Author Topic: Roland U-110 (1988) pcm sound module  (Read 2770 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline chrisNova777

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 8296
  • Gender: Male
  • "Vintage MIDI Sequencing + Audio Production"
    • www.oldschooldaw.com | vintage audio production software + hardware info
Roland U-110 (1988) pcm sound module
« on: October 25, 2016, 08:22:44 AM »
http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/roland-u110-pcm-sound-module/22
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_U-110
http://www.synthmania.com/u-110.htm
http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/u110.php



The Roland U-110 is a synth module (sample playback or "Rompler" type) produced by Roland Corporation in 1988.
Roland's answer to the E-mu Proteus, the predecessor of the more successful U-220 module and U-20 keyboard and the ancestor of the prototype T-110, the U-110 was Roland's first dedicated sample playback synth. It used ROM to store sounds rather than loading them from disks into RAM, hence it was not a true sampler as it could not sample sounds.

The U-110 contained a base 2MB of sounds stored in ROM. It could be expanded with up to 4 Roland SN-U110 sound library cards, unlike the more popular Roland U-220 that could only accommodate two. It had six individual outputs.



Quote
Samples


APPARENTLY THE U110'S samples are derived from Roland's S50 sample library, which means 12 bit sample resolution and a sample rate of 30kHz or 15kHz. This does mean in practice that they're not altogether free of noise, but its rarely obtrusive (anyway, why should sounds always have to be squeaky-clean?).

In addition the samples have been "compacted" by, for instance, being given shorter loops. And I'd say Roland are using sample interpolation, as introduced on their S330 sampler, as a substitute for multisampling - another useful way of cutting down on the amount of sample data, even if the results are sometimes a bit odd (as with the shakuhachi, whose characteristic "pitch warble" attack is much slowed in low registers).

The 99 internal Tones are divided into Piano, Vibraphone, Bell, Marimba, Guitar, Bass, Choir, Strings, Wind and Drum groups. As another means of saving on sample memory, there aren't actually 99 different samples - within most groups, single-sample Tones have also been doubled and detuned to provide further Tones.


"The U110 is essentially a preset instrument, but the ability to combine, detune, and put sounds through digital chorus gives considerable flexibility."
Quote
This rack mount came out around the time of the D-110, or shortly thereafter,
and it was pretty impressive at the time.  128 onboard sampled instruments,
not just sampled attack transients combined with loops, but whole samples.
Roland was able to fit that many samples onboard by using their proprietary
RS-PCM technology (Resynthesized PCM).  They would sample a sound via pulse-
code modulation and then resynthesize it (using differential interpolation)
and store that resynthesized sound (which was virtually identical to the
original PCM sample, except that it took up a lot less memory) in the ROM on
the U-110.  RS-PCM allowed them to put many highly realistic sounds onboard
while keeping the unit a reasonable price.  There are 3 megabytes of samples
onboard.

The U-110 was 31-note polyphonic, had 4 PCM card slots, and had 4 or 6 outputs,
I think.  The big complaint about the unit was that it was noisy --
a bit too noisy to make it the sample-playback wonder of the year.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 01:53:53 PM by chrisNova777 »

Offline chrisNova777

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 8296
  • Gender: Male
  • "Vintage MIDI Sequencing + Audio Production"
    • www.oldschooldaw.com | vintage audio production software + hardware info
Re: Roland U110 (1989) pcm sound module
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2017, 05:25:55 PM »

Offline chrisNova777

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 8296
  • Gender: Male
  • "Vintage MIDI Sequencing + Audio Production"
    • www.oldschooldaw.com | vintage audio production software + hardware info
Re: Roland U110 (1989) pcm sound module
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 08:06:42 AM »

Offline chrisNova777

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 8296
  • Gender: Male
  • "Vintage MIDI Sequencing + Audio Production"
    • www.oldschooldaw.com | vintage audio production software + hardware info
Re: Roland U110 (1989) pcm sound module
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 01:11:33 PM »

Offline chrisNova777

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 8296
  • Gender: Male
  • "Vintage MIDI Sequencing + Audio Production"
    • www.oldschooldaw.com | vintage audio production software + hardware info
Re: Roland U-110 (1988) pcm sound module
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2018, 09:21:33 AM »
http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/roland-u110-sample-player/4482


Quote
There's something inevitable about the U110 - it's the kind of unit that just had to happen, a result of the convergence of ideas in the musical instrument field. Why do I say this? Consider the following...

Point One: There is an oft repeated tale about the Prophet 5, the first programmable polysynth, which says that over 80% of the units returned for servicing by their owners had their factory presets intact. Whether or not this particular story is true, it certainly seems that many musicians just want good preset sounds from a synth, and don't have the time or inclination to do any programming of their own.

Point Two: Most sampler owners bought their machines almost exclusively to obtain good acoustic/instrumental sounds. They use library disks and, after a few disappointing attempts at sampling their own sounds, stick to them.

Bearing these two points in mind, what kind of unit do you suppose would sell in bucketloads, if only someone would manufacture it? How about an expander that contains only preset sampled sounds (stored in ROM, to cut out loading time), ready looped and multi-sampled, and set up to present the user with instantly playable samples of most of the 'standard' instrumental sounds? By an amazing coincidence, this is a fairly rough description of the Roland U110 that I have racked up before me - we might also add that it is 6-part multitimbral, and has built-in digital effects and digital drum sounds.

Offline chrisNova777

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 8296
  • Gender: Male
  • "Vintage MIDI Sequencing + Audio Production"
    • www.oldschooldaw.com | vintage audio production software + hardware info
Re: Roland U-110 (1988) pcm sound module
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2019, 06:36:34 AM »
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 06:36:43 AM by chrisNova777 »