S-50 / S-550 ZONE
S-50 / S-550 3.5 ICON
This page contains S‑50, S‑550, S‑330 and W-30 information about;

S-50 / S-550 BULLET STARTUP UTILITY DISKS - Creating Boot Disks, Booting The Sampler
S-50 / S-550 BULLET S‑50 SUPPORT FILES + INFO - Startup Disks, Library Disks And Manuals
S-50 / S-550 BULLET S‑550 SUPPORT FILES + INFO - Startup Disks, Library Disks And Manuals
S-50 / S-550 BULLET S‑330 SUPPORT FILES + INFO - Startup Disks, Library Disks And Manuals
S-50 / S-550 BULLET W‑30 SUPPORT FILES + INFO - Startup Disks, Tips & Tricks And Manuals
S-50 / S-550 BULLET S‑760 SUPPORT FILES + INFO - Startup Disks, Library Disks And Manuals
S-50 / S-550 BULLET ACCESSORIES - Color Monitor, Composite Video, Mouse, Remote Control, Digitizer
S-50 / S-550 BULLET *.OUT FILES AND *.S50 FILES - Share Your Sampler Library With Others
S-50 / S-550 BULLET ALTERNATE SOUND LIBRARIES - Freebies For Your Sample Library

S-50 / S-550 ZONE     S-50 / S-550 ZONE     S-50 / S-550 ZONE     S-50 / S-550 ZONE


ANIMATED_STAR I think this topic is important enough to place at the top of all my synth INFO webpages

POWER_TRANSISTORS
Of all the broken gear I've found on eBay, I'm able to fix about 90% of everything I find. It's usually a simple fix. If you have a synth with no power or intermittent problems after it warms up, it's probably due to the fact that back in the 1980's Roland and other synth makers used sub-par solder and/or not enough solder to hold components in place. After 30+ years, the solder begins to break down and hairline fractures appear. This occurs at a higher rate for components which generate a lot of heat like Bridge Rectifiers, Power Transistors, large Electrolytic Capacitors, power input jacks and audio sockets which get a lot of use. The best approach is to use a magnifying glass and carefully inspect the backside of the circuit board. If you spot any suspect areas, re-flow a hefty amount of NEW solder

STARTUP UTILITY DISK   S-50 / S-550 3.5 ICON

If you recently purchased an S‑50, S‑550, S‑330 or W‑30, you might find yourself without the required Startup Utility Boot Disk to get things rolling. Unlike a regular synthesizer, you can't power on the sampler and start playing music right away. An operating system needs to be loaded manually before it will work

The three options you have are;
  1. Create your own Startup Disk using one of these freeware utilities
    • WINDOWS ‑ OMNIFLOP ‑ Requires computer with 720KB DS/DD internal 3.5" floppy disk drive. See install notes here
    • MAC ‑ SMAC ‑ You will need access to a Mac computer with a 3.5" floppy disk drive and an older version Mac O/S
    • ATARI ST ‑ SAMATARI ‑ This is a Catch-22. You first need a Roland formatted disk before writing a disk. Ummm......

  2. Replace the S‑50 / S‑550 / S‑330 / W‑30 internal 3.5" floppy disk drive with a USB Floppy Disk Drive Emulator
    • There are a few hardware devices on the market which do this. They range anywhere from $34 (USD) to $250 (USD)
      • I highly recommend getting the least expensive USB Floppy Disk Drive Emulator (Model: SFRM72‑FU‑DL). It makes using the sampler sooooo much easier. Plus, there's no need to worry about FDD mechanical failures down the road. The cost you save from not having to buy any 3.5" floppy disks will easily pay for the USB Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

  3. Purchase a Startup Utility Disk from eBay or get one for free*
    • The average cost is about $12 USD
    • You will eventually need one of these options to build-up your sampler library
      • 3.5" 720KB DS/DD floppy disk drive for your computer and a zillion DS/DD floppy disks
      • USB Floppy Disk Drive Emulator installed inside the S‑50, S‑550, S‑330 or W‑30
      • External SCSI Hard Drive, ZIP drive and/or CD‑ROM (None are compatible with the S‑50 or S‑330)
        • Only certain types and sizes of hard drives and specific models of CD‑ROM's and ZIP drives are compatible
        • The S‑550 requires the HD5‑IF SCSI Interface Card which is nearly impossible to find these days
        • The W‑30 requires the KW‑30 SCSI IC chip upgrade
* If your eBay bargain S‑50, S‑550, S‑330, S‑760 or W‑30 did not include a Startup Utility Boot Disk and you are having a difficult time finding one on eBay, I'll send one to you for free. Just return the favor someday by sending the disk back with some unique samples on it... something not already found in the Roland sampler library... preferably something weird and out of the ordinary. Or not. The important thing is to get your sampler up and running S-50 / S-550 ZONE





S-50 / S-550
S-50 / S-550

               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑50 RSB Disk Image Library (80 Disks)
               This 80 disk set contains the entire S‑50 Sampler Library issued by Roland

