Roland W-30

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Roland W-30
ManufacturerRoland Corporation
Price£1599 GBP [1]
Technical specifications
Polyphony16 voice
LFOYes (sine peak-hold (with offset))
Synthesis typeSamples
Aftertouch expressionYes
Velocity expressionYes
Storage memory15k steps, 20 songs disk: 100k steps, 64 songs
Keyboard61 keys
Left-hand controlCombined Pitch bend and modulation switch
External controlMIDI In, out, thru

The Roland W-30 is a sampling workstation keyboard, released in 1989. It features an on-board 12-bit sampler, sample-based synthesizer, 16-track sequencer and 61-note keyboard.


The W-30's "Workstation" title stems from its incorporation of synthesis, sampling and MIDI sequencing capabilities. Although primitive by modern standards, the W-30's onboard sequencer was a practical way to arrange music as opposed to a DAW.

Unusually, while sounds are sampled with 12-bit resolution, they are played back through a 16-bit D-A converter [3] which, in theory at least, improves the sound quality. Nonetheless, the slightly "gritty" nature of the samples could be considered one of the instrument's charms.

The W-30 is compatible with the sound library of the Roland S-50, S330 & S550 dedicated samplers, which are now in the public domain.


The workstation's back panel features a blanking-plate labelled SCSI. This allowed the very rare "KW30 SCSI kit" upgrade to be fitted. The KW30 gave the W-30 the ability to behave as a SCSI Master device, and drive SCSI hard drives and CD-ROM players through a standard 25-pin SCSI cable. Copying samples to a SCSI hard drive (maximum usable capacity: 80Mb) dramatically reduces load time compared to the built-in 3.5" floppy disk drive.[4]

Notable users[edit]


  1. ^ "Roland W30 (MT Jul 89)". Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  2. ^ SynthArk, Designed by / Modified:. "W-30". Retrieved 2018-09-05.
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External links[edit]