Roland XP-50

One of the newest musical gear I have purchased is the Roland XP-50 Music Workstation. It has great sound which is the same as the acclaimed rack mount synth JV-1080. In addition, it has a capability of adding up to 4 expansion boards to expand patches, waves, and drum sets. I use this to make my own songs and it's hooked up to a Roland D-20. I use my computer for sequencing. Following the overwhelming success of the XP-50 Music Workstation, Roland has introduced the XP-10 Multitimbral Synthesizer and the XP-80 Music Workstation.

Notice: This text is copied from a Roland brochure.

You can download some patches for the Roland XP-50.

Instant response from a 32-bit RISC chip for more realtime potential

The Roland XP-50 is a new music workstation developed along the concept of instant response and more realtime operation. A complete rethink of the music workstation, the XP-50 streamlines operational flow and increases comprehensive music workstation power, effectively handling everything from music production to live performance, without compromise. The 32-bit RISC chip exercises optimal control over all the new XP-50 features. Like a newly developed MRC Pro sequencer system that is highly advanced, yet allows spontaneous operation to maintain your creative flow. And a sound source that is equivalent to the acclaimed Roland JV-1080, providing superb sound quality, advanced functions and maximum expandability. The XP-50's advantages synergistically combine to establish a new reference standard for music workstations in terms of sheer expressiveness, performance scope and operational versatility.

32-bit RISC chip enables instant response

The XP-50's main CPU is a 32-bit RISC chip for lightning fast and accurate response to performance data. Using this chip places all workstation operational flow under advanced central processing control.

Onboard high-performance MRC Pro Sequencer

The XP-50 incorporates a new MRC Pro sequencer that expands and advances editing functions of the industry-standard MC-series sequencers. Emphasizing realtime production to accommodate today's musical applications, the MRC Pro promotes off-the-cuff production and performance that maintain your creative flow. The MRC Pro features 16 phase traces, each capable of controlling up to 16 MIDI channels, plus a tempo track.

Features that make song composing much easier

Loop Recording lets you smoothly create a song without interrupting the musical flow. Pattern Paste speeds up song creation because complete patterns can simply be pasted. The XP-50 memorizes up to 100 customized patterns.

The XP-50 also offers multiple quantize functions. Grid Quantize accuratley aligns manually input data according to the beat. Shuffle Quantize can be set for variations in precise 1% increments. Groove Quantize creates grooves containing timing as well as minute velocity variations as a convenient template. Simply assign phrases to the emplate to obtain different intricate grooves, such as dance grooves, in an instant.

A preview function is also included for editing while confirming data variations on the monitor in realtime.

Functions that enhance performance

Realtime Phrase Sequencing allows the user's own patterns to be assigned to a key. Then play back the selected phrases such as fill-ins and obbligato, that suit performance.

Songs do not have to be loaded, since the XP-50 can play data directly from the disk. Songs saved to a single disk can also be played continuously without waiting between songs. Using a 2HD disk allows continuous play of up to 180,000 notes.

Compatiable with popular data formats

The XP-50 features Standard MIDI File compatibility and its tone map contorms to General MIDI for conveniently playing commercial SMF song data in GM. The XP-50 can also convert Super MRC format data created on a sequencer like the Roland MC-50mkII for instant use.

A sound source that copes easily with the most demanding requirements

The XP-50's 64-voice polyphony copes with the most sophisticated playing requirements and 16-part multitimbral capability makes it easy to handle elaborate sequence data with multi-instrument arrangements. The XP-50's most important advantage for the professional user is that now there are no more worries about hardware limiting musical expression.

Access to more sounds than ever before

Many of Roland's latest waveforms are included to give sounds more impact. In addition to the 8 megabytes of internal ROM, the XP-50 can be expanded using Roland's SR-JV80 8 megabyte expansion boards. The XP-50 can accept up to four SR-JV80 series wave expansion boards at one time, to significantly boost the internal memory to a total of 40 megabytes. There are currently 10 available titles: with many more to follow. This extensive library can provide just about any waveform desired.

There are 10 Tone structures including two wave generators, time variant filters (TVFs) and time variant amplifiers (TVAs) as well as a ring modulator and booster. To aid in creating sounds, a full battery of high-quality effects are provided including eight reverbs, one chorus and 40 insert effect, like phaser and distortion.

And more...

  • The XP-50's 61-note velocity and aftertouch-sensitive keyboard delivers the expressive power needed for recording and performance.
  • New bender design features a longer modulation stroke along with larger lever diameter to make dender operation smoother and more comfortable for greater control.
  • A large 40-character, 2-line LCD for easy sound and data editing. Orange backlighting for visibility even on dark stages.
  • A built-in 3.5" FDD for 2DD and 2HD floppy disks.

XP-50 Specifications:

Synthesizer Section
                    Keyboard: 61-key, velocity and aftertouch sensitive
           Maximum Polyphony: 64 voices
Number of Multitimbral Parts: 16
Memory Capacity Performances: Internal  96, User  32
     Memory Capacity Patches: Internal 640, User 128
 Memory Capacity Rhythm Sets: Internal  10, User   2
       System Common Effects: Chorus, Reverb (8 types)
                         EFX: 40

Sequencer Section
                Data Storage: 3.5" Micro Floppy Disk (MF-2DD/2HD)
                 Data Format: MRC Pro, Standard MIDI File (Format 0/1)
                              convert load MRC (for MC-500/300/50/50mkII)
                      Tracks: 16 Phase Tracks (16 MIDI Channels per Track)
                              + 1 Tempo Track, 100 Pattern Tracks
                  Resolution: 96 clocks per quater note
             Internal Memory: 20,000 notes
                External MFD: 99 Songs or 180,000 notes per disk
         Max. Length of Song: 999 measures

                     Display: 40 characters X 2 lines backlit LCD
                  Connectors: Output (L(Mono)/R), Hold, Pedal 1/2, Phones,
                              MIDI IN / OUT / THRU
                  Dimensions: 1023(W) x 348(D) x 97(H) mm  (41" x 14" x 4")
                      Weight: 9.2kg  (20 lbs 5 oz)