Roland SC-50 Sound Canvas module
Roland A-30 controller keyboard

Roland SC-50 A-30. In Dublin, Ireland.

How I got them

My first "real" set-up. Before this there was a piano and small borrowed machines. I bought these from Waltons at the top of O'Connell street. At the time I knew nothing, and had very little information to hand to aid my decision. The internet has since made things much easier...

The SC-50 is a GM sound module with extra alternative sounds. All the presets had options for adsr and a real-time controllable filter section (using two NRPN commands and then a data command). This machine was worth the money. At the time I thought it sounded fantastic, now it doesn't match up to the clarity, presence and features of current Roland sound modules. Regardless of this, the SC-50 has provided a backbone of good basic sounds ever since I got it.

The A-30 has kept my favour even better. It's an unweighted piano-style controller keyboard with 76 keys, a pitch bend/mod combo, a data slider, octave up/down buttons (as if 76 wasn't enough), and preset buttons. In a nutshell, this machine gave me comfort. Being able to access all the keys at once is very satisfying, and the data slider proved invaluable for adding stuff. A combined pitchbend/mod stick probably wasn't the best idea, but I could assign the mod to the slider if I really wanted. The action was excellent for an unweighted keyboard. Overall, a great controller keyboard.


Harmony Central Review - SC-50


SC-50 - top module on the left
A-30 - right

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