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Roland SP-700 and S-760

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How does the SP-700 actually differ from an S-760? I see the SP-700 doesn't sample directly, but otherwise the specs look exactly the same.

So what else does the S-760 have going for it over the SP-700? I assume more since I almost never hear about the SP-700.

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The 700 is a 2U rack box, while the 760 is only 1U. The 700 appears to have a larger display and data entry knob. That's kind of ironic, since the 700 can't create samples while the 760 could have benefitted from a larger display. I don't know of other differences; The S-700 and S-750 seem to be somewhat rare, not much info in the intertubes and Roland's own site doesn't even mention them in their Legacy section.

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The 700 is only a sample playback (can be expanded to 32 megs) its useful if you have already a 760 and you would require more ram to load samples.

 

I big lack if I remember well you cannot edit "samples".

 

It still has 8 outputs but no digital outputs...

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When the SP-700 came out, it was a huge step up from the S-750 and S-770 in that it could handle up to 32MB of RAM, could load Akai CDs, and had 8 outs, all with dedicated 2-band EQ that could be controlled via MIDI. The downside? It was insanely expensive!

 

As compared with the S-760, it must be considered that it does not have any kind of video output (hence the larger screen). Also, it tends to do better with sample data from the S-750 and S-770 than the S-760, due to small evolutionary changes in the volume/performance/program structure. This was not too big of a deal though.

 

It is almost a JD-990 with RAM instead of ROM.

 

They are fairly rare - buying one today might make sense if you already have one of the sampling S-series units and have need for additional poly, or you already have access to a large S-7xx library, and are a bit of a nutter willing to work with SCSI and whatnot.

 

They do have that early 90s Roland sound - and that is golden.

 

 

cheers,

Ian

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Using a 760 without a monitor would be ridiculous. There is WAY too much data you need to look at simultaneously and I don't think it was ever the intent of Roland to do so. The small screen is there really for first time set-up to configure your start-up drives, install the OS, and define your monitor.

With an RC-100 add any type of TV and you are all set to go. One of the key differences between the 760 and 770 series is the digital output level is 14dB hotter than the 770. I still have (2) SP-700's (3) S770s- one with the very rare turbo mod and (1) S-760. All are fully loaded, SCSI'd and (2) RC-100 remotes. My horn, synth, drums, and clav samples sound vastly better than anything I have heard in a Rompler or from any SRX board.

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With an RC-100 add any type of TV and you are all set to go.

 

Except in my experience, the Composite video looks like crap, and makes looping a bit harder. S-Video was a minimum for truly legible text and waveform view, and the Atari SC1224, or whatever I wound up with, obviously kicks ass.

 

Definitely have to second the S7xx = JD-800 with RAM notion. :thu:

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Interesting post. Right now I'm off using computers to write any music, especially since I picked up a QY-700 sequencer. So I'm getting back into romplers and samplers.

 

Currently I have a Motif ES Rack and JD-990x2. But I still find that I miss the 'real' sounding drum samples, loops and plugs from the PC.

 

I have listened to Roland's SRX-01 and think it sounds great.

http://www.synthmania.com/srx-01.htm

I didn't think you could get that good a drum sound from romplers.

 

So right now I'm torn between getting an XV-5050 with the SRX-01. Or a roland S-7xx series and breaking out the old SCSI gear and sample CDs. One thing I do like is being able to turn on my gear and go within seconds. But I will miss out on the quality of using a real sampler. Then there is the XV-5080 but I hear it doesn't work with S-7xx sounds like the real thing.

 

I wonder how (back in the day?) people worked with 5+ roland samplers? Can you chain them? Do you have to get a SCSI drive, monitor and mouse for each one? How do you load up all your sounds and get inspired with all those drives churning and loading screens in the background? :)

 

Using a 760 without a monitor would be ridiculous. There is WAY too much data you need to look at simultaneously and I don't think it was ever the intent of Roland to do so. The small screen is there really for first time set-up to configure your start-up drives, install the OS, and define your monitor.

With an RC-100 add any type of TV and you are all set to go. One of the key differences between the 760 and 770 series is the digital output level is 14dB hotter than the 770. I still have (2) SP-700's (3) S770s- one with the very rare turbo mod and (1) S-760. All are fully loaded, SCSI'd and (2) RC-100 remotes. My horn, synth, drums, and clav samples sound vastly better than anything I have heard in a Rompler or from any SRX board.

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There are several options to go about this.

 

One is to get a SCSI switch, which is simply a device you connect each of your samplers to, plus a drive chain, and then you can select which sampler can access the drive chain manually from the front. Glyph made them, but in Hollywood where they had rack after rack of S760s and SCSI drives, they often had custom build SCSI Routers (not switches) that didn't require switching. It simply fooled each S760 into thinking it was the host and was always connected to the SCSI drive chain, and fooled the SCSI drive chain into thinking it was connected to only one host. Good luck finding one.

