Roland S-50/S-330/S-550 samplers...

HxC Floppy Emulator Roland Samplers/Keyboards support
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radio_handbook
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:42 pm

Roland S-50/S-330/S-550 samplers...

Post by radio_handbook »

I am so happy someone actually took the time to free older machines from the eighties
from the constraint of being able to boot exclusively from the floppy drive, thus
making a dream come true for me and all the people in my situation which wouldn't
want to part from these machines.
As you already know, most older machines boot exclusively from that peripheral.

Personally I wish an adapter could also be made for the 3.5" floppy drives of
Roland S-50/330/550 sampler series.

My treasured S-50 upon being switched on displays a 'PLEASE INSERT SYSTEM DISK'
message, waiting for its 3.5" drive to contain properly formatted media whose
loading would start right after insertion. It is my understanding that both 330,
550 and above units can boot also by other means, where an S-50 unable to boot from
the floppy drive is nothing but a useless piece of hardware.

Obviously, after two decades of service, my S-50 floppy drive unit is heading for
its final rest, thus following the fate of all the other sound samples on floppies
which I didn't make it to backup.

These floppy drives read and write exclusively proprietary-format. I would welcome
anyone who would shed some light on the inner workings of these samplers' peripherals
and feed these information to the man who CAN make these adapters.

Jeff
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Re: Roland S-50/S-330/S-550 samplers...

Post by Jeff »

radio_handbook wrote:I am so happy someone actually took the time to free older machines from the eighties
from the constraint of being able to boot exclusively from the floppy drive, thus
making a dream come true for me and all the people in my situation which wouldn't
want to part from these machines.
As you already know, most older machines boot exclusively from that peripheral.

Personally I wish an adapter could also be made for the 3.5" floppy drives of
Roland S-50/330/550 sampler series.

My treasured S-50 upon being switched on displays a 'PLEASE INSERT SYSTEM DISK'
message, waiting for its 3.5" drive to contain properly formatted media whose
loading would start right after insertion. It is my understanding that both 330,
550 and above units can boot also by other means, where an S-50 unable to boot from
the floppy drive is nothing but a useless piece of hardware.

Obviously, after two decades of service, my S-50 floppy drive unit is heading for
its final rest, thus following the fate of all the other sound samples on floppies
which I didn't make it to backup.

These floppy drives read and write exclusively proprietary-format. I would welcome
anyone who would shed some light on the inner workings of these samplers' peripherals
and feed these information to the man who CAN make these adapters.
can we found some floppy images of this sampler on the web ?

radio_handbook
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:42 pm

Re: Roland S-50/S-330/S-550 samplers...

Post by radio_handbook »

Jeff wrote: can we found some floppy images of this sampler on the web ?
http://www.generalconcepts.com/sgroup/a ... les/Roland

S-770 is backward compatible with S-50, S-330 and S-550 machines.
These three can also easily use each other's disks.
S-50 actually can run two different releases of dedicated operating system:
SYS-501 (=Ver. 1.00 ) and SYS-502 (=Ver. 2.0 )

I think you may be interested also at checking the following page

http://www.generalconcepts.com/sgroup/fdrive.html

If you thoroughly browse that site,you'll find heaps of most useful information
about these machinies.

Also check the following site:

http://www.youngmonkey.ca/nose/audio_te ... ormat.html

I have made several disk images myself for the sake of taking backups with:

dd if=/dev/fd0 bs=512 of=roland_s50_disk_IMG.bin


I bought that machine in 1987 and I still use it today.

Jeff
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Re: Roland S-50/S-330/S-550 samplers...

Post by Jeff »

These images are in a classic raw format (80 tracks/9sectors/2side) , so this should work without problem with the hxc floppy emulator.

radio_handbook
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:42 pm

Re: Roland S-50/S-330/S-550 samplers...

Post by radio_handbook »

Jeff wrote:These images are in a classic raw format (80 tracks/9sectors/2side) , so this should work without problem with the hxc floppy emulator.
Ok, then I can't wait to order the USB version of the floppy drive emulator.

GaryW
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:34 pm

Post by GaryW »

Hi,

I have a Roland W-30, which uses the same floppy drive as the S-330. Is the SD version of the Emulator available for the W-30?

If so, how do I order one?

Many Thanks,

Gary.

Ricoche
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:48 pm

Post by Ricoche »

GaryW wrote:Hi,

I have a Roland W-30, which uses the same floppy drive as the S-330. Is the SD version of the Emulator available for the W-30?

If so, how do I order one?

Many Thanks,

Gary.
Hello,

I can confirm that the Roland W-30 and S-330 do NOT have the same floppy drive. They are not compatible. I have both and have swapped them several times trying to make them work and they don't. You can find a new W-30 floppy drive compatible easily on Ebay or from Floppy Drive Solutions. Route 66 Studios never has any stock for these so I wouldn't bother looking there. The Roland S-330 does not have a replaceable Floppy Drive available anywhere other than Roland direct "IF" they have one. As a Roland S-330 owner this is unfortunate.

