This is the Roland D-50 or better known as "The Pad Machine".
It came out in 1987 and is famous for its wonderful pads, but it can do bass and leads just as well.
D-50 is an all-digital synthesizer, but still it sounds analog and dirty.
The D-50 was the first ever digital linear synthesizer to hit the market, whatever "digital linear" means...
It makes sound using short PCM samples combined with a digital analog synth generator.
The keys are velocity sensitive with aftertouch.
A downside with the D-50 is programmability.
It's just about impossible to program sounds directly on it, you have to work your way thru endless amounts of menus.
The rare PG-1000 is a dedicated D-50 programmer with lots of sliders - whish I had one!
I make my sounds with a piece of software called D-50 Virtual Editor.
Lots of music and movie soundtracks made in the late eighties and early nineties have D-50 all over it. For instance a couple of my favorite movies; Robocop and Peter Jackson's Bad Taste clearly have D-50 action going on.
- Arco Strings If you're a fan of splatter movies, you may recognize this sound from Bad Taste.
- Digital Cello Bad Taste tension music.
- Future Pad And now some Bad Taste action music!
- Pizzagogo The pizzicato pad from Enya's Orinoco Flows.
- Nightmare This sound brings me back to the days when I played Alone In The Dark 3.
- Dense Forest Awesome jungle ambience factory preset.
- Devildom A creepy-cave kinda sound.
- Twilight Zone Excellent horror movie tension sound.
- Digital Native Dance A D-50 classic.
- Digital Atmosphere Very cool D-50 pad.
- Soundtrack Another D-50 classic sound.
- Spacious Sweep One of my favorite D-50 factory presets.
- Reso Release It's nice with velocity sensitive keys!
- Intruder FX Spacey sound effect.
- Star-Trek Voices A chord played with the superb Star-Trek Voices preset.
- Deep bass This one can blow your speakers!
- Oberheim sound Typical Oberheim fatness.
- Motor Orchestra Industrial Revolution intro.
- Clockworks Industrial Revolution Overture rhythm.
- Marshy Zone A D-50 preset Jean Michel Jarre used at the start of Calypso 2.
- Computer Weekend The main lead Jarre used in Computer Weekend.
- Alien Cam More D-50 in Computer Weekend.