Old Roland Hardware Tricks


My studio in the early 90s was full of hardware mixers and long patch cable strung all over the place. Before computers with fast CPUs the way to get an original sound was simply plugging hardware boxes into each other. Electrocomp-101 synthesizer into a Boss Pedal into a Korg Digital Delay and so forth. I always felt like a pioneer pushing the equipment to unintended limits.

My favorite trick that I never actually heard anyone else do was something I called the “Wicked 106”. I created 16 slightly different patches on a Roland Juno-106. Next, I would create a 16th note pattern in Dr. Ts KCS. Here’s the trick: I would then put a different Program Change (number) on each of the steps. You never heard a Juno-106 sound so interesting. It really made the 106 sound like a modular going through a step sequencer.

“What most don’t know about the original TR-808, aside from it’s original voices (sounds) there is a “pulse” sound that you can hear when plugging a cable from the ACcent trigger out, it generates a metallic “zap” sound very similar to a Hi Q (sound from the Roland R-8) This sound was used in “Egypt Egypt” and “Funkbox” from Masterdon. THIS IS HOW THE SOUND IS DONE!!!!” – intromix

Do you remember an old hardware trick you used to do?

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Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to: thehorrorist.com

5 thoughts on “Old Roland Hardware Tricks”

  1. Well, I didn’t have (and still don’t) a midi CV converter, so I’d send out a loud click noise from my A3000 sampler and slam it in to the click input on my SH101. It would miss notes, but as long as that didn’t bother you, it was pretty much always in time.

  2. ok Im reposting this cos I think the move removed the newer comments :p

    does anyone know if sending, say a loud click noise from my PC would work if put into the ‘External S Trig’ port of a MiniMOOG?


    1. Ray this “click” trick only works with stuff that requires a positive voltage trigger. Moog style S Trig activates when shorted out, as opposed to say Roland gear, that activates when it sees a voltage spike.

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