               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑550 RSB Disk Image Library Converted To S‑50 Format (60 Disks)
               This 60 disk set contains the entire S‑550 Sampler Library issued by Roland

               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑50 L-Series Disks (L-501 through L-509)
               This 45‑disk set was released in 1987 and also appears on the LCD‑1 CD‑ROM
               Some of these samples are not in the S‑50, S‑550 or S‑330 RSB Libraries


Q: How Do I Use S‑550 Sampler Disks With An S‑50?
A: Create an SYS‑505 Utility Disk then boot the S‑50 with the SYS‑505 Utility Disk. Using the S‑50 "Convert Load Function" will enable S‑550 and S‑330 disks to be loaded into the S‑50. Likewise, using the "Convert Disk Function" will enable S‑550 and S‑330 disks to be converted to the S‑50 sample format and then saved (See page 8 of the SYS‑505 Library Converter Manual)


S‑50 System Utility Disk v2.0
     This 3.5" floppy disk image file allows you to create a System Utility Disk which is used to boot an S‑50
     File Format: *.OUT file for use with the OMNIFLOP or SDISK utility
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑50 System Disk v2.0


S‑50 SYS‑505 Utility Disk v1.00
     The SYS‑505 Utility Disk will convert S‑550 or S‑330 Roland Sound Library disks for use with an S‑50
     File Format: *.OUT file for use with the OMNIFLOP or SDISK utility
               S‑50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD SYS‑505 Utility Disk v1.00              S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD SYS‑505 Library Converter Manual


OMNIFLOP Utility
     Point-and-click WINDOWS program for creating Roland sampler 3.5" floppy disks from *.OUT disk image files
     OMNIFLOP is a better alternative than using the outdated DOS based SDISK Utility
     You will need to make sure that the floppy disk drive you are using is internal and is able to read/write 720KB disks
     I have used OMNIFLOP with excellent results using Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit and Windows XPS-50 / S-550
     I created some useful installation notes here
     File Format: *.EXE File For WINDOWS
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD OMNIFLOP


S-50 Internal 720KB DS/DD 3.5" Floppy Disk Drive
Early Production Runs: Toshiba P/N: FDD 4261A0K
Late Production Runs: Toshiba P/N: FDD 4261G0K
The S-50 reads and writes sampler data using the 720KB DS/DD format. Some users have reported good results using 1.44MB 2HD 3.5" blank disks by covering up the hole on the opposite side of the write-protect tab with opaque tape. I have had mixed results in the past so I only use the hard to find and (unfortunately) more expensive 720KB DS/DD disks


S-50 Supplemental Notes
     Official Roland document with details about Performance Disks, Patches, Sub Tones, Sampling and more
     File Format: *.PDF File
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑50 Supplemental Notes


S-50 Owner's Manual and Service Notes
     File Format: *.PDF File
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑50 Owner's Manual v2.0                S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑50 Service Notes v10‑88S-50 / S-550


S‑50 Noise, Static or Distortion Problems?
If your S‑50 is experiencing noise, static or distorted audio then join the crowd. Over time, the S‑50 will start to experience a problem with the relay coil which is located on the Jack Board. This relay coil needs to be cleaned. Jim Atwood Of Japan has a step-by-step solution at this link;

               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑50 Static Output Solution







S-50 / S-550
S-50 / S-550

               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑550 RSB Disk Image Library (60 Disks)
               This 60 disk set contains the entire S‑50 Sampler Library issued by Roland

               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑50 RSB Disk Image Library Converted To S‑550 and S‑330 Formats (80 Disks)
                 This is the entire 80 disk S‑50 RSB Library converted over to the S‑550 and S‑330 formats

               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑550 L-Series Disks (L-501 through L-509)
                   This 45 disk set was released in 1987 and also appears on the LCD-1 CD-ROM
                   Some of these samples are not in the S‑50, S‑550 or S‑330 RSB Libraries

             
Q: How Do I Use S‑50 Sampler Library Disks With An S‑550?
A: The easiest way is to use the S‑550 "Convert Load Function" which enables S‑50 disks to be loaded into the S‑550 sampler. Using the S‑550 "Convert Disk Function" will enable S‑50 disks to be converted to the S‑550 sample format and then saved (See page 147 of the S‑550 Owner's Manual)



S‑550 System Utility Disk v1.13
     This 3.5" floppy disk image file allows you to create a System Utility Disk which is used to boot an S‑550
     File Format: *.OUT disk image files for use with the OMNIFLOP or SDISK utility
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑550 System Utility Disk v1.13


S‑550 HD5‑IF Hard Disk Utility Disk v1.03
     This 3.5" floppy disk image enables use of the optional HD5-IF SCSI controller card and hard drive for the S‑550
     VERY IMPORTANT: If you want the S‑550 to boot from a hard drive and not from the floppy drive, you will need to
     configure the HD5‑IF Hard Disk Utility Disk v1.03 differently from the default settings. Detailed instructions are at this link.

