Roland U-110

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Roland U-110 with 2 PCM cards fitted

The Roland U-110 is a synth module (sample playback or "Rompler" type) produced by Roland Corporation in 1988.

General information[edit]

Roland's answer to the E-mu Proteus, the predecessor of the more successful U-220 module and U-20 keyboard and the ancestor of the prototype T-110, the U-110 was Roland's first dedicated sample playback synth. It used ROM to store sounds rather than loading them from disks into RAM, hence it was not a true sampler as it could not sample sounds.

The U-110 contained a base 2MB of sounds stored in ROM. It could be expanded with up to 4 Roland SN-U110 sound library cards, unlike the more popular Roland U-220 that could only accommodate two. It had six individual outputs.


Feature Value
Polyphony 31 Voices (Certain sounds, such as V-MIX and Dual/Detune sounds, reduce this to 15)
Sound Generator DC-PCM Sound Generator
Base Sample ROM 2MB Consisting of 99 Sounds (mainly pop/rock no synth sounds (except synth bass))
Patch Storage 64 Internal memory locations
Expansion 2MB of extra sounds can be added by using up to 4 Roland SN-U110 PCM Cards
Outputs 1 Stereo mix output and 6 individual outputs (different output modes are available) also a headphone socket is attached to the mix output
Multimbral Yes. 6 Parts splitting the polyphony with each part i.e. no dynamic voice allocation
MIDI Implementation Good. All parameters are configurable using Sysex and Sysex dumps are easy to carry out. Midi IN/OUT/THRU available on the device.
Effects Basic Digital Chorus and Tremolo
Filter NONE
Display 16x2 LC Display
Control 6 Front panel buttons and a volume dial for the mix/headphone output.
Demo Songs There are 4 on-board factory demo songs which demonstrate the sound capabilities of this unit quite well.

Test mode[edit]

Tests carried out:

  1. S-RAM Check,
  2. LCD Check (display switches on all pixels),
  3. KEY/LED Check (pressing down a key will blank out that keys name on the display and if there is an LED in the key that will light up as well if working),
  4. Battery check,
  5. MIDI Check (using a midi cable connect midi in to midi out on back of unit. Midi message light will flash and a graphical representation of data flow will appear on the display),
  6. Wave ROM check,
  7. ROM card check,
  8. DAC Offset Adjust,
  10. Sound Check (By pressing <- and -> you can cycle though the modules voices. if working a tone should be heard from headphones or other connected output device (mix output) also pressing [dec] or [inc/enter] checks the effects),
  11. Output check (this checks the individual voice outputs use <- or -> to change the currently selected output and check to see if a test tone is emitted from that output).

List of SN-U110 ROM Cards[edit]

Card Number Name
SN-U110-01 Pipe Organ and Harpsichord
SN-U110-02 Latin and FX Percussion
SN-U110-03 Ethnic
SN-U110-04 Electric Grand and Clavi
SN-U110-05 Orchestral Strings
SN-U110-06 Orchestral Winds
SN-U110-07 Electric Guitar
SN-U110-08 Synthesiser
SN-U110-09 Guitar and Keyboards
SN-U110-10 Rock Drums
SN-U110-11 Sound Effects
SN-U110-12 Sax and Trombone
SN-U110-13 Super Strings
SN-U110-14 Super Acoustic Guitar
SN-U110-15 Super Brass


External links[edit]

  • Vintage Synth Explorer's site on the U-110 [1]
  • U-110 Manual [2]
  • Vintage synth explorer [3]
  • Synthmania's site contains the demo songs on MP3 [4]
  • U110 Resource: Manual, many audio demos and review [5]