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Roland LCD-1 sample CD finally available on S-550!

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And it’s not a joke. I’ve found a way! For those who don’t know LCD-1 is a sample CD ROM that was built for Roland S-550 sampler. In order to use it, the sampler had to be expanded with SCSI interface card and connected to Roland CD-5 external CD ROM device. This is the only CD drive that will actually work with S-550. And there are, like 10 of those working in the world if not less. Which is probably the reason there is none information about this topic on the internet: 1)SCSI interface for S-550 is rare 2)CD-5 drive is ultra rare (Mr. Varaldo managed to found only two units in 10 years time span on eBay. Of course none of which work, which is expected after all this time).

After three days of trying various methods, some “hacking” and what a not i finally found the way to have the content of the legendary Roland CD ROM in S-550. Obviously S-550 SCSI interface is required, however no need for the impossible-to-find Roland CD-5 drive!!!! This is crucial part!

I should point out that there are some minor limitations, but it’s not that bad. Essentially you can only have 64 volumes at a time (per CF card) since that’s max Roland can make per hard drive. Now, because there are 165 volumes on the LCD-1 sample CD ROM, that means you will need three CF cards to store its content. But then, better something than nothing! In fact, you can search the whole WEB i doubt you will find anyone managed to find a better solution (or any solution at all for this sample CD ROM). Originally i got this CD from Roginator and i’ve decided to keep it since i knew i will need it one day when i get the SCSI interface for S-550 which i just did few days ago.

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Let the hacking begin! First thing you need is the SCSI-CF blackbox which is detailed here. Or any sort of SCSI-CF drive that you can get hold of and that you know that works with samplers. And obviously your S-550 need to have the SCSI interface. I’ve purchased mine couple of weeks ago on eBay. These are rare, but keep in mind that some S-550 units with pre installed SCSI card can pop up from time to time. One important thing to say – you need the latest OS for the S-550 which is called “CD-5 System Ver. 1.02.”. This method will not work with system floppy that comes with SCSI interface because it is lacking some required features for this task! And you will need Chickensys Translator software.

This is one of those, don’t ask why, just DO IT as i say: Start the S-550 up, with the system floppy, let OS load, then power up your SCSI-CF interface, wait 20 sec to boot, go to Disk / Setup / COM / SCSI Check. Your drive should now get scanned and shown with ID. You might get notification “Parked”. Important: Always ignore “Parked” label and simply left click “Hard Disk ID=” then right click it and the drive will show up. If you go HD Restart, the machine or drive might hang out! Now go and format it. Job done. Power the unit down. Insert the CF card into your computer (assuming you have a CF card reader). Insert the LCD-1 CD ROM into your CD drive. Start the Translator. Select 64 volumes on the CD ROM and drag them onto the CF card (which should appear under SCSI / proprietary format drives in Translator). And that’s it!

Go back to S-550. Similar starting procedure, although once the CF card is formatted, you can turn on SCSI-CF reader 20 sec before you turn on S-550. So no need for SCSI Check in menus, simply go with the left/right click on the “Hard Disk ID=”. This is what “wakes up” the CF card, not “HD restart”, since this isn’t a HD at the first place. And there you have it. 64 volumes from the LCD-1 CD ROM. Repeat the same for cards 2 and 3 and you have the complete LCD-1 library at a press of a few buttons.

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I was always curious about the content of the Roland LCD-1 CD ROM. So i did some digging through it and at address 200 (hex) i found what appears to be the top level directory. After some cleaning and reformatting of the above data, here is the complete content of LCD-1. Each of these represents one “volume” which is equivalent of one floppy. It will be very interesting to compare this list to the factory floppy disks which are available from sgroup archives (for both the S-550 and S-50).