     Also, I only use the CD‑5 CD-ROM Utility Disk v1.00 disk because it's the only one which allows my setup to
     use a ZIP drive and more than one hard drive at a time. For unknown reasons, the HD5‑IF Hard Disk Utility v1.03
     and CD‑5 CD-ROM Utility Disk v1.02 disks won't enable my setup to use multiple SCSI devices

     File Format: *.OUT disk image files for use with the OMNIFLOP or SDISK utility
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD HD5-IF Hard Drive Utility Disk v1.03               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD HD5-IF Owner's Manual (v.88-4)


S‑550 CD‑5 CD-ROM Utility Disk v1.00
     This 3.5" floppy disk image enables use of the optional Roland CD‑5 CD‑ROM player (and other select external
     CD‑ROM players, ZIP drives and hard drives)
. Some S‑550 owners, including myself, have had problems using
     Version 1.02 with ZIP drives. Using the older Version 1.00 solves most problems with ZIP drive compatibility.
     Included with a new CD‑5 player was CD‑ROM disc L‑CD1. This CD‑ROM contains a large sound library
     equal to 165 floppy disks

     File Format: *.OUT disk image files for use with the OMNIFLOP or SDISK utility
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD CD‑5 CD‑ROM Utility Disk v1.00                    S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD CD‑5 Owner's Manual (v.88-11)        
                         (v1.02 is available here but it's extremely buggy)


OMNIFLOP Utility
     Point‑and‑click WINDOWS program for creating Roland sampler 3.5" floppy disks from *.OUT disk image files
     OMNIFLOP is a better alternative than using the outdated DOS based SDISK Utility
     You will need to make sure that the floppy disk drive you are using is internal and is able to read/write 720KB disks
     I have used OMNIFLOP with excellent results using Windows 7 Ultimate 32‑bit and Windows XP
     I created some useful installation notes here
     File Format: *.EXE File For WINDOWS
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD OMNIFLOP


S-550 Internal 720KB DS/DD 3.5" Floppy Disk DriveS-50 / S-550
Early Production Runs: Toshiba P/N: FDD 4261A0K
Late Production Runs: Toshiba P/N: FDD 4261G0K
The S-550 reads and writes sampler data using the 720KB DS/DD format. Some users have reported good results using 1.44MB 2HD 3.5" blank disks by covering up the hole on the opposite side of the write-protect tab with opaque tape. I have had mixed results in the past so I only use the hard to find and (unfortunately) more expensive 720KB DS/DD disks


S-550 Supplemental Notes
     Official Roland document with details about Performance Disks, Patches, Sub Tones, Sampling, SCSI and more
     File Format: *.PDF File
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑550 Supplemental Notes


S-550 Owner's Manual and Service Notes
     File Format: *.PDF File
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑550 Owner's Manual v1.1             S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑550 Service Notes v11‑88


Starting Up The S‑550
Before turning on the power, you should follow these steps to make the sampler work properly
  • Make sure there is no disk in the 3.5" floppy disk drive
    • When power is initially applied to the disk drive, in some instances, a momentary power surge is created which can damage data on the disk

  • If NOTHING will be plugged into the 9-Pin EXT CTRL Port on the front
    • Hold down the numeric "1" button on the front panel while turning on the power
      • If you don't, you will be unable to navigate any of the menus using the front panel buttons

  • To use a MOUSE with the 9-Pin EXT CTRL Port on the front
    • Hold down the numeric "2" button on the front panel when turning on the power
      • If you don't, the mouse will not work properly

  • To use an RC-100 REMOTE CONTROLLER with the 9-Pin EXT CTRL Port on the front
    • Hold down the numeric "3" button on the front panel when turning on the power
      • If you don't, the RC-100 will not work properly

  • If no button is held down during power‑up, the system will default to the settings saved on the Startup Utility Disk

  • After owning an S-550 for a little while, I never knew how to bypass that annoying message, "Load Next Disk?". It turns out all you need to do is press the DEC/NO button. Just thought I would pass that along. I haven't read the entire manual. Go figure :^)

Turning Off The S‑550
Before turning the power off
  • Make sure there is no disk in the 3.5" floppy disk drive!
    • When power is disconnected from the disk drive, in some instances, a momentary power surge is created which can damage data on the disk



S-50 / S-550
S-50 / S-550


S‑330 Sound Library
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑330 Sound Library
               The S‑330 is able to read all S‑550 Sound Disks
               Plenty are available for downloading at the SAMPLES Page


S-330 Internal 720KB DS/DD 3.5" Floppy Disk DriveTeac P/N: FD-235HF-A527
Toshiba P/N: ND-352S-AS-50 / S-550
The S-330 reads and writes sampler data using the 720KB DS/DD format. Some users have reported good results using 1.44MB 2HD 3.5" blank disks by covering up the hole on the opposite side of the write-protect tab with opaque tape. I have had mixed results in the past so I only use the hard to find and (unfortunately) more expensive 720KB DS/DD disks


