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Roland SYSTEM 100

29-Apr-2017

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Roland SYSTEM 100



Category:  Products / synth / old analog mono

Added: 13-Dec-98  |  Author: admin

New price: discontinued  |   S/H price: very rare - alot of cashola

Roland SYSTEM 100

The Roland System 100, released in 1975 and manufactured until 1979, was an affordable analog semi-modular synthesizer.

It is only semi-modular, because while all the basic component parts - the 101 synthesizer (37 notes), the 102 expander, the 104 sequencer, the 103 4 channel mixer with built in spring reverb and mono fx send/return & the 109 speakers- could be used on their own with other equipment, there wasn't full true modular flexibility, as with the later Roland System 100m, which itself isn't as fully flexibile as roland's flagship of the time, the Roland System 700. However, the idea was to use all the component parts together to build a complete monophonic system in itself, which effectively gave a two oscillator synthesizer with sequencing, monitoring and effects capabilities. Roland allowed those with an eye on the budget to buy each part separately and also to build a more complex system, which may for example, consist of three 102 units and a keyboard, for a richer sound and more complex synthesis capabilities. Each unit was independently powered, which means that there wasn't an issue with attenuation of signals (eg. weakening of oscillator power due to complex patching etc), which was a problem with the MOOG modular systems.

Some of the notable uses of the system (in various configurations) was by DANIEL MILLER/ DEPECHE MODE on A BROKEN FRAME and even more notably by HUMAN LEAGUE (MK1 INCARNATION) where the albums REPRODUCTION and TRAVELOGUE used the system 100 multitracked to provide nearly all the arrangements, including the drums and percussion. VINCE CLARKE is also a big user, and it can be heard on many of ERASURE'S ALBUMS, including the "all analog" works post 1991. THE K2 PLAN has also used it extensively in a similar vein, multitracked and with the sequencer providing odd syncopations and effects.

The Roland SH-5 AND SH-7 are very similar in styling, although it could be argued that the SH-7 is weaker sounding. The SH-5, however, is more powerful with a true multimode filter. Both these synthsizers are complete keyboard units, as opposed to the modular nature of the system 100.

The System 100 is still very sought after and desirable due to the power of its filter (very similar sounding to the tb 303, so could be 18db/oct, although sounds even more powerful)and also the sequencer and patching capabilities, which are easier to get to grips with simply because the 101 and 102 are internally normalised so can be used in a more traditional manner without getting into any patching at all (other than cv and gate for the expander to trigger it, although the sample and hold unit can trigger it. This again was unique as it procided a lag time feature and selectable sources for it, including external sources). Also, Roland, uniquely for the time, didn't have the oscillators "locked in" to fixed footages or pitches, which allows maximum flexibility for sound sculpting. However, conversely it can be a little tricky to play in a conventional manner as there is no dedicated pitch bend or modulation controls like later synths. The envelopes dont sound as snappy as later roland synths, although this isn't really a problem when using it with a sequencer. It can also be used with a midi to cv converter , as it supports the 1v/oct standard.

As with many vintage synthesizers, the oscillators can be a bit unstable at the lower frequencies. Furthermore, although roland's build quality is legendarily superb for nearly all their equipment, the keyboard on the 101 is prone to mis-triggering and double-triggering, which was a common problem until their later synths , such as the jupiter 4 onwards. Prices for a full system are around 3000 to 5000 pounds, depending on the overall condition, with individual units going from 150 for the speakers, to 800-900 for the 101 and 102 units. It needs to be left on for a 30 minute or so warm up if testing or using, to let the discreet oscillators settle in. However, a handy A=440HZ tuning oscillator is built into the 101 to check for tracking across the keyboard range.

It created a very unique sound, because it contains no SSM or CURTIS chips, and hence its discreet technology ensures it doesn't sound like anything else in a mix. Lots of character and incredibly versatile.


[from Wikipedia]



The Roland SYSTEM-100 ..... please add your comments








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Roland SYSTEM-100 V74 part.1

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User Comments

Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: kilo
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 19-Jan-99

test...System-100.....1...2.....3....4.....

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Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: kyrie
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 19-Jan-99

one of the best analogs i've used. if you've got all

the modules it becomes one hell of a beast (with a wacky

sample and hold section that create great evolving

rhythmic patterns that never stay the same, ring mod

can create amazing ambient textures and gritty metallic

sounds and the ability to use patch leads to patch most

sections together makes it flexible also. the 24 step

analog sequencers makes a great change (great for

live jams with the chaps). i really like the hands-on

approach with the patch cables. two parts aswell

(but still a monosynth). i've not used the module

that's in the right of picture up top (which has

definitely piqued my attention.