 

The way I do things, I have an S760 with a Roland CD-Rack connected. In the expansion bay is a MCDisk RD-300 v2, which allows TWO PCMCIA slots to work at once with the S760. Each PCMCIA slot has a PCMCIA to CF adapter. One CF is 1GB (my "hard drive" including S760 system OS), and the other is any one of several 32MB CFs I use for specific projects. You can then just pull the CF from the RD-300 and use it in another S760, or you can make an ISO or CDR file of it on a computer to save it for backup or to send to a partner over the net.

 

If you can find a SCSI switch, that type of setup would be all you would need for 3 760s. Most of the SCSI switches I've seen only supported 3 hosts.

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The time, effort and money you will put into assembling a Roland S-series sampler system is just not worth it in my opinion, yes it does sound good but its just too limited by today standards... I tried to get back in it by getting again a couple of S-760's last year (monitor/mouse/jaz disks etc), it just wasnt worth it...

 

My 2 cents.

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I have to agree with both school of thoughts here... while more modern ROMplers have the latest technology and super-clean, digitally pristine AD/DAs, there is something about Roland's 1990s technology. A certain sonic character, perhaps.

 

Even though modern ROMplers like Fantom, Motif, and Triton/M3 offer fabulous sounds, if one doesn't mind waiting for sounds to load up on the S-series samplers, the Roland library is still a very good source of sounds if you ask me... I'm not planning on selling the library nor the S-760... and I even have the more modern ROMplers...

 

Let me offer some audio examples from the S-series Roland library: (note: these examples have no added FX - they would sound even better with some high-quality reverb. AND, these sounds are 15 years old!)

 

Dry Kit classic dry drums

 

6 String very realistic acoustic guitar

 

Acoustic Bass superb plucked contrabass - long samples! Usually one gets a short, looped version on ROMplers.

 

Tron Flutes the standard "Strawberry Fields" Mellotron flutes, perfectly sampled from the source...

 

ARP Solina respectable Solina String Ensemble - notoriously difficult to sample

 

73 Suitcase phenomenally well-sampled Rhodes, including the tremolo

 

B-3 Jazz Chorus pretty realistic Hammond, jazz settings

 

Singin'Flute the typical "Jethro Tull" Progressive flute of the 1970s

 

Clar Jazz realistic clarinet

 

Bassoon nice

 

Alto a very good contralto saxophone...

 

Baritone Sax... and a baritone too. Not always easy to find on a ROMpler

 

Tps Velo-Xfd translated: Trumpets with velocity cross-fade..

 

Bone Sec.1 cool trombones ensemble... very Gil Evans

 

Large Ensemble Roland has always had great string ensemble sounds, but this one imho is a standout, especially at 00:15

 

Orchestra f. Slow a realistic, cinematic type ensemble

 

Violin 1 warm vb an expressive violin with natural vibrato

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if you ask me... I'm not planning on selling the library nor the S-760...

 

I do agree on that one me too, the CD's are amazing I have kept all the Roland Cd's :thu:

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Wait... wasn't it possible to change the ID of the 760? If so, then what's the switch for? Just slap 'em all on the same bus, right?

 

You can change the ID, but there are other issues at work. Limited number of IDs first off. So three S760s in one chain means only 5 total SCSI IDs left to use for drives. And second, as far as I know, with certain devices you cannot have more than 1 host on a SCSI chain. I've never seen the S760 connected to another in a chain, so we'd have to ask someone who has tried it.

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So far as I know, SCSI allows for multiple initiators; Perhaps there are other reasons why you can't put multiple 760's on the same bus... All I can think of is that each may have termination permanently wired on, in which case you would only be allowed to have 2, one on each end of the chain.

 

I've only got one 760, so I can't experiment.

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All I can think of is that each may have termination permanently wired on, in which case you would only be allowed to have 2, one on each end of the chain.

 

The terminators are a set of (I think two or three) blue socketed resistor packs that can be removed. So maybe it is possible with the S760. I always thought it was for a mod that would allow the floppy drive to be replaced with an internal SCSI device.

 

Has anyone here tried the original S-library CD-ROMs translated with the convenient, modern soft samplers such as Kontakt etc.? Do the samples sound just as nice?

 

Yes, and I was not impressed. Part of the problem is the S7xx samples have empahsis permanently encoded into samples themselves to best suit the internal (and external in the case of the DA-400) D/A converters. You would have to de-emphasize them using Translator, thats the only program I know that does it.

 

Other problems include the fact that Kontakt just wasn't as nice at slowing things down because it uses whatever D/A convertes I have in my audio interface (Echo AudioFire 12) instead. Thats a really nice interface for my money, but it's not designed the same way, so it gives you less smooth results. You get a kind of "smearing" effect with the S760s own D/As that Kontakt doesn't do quite as well, at least with my interface.

 

And lastly, the biggest difference for me were the filters. Kontakt has a nice set of filters in its own right, but they just don't sound the same as the (I believe convolution) filters in the JD/S7xx series.

 

EDIT: One thign I guess you could try is the DA-400 connected to an SP/DIF output of your interface. Cheating maybe, but for libaries that don't heavily rely on filtering, it just may work!