S‑330 System And Utility Disks
The S‑330 System Disk and the Utility Disk Image *.OUT files plus system documentation are available at the Li'l Chips Systems homepage in the Roland Support section;
         S‑330 System Boot Disk    v1.03      S‑330 System/Sound Disk I  v1.00 (Piano)
         S‑330 System Utility Disk v1.03      S‑330 System/Sound Disk II v1.00 (Multi Patch)
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD "Li'l Chips Systems" Roland Download Page      (filename: Roland_S-330_Sampler.zip)



S-50 / S-550
S-50 / S-550

W‑30 Sound Library
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD W‑30 Sound Library
               The W‑30 is able to read all S‑50, S‑550 and S‑330 Sound Disks
               Plenty are available for downloading at the SAMPLES Page


W‑30 System Utility Disk v1.10
     This 3.5" floppy disk image file allows you to create a System Utility Disk which is used to boot a W‑30
     File Format: *.OUT disk image files for use with the OMNIFLOP or SDISK utility
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD W‑30 System Utility Disk v1.10


W‑30 Hard Drive And CD-ROM Utility Disk v1.07
     This 3.5" floppy disk image enables use of the optional KW30 SCSI IC chip, hard drive and CD-ROM for the W‑30
     VERY IMPORTANT: If you want the W‑30 to boot from a hard drive, read the setup suggestions found at this link
     File Format: *.OUT disk image files for use with the OMNIFLOP or SDISK utility
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD W‑30 Hard Drive And CD-ROM Utility Disk v1.07


OMNIFLOP Utility
     Point-and-click WINDOWS program for creating Roland sampler 3.5" floppy disks from *.OUT disk image files
     OMNIFLOP is a better alternative than using the outdated DOS based SDISK Utility
     You will need to make sure that the floppy disk drive you are using is internal and is able to read/write 720KB disks
     I have used OMNIFLOP with excellent results using Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit and Windows XP
     I created some useful installation notes here
     File Format: *.EXE File For WINDOWS
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD OMNIFLOP


W‑30 Internal 720KB DS/DD 3.5" Floppy Disk DriveS-50 / S-550
Chinon P/N: FX-354
The W-30 reads and writes sampler data using the 720KB DS/DD format. Some users have reported good results using 1.44MB 2HD 3.5" blank disks by covering up the hole on the opposite side of the write-protect tab with opaque tape. I have had mixed results in the past so I only use the hard to find and (unfortunately) more expensive 720KB DS/DD disks. It's difficult to find replacement floppy disk drives similar to the Chinon style because normal PC drives are set as "Drive Select 1" and Pin 34 is wired as "Disk Change". The Chinon is set to "Drive Select 0" and Pin 2 is wired as "Disk Change". If you are looking for a replacement floppy disk drive, the info at Neil's Webbly World is required reading


W‑30 Owner's Manual and Service Notes
     File Format: *.PDF File
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD W‑30 Owner's Manual v04-89             S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD W‑30 Service Notes v05‑89


Starting Up / Powering Off The W‑30
Before turning the power on or turning the power off, make sure there is no disk in the 3.5" floppy disk drive
  • When power is initially applied to the disk drive or when it is powered off, in some instances, a momentary power surge is created which can damage data on the disk

W‑30 Tips And Tricks

Menu Navigation
When I first got my W‑30, there were a couple of simple things I couldn't figure out and finding how to do it in the manual was a lost cause (as is the case with all Roland Owner's Manuals). Take note of these tidbits;
  • To modify the 60 character Disk Label / Disk Memo, press these buttons in order
          USER   5   1   ENTER   F5
          Use the alphanumeric keypad or the dials to enter text and then save the Patch

  • To modify a Patch name, press these buttons in order
          USER   3   6   ENTER
          Turn the CURSOR DIAL clockwise one click
          Turn the VALUE DIAL counter‑clockwise one click
          Use the alphanumeric keypad or the dials to enter text and then save the Patch

  • To answer W‑30 menu selections requesting a YES/NO response, there aren't any YES or NO buttons to press!
          The solution to Roland's convoluted menu architecture can be explained best with this image below and you can
          use this same logic to answer similar YES/NO messages on the LCD screen
          YES/NO

Hidden W‑30 Patches
There are 16 extra Patches hidden on W30 boot disks. You can access these Patches by using the W‑30 Utility Disk v1.10 boot disk or Hard Drive And CD-ROM Utility Disk v1.07 boot disk. Because a maximum of only 16 Patches can reside in sampler RAM memory, these extra Patches are not loaded automatically at boot time. To use them, you will need to temporarily delete a few Patches residing in sampler RAM memory. This method will work regardless if you boot the sampler from a floppy drive, hard drive, GOTEK or SCSI2SD. As long as you don't Save FD or Save System, the Patches you temporarily delete will remain intact the next time you boot‑up the sampler
  • Boot the W30 from either boot disk shown above
  • After the sampler boots up
          Press the SOUND Button
          Press the F5 Button (5: Disk)
          Press the F3 Button (3: Load Patch)
          Press the F5 Button (Page)
  • Use the CURSOR DIAL to highlight the Destination field
          Use the VALUE DIAL to select any Patch 1 through 16
          Press the F3 Button (Del P) - You may need to delete more than one Patch if the sampler RAM memory is full
          Menu responds with "Are you sure?" (Note: There isn't a YES or NO button to press!)
          Press the F1 Button (Delete)
  • Use the CURSOR DIAL to highlight the Disk [FD] Patch# field
          Use the VALUE DIAL to select any Patch 16 through 32
          Press the F1 Button (Load)
          Near the top of the LCD screen a message appears which reads, "Now Loading" and when done, "Complete"
  • To hear the new Patch
          Press the PERFORMANCE Button
          Select the same Destination Patch# you chose earlier


