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SYSTEM-8 Software Synthesizer

Owner’s Manual

Copyright © 2017 ROLAND CORPORATION 01


Introduction
When using the SYSTEM-8 Software Synthesizer for the first time, you must specify the MIDI
Input/Output setting in the Setting window (p. 10).

For details on the settings for the DAW software that you’re using, refer to the DAW’s help or
manuals.

About Trademarks
• VST is a trademark and software of Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH.
• The Audio Units logo is a trademark of Apple Inc.
• Roland, PLUG-OUT, AIRA are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Roland Corporation in the United States and/or
other countries.
• Company names and product names appearing in this document are registered trademarks or trademarks of their
respective owners.

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Screen Structure
Main window
This area shows various knobs and sliders that
you can use to edit the sound.

p. 4
Patch Memory name Level meter [CONDITION] knob [TUNE] knob
This area shows the name of the selected Displays output levels of the SYSTEM-8 Specifies the state (condition) of the analog Adjusts the overall pitch of the SYSTEM-8
patch memory. Software Synthesizer. sound engine circuit that is being modeled. Software Synthesizer.

[OPTION] button [HELP] button


[PATCH] button [SEND] button [GET] button Here you can make settings such as MIDI Displays help.
Selects a patch memory. Sends the memory to the SYSTEM-8 Loads the memory currently being edited control mapping.
Software Synthesizer. in the SYSTEM-8(temporary) into the These settings can be made separately for
The Patch Select window opens.
SYSTEM-8 SoftwareSynthesizer. each instance of the SYSTEM-8 Software [ABOUT] button
Synthesizer.
p. 10 Here you can view information about the
p. 6 p. 9 p. 9 SYSTEM-8 Software Synthesizer.

* These operate only when the SYSTEM-8's MODEL setting is SYSTEM-8.


[SETTING] button
Here you can edit the MIDI settings and
the direction of mouse wheel scrolling
(Only on Mac).
These settings are shared by all instances
of the SYSTEM-8 Software Synthesizer that
you are using.
p. 10

Keyboard area
Click here to produce sound.
When a MIDI message is received, the
corresponding key responds.
[KEYBOARD] button
Toggles the keyboard area between visible
and hidden.

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Main Window
LFO OSC 1 / OSC 2 OSC 3 / SUB OSC FILTER
Here you can create cyclic change (modulation) in the sound. Here you can select the waveform that determines the character of the These settings determine the brightness and thickness of the sound.
sound, and specify its pitch.
Variation 1 Variation 2 Variation 3 Selects the waveform that is the basis of the sound. VARIATION Variation 1 Variation 2 Variation 3

VARIATION R Sine wave Sine wave x 2 TYPE 1 Variation 1 Variation 2 R -2Oct Sine wave two octaves lower LPF-24dB SBF1 LPF-24dB
Triangle wave T Sawtooth wave Noise Saw R -1Oct Sine wave one octave lower LPF-18dB SBF2 LPF-18dB
S Triangle wave TYPE 2 VARIATION
x2
U Square wave
Logic TYPE R Sine wave LPF-12dB SBF3 LPF-12dB
Sawtooth wave Operation TYPE HPF-12dB SBF4 LPF-12dB
T Sawtooth wave TYPE 3 S Triangle wave
x2 S Triangle wave FM HPF-18dB SBF5 LPF-12dB
Square wave S -1Oct Triangle wave one octave lower
U Square wave TYPE 4 Sawtooth wave HPF-24dB SBF6 LPF-12dB
x2 2
FM+SYNC S -2Oct Triangle wave two octaves lower
WAVE Sample and Sample and WAVE Low pass filter (LPF), High pass filter (HPF), Side band filter (SBF)
W Hold Hold x 2
TYPE 5 Square wave 2 Vowel COLOR The result depends on the waveform.
CUTOFF Specifies the cutoff frequency of the filter.
Random wave Triangle wave 2 Cowbell TUNE Adjusts the pitch of the oscillator.
RND Random wave TYPE 6 Resonance boosts the sound in the region of the filter’s
x2 RESO
Octave Specifies the octave of the oscillator. cutoff frequency.
Allows the LFO to modulate the pitch of the sound, COLOR Adjusts the tone. This knob specifies the depth and direction of the cutoff
PITCH
producing a vibrato effect. ENV frequency change produced by the [A], [D], [S], and [R]
Selects the source that is modulated by the [COLOR]
Specifies the time from when the tone sounds until MOD sliders.
FADE TIME knob.
the LFO reaches its maximum amplitude. Allows the filter cutoff frequency to vary according to the
COARSE TUNE Adjusts the pitch in semitone steps. KEY
Allows the LFO to modulate the FILTER CUTOFF key that you play.
FILTER FINE TUNE Allows fine pitch adjustments.
(cutoff frequency). VELOCITY Adjusts the sensitivity by which the key velocity (playing
CROSS MOD Modifies the OSC 1 frequency according to the OSC
Specifies whether the LFO waveform is synchronized SENS dynamics) varies the depth of the filter envelope.
(OSC 1 only) 2 waveform.
KEY TRIG to start the moment you press a key (on) or is not Specifies the cutoff frequency of the high-pass filter.
RING (OSC 2 This is a ring modulator. It generates a complex
synchronized (off ). HPF Frequency components below the cutoff frequency
only) waveform by multiplying OSC 1 and OSC 2.
Causes the envelope to start repeatedly at the LFO are cut.
TRIG ENV This is oscillator sync. It generates a complex
cycle (on).
SYNC (OSC 2 waveform by forcibly resetting OSC 2 to the A Attack time
RATE Determines the speed of the LFO modulation.
only) beginning of its cycle in synchronization with the
Allows the LFO to modulate the AMP LEVEL D Decay time
AMP OSC 1 frequency.
(volume), producing a tremolo effect.
S Sustain level
R Release time

