VOGONS


List of SC-55 clones/compatibles?

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First post, by Spikey

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Hey folks,

Curious about other than the SC-55 itself which other synths had the same sound engine and tones (including ones missing MT-32 tones, like the SC-50). Obviously the mkII is higher quality but sounds different, as do later SC's with "SC-55 emulation".

Is there a list somewhere, or can someone type one out? Would be helpful. Thanks. 😀

Reply 1 of 30, by Salient

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Basically, this would be *any* General MIDI compatible device out there.
But as far as 'clone', I think the only non Roland devices that come to mind are the Cancun FX daughterboard and the Anteg EasyMIDI EM-100 sound module, since they use the 'unofficial' GS sampleset from Roland.

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Reply 2 of 30, by Pierre32

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Would this fall into that category?

Most of the instrument samples seem to be "borrowed" from the Roland Sound Canvas...

http://www.amoretro.de/2014/07/terratec-waves … rboard-2mb.html

Reply 3 of 30, by yawetaG

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Salient wrote on 2020-11-03, 12:24:

Basically, this would be *any* General MIDI compatible device out there.

Nope. Most manufacturers use their own instrument samples and synth engines. So while the instrument mapping provided may be similar to that of the SC-55 the samples are not the same.

Casio use their own sample sets.
Kawai is a bit complicated, because their more advanced GM synths actually use sample sets and synthesis engines derived from their non-GM synths (K1 and K4) and emulate a GM mapping out of that. Their simpler GM synths use almost non-editable versions of those GM mappings.
Korg's GM synths are also not really GM, since they're almost all fully editable under the hood, based on their AI-synthesis, with a GM mapping again.
Yamaha also use their own sample sets, based on their AWM and AWM2 synthesis (fully editable on some models).

The same applies to many other manufacturers.

But as far as 'clone', I think the only non Roland devices that come to mind are the Cancun FX daughterboard and the Anteg EasyMIDI EM-100 sound module, since they use the 'unofficial' GS sampleset from Roland.

If softsynths count, Microsoft Win 9x software MIDI playback and the MIDI playback of Apple Quicktime from the same period use licensed VSC-55 sample sets.

From Roland, SC33 I guess, and some of the later MT-models. JV35/50 uses the SC-55 Mk.II ROM with SC-88 CPU etc.

Reply 4 of 30, by EmpireOfScrap

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The Terratec Maestro 32/96 has most of the SC-55 sound bank onboard, although with a higher reverb than the real deal.

Antoher Dream based card, the Korean Oksori WS32, also uses the same sound font, with the correct reverb setting. However, this card is incredibly rare.

Reply 7 of 30, by cyclone3d

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EmpireOfScrap wrote on 2020-11-03, 23:07:
root42 wrote on 2020-11-03, 22:49:

Isn't the SCC-1 basically an SC-55 on an ISA card?

Yes, but you can buy almost 10 SC-55 for the price of one SCC-1 with current eBay prices 😁

Unless you find a random computer with one already installed 😁

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Reply 8 of 30, by Spikey

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Ok, let me reask my question.

What synths are *identical* to the SC-55 in terms of sound, but under different names? I know there's a BOSS one, the SC-50 is identical but doesn't have the MT-32 tones, there's possibly one of the MT's, there's maybe the CM-500, and more..

I'm *not* interested in sound cards, or just any GM compatible synth.

Reply 9 of 30, by Pierre32

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Here are the applicable Roland models taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_Sound_Canvas

I've ommitted the SC-88 and its variants, along with sound cards & daughterboards.

Roland SC-155 - Table top version of SC-55
Roland SC-55ST - Half rack unit. Lower cost version of SC-55mkII. No display and only one MIDI input.
Roland SC-50 - SC-55mkII without the Roland MT-32 patches, only one MIDI input.
Roland SD-35 - SC-50 with integrated MIDI sequencer.
Roland SC-33 - Table top version of SC-50, rebranded as BOSS Dr. Synth DS-330 (fewer tones).
Roland CM-300 - "Computer music" version of the SC-55, no screen. A beige box with a volume knob and two LEDs on the front, technically not GM compatible (GM reset interpreted as GS reset).

Reply 10 of 30, by SuperDeadite

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CM-500 is a CM-300 and CM-32L in one box. It's nosier than a stand alone 55/300 due to it's daughter board design.

Be aware, there are multiple versions of 300/500, older units only have GS mark, later units have GS and GM.

55 clones are very complicated due to differences between GM and GS. A lot of GM modules have the extra drum kits, but are not fully GS compatible.

For example, Dreamblaster X2. The original Dreambank is GS compatible, however Buryan is not. Buryan even has MT32 mode, but will not play true GS midis correctly.

Most users here are strictly DOS users, so GS vs GM is not much of an issue. But other systems (typically Japanese) made extensive use of GS. The differences are important if one wants to talk about 55 clones.

Last edited by SuperDeadite on 2020-11-04, 11:57. Edited 1 time in total.

Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, Dreamblaster X2, McFly

Reply 11 of 30, by Spikey

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Yeah, I had a look earlier. I guess the CM-500 meets the criteria also?

I'm looking into the old MV-30, as well. It appears to be a SC-55 (before the SC line existed) but with only 8 channels, and a sequencer. It also may have higher quality samples, too.. I wasn't looking for that at first, but it's interesting!