W30 Techno Stuff
In lieu of reposting a lot of W‑30 technical info which is already online, I'll suggest that you visit two of the best W‑30 webpages I've seen. "The Unofficial W‑30 Homepage" is an archived site from the 1990's but there are a LOT of goodies to be found there, especially in the TIPS/INSTRUCTIONS, EXPANSION, and FAQ sections. Another excellent resource, especially for electronic freaks like myself, are the twelve detailed webpages at "Neil's Webbly World"

               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD Unofficial W‑30 Homepage                                    S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD Neil's Webbly World



S-50 / S-550

S-50 / S-550

S‑760 Sound Library (Actually the S‑770 library but these will also work with the S‑760)
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑760 Sound Library


S‑760 System Boot Disk v2.24
     This 3.5" floppy disk image file allows you to create a System Utility Disk which is used to boot an S‑760
     File Format: *.OUT disk image files for use with the OMNIFLOP or SDISK utility
               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑760 System Utility Disk v2.24      ( filename: S760224.ZIP )


S-50 / S-550
(click for larger image and additional jumper info)
S‑760 Internal 1.44MB 2HD/DD 3.5" Floppy Disk Drive
Chinon P/N: FZ-357
The S‑760 reads and writes sampler data to the 3.5" floppy disk drive using the 1.44MB 2HD/DD format. Note the unusual Jumper configuration on the back of the FZ‑357 disk drive

If you are considering updating your S‑760 to work with a USB Floppy Drive Emulator, see the information at this link




ACCESSORIES: COLOR MONITOR / COMPOSITE VIDEO / MOUSE / RC‑100 / DIGITIZER

S-50 / S-550 ZONEQ: Can I plug an LCD Flat Screen VGA Color Monitor into the S‑50 or S‑550 DISPLAY OUT Port for use as the display device?
A: LOL! You should know by now that almost EVERYTHING Roland makes uses proprietary external devices and it's never easy getting things to work correctly. Making a 15‑pin LCD Flat Screen VGA Color Monitor work is much trickier than just using a simple adapter cable. Several solutions are available and they all require additional external electronics. One of the more interesting and cost effective solutions is the use of a GBS 8200 CGA To VGA Video Converter Board. The current cost on eBay is about $17 USD and you will also need to buy an 8‑pin DIN male connector, an inexpensive wall‑wart power supply and an enclosure for the board. This video board is a compact device measuring 4.0" x 4.5" x 0.75". I have put together a DIY guide with detailed instructions about how to connect this board to an S‑50, S‑550 or S‑330 (See the DIY PAGE)


Q: Can I plug an old-style CGA or EGA color monitor into the S‑50, S‑550 or S‑330 DISPLAY OUT Port for use as the display device?
A: Again... LOL! Roland Proprietary. There are several old-style CGA and EGA monitors which are known to work well with the S‑50, S‑550 or S‑330. However, you can't just plug the monitor in directly. Each one requires a special adapter cable before it can work. Each monitor will require a different style cable because Atari monitors use 13‑pin plugs, Commodore monitors use 9‑pin plugs, etc...
S-50 / S-550 ZONE
  Atari SC1224 / SC1435         Commodore 1080 / 1084
  Mitsubishi DiamondScan        Darius TSM-1431
  Taxan 610 / 420               Sony KV1311 / PVM
  NEC 3D                        Magnavox 8762
  Zenith ZVM133                 Philips CM-8833
  Sharp CU-14GB                 Roland CC-121
Roland used to sell monitor adapter cables P/N: RGB-25N and P/N: RGB-25I
You can find the diagrams and pinouts for those cables here
Custom-made adapter cables by Redmond Cable Corp here
DIY instructions for making your own Atari SC1224 / SC1435 adapter cable here
DIY instructions for connecting VGA/CGA/EGA/RGB monitors here

S-50 / S-550 ZONE
Q: What are my options if I don't have an CGA, EGA or VGA color monitor?
A: The S‑50, S‑550 or S‑330 all have a Composite Video OUT jack which is used to connect an RCA cable to a TV or a monochrome CRT. The output video signal is monochrome but it is still very usable when making on-screen menu selections

One option for using the Composite Video signal is an inexpensive device called the EasyCap‑DC60 which enables a Composite Video IN signal using the USB port on your PC or laptop via the supplied software. The EasyCap‑DC60 cost is $7 USD on eBay but I have seen it sell for as low as $4.25 USD in some auctions