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That dry drum kit sounds very nice... Still not as good as SRX-01 to my ears though. I know the SRX kits all having processing so that may be the difference. All the other sounds are very nice though. Worth the loading time?

 

 

I have to agree with both school of thoughts here... while more modern ROMplers have the latest technology and super-clean, digitally pristine AD/DAs, there is something about Roland's 1990s technology. A certain sonic character, perhaps.


Even though modern ROMplers like Fantom, Motif, and Triton/M3 offer fabulous sounds, if one doesn't mind waiting for sounds to load up on the S-series samplers, the Roland library is still a
very good
source of sounds if you ask me... I'm not planning on selling the library nor the S-760... and I even have the more modern ROMplers...


Let me offer some audio examples from the S-series Roland library: (
note:
these examples have no added FX - they would sound even better with some high-quality reverb. AND, these sounds are 15 years old!)


Dry Kit
classic dry drums


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Yes, and I was not impressed. Part of the problem is the S7xx samples have empahsis permanently encoded into samples themselves to best suit the internal (and external in the case of the DA-400) D/A converters. You would have to de-emphasize them using Translator, thats the only program I know that does it.


Other problems include the fact that Kontakt just wasn't as nice at slowing things down because it uses whatever D/A convertes I have in my audio interface (Echo AudioFire 12) instead. Thats a really nice interface for my money, but it's not designed the same way, so it gives you less smooth results. You get a kind of "smearing" effect with the S760s own D/As that Kontakt doesn't do quite as well, at least with my interface.


And lastly, the biggest difference for me were the filters. Kontakt has a nice set of filters in its own right, but they just don't sound the same as the (I believe convolution) filters in the JD/S7xx series.


EDIT: One thign I guess you could try is the DA-400 connected to an SP/DIF output of your interface. Cheating maybe, but for libaries that don't heavily rely on filtering, it just may work!

 

 

Interesting.

 

I also brought that up because I have dozens of Akai CD-ROMs, and since I currently don't have a hardware Akai sampler, I use Propellerhead Reason to play those sounds.

 

I haven't used an S-1000 since the mid-1990s so my memory might be foggy, but I think that Reason's software handles the translation of the Akai CD-ROMs very well... down to the programming.

 

That said, Akai (with E-mu) was the standard so maybe more resources were spent to develop technology for that line of samplers.

 

Now I have to wonder how Akai CD-ROMs play in Kontakt and Co.

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Has anyone here tried the original S-library CD-ROMs translated with the convenient, modern soft samplers such as Kontakt etc.? Do the samples sound just as nice?

 

Yes I have, and no, they don't.

 

 

cheers,

Ian

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That dry drum kit sounds very nice... Still not as good as SRX-01 to my ears though. I know the SRX kits all having processing so that may be the difference. All the other sounds are very nice though. Worth the loading time?

 

Actually, the loading time on the S-760 is not bad...probably less than a minute, even for the longer sets. SCSI works well on that machine.

 

Especially compared with - even newer - samplers like the Yamaha A-series - I loved the A4000 but the loading times were so excruciatingly long, I had to sell it.

 

Now I am really, really curious to use the Roland S-library with modern soft samplers. I think I'll get a copy of Kontakt.

 

Any other soft sampler that supports Roland that you guys know of?

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And lastly, the biggest difference for me were the filters. Kontakt has a nice set of filters in its own right, but they just don't sound the same as the (I believe convolution) filters in the JD/S7xx series.

 

A huge +1. The filters in the S-770/S-750/S-760/SP-700/JD-800/JD-990/DJ-70/DJ-70mkII are really something special.

 

 

cheers,

Ian

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You're making it very hard for me to not snap up a few S-760s over a XV-5080. :thu: I guess the real question is, how long does it take the S-760 to load up the full 32Mb?

 

There are several options to go about this.


One is to get a SCSI switch, which is simply a device you connect each of your samplers to, plus a drive chain, and then you can select which sampler can access the drive chain manually from the front. Glyph made them, but in Hollywood where they had rack after rack of S760s and SCSI drives, they often had custom build SCSI Routers (not switches) that didn't require switching. It simply fooled each S760 into thinking it was the host and was always connected to the SCSI drive chain, and fooled the SCSI drive chain into thinking it was connected to only one host. Good luck finding one.


The way I do things, I have an S760 with a Roland CD-Rack connected. In the expansion bay is a MCDisk RD-300 v2, which allows TWO PCMCIA slots to work at once with the S760. Each PCMCIA slot has a PCMCIA to CF adapter. One CF is 1GB (my "hard drive" including S760 system OS), and the other is any one of several 32MB CFs I use for specific projects. You can then just pull the CF from the RD-300 and use it in another S760, or you can make an ISO or CDR file of it on a computer to save it for backup or to send to a partner over the net.


If you can find a SCSI switch, that type of setup would be all you would need for 3 760s. Most of the SCSI switches I've seen only supported 3 hosts.

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