roland D-50s MIDI Out cable to the MIDI In port of your MIDI to USB converter. Connect the MIDI In port of your Roland D-50 to the MIDI Out port of your converter. Because the Roland D-50 was designed before USB technology, an intermediary device is required to use MIDI-OX software to handle the Roland D-50s MIDI data.
Power up your Roland D-50 by setting the "On/Off" switch to the "On" position. If you are using multiple MIDI synthesizers or devices, set the D-50s MIDI send to an open MIDI channel. The MIDI send channel is set by pressing the MIDI button on the Roland D-50 to activate MIDI editing and then pressing the button underneath the channel feature. Change the MIDI channel using the Parameter keys, which increase and decrease the value displayed. Alternatively, engage the MIDI OMNI option to send and receive on all channels if the D-50 is your only device.
Download and install MIDI-OX (see Resources). After installation, assign the MIDI In and Out ports to the USB to MIDI device installed on your computer.
Open the Instrument Panel by selecting "View," then "Instrument Panel" from the menu bar. Select "GM.INS" from the INS File drop-down menu and "General Midi" from the INS drop-down menu. Check the MIDI channel assigned to the Roland D-50 from the channel menu.
Open the Control Panel by selecting "View," then "Control Panel" from the menu bar. Adjusting the Bank and Patch number results in an immediate change in your Roland D-50s sounds. To edit the particular sound or other parameters such as volume, expression, balance, pan, reverb and effects, select the desired parameter from the Controller Event drop-down menu and assign the desired value in the Value box, then press "Send."
Tips and warnings
- MIDI-OX is perfect for using vintage synthesizers with modern Digital Audio Workstations. Experiment with using MIDI-OX as your primary MIDI handler.
- If you are unfamiliar with MIDI devices, MIDI-OX may be overwhelming.
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