S-50 / S-550 ZONE
One of the least expensive options for connecting an external display is a monochrome monitor. One visitor to this website has had great success with the Sony PVM series which are made in 9", 14" and 20" models. These are mainly used as surveillance security monitors and the screen display is crisp and clear. These can be found on eBay for low $$$. Model: PVM‑97 is especially interesting because it has dual A/B inputs which is great if you have more than one S‑Series sampler. The connector on the back is BNC but this is easlily solved by using a low‑cost RCA to BNC adapter


S-50 / S-550 ZONE
If your computer has a video card with a Composite Video IN jack, you can simply use an RCA cable to get a Composite Video OUT signal from the S‑50, S‑550 or S‑330. If your computer has a video card with an S‑Video IN jack, you can make an easy DIY cable using a 4‑pin mini DIN plug, a 470pF capacitor, and an RCA plug. Because this is a video signal, be sure to use shielded cable. Non‑standard 7‑pin mini‑DIN connectors (termed "7P") are used on some computer video cards [PC and Mac]. A 7‑pin socket accepts, and is pin compatible, with a standard 4‑pin S‑Video plug which is the type used for this DIY cable [Click to enlarge image]

Used ATI Radeon X1300 Video Cards sell for less than $6 on eBay. I used a similar card like this one for years to view the composite video output from my S‑50. It was not in color but it did the job. The big advantage was that this card plugged into the PC which eliminated the need for an additional monitor or TV
S-50 / S-550 ZONE
Another low‑cost option is an unused VHS deck gathering dust somewhere. Some models have S‑Video and/or Composite Video IN jacks. Connect the sampler's Composite OUT signal to the VHS deck, then connect the VHS deck Video OUT to a TV or a computer video card and for little or no investment... you're good to go. If you are trying to connect your S‑50, S‑550 or S‑330 to equipment using PAL and not NTSC video standards, all bets are off. I can't provide any help. When PAL is involved, my eyes glaze over and everything starts to get foggy... just like the snow on a TV that can't receive a good signal. I know absolutely nothing about PAL

S-50 / S-550 ZONE
Q: Can I use a regular PC mouse with the EXT CONTROL Port on the S‑550 and S‑330?
A: And Again... LOL! Roland Proprietary. The only type of mouse which works when plugged in directly is a Roland MU‑1 or other MSX‑type mouse. These are nearly impossible to find and are insanely expensive compared to a normal PC mouse (See the DIY PAGE for a way to use an inexpensive PS/2 mouse)


S-50 / S-550 ZONEQ: What is an RC‑100 Remote Controller?
A: The RC‑100 has a very long hard‑wired cable which plugs into the EXT CONTROL Port of the S‑550. It adds the alpha dial found on the S‑50 and duplicates all of the front panel buttons as a convenience device so that you won't need to hover over the S‑550 while editing. It also has a 9‑pin connector on the back so either a mouse or a DT‑100 (but not both) can be used. The RC‑100 is nearly impossible to find on eBay or from other sources
S-50 / S-550 ZONE



Q: What is a DT‑100 Digitizer Tablet?
A: The DT‑100 plugs into the EXT CONTROL Port of the S‑50. It has a stylus and a flat surface which is used to draw waveforms. The DT‑100 also performs menu navigations just like an MU‑1 mouse. There is a clip at the top which is used to hold paper in place over the tablet to protect the drawing surface. The DT‑100 CANNOT be plugged into the EXT CONTROL Port of the S‑550, S‑330 or W‑30. There are no menu choices to support it. However, the DT‑100 CAN be used with the S‑550 and S‑330 if it is plugged into the EXT CONTROL Port on the optional RC‑100 device. A high-res scan of the most boring manual Roland ever printed is
here


Q: What are the current System and Utility versions for some of the Roland samplers?
A: This list is unverified and by no means complete but it's pretty close. I was able to compile these by reading the headers on various 3.5" floppy disks

CURRENT    SYSTEM/UTILITY     VERSION     DATE          DISK TYPE            DISK HEADER
S-50       System             2.0         08 JUN/87     Boot/Sound           S-50 MT25A
           SYS-505 Converter  1.00        31 May/88     Boot/Utility         S-50 MT25A
                                                                                        
S-550      Utility            1.15        01 APR/90     Boot/Utility/Sound   S550 MT25B
           CD-5 System        1.02*       05 Feb/91     Boot/Utility/SCSI    S550 MT25B
           HD5-IF System      1.03        23 JAN/89     Boot/Utility/SCSI    S550 MT25B
           Director-S         1.00        12 MAY/88     Boot/Sequencer       S550 MT25B
                                                                                        
S-330      System             1.03        18 NOV/88     Boot/Utility         S330 MT25C
           Utility            1.03        09 NOV/88     Boot/Utility         S330 MT25C
           Director-S         1.00        26 JAN/88     Boot/Sequencer       S330 MT25C
                                                                                        
W-30       System             1.10        01 APR/92     Boot/Utility         W-30
           Sys For FD/HD/CD   1.07        01 APR/92     Boot/Utility/SCSI    W-30
                                                                                        
S-7xx      SYS-772 System     2.25        (No Date)     Boot/Utility         S770 MR25A1
                                                                                        
*Compatibility issues with ZIP drives & hard drives. Use CD-5 System v1.00 instead!