 Acoustic Piano #1 USB501#4
 Acoustic Piano #2 RSB5501#3
 Grand Piano #3 Lower RSB5501#9
 Grand Piano #3 Upper RSB5501#10
 Pop Piano #1 USB505#7
 Pop Piano #2 RSB5501#8
 S-50 System #1 Piano S-50 sys #1
 S-330 System #1 Piano S-330sys #1
 Electric Piano #1 L501#1
 Electric Piano #2 & Clavi L501#2
 Electric Piano #2 USB502#4
 E.Piano & Vibraphone JPL552#8
 E.Piano & Vibraphone USRSB5503#7
 Pluck Pianos RSB5502#4
 Midi E.Piano & Synth Bass USB504#3
 Club E.Piano / Bass & Wave Synth RSB5501#1
 Electric Organ #1 L501#4
 Pipe Organ & Choir JPL552#7
 Pipe Organ & Choir USRSB5503#6
 Pipe Organ & Harpsichord L501#3
 Synthesizer #1 JPL501#5
 Synthesizer #1 USUSB502#6
 Synthesizer #2 USB504#8
 Synthesizer #3 USB505#2
 Midi Stack #1 USB502#7
 FM Stuff USB505#9
 FM Filtered RSB5502#8
 Harpsichord JPL552#6
 Harpsichord USRSB5504#9
 Celesta JPL552#9
 Celesta USRSB5503#10
 Strings #1 L504#20
 Full Strings Section JPL551#1
 Full Strings Section USRSB5503#9
 20th Century Orchestra USB502#3
 High Strings USB502#9
 Suspense Orchestra USB504#7
 S-50 System #2 Strings & Choir S-50 sys #2
 Cello (Solo) L551#2
 Cello (Solo) & Duo RSB5501#6
 Electric Bass #1 JPL504#18
 Electric Bass #1 USRSB5501#4
 Electric Bass #2 USB501#6
 G&L Precision Bass RSB5504#2
 WoodBass #1 & Harp #1,2 L504#19
 Mini Moog Bass 1 RSB5502#5
 Electric Guitar #1 JPL504#17
 Electric Guitar #1 USUSB503#10
 Guitar & Stick USB504#4
 Funk Guitar USB504#10
 Acoustic Guitar #1 JPL504#16
 Acoustic Guitar #1 USUSB502#2
 Acoustic Guitar #2 RSB5501#5
 Guitar, Mandolin, Harp USB502#1
 Koto #1 JPL505#21
 Koto #1 USUSB506#4
 Gagaku #2 L506#30
 Shamisen #1 (Hosozao, Tsugaru) L505#22
 Shamisen #2 (Futozao, Chuuzao) L505#23
 Shamisen #1 USUSB505#4
 Biwa #1 L506#28
 Indian Strings #1 L507#31
 Indian Strings #2 L507#32
 Western Strings #1 L508#36
 Saxophone #1 L502#7
 Saxophone #2 L502#8
 Tenor & Soprano Saxophone #1 RSB5501#2
 Alto Saxophone JPL551#4
 Alto Saxophone USRSB5503#8
 Trumpet, Trombone & Horn L502#6
 Trumpet & Trombone JPL551#5
 Trumpet & Trombone USRSB5503#5
 Multi Sampled Solo Trumpet &Horn USB501#7
 Mute Trumpet USB506#2
 Bright Solo Trumpets & Section RSB5503#2
 Brass Section #1 USB501#2
 Woodwinds #1 JPL502#9
 Woodwinds #1 USRSB5501#7
 Flute & Piccolo JPL551#3
 Flute & Piccolo USRSB5503#1
 Woodwind #2 L502#10
 Shakuhachi #1 L505#24
 Yokobue #1 L505#25
 Gagaku #1 L506#29
 Japanese Flutes #1 USB506#8
 Western Wind #1 L508#37
 Indian Wind & Thai Gong L508#39
 Andean Wind #1 L509#42
 Pan Pipes / Shakuhachi USB504#9
 Assorted Kicks #1 USB503#7
 Assorted Snares #1 USB503#8
 Assorted Cymbals #1 USB503#3
 Assorted Ride Cymbals #1 USB503#2
 Lg.Crash / Splash in Stereo RSB5502#3
 Long Ride & Bell in Stereo RSB5504#1
 Oriental Cymbals & Gongs RSB5504#10
 GT Drums USB501#3
 New Drums & 808 USB501#9
 Gate City #1 USB502#5
 Analog Percussions USB505#6
 Reverb Drums USB506#9
 EQ Drum Kits 1A RSB5502#6
 Stereo Drum Kit #1 RSB5502#9
 Stereo Drum Kit #2 RSB5502#10
 S-50 System #4 Effect Drum Parts S-50 sys #4
 Latin Percussion #1 L503#11
 Latin Percussion #2 L509#44
 Latin Percussion #3 L509#45
 Timbales & Toms USB503#6
 Conga Monga in Stereo RSB5502#1
 Exotic Hand Percussion #1 RSB5504#3
 Mark Trees & Wind Chimes RSB5504#8
 Indian Percussion #1 L507#33
 Indian Percussion #2 L507#34
 Indian Percussion #3 L507#35
 Middle Eastern Percussion L508#38
 Gamelan #1 L508#40
 Eastern Flavour #1 L509#41
 African Percussion #1 L509#43
 Ethnic-Anklungs & Wind USB501#10
 Ethnic & Gongs #1 USB503#9
 Taiko #1 L506#26
 Taiko #2 L506#27
 Japanese Percussion #1 USB505#3
 Classic Percussions L552#10
 Orchestral Percussion #1 USB504#2
 Orchestral Percussion #2 RSB5503#4
 Orchestral Percussion #3 RSB5504#7
 Oooze & Oz USB501#1
 Air Disk #1 USB503#5
 Air Disk #2 USB505#1
 Mallet Vol. 1 L503#12
 Techno Set USB504#6
 Surf's Up!(use a tone of reverb) USB505#8
 Funk Rock Set 1(Composer Series) USB506#7
 Rock Composers Tool RSB5503#3
 Designer Trap Set #1 RSB5504#4
 S-50 System #3 Brass,Bass,Marmba S-50 sys #3
 S-50 ver.2.0 Multi Patch S-50 ver.2.0
 S-550 System #1 Multi Patch #1 S-550sys #1
 S-550 System #2 Multi Patch #2 S-550sys #2
 S-330 System #1 Multi Patch S-330sys #2
 New Strings, E.Piano, Choir USB501#5
 Classical (Composer Series) USB505#10
 Big Time USB506#1
 Ethnic Soundtruck USB502#8
 Ethnic Grab Bag USB504#5
 Orchestra #1 L503#13
 Effects #1 L503#14
 Stereo Effects #1 L503#15
 Train, Ride, Air Base USB501#8
 Anarchy Time! USB502#10
 Metal & Glass FX USB503#1
 Jungle Life USB503#4
 Wild Kingdom USB504#1
 Space FX #1 USB505#5
 Drivin' USB506#3
 Comedy Props USB506#5
 Hollywood FX USB506#6
 Rainy Day USB506#10
 Jet Strings in Stereo RSB5502#2
 Stereo THX RSB5502#7
 Industrial Strength Techno Perc. RSB5504#5
 Sports Disk RSB5504#6
 S-50 System #5 Sound Effect S-50 sys #5