EFFECTS, DELAY/CHORUS, REVERB


Here you can adjust the effect, delay/chorus, and reverb depth.
MIXER PITCH AMP EFFECT TYPE Selects the effect type.
TONE Specifies the character of the effect.
Adjust the OSC 1, OSC 2, OSC 3/SUB OSC, Noise’s volume. Here you can create time-varying change (envelope) for pitch. Here you can create time-varying change (envelope) for the volume.
DEPTH Specifies the depth of the effect.
OSC 1 Adjust the OSC 1’s volume. If this knob is turned toward the right, the pitch initially VELOCITY Adjusts the sensitivity by which the key velocity (playing
OSC 2 Adjust the OSC 2’s volume. becomes higher and then returns to the pitch of the key SENS dynamics) varies the volume. DELAY/CHO TYPE Switches the delay/chorus type.
OSC 3/SUB you pressed. TONE Adjusts the brightness of the sound. TIME Adjusts the time by which the sound is delayed.
Adjust the OSC 3/SUB OSC’s volume. ENV
OSC If this knob is turned toward the left, the pitch initially LEVEL Adjusts the volume. LEVEL Adjusts the volume of delay/chorus.
NOISE Adjust the noise’s volume. becomes lower and then returns to the pitch of the key A Attack time REVERB TYPE Switches the reverb type.
NOISE TYPE Selects the type of the noise. you pressed.
D Decay time TIME Specifies the reverb time.
A These sliders operate similarly to the [A] [D] sliders of
the AMP section (they affect the pitch rather than the LEVEL Specifies the reverb volume.
D S Sustain level
volume).
R Release time

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Screen Structure

PORTAMENTO / PITCH BEND / MODULATION TEMPO / ASSIGN MODE ARPEGGIO


Adjusts the time over which pitch change occurs when Specifies the tempo of the step sequencer and ARPEGGIO Turns the arpeggio function on/off.
PORTAMENTO TEMPO arpeggiator. The indicator blinks at the specified
portamento is applied. ARP TYPE Selects the arpeggio type.
Applies portamento only when you play legato (i.e., tempo.
The modulation speed (RATE) of the LFO section and ARP STEP Selects the note value for each step of the arpeggio.
LEGATO when you press the next key before releasing the
previous key). TEMPO SYNC the delay time (TIME) of the EFFECTS section are KEY HOLD Turns the key hold function on/off.
synchronized to the tempo. Shifts the pitch range of the keyboard in one-octave
BEND RANGE Specifies the amount of pitch bend range. OCTAVE
Multiple notes are sounded together units.
Specifies a multiplier for the BEND RANGE, extending UNISON
BEND GAIN as a single note (Unison).
the range of change.
BEND SENS Specifies the amount of the pitch change produced by The instrument plays
KEY ASSIGN MONO
PITCH pitch bend operations. monophonically (Mono).
BEND SENS Specifies the amount of the filter change produced by The instrument plays polyphonically
POLY
FILTER pitch bend operations. (Poly).
MOD SENS Specifies the amount of the pitch change produced by
PITCH modulation operations.
MOD SENS Specifies the amount of the filter change produced by
FILTER modulation operations.

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Memory and Bank
1. Click the [PATCH] button.
The Patch Select window opens. Bank
[NEW] button [DELETE] button A set of 64 memories is called a “bank.” By switching banks you can
Bank
Creates a new empty bank. Deletes the selected bank. access a large number of memories. Memory 01
A bank of memories can be saved as a file. Memory 02
Memory 03

[LOAD] button [SAVE] button Memory 64


Imports a bank. Exports a bank as a file.

Changing to Other Bank


1. Click the Bank field.
The selected memory is
shown in light blue. The bank list window opens.

2. Click the bank that you want to recall.


By pressing the [H] [I] buttons located at the right of the bank field, you can switch to the next
or previous bank.

Exporting the Bank


Here’s how to export a bank as a file.

1. Click the [SAVE] button.


[SEND ALL] button [GET ALL] button The file name input window opens.
Sends all (64) memories in the bank to Receives all (64) memories stored on the
the SYSTEM-8. SYSTEM-8.
2. Enter a file name and save.
The file is exported.
NOTE
All 64 memories are received into the currently selected bank,
overwriting the previous contents of that bank. If you want to
keep the state of the bank, create a new bank and receive the
memories into the newly created bank (p. 7).
Importing a Bank
[WRITE] button [RENAME] button [READ] button 1. Click the [LOAD] button.
Saves an edited sound as a memory in Renames the selected memory. Loads a memory from a bank.
the bank. The file selection window opens.