LEGACY     SYSTEM/UTILITY     VERSION     DATE          DISK TYPE            DISK HEADER
S-50       System             1.00        09 OCT/86     Boot/Utility         S-50 MT25A
           Converted S-50     No System   (No Date)     Sound                S-51 MT25A
                                                                                        
S-550      System             1.01        17 NOV/87     Boot/Utility         S550 MT25B
           System             1.11        10 FEB/88     Boot/Utility         S550 MT25B
           System             1.12        12 MAY/88     Boot/Utility         S550 MT25B
           System             1.13        26 OCT/88     Boot/Utility         S550 MT25B
           CD-5 System        1.01        23 Jan/89     Boot/Utility/SCSI    S550 MT25B
           CD-5 System        1.00        22 Nov/88     Boot/Utility/SCSI    S550 MT25B
           HD5-IF System      1.00        11 Sep/87     Boot/Utility/SCSI    S550 MT25B           
           Ver 1.xx Sound     No System   (No Date)     Sound                S500 MT25B
                                                                                        
S-330      System             1.00        07 MAR/88     Boot/Utility         S330 MT25C
           System             1.01        11 MAY/88     Boot/Utility         S330 MT25C
                                                                                        
W-30       System             1.02        (No Date)     Boot/Utility         W-30
           System             1.05        (No Date)     Boot/Utility         W-30
           System             1.06        01 DEC/89     Boot/Utility         W-30 
           Sys For FD/HD/CD   1.06        27 JUN/91     Boot/Utility/SCSI    W-30
                                                                                        
S-7xx      SYS-772 Sound      2.0         (No Date)     Boot/Sound           S770 MR25A2
           S-760 Sound        2.14        (No Date)     Boot/Sound           S770 MR25A2
           S-760 System       2.20        (No Date)     Boot/Utility         S770 MR25AP
           SYS-772 System     2.21        (No Date)     Boot/Utility         S770 MR25A1
           SYS-772 System     2.23        (No Date)     Boot/Utility         S770 MR25A1
           SYS-772 System     2.24        (No Date)     Boot/Utility         S770 MR25A1
                                                                                        

Q: Where can I find more info about the S‑50, S‑550, S‑330 and W‑30 samplers?
A: Since the early 1990's, John Sellens has maintained an excellent resource for the S-Series samplers. Plenty of downloads, sample libraries, utilities and info is there. Luckily for us, it is still operational to this day. I was using it when it was just an FTP site and web browsers weren't even developed yet. You can find everything under the sun about the S-Series samplers at sgroup.ca. There is also a special interest group geared towards the S‑Series samplers at Yahoo. Joining is FREE and easy. "Description: This group is dedicated to the Roland line of 'S' series samplers: S‑10 S‑50 S‑550 S‑220 S‑330 S‑700 S‑750 S‑760 S‑770 DJ‑70"

         S-50 / S-550 LINK S-Series Resource: SGroup.ca

        S-50 / S-550 Yahoo S-Series Group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/RolandSamplers/info





THE FRONT DISPLAY PANEL IS BLANK / FREAKING OUT / INTERMITTENT

S-50 / S-550 ZONE

Q: I have an S‑50 / S‑550 and the display screen is blank or acts weird. What can I do?

S-50 / S-550 ZONE A: Some owners have reported failures with bad solder connections on the FIP display. Use a magnifying glass to inspect for hairline cracks and reflow NEW solder if needed. The FIP driver coil for the display panel is also a common point of failure with the S‑50, S‑550, Super JX‑10, MKS‑70 and other Roland synths. The cause is a manufacturing defect which has been traced to the Sumida Corporation, the only supplier of this coil (P/N: 12449251). Unfortunately, sources for replacement coils are very difficult to find. A supplier on eBay has some redesigned replacements which sell for $75 USD. Another hope is to find an old coil from a cannibalized Roland product which uses the same part number. The JX‑10, JX‑8P, GM‑70, GR‑1, DDR-30, S‑50 and S‑550 synths/samplers all use the same part number. However, be aware that these coils may also be defective. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to when or if a coil will fail. Guy Wilkinson has a webpage with detailed troubleshooting of the FIP display and FIP coil
at this link

Note: The image on the right shows the coil on an S‑550 Main Board as denoted by the silkscreen label T1. The coil for an S‑50 is located on the Panel Board Assembly and has a silkscreen designation of L1 even though these are the same part number. Also, the MKS‑70 synth uses a nearly identical coil but the windings are slightly different. The coil from an MKS‑70 will most likely work in a pinch



"Keyboard Clinic: S-50 / S-550 / S-330" - 1991 Keyboard Magazine

A great article from Keyboard Magazine January 1991 - Issue #177. "Keyboard Clinic: Roland S-50 / S-550 / S-330 - Get The Most Out Of Your Roland". 11 pages scanned at 300DPI, advertisements removed, placed into one large 6MB PDF file