Also, the HxC Floppy Drive Emulator does not work with either the Roland W-30 or Roland S-330. There are loads of people with old Roland S-Series samplers. News travels very fast and it's a sure bet that if the HxC Floppy Drive Emulator worked with the S-Series samplers it would be welcome news all over. Well, I researched and tried it....it does not work with Roland S-Series samplers namely the Roland W-30 or S-330 period. I tried both. No luck.

Wish there were alternatives and maybe someday there will be.

Jeff
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Post by Jeff »

Ricoche wrote: Also, the HxC Floppy Drive Emulator does not work with either the Roland W-30 or Roland S-330. There are loads of people with old Roland S-Series samplers. News travels very fast and it's a sure bet that if the HxC Floppy Drive Emulator worked with the S-Series samplers it would be welcome news all over. Well, I researched and tried it....it does not work with Roland S-Series samplers namely the Roland W-30 or S-330 period. I tried both. No luck.
Are you sure ? What do you do exactly and what's the problem ?
The hxc floppy emulator should work without problem with these samplers.
(Sorry but it seems that you are a HxC Floppy emulator owner, your post looks like an advertising... i am wrong ? :roll: )

Ricoche
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:48 pm

Post by Ricoche »

Yeah you're wrong. I'm not advertising, I'm stating my experiences.

It's simple.

1. Route 66 Studios never answers emails about product stock and if they do, it's always "out of stock". Just send an email to them and inquire about any of the drives such as S-330 or W-30. They will respond "out of stock".

2. Floppy Drive Solutions carries the W-30 drive and it's in stock. That's where I bought mine and it works. This isn't advertising, it's just helping others not waste time with Route66Studios. These drives are hard to find and get so if I could list ten other sources I would. I think there is another guy on Ebay too selling drives for the Roland Samplers that works as well.

3. The HxC Floppy Drive Emulator does not work on the Roland W-30 and S-330 Samplers. I have an associate who has a HxC Floppy Drive Emulator and he let me try it on the units before he installed it on his own "verified" gear. I wanted to test it before I buy one because there is "zero" info on this forum about whether it will work or not. Also please do not be confused with the Roland S-760 and S-770 series samplers which have a completely different floppy drive system.

If you do some research on the Roland W-30 and S-330 drives and system you'll find that they require operating systems to reside on the disks. Plus they require a drive check of some sort when powering the sampler. I am not sure the exact technical process, but these are not standard 720KB drives like on a Kawai Q-80 for example. Nor can the W-30 and S-330 use an 1.44 floppy.

Believe me, if the HxC Floppy Drive Emulator worked on the Roland W-30 and S-330 samplers, I wouldn't need to advertise anything. People would be ALL OVER the HxC Floppy Drive Emulator. It would be a miracle!!

If I'm wrong, please someone other than the admin and product developer let me know.

Thanks!

Jim

Jeff
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Post by Jeff »

Ricoche wrote:-1. Route 66 Studios never answers...
Well in fact i don't care about Route 66 Studios, this is not my business...
Ricoche wrote:2. Floppy Drive Solutions...
Same remark...

You are here on the HxC Floppy Emulator support forum.
The aim of this forum is to help people having trouble with the emulator.
It seems that this is your case.
3. The HxC Floppy Drive Emulator does not work on the Roland W-30 and S-330 Samplers. I have an associate who has a HxC Floppy Drive Emulator and he let me try it on the units before he installed it on his own "verified" gear. I wanted to test it before I buy one because there is "zero" info on this forum about whether it will work or not. Also please do not be confused with the Roland S-760 and S-770 series samplers which have a completely different floppy drive system.
I need more informations. I need to know how you did the test and what happen exactly to understand what is the problem (leds behaviour etc...).
There are a lot possible source of problems. The most common are a bad jumper setting and/or a bad floppy image parameters (number of sector/track/side...).
If the W-30/S-330 floppy disk is so special, try to read it with the integrated read tool of the hxc floppy emulator software and send me the floppy image. Or you can send me a floppy disk by mail if you want.
If you do some research on the Roland W-30 and S-330 drives and system you'll find that they require operating systems to reside on the disks. Plus they require a drive check of some sort when powering the sampler. I am not sure the exact technical process, but these are not standard 720KB drives like on a Kawai Q-80 for example. Nor can the W-30 and S-330 use an 1.44 floppy.
The operating system on the floppy disk isn't an problem. You just need to get a copy. This is not the first sampler working like this (Emax series for example).
And regarding the disk geometry this not a problem, the emulator support all of them. You just need to know the geometry parameters. For this read a W-30/S-330 floppy disk with the hxc floppy emulator tool and/or send me a W-30/S-330 floppy disk.
Believe me, if the HxC Floppy Drive Emulator worked on the Roland W-30 and S-330 samplers, I wouldn't need to advertise anything. People would be ALL OVER the HxC Floppy Drive Emulator. It would be a miracle!!
I don't believe you, and no there are no miracle here ;-).
The HxC Floppy emulator is able to emulate all non-standard disk geometry. What you need to know is the W-30/S-330 disk geometry.
So this only a parameters problem. :-)

If I'm wrong, please someone other than the admin and product developer let me know.
As often, you will don't get any answer because you are probably the first one trying it on these samplers ;-)

lencenhos
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:45 am

Re: Roland S-50/S-330/S-550 samplers...