In terms of the SC-55, it appears all of those on Pierre's list are out except for the 155 and CM-300/500. The CM lines don't have LCD screens and are hard/expensive to find, so they're out. I guess I'm looking at SC-55, SC-155, and any others not covered in the list above that are "SC-55 mk I compatible".

Reply 12 of 30, by Spikey

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SuperDeadite: Thanks. I had ruled out a CM-500 due to other reasons, but the PCB design is yet another reason to avoid for me. The CM-32L part is the most exciting part, TBH!

When I say clones, I mean Roland clones.. I'm not talking in broad GM terms.

Reply 13 of 30, by Tiido

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As far as clones go, there's only Dream who tried to actually clone Roland stuff. All the SAM9233/CS9233 based things and most SAM9733 and 9704 based things are trying to be as close likeness to SC55 as possible.

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Reply 14 of 30, by yawetaG

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Spikey wrote on 2020-11-04, 11:28:

Yeah, I had a look earlier. I guess the CM-500 meets the criteria also?

I'm looking into the old MV-30, as well. It appears to be a SC-55 (before the SC line existed) but with only 8 channels, and a sequencer. It also may have higher quality samples, too.. I wasn't looking for that at first, but it's interesting!

It's not a GM unit. It's a derivative of the Roland U110, U20, U220 and D70 (working designation U50) - basically a U220 desktop unit with the D70 filters and some unique features, plus a integrated MC-50 Mk.II sequencer. One of the sound sets is a proto-GM sample set with 128 instruments, but the MIDI implementation of the MV-30 is NOT GM-compatible.
I can know, because I own one.

In terms of Roland lineage, it's the link between the U-series and the later JV80, JV90, and JV1000. Nothing to do with the Sound Canvas, except maybe some patch names.

It's also quite rare.

If you want a SC-55 that also has the higher quality JV-samples, take a look at the JV1080, JV2080, and related models. Just be aware that you're limited to their integrated GM sample sets for GM playback, AFAIK.

Reply 15 of 30, by CrossBow777

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Pretty sure that the MT-120, MT-200 and likely the MT-300 etc. are based on the original SC-55 sounds as well? I know that my MT-200 sounds the same as my SCB-55 I have?

*There is one difference at least with my MT-200 compared to an SC-55. The MT-200 has a maximum tempo of 250bpm whereas I assume the actual SC-55 can go much faster. I know that the Power!-55 midi album has a song that uses 330bpm and my MT-200 will play it, but it is slow since it can't play back that fast on tempo. Not sure if the MT-120, 300 have the same limit on this. The MT-90 can play it back properly, but that also seems to lack capitol tone fallback and has some instrument differences in how it sounds.

g883j7-2.png
Midi Modules: MT-32 (OLD), MT-200, MT-90, SD-20

Reply 16 of 30, by Spikey

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yawetaG, are you able to record short demos any of the bank that has the "pre-GM GM" sound set? Patches that would be interesting would be Overdrive Gt (O.D Guitar 1), Acoustic Bs (AcousticBass), Clarinet (Clarinet 1), and maybe some of the synth patches.

To me, it looks a lot like a SC-55 bank's origin, and is interesting in that the GM spec appears to have potentially come out of this bank. Plus, the font used on the MV's LCD seems the same as what was used in the SC line.

I have a Roland INTEGRA-7, which has the 1080/2080/5080 patches. I guess it doesn't have their GM set though, unless the 5080 GM Set is related to the 1080 one. Are you saying the JV's "GM" set was based on the SC, or the SC was based on the GM timbres of the 1080? Or were you speaking broadly, that the 1080's GM set was just higher quality GM?

The MV-30 is cheap (equivalent of about 100 US bucks), and seems to have the 2 MV cards and 2 U110 cards, so I'll try and get it if I can.

yawetaG: Also, does the MV receive controller 0 (MSB), reverb, chorus, and Data Entry MSB (controller 6)?

CrossBow, yeah, the MT-200 is a SC-55 I think, no idea about the 120/300. And no idea if there's any sound quality differential between the two.

Incidentally, I used to live in BA for 7 years 😀 I miss Tulsa.

Last edited by Spikey on 2020-11-04, 17:16. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 18 of 30, by Spikey

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That's a PCMCIA card, right?

Incidentally, does anyone know anything about the PMA-5? It appears to use the headphone jack as a combi jack for headphones/line out. Kinda of a cool gadget, but if the sound is worse than the other SC-55's, I don't need to be a completist. 😀

Reply 19 of 30, by CrossBow777

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Spikey wrote on 2020-11-04, 17:14:

That's a PCMCIA card, right?

Incidentally, does anyone know anything about the PMA-5? It appears to use the headphone jack as a combi jack for headphones/line out. Kinda of a cool gadget, but if the sound is worse than the other SC-55's, I don't need to be a completist. 😀

I've played around with a PMA-5 for a bit as I snagged one locally for about $40 for another buddy of mine that was interesting in getting one. I was able to use its midi input and switch it over to SC mode. It didn't sound the same and it too seem to be missing CTF and so you would hear instruments missing even on some GS mids. So it didn't have a complete GS bank but did have a very large set of different drum banks on it. It was cool, but not enough for me to want to keep it or look to purchase another.

g883j7-2.png
Midi Modules: MT-32 (OLD), MT-200, MT-90, SD-20