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Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: J.
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 19-Jan-99

Mission to Mars.

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Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: Emiel Rooijackers
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 19-Jan-99

I traded mine (model 101 & 102) for a 909. That was the most stupid thing

I ever did probabely. Great warm sounds.

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Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: Hank D
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 20-Jun-00

Personally I'd rather have this than a stinking triton

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Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: H
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 18-Oct-00

Look real close now this is a synthesizer that uses voltage to create it's sound not some microchip.All the sounds in your grooveboxes are trying to sound like this.

-;) i wan to be greeted by something cooler than a 50fried.

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Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: gs
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 18-Oct-00

great machine, i was lucky enough to inherit one. loads of fun. i want to get a cc converter thingy so i can midi it up, that would be amazing.

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Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: H
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 18-Oct-00

Wouldn't you rather sell it for nice tidy sum of cash so you can buy a few things you can use.I mean this isn't a putdown or anything but since you don't know the diff. between cv and cc wouldn't you like to get yourself a nice high end piece of gear w/ the cash i'll pay you for it?email w/ a $ price and location.

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Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: gs
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 19-Oct-00

haha, nice try :-) re. the cc/cv thing, we both know what i meant. besides which it's still useful without it (samples). i wouldn't sell it anyway cause like i said, i inherited it, it's got too much sentimental value ;-)

what's one of these things worth anyway?

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Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: beats me
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 19-Oct-00

I'll pay you 5% more than anyone if you will sell next week and i can swing it.I'll look up the market value though.

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Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: About 1-30000
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 19-Oct-00

Have you ever seen the System 700. Jesus.

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Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: Boxx
Email: Email supplied but hidden
http://welcome.to/tryptych
Activity: Professional
Date: 28-Jul-01

I have used both this, and the System 700. Both pretty wild machines. The 700 was probably 8 times the price then. Lord knows what it is now if you can find one.

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Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: alex
Email: Email supplied but hidden
joyelectric.com
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 09-Dec-02

i know this is not gonna happen, but if someone would like to make a little kid happy (AKA:me) they could give me a roland system 100(or for 2 hundred or under) pleaseeeee, it would have a good home here. email me at joyelectricrules@msn.com

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Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: jon
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 24-Oct-03

This is going to annoy all of you but I'm a drummer with a bit of a passion for wierd old moog records. I was bumbling through a junk shop looking for a camera in country south australia and stumbled on to a system 100 thinking 'that cool old moog rip off looks like it could be worth owning'. Paid less than $70 US for the thing and it's by far the best sounding piece of equipment I've ever made space noises on. I can't even play keyboard, but I'm keeping myself amused for hours trying to play along to Jeff Wayne's war of the worlds.

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Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: Jay d
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 28-Nov-03

I have a system 100 in my analog arsenal and it's the best abstract noise maker i've ever used - in fact it gets used on everything!
Awesome machine!! worth around 2,000 but not for sale!

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Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: Joe smyth
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 18-Mar-04

What would someone sell a Roland System 100, Model 102 for? (That's just the synth part) I really want one. Name your price.
Joey

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Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: Tim Williams
Email: No email added
Activity: Professional
Date: 25-Mar-04

Well, this was the 1st synth I bought. What a nightmare!

The main problem was tuning (not stability). There were no octave switches, just coarse and fine frequency pots. No mod wheel or pitch bend, although there was a small red button which would lower the frequency by a semi-tone. The analog step sequencer also had variable frequency knobs for each step. The oscillators and filter were characterless. Putting it through a delay unit helped more than using the cheesy spring reverb in the mixer. The choice of soft or hard sync on the expander was useful, as was the extensive sample and hold section. The mixers send (or return - can't remember) inverted the phase of the signal which was a rather perverse bit of designing.

All in all a bit of a nightmare for live playing. I did use this synth a lot for recording, and got some amazing (for the time) atmospheric sounds.

I made a large number of modifications to my System 100, mostly additional patch points which greatly increased the sound potential of the instrument. I also added a few inverters and octave dividers.

I sold the sequencer, gave my nephew the mixer, still have the expander unit (somewhere). The keyboard unit got stolen. I didn't care... I'd just bought a Jupiter 4!

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Last added comment

Product:  Roland - SYSTEM 100
Name: The Final Word
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 07-Jul-14

[quote] alex wrote: i know this is not gonna happen, but if someone would like to make a little kid happy (AKA:me) they could give me a roland system 100(or for 2 hundred or under) pleaseeeee, it would have a good home here. email me at joyelectricrules@msn.com [/quote]

You want a System 100 for under $200? Ok, sure. Would you like my spare SH-5 for an extra $100? I'll even drop them off if you're in my area. I need to get rid of them, they take up too much space.

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