30 March 2009

Roland System 100m

I recently acquired a very nice piece for my collection. It is a Roland System 100m (semi) modular synthesizer. It is a very nice analog synthesizer with a very typical sound. I found one is pretty good condition that came together with a Roland Model 181 keyboard. This keyboard outputs CV and Gate and is also very usable with the other modular synthesizers I already have. So I can quite pleased to find this set actually. One thing that was strange though is that it came with a 120 to 100 Volt converter. This indicates that the power supply apparently doesn't handle 120 Volts well. And I will have to go down from 230 Volts first as well.

Here is a closer view of the modules that are in the cabinet. From left to right there is the '112' which is a dual VCO, the '121' a dual VCF, the '130' a dual 'VCA', a '140' that has a dual Envelope and also an LFO and finally the '150' that also holds an LFO, a noise generator, a Sample & Hold and a Ring Modulator. So all in all it is quite a complete monophonic analog synthesizer on its own. Below the modules in the cabinet is also a nice board with multiples to be able to use the signals on more than one connection. And on the back are some connectors as well to connect the modules to the central power supply that is in the cabinet.

The keyboard fits perfectly with de modular desk and fits right under the raiser that I made in the center. And even then I had room left to put my soldering iron right of it. Looks nice right? :) I had the keyboard of the Formant there before, but I think this keyboard is more versatile since it has the outputs for CV and Gate on the keyboard itself. The keyboard does have to be connected to the modular though cabinet, since it takes its power from there. When connected the CV and gate signals are prepatched by the way to the modules. So in fact it is considered a semi-modular for this reason. I don't know actually if there are more prepatches. I'll have to find out.

I put the modular itself on top of my modular cabinet for now. I can take it down easily if I want, but probably it works fine when it stands there. I don't think the electronics would have anything to suffer from it standing on its side and the spot that was still open is perfect for it. I put the Formant keyboard on top of the Formant synthesizer for now as well. I'll probably won't use it so much when the Roland keyboard works like it should be. Hopefully I can start working on my DIY projects as well soon. I still have lots of stuff to finish, but I want to finish work on the studio first. And besides that last week I started to finally make some music as well. And that was also too long ago.

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