KB_ARTICLE KB_ARTICLE

File Format: PDF Document

               S-50 "Keyboard Clinic: S-50 / S-550 / S-330" Article (6MB)



"The Roland S-760 Demystified" - 1996 Keyboard Magazine

A fantastic 7-page article from Keyboard Magazine, January 1996. Quicker, more effective ways to make new samples, edit them, and store them to disk, plus advice from a pro on how to optimize memory and time-stretch your beat loops. 7 pages scanned at 300DPI, advertisements removed, placed into one large 4MB PDF file


KB_ARTICLE KB_ARTICLE

File Format: PDF Document

               S-50 "The Roland S-760 Demystified" Article (4MB)



"W-30 Keyboard Report" - October 1989 Keyboard Magazine

An in‑depth review of the W‑30 with useful tips and detailed sequencer operation. 4 pages scanned at 300DPI, advertisements removed and placed into one large 9MB PDF file


MUZINE_ARTICLE MUZINE_ARTICLE

File Format: PDF Document

               S-50 "W-30 Keyboard Report" - Keyboard Magazine



"W-30 Review" - July 1989 Music Technology Magazine

W-30 Review


MUZINE_ARTICLE MUZINE_ARTICLE

File Format: Weblink

               S-50 "W-30 Review" - Music Technology Magazine



"Roland S-330 Review" - August 1988 Music Technology Magazine

An in-depth review of the S-330 with user notes and tips on operation


MUZINE_ARTICLE MUZINE_ARTICLE

File Format: Weblink

               S-50 "S-330 Review" mu:zine Article



S‑50 / S‑10 Sales Brochure Gatefold From 1986

Eight pages of Super High-Rez scans @600 dpi from the original Roland sales brochure


S-50 Ad Icon S-50 Ad Icon

File Format: PDF Document

               S-50 S-50 Gatefold (10MB)




S-50 / S-550 CONTROL

S-50 / S-550 CONTROL

S-50 / S-550 CONTROL

S-50 / S-550 CONTROL




*.OUT FILES - SHARE YOUR SAMPLER LIBRARY

Q: Is it easy to share samples with other S‑50 / S‑550 / S‑330 / W‑30 owners?
A: Absolutely! The OMNIFLOP utility makes it super simple to create your own 3.5" disk image files which can be uploaded or eMailed

To create a 3.5" floppy disk image file to share with others;
    1) Insert an 3.5" diskette into the computer's disk drive (write protect tab up)
           Example: Insert the diskette labeled "RSB_5504_5 - Industrial Strength Techno" into the PC

    2) Run the OMNIFLOP utility

    3) Choose Read disk

    4) Choose 80/2/9x512 Roland S5xx, S7xx, DD‑disk 720kB then click the NEXT button

    5) Choose a unique filename (Click BROWSE button if you want to save to other directory)

    6) Choose the sampler format you are writing to
           To create an S‑50 diskette, choose S50 image (*.s50)
           To create an S‑550 diskette, choose Roland S5xx, S7xx, DD‑disk 720kB image (*.out)
           Note: You use can't use an S‑50 diskette to create an S‑550 disk image file
                 All disks must remain true to their respective sampler model

    7) The disk image file you just created (*.s50 or *.out) can now be uploaded and shared with
       others. When someone downloads the disk image file, they can use OMNIFLOP, SDISK, SDISKW,
       SCAT, SAMATARI or another sampler utility to create their own S‑50 or S‑550 3.5" sampler
       sound library diskette




ALTERNATE SAMPLE LIBRARIES
     File Format: Freebie *.OUT Disk Image Files here

SAMPLER LIBRARY




Who Dat?
Who Created The S‑50/S‑550 Homepage And Why?

I recently purchased an S‑550 on eBay for $33 and a W‑30 for $34. Both were listed as "For Parts Only - Not Working". The W‑30 was in near mint condition and it worked without having to fix anything. I refurbished the S‑550 for less than $1 using some epoxy, jumper wires and solder to replace three broken traces on the Switch Board. It turns out that this is a common point of failure. Over time, moving the S‑550 around will eventually place too much strain on that particular board and it will eventually crack. The problem area is located near the REC LEVEL and VOLUME knobs. After getting both samplers up and running, the real challenge began. My S‑550 and W‑30 did not come with a Startup Utility disk so I documented everything I did and wanted to share this info with other S‑50 / S‑550 / S‑330 and W‑30 owners in a similar situation




Other Synthesizer Homepages I Maintain

PROMO WEBSITES     PROMO WEBSITES     PROMO WEBSITES

PROMO WEBSITES     PROMO WEBSITES     The Andromeda Strain - Best Movie Ever!

info@super-jx.com
Comments/Questions?




S-50 / S-550 ZONE     S-50 / S-550 ZONE     S-50 / S-550 ZONE     S-50 / S-550 ZONES-50 / S-550 ZONE

The Information On This Page Is Current As Of