Post by lencenhos »

To Ricoche;
Can you give me the adress of FLOPPY DRIVE SOLUTIONS.
I want to order a Roland W-30's diskdrive.

Jeff
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Re: Roland S-50/S-330/S-550 samplers...

Post by Jeff »

lencenhos wrote:To Ricoche;
Can you give me the adress of FLOPPY DRIVE SOLUTIONS.
I want to order a Roland W-30's diskdrive.
Lol
Didn't you understand that this guy is making an advertising here ?

Ricoche
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:48 pm

Re: Roland S-50/S-330/S-550 samplers...

Post by Ricoche »

Lol
Didn't you understand that this guy is making an advertising here ?
Hey Jeff,

I wasn't advertising here. I was stating a fact. The floppy Drive Solution W-30 drive works perfectly with the Roland W-30. I bought one, tested it, and it works 100%. I bought it because the website claimed it worked and it did because they had tested it too. This is not advertising but only to help those at the time looking for a "working" solution. At the time I wrote my comments above, the "HxC Floppy Drive Emulator" wasn't and still isn't a tested and 100% working solution for the Roland W-30. Perhaps Leon, if he buys it will change that.

A lot of Roland W-30 enthusiasts are looking for drives particularly because the Roland W-30 will not boot without it.

You will also notice that the FDS website is now down. I don't know why because I don't work there and never have. Perhaps they are out of business and why Leon is over here hoping he can find a solution with the "HxC Floppy Drive Emulator". Makes sense.

If I were to advertise any drive it would only be a "working" solution. I do now see someone seems to have the "HxC Floppy Drive Emulator" working for the Roland S-50. This is a step in the right direction and it definitely got my attention a little while ago.

@Jeff - Go ahead and judge my comments as advertising if you wish. You don't seem to understand that the participants in this thread are Roland W-30 users looking for a "working" solution. I'll advertise, promote, explain, teach, present, showcase, and discuss anything that 100% works. You would too.

@Leon - As I mentioned before, since the 100% working solution I mentioned above is now gone, I'd recommend either taking a shot at "HxC Floppy Drive Emulator" as Jeff seems willing to work with you or just continue searching. At this point it's about taking a risk and seeing if any of these emulators work.

If I find anything I'll send you an email Leon as Jeff seems to think anything I say here is advertising.

Jim

_cc_
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:20 am

Re: Roland S-50/S-330/S-550 samplers...

Post by _cc_ »

Ricoche wrote:
Lol
If I were to advertise any drive it would only be a "working" solution. I do now see someone seems to have the "HxC Floppy Drive Emulator" working for the Roland S-50. This is a step in the right direction and it definitely got my attention a little while ago.
Ricoche,

the someone you see that seems to have the SD-floppy emulator working is me and in fact it is more than seeming to work: it works. It loads the images of all disks I made personally and the disk images (.out) found on the net. And it also loads the sequencer software (sys-503) made for the S-50. I admit the flexibility of the emulator requires some fiddling with the settings of the jumpers, the config file on the card and the settings of the software to build the imges, but once set up correctly it works like the real thing. No, it even works better, because it loads a bit faster and due to the fact that there are no moving parts and the huge capacity of SD cards there are no disk read problems and LOTS of data can be stored on a single card, so no need to have many disks around.

I strongly suggest to try the emulator, Jeff is a nice guy and you can see him helping all over the place and he is open to read, comment and even implement suggestions.

Best wishes
Claudio

Jeff
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Re: Roland S-50/S-330/S-550 samplers...

Post by Jeff »

_cc_ wrote:
Ricoche wrote:
Lol
If I were to advertise any drive it would only be a "working" solution. I do now see someone seems to have the "HxC Floppy Drive Emulator" working for the Roland S-50. This is a step in the right direction and it definitely got my attention a little while ago.
Ricoche,

the someone you see that seems to have the SD-floppy emulator working is me and in fact it is more than seeming to work: it works. It loads the images of all disks I made personally and the disk images (.out) found on the net. And it also loads the sequencer software (sys-503) made for the S-50. I admit the flexibility of the emulator requires some fiddling with the settings of the jumpers, the config file on the card and the settings of the software to build the imges, but once set up correctly it works like the real thing. No, it even works better, because it loads a bit faster and due to the fact that there are no moving parts and the huge capacity of SD cards there are no disk read problems and LOTS of data can be stored on a single card, so no need to have many disks around.

I strongly suggest to try the emulator, Jeff is a nice guy and you can see him helping all over the place and he is open to read, comment and even implement suggestions.

Best wishes
Claudio

Ricoche has finally tried the HxC Floppy Emulator on the W30 and the S-330 without any problem:

http://torlus.com/floppy/forum/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=625

http://jimatwood.wordpress.com/2011/04/ ... -samplers/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lQBq2kYlkA

:wink:

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