Roland LCD-1 contains 165 volumes. Roland Floppy library contains 139 volumes. The interesting thing is that 38 floppies that exist in Roland Floppy library aren’t present on LCD-1. These are as following:

 Synthesizer RSB501#2
 Harpsichord and Pipe Organ RSB501#5
 Woodwinds RSB501#8
 Baritone/Alto Saxophone RSB501#9
 Harp No. 1 RSB502#2
 String Variation No. 1 RSB502#5
 Balaphones RSB503#3
 Piano (New) RSB503#4
 Bass #2 RSB503#6
 Tone Wheel Action RSB503#7
 Woud & SAZ RSB504#4
 Tamboura & Sitar 1 RSB504#5
 Orchestra & Tympani # 1 RSB504#7
 Hi Strings 2 RSB504#9
 Tabla Collection 1 RSB505#9
 Saxaphones Vol. 1 RSB5501#2
 Bass Vol. 1 RSB5501#4
 Sollo Cello & Duo RSB5501#6
 16 Bit Piano 1A RSB5505#1
 16 Bit Piano 1B RSB5505#2
 1959 Strat Oddities RSB5505#3
 Grand Piano 3W RSB5505#4
 Martin Steel String RSB5505#5
 Rock Guitar Sampled RSB5505#6
 ET Perc 1 RSB5505#7
 Real Bass Slapper RSB5505#8
 Sun. Nite Sax, Solo Alto RSB5505#9
 Kingdom Pad RSB5505#10
 Pluck Guitar RSB5506#1
 Underwater FX RSB5506#2
 Cho Trumpet RSB5506#3
 Moog Brass 1 RSB5506#4
 CD Basses RSB5506#5
 Violins x 8 RSB5506#6
 Hits & Hornz RSB5506#7
 Brass Vol. 3 RSB5506#8
 Super Kit 16 RSB5506#9
 Banjo Man RSB5506#10

So if you add these to the volumes list above, you now have the COMPLETE Roland S-550 library listing!

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Bam! And here they are. I loaded all 38 floppies (mentioned in post above) one by one using a PC floppy drive and Omni Flop then into the S-550. Then saved them on the S-550’s “hard disk” which is actually a CF card in my SCSI interface.

I’ve then put CF card back into the computer and ripped it as an image. Now it’s easy to compile it using Translator (since it reads .img files). I plan to put complete library (all 203 volumes) on four 128MB CF cards, since Roland’s hard disk has 80MB size limit and 64 volumes. And… that’s about it! Complete Roland S-550 library, finally available on my S-550. Can’t believe it’s done!!!

Comments (6)

  1. owi

    hi, believe it or not, but i have got 4 of those cds for s550 and w30. they are somewhere in my house and i didn´t use them for many years. but now having read your lcd1 story i will look for them and get back here asap.

    • Don Solaris

      Feel free to rip them, ZIP compress and send here. I can then convert them into S-550 “hard disk” image format, so that (impossible to find) CD-ROM device is no longer required to load them. Keep in mind the HD size limitation of 64 volumes. So it might be 2-3 .img files per one physical CD.

  2. Martijn

    Hi guys. I have à S760 but if you can help me with the cd-roms zipped I would be ultimate grateful :)

  3. Will Rogers

    Hello, I have a Roland CD-5 CD-Rom player and a W30 that is sitting in my closet. Is there still an interest in these?

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