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Fun time with Roland SC-88 - Printable Version

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Fun time with Roland SC-88 - Chris Spyratos - 08-01-2018

After finally getting my hands on a classic Roland SC-88 sound module and getting to experiment a little bit with its sounds and interface, the first thing that came to my mind was of course to compose a track in the style of the game music of the DOS era!

I had to do some serious digging in the user manual (yes, it came with the original manual too) in order to make this thing run smoothly using Reaper but in the end I was very happy with the result.

For extra authenticity I used the SC-55 sound map which in my opinion has less realistic but more "balanced" sounds.

So check it out and please let me know of your opinion!

https://soundcloud.com/chris-spy/sc88/s-KMSoe


RE: Fun time with Roland SC-88 - Mattias Westlund - 08-01-2018

I'm so jealous Sad I've been trying to get hold of some decent sound module(s) for months now, but the sellers are either retards or the prices are insane.

Anyway, this sounds great! Not a bad-sounding little unit at all, and I'm definitely getting some 90's game music vibes from this Smile


RE: Fun time with Roland SC-88 - Nayrb - 08-03-2018

Sounds awesome! Cool tune, too.


RE: Fun time with Roland SC-88 - Mattias Westlund - 08-16-2018

Chris, do you happen to have any .reabank file for your SC-88? I scored a M-GS64 today and from what I have gathered it's the same unit though in a 1U rack format, so the same bank file should work for both.

On a related note, why do Sound Canvases have a reputation for being cheap and tinny-sounding? A lot of stuff in it sounds really, really good -- some of the slow/warm string patches are glorious! -- I'm guessing the early units like the SC-55 sounded not that great but things improved later on?


RE: Fun time with Roland SC-88 - Mattias Westlund - 08-19-2018

Since I was unable to find a reabank for the M-GS64 I created one myself. It's here if you need it, should work with the SC-88 as well unless the two units have different bank setups for some reason.


RE: Fun time with Roland SC-88 - bigcat1969 - 08-19-2018

Whats a Reabank asks the synth virgin?


RE: Fun time with Roland SC-88 - Mattias Westlund - 08-19-2018

.reabank files are patch bank files for REAPER's ReaControlMIDI plugin. You use it (the plugin) for selecting patches and editing parameters of hardware synths and sound modules. Reabanks are just plain text files that list all available patches so you can easily select them from a drop-down list instead of having to type in bank and program change numbers.


RE: Fun time with Roland SC-88 - bigcat1969 - 08-20-2018

Cool thanks.


RE: Fun time with Roland SC-88 - Chris Spyratos - 08-21-2018

Sorry Mattias, I was on vacation these days and never saw your post! Sad I did create my own Reabank as well. I post it here if somebody else wants it.

The rack version seems a nice way to get the sc-88 soundset avoiding the recent hype of the original sound canvases (and the unusable serial port). Did you got it cheap? Right now there is a Sc-88 vl in the local ad website as well as the Roland sound brush midi diskette player.

As for the sounds, I personally love them, especially when running with the SC-55 soundset, which AFAIK is the same with the original sc-55 (contrary to the sc-88 pro). It really depends who is asking. I find even the tinniest sounds to have some kind of high quality, and I can always beef them up in my DAW without sacrificing originality. I think that when they designed the sounds, they took extra care to make them sound good with each other. As they continued to produce newer modules, sounds got better but eventually lost their "character" if I dare say.


RE: Fun time with Roland SC-88 - Mattias Westlund - 08-21-2018

(08-21-2018, 01:17 PM)Chris Spyratos Wrote: Sorry Mattias, I was on vacation these days and never saw your post! Sad I did create my own Reabank as well. I post it here if somebody else wants it.

Thanks! I'll give it a try to see if it works for the M-GS64.

(08-21-2018, 01:17 PM)Chris Spyratos Wrote: The rack version seems a nice way to get the sc-88 soundset avoiding the recent hype of the original sound canvases (and the unusable serial port). Did you got it cheap? Right now there is a Sc-88 vl in the local ad website as well as the Roland sound brush midi diskette player.

I got it for ~€50 which I think is a really good price as these things seem to be less common than the desktop SC units.

(08-21-2018, 01:17 PM)Chris Spyratos Wrote: As for the sounds, I personally love them, especially when running with the SC-55 soundset, which AFAIK is the same with the original sc-55 (contrary to the sc-88 pro). It really depends who is asking. I find even the tinniest sounds to have some kind of high quality, and I can always beef them up in my DAW without sacrificing originality. I think that when they designed the sounds, they took extra care to make them sound good with each other. As they continued to produce newer modules, sounds got better but eventually lost their "character" if I dare say.

Yeah, from what I've read the post SC-55 versions of the Sound Canvas have lots of samples from Roland's JV series of synths. I still think the soundset is very balanced though, everything go well together, even though I would say that it's a little too slick for my taste. In some ways I actually prefer the grittiness of the TG100 or my various GM/XG sound cards. So if I'm going to continue collecting hardware romplers/synths I think 1995 is the upper limit. Beyond that, things start sounding so good that one might as well just use VSTi's instead.