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User reviews on Sound Module products

This is what I call "magic"... (Roland - SC-880)

By ecceccecc, 13/06/2015
The Roland SC-880 sound module is what I call "magic". By having one, you can make nearly any keyboard sound "professional". I remember plugging a PSR-275 on it in 2006 and making people impressed with that ;-)
The sounds are very 90's dated, but since this module was manufactured in, I believe, 1997 or 1998, this IS the case. I personally like 90's Roland Sound Canvas library, mainly the strings, choirs and pads. And this module does them extremly nicely. I confess that I'd like to get a new unit - if I could ever find one...
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I have this Yamaha FB01 Sound Generater. (Yamaha - FB-01)

By John-Michael Mahnke, 17/07/2015
I have this Yamaha FB01 Sound Generator on top of my Technics PR-305 Digital Piano. It was made back in 1985. It has 240 instrumental sounds on it. I have the instruction book to it. It was given to me by a piano tuner, as I had the Technics EX-10 organ that I got rid of, with my mom in the fall of 1998. The Yamaha FB01 has a polyphony of eight notes at the most, I use it to play with when I`m playing some songs, or playing along with some songs that I hear on the radio. The Yamaha FB01 can be tricky to use, and has a polyphony of 8 notes maximum, if you don`t know about it. But anyway it can fun to use. You can look up www.manualslib.com/ on how to operate it.
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Simple old-school analog presets (Roland - EM-101 SoundPlus)

By stiiiiiiive, 04/09/2017
Roland’s EM-101 Sound Plus is a MIDI expander that features 6, non-editable Juno voices: 8 poly presets, 8 mono presets and 8 (surprise !) hidden presets. Unrealistic analog, then.
Controls include Volume, Attack, Dynamics (allowing to modulate the volume, but it can also be quite interestingly used the other way around). Plus, a bonus Brilliance setting that sounds more like a tone than a cutoff control. Regarding connectors, a MIDI duet, a ¼” Jack output and a footswitch input fot the mute function. In the end, very easy to use.
I had started to look around for mods so as to make it more versatile, I know that some went way further (more details can be found on the web).
There’s also a video tutorial that shows how it works.

So, how does it sound?
Well, a bit like a Juno trying to imitate other instruments. I find an interest to 3 or 4 presets at best, but it’s up to everyone’s taste… Among these, two Strings and an Organ preset. Picture yourself back in the 1980s, with those synthetic strings and organs that have become real references since then. However, as for the sounds labelled “trumpet” or “piano”, that’s another story.
It can suit a Krautrock fan, or be of use to anyone revering these old-school sounds, but in all cases you’ll have to do with what it can offer in three minutes of tweaking as you won’t get much farther without adding a few effect boxes.

I personally sometimes use it MIDI-controlled by a Little Phatty, injecting the audio output into the said Phatty to get a colored paraphonic, Moog-y sound. The Phatty’s mixer is unfortunately quickly overdriven, but that’s a real pleasure to get huge overdriven sound textures. Maybe an MF-101 would be better suited for the job? The Phatty’s point here is that you can tweak the note priority setting to get a bass and overlying chords, or chords and an overlying lead sound, with all pertaining constraints. However, constraints can be stimulating, ain’t it?

As for synthesis (hohoo), it’s a very simple analog module that’s to be taken for what it is: it can be a nice instrument for whoever prefers an RS-09 to a Nord Electro, or a TS-909 and a Holygrail to a great multieffect – so in the end whoever prefers a unique yet minimalistic sound to something more diverse and complex.
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News Sound Module

Ixox introduces the Preenfm v2 DIY expander

Published on 05/27/14
Ixox announces the immediate availability of DIY Kits for the second version of hist preenfm expander.

Mutable Instruments updates Shruti

Published on 12/31/13

Roland VIMA JM-5

Published on 05/19/11

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Roland SC-88 Sound Canvas

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Kurzweil Micro piano

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