Roland D-10 Linear Synthesizer



Today I bought a Roland D-10 that might have once belonged to Scooter 😎

Technical specifications:

  • Polyphony – 32 voices
  • Oscillators – Digital LAS (Linear Arithmetic Synthesis) & ROM Samples
  • Effects – 8 Effects
  • Multitimbral – 9 parts
  • Drums – 1 kit, 63 sounds
  • Memory – 128 internal & 128 external patches, 64 performances
  • Keyboard – 61 note with velocity sensitivity (D-10)
  • Control – MIDI
  • Date Produced – 1988

It came in a very nice flight case which had the following sticker on it:

Cool! 🙂 I’ve owned a D-5, D-50 (still have that) and D-70 before so the D-10 (and D-20) where still missing from the owned list.

It looks pretty good for it’s age. It fired right up and all the keys work flawless. Even looks pretty clean. There are a few buttons that don’t work very well anymore and the pitchbender doesn’t seem work at all. It’s a bit loose so maybe something is broken.. have to look into that. What I did notice is that after using the pitchbender the keyboard seems to randomly change the pitch and moves octaves up and down which makes playing impossible. I didn’t touch the pitchbender when all this happened. After a minute everything worked fine again. Probably some loose contacts in the pitchbender..

I will take it apart to see what’s wrong with it soon 🙂

Update march 23rd 2016:

I’ve taken it apart in order to fix the issues I found yesterday. I found 6 buttons that didn’t work (very well) and the pitchbender was a mess. The synth also only produced sound in Performance mode. Set it to Multi Timbral mode: nothing. Hmm.

I removed the bottom plate:

I must say that it looks very clean on the inside. It has been serviced before I later noticed. Some of the buttons had already been replaced.

It was probably used on stage and it’s a little battle-damaged:

20160323_193553 (Medium)

In the picture above you can see a bottom plate corner.

First I had a look at the pitch bender:

The potentiometer is misaligned with the bender lever. This could cause the pitch to be off by roughly half a note. Also the nut locking the potentiometer to the base was loose making the pitch bender lever very wobbly. You can also see the center stop is broken off. It’s the tiny black piece of plastic sitting inside the bender lever in de 1st photo.

It cleaned it all up, fastened the potentiometer nut and aligned the lever correctly. After putting the whole thing back together I moved on the buttons.

I had to remove the keybed and mainboard to get to the switchboard:

As you can see someone had replaced a few buttons before (and I have some new ones in stock):

I replaced 6 buttons and put the whole thing back together. Fired it up and tested everything. All the buttons now work and the pitch bender is also fully functional again 😎

Still no sound in Multi Timbral mode so I backed up the patches on a M256-D card and performed a factory reset. Now I have sound in Multi Timbral mode but every patch is a cheesy split piano / bass thingy. Also all the cool Performance mode patches are gone.. I reloaded everything from the memory card and now it’s sort of okay. It’s late now so I have a look later this week 🙂

Update march 24th 2016:

I looked on YouTube for some D-10 video’s and I found this one:

This guy did an amazing job creating some very cool patches for the D-10. After watching the video the first thing I thought was: WHERE’S THE SYSEX DATA FOR THESE PATCHES :D. Well, the creator of the video included a link to the sysex file! I immediately switched on my D-10 and uploaded the sysex file to it. Now I have all these cool sounds in the Performance section of the D-10! Thanks Mr. Austin Leeds!

My favorites so far are A15 Tropical Tone (the first part of the Youtube video) A58 Axel F Lead! A66 NES! And A87: Van Halens JUMP Lead sound which is also in the above video.

Many cool patches. This will breath new live in your old D-10. You won’t believe how amazing a D-10 can sound if you compare this to the factory presets.

This certainly takes care of the ‘it doesn’t sound very awesome’ feeling I was left with after I reassembled the D-10 last night. Now all I have to do is remove a few dents from the body of the D-10 (bottom and back side, nothing serious), clean the surface and enjoy this little beast 🙂


4 thoughts on “Roland D-10 Linear Synthesizer

  1. Your Roland D-10 has os rom 1.04?

    Do you have any documentation about this OS version, due to that the service manual only over up to 1.03 and did you make a backup of it? 😇


      1. Because there was a sticker on the flightcase from a musical instrument rental company indicating that it was used by scooter at some point


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