Roland D-70
 Super LA Synthesizer

The sequel to the classic D-50 (even though it was really more like an upgrade of the U-20 - or "U-50" as found on the motherboard).

The D-70 is a wonderful synthesizer, that captures the spirit of the classic D-50, and takes it to a new dimension.  This is a quality synth from a bygone era.

Great features include 76 keys, sound layering, and a very expressive aftertouch.

Like the D-50, Eric Persing and team did an unbelievable job with the sounds of the D-70.  Patches like "Ghosties", "Prologue" and "SpaceDream" are masterpieces of synth sound design.  The sounds in ROM have a very punchy, full, "complete" sonic character that sounds great even today.  The on-board effects are also of very high quality.


The D-70 is


Roland D-70 audio demos

Roland D-70 factory demo - "Schizoid" by Eric Persing - copyright 1990 Eric Persing: Schizoid - Eric Persing

Factory Performances

Patch audio demo My comments
11 D Piano+ 1 Solid piano, typical Roland of the late '80s / early '90s
12 Grandioso Beautiful piano patch, very expressive
13 Rhodes 1 Glassy Rhodes
14 BellRhodes Nice electric piano
15 Tack Piano Super cool patch, the typical "saloon" piano sound
16 AcPia+Str Roland beauty
17 MIDI Piano Layered piano
18 BandRhodes Great use of the aftertouch to engage the powerful and great-sounding on-board filters
21 Stirrings Beautiful string ensemble
22 Slow n Low Gorgeous string ensemble, Roland really had great orchestral samples coming from the S-series library in those days.
23 JP-Strings The classic Jupiter-8 strings
24 Pipes 1 Typical Fusion-style flute of that era
25 HornString Yep
26 StringsVox Very nice sound
27 Ffflute Pretty realistic
28 Calliopead Very nice & happy calliope sound
31 SuperClav Typical "metallic" Roland clavinet sound of the late '80s
32 StickDecay Pots and pans
33 DLM Synth Great use of the DLM feature on the D-70
34 DLM Keys 1 As above
35 Guitivitty Cool and fun ;-)
36 Quasar Very good pad
37 Cool Vibes Jazzy and nice
38 Tibet Bell Beautiful ambient sound
41 Fuzz Brass Powerful synth brass
42 EnsmblHorn Fusion'y
43 SpitBrass1 Fast brass
44 Sax Octave Realistic
45 SynthBones A good mix of realistic and synthy
46 Ghosties Marvelous patch, this is the D-70's Fantasia.
47 Mondo Poly Huge synth ensemble
48 There Bs 1 Huge, solid, layered synth bass
51 LeadSynth1 Big lead
52 LeadSynth2 As above
53 Lead Vox Cool
54 DLMoogBs 1 Big!
55 Schizoid Crazy melange
56 Slap Bass Quite realistic
57 Jazz Split Great atmospheres
58 DLMoogBs 2 Almost sounds analog!
61 Prologue Classic Roland D-70 patch, very powerful.
62 ChorusBell Queen of Ice
63 NiteSprite Beauty
64 Freezer Very good digi-pad
65 SweepSpace Great filters on this synth.
66 Wow Jet Very interesting patch which combines "jet noise" fx, and hypnotic choir
67 Mother Pad Large pad
68 SpaceDream Fantastic patch, the perfect pad.
71 ClickLesly Cool Hammond organ of the '60s
72 Organ Versatile organ patch
73 Perc Organ Yep
74 12 StrGuit Nice twelve-string acoustic guitar
75 Big Guitar Digital Chorus + Digital Distortion = the '80s
76 Funk Mute Cool!
77 GuitarMIDI Nice & useful patch
78 Drum Kit Solid drum sounds, straight from Roland's own R-8 drum machine of that era.
81 Asialon Really good patch with pitch bending via aftertouch
82 BaliDancer Nice
83 Hyper Pad Gorgeous fluty pad
84 Shaku Zulu Famous D-70 patch, used in ambient music
85 Shuu-Doon Yup
86 Sweepster Nice filter action
87 Lab Jet Cool sci-fi FX
88 G-Finale Gran Finale




Roland D-70 specs
Year of release: 1990
Polyphony: 24
Sound generation method: L.A. synthesis / PCM
Preset memories Performances, Patches, Tones
MIDI: in, out, thru
Sound expansion capabilities: yes, via cards
Sequencer no
Arpeggiator no
Velocity yes
Aftertouch yes


Roland D-70 photos (click on thumbnails to enlarge)



Roland D-70 manual




SITE Type of resource DESCRIPTION
  Manufacturer site home page

Roland D-70 review with audio demo - June 10, 2012