2. Select a file and load it.


The bank is loaded.

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Memory and Bank

Creating/Deleting a Bank Memory


The SYSTEM-8 Software Synthesizer manages 64 memories as one bank.
Creating a bank
Click the [NEW] button to create a new empty bank. Loading a Memory
Here’s how to load a memory from a bank. When you load a memory, its settings appear in the
edit area and can be edited.
Deleting a bank
1. Click the number of the memory that you want to load.
Here’s how to delete the selected bank.
2. Click the [READ] button. Or press the [Return (Enter)] key.
1. Select a bank as described in “Changing to Other Bank” (p. 6). The memory is loaded.
* You can also load a memory by double-clicking a memory number.
2. Click the [DELETE] button.
A confirmation screen appears.

3. Click [OK] to delete the bank. Saving the Memory


Here’s how to save an edited sound as a memory in the bank.

Renaming a Bank 1. Click the number of the memory in which you want to save the sound.
2. Click the [WRITE] button.
1. Select a bank as described in “Changing to Other Bank” (p. 6). The memory is saved in the bank.
2. At the left of the bank field, click J.
3. Edit the name and press the [Return (Enter)] key.
Renaming the Memory
1. Click the number of the memory that you want to rename.
2. Click the [RENAME] button.
3. Change the memory name. (Up to 16 letters)

Changing the Order of the Memories


Drag the memory number to change the order of memories.

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Memory and Bank

Keyboard shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts for the Patch Select window.

Key Function

Command (Ctrl) + B Changes bank


Command (Ctrl) + I Imports bank
Command (Ctrl) + E Exports bank
Command (Ctrl) + N New memory
Command (Ctrl) + O Loads memory
Command (Ctrl) + S Saves memory
Up/Down/Left/Right Selects memory
Space Renames memory
Command (Ctrl) + C Copies memory
Command (Ctrl) + V Pastes memory
Delete *1
delete *2 Deletes memory
fn + delete *2
Return (Enter) Loads memory
Command (Ctrl) + Z Undo
Command (Ctrl) + Shift + Z Redo
Command (Ctrl) + U Sends all memories to the SYSTEM-8
Esc Closes window

*1 Windows / *2 Mac

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Playing with the SYSTEM-8
Memories that you edit using the SYSTEM-8 Software Synthesizer can be sent (SEND) to the
SYSTEM-8 and played. Get Memories
You can also receive (GET) memories from the unit into the SYSTEM-8 Software Synthesizer
and edit them. Here’s how to receive memories from the SYSTEM-8 into the SYSTEM-8 Software Synthesizer.
The “SYSTEM-8 CTRL” shown as a MIDI port is the port used by the SYSTEM-8 Software
Synthesizer.
Do not use this port from your DAW.
Receiving One Memory
Here’s how the memory that’s recalled (being edited) on the SYSTEM-8 can be received into the
SYSTEM-8 Software Synthesizer.

1. On the SYSTEM-8, press the MODEL [SYSTEM-8] button.


The SYSTEM-8 is in SYSTEM-8 mode.

2. Click the [GET] button.


The memory is received.

Send Memories
Receiving All Memories
Here’s how all (64) memories stored on the SYSTEM-8 can be received.
Sending One Memory NOTE
Here’s how to send the memory in the SYSTEM-8 Software Synthesizer to the SYSTEM-8. All 64 memories are received into the currently selected bank, overwriting the previous
contents of that bank. If you want to keep the state of the bank, create a new bank and
1. On the SYSTEM-8, turn the MODEL [SYSTEM-8] button on. receive the memories into the newly created bank (p. 7).
The SYSTEM-8 is in SYSTEM-8 mode.

2. Click the [SEND] button. 1. Specify the bank that will receive the memories.
The memory is sent. * If you want to create a new bank to receive the memories, press the [NEW] button. If you
want to receive the memories into a specific existing bank, specify the bank as described in
Sending All Memories “Changing to Other Bank” (p. 6).

Here’s how to send all (64) memories in the bank to the SYSTEM-8.
2. Click the [GET ALL] button.
The 64 memories are received.

NOTE
The 64 memories are transmitted in a single operation. If the SYSTEM-8 contains any
memories that you want to keep, use the “Get Memories” (p. 9) procedure to receive these
memories into the computer and save them before you continue.

1. As described in “Changing to Other Bank” (p. 6), select the bank that contains the
memories that you want to send.

2. Click the [SEND ALL] button.


The 64 memories are sent.

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Settings
Option Setting
1. Click the [OPTION] button. 1. Click the [SETTING] button.
The Setting window opens.

* Flip Scroll Direction is only on Mac.

2. Edit the parameters.


Parameter Explanation

2. Select items. MIDI CTRL Input


Choose “SYSTEM-8 CTRL”.
A ( is shown for the selected item. MIDI CTRL Output
Flip Scroll Direction
Inverts the direction of rotation when using the mouse wheel to edit a value.
(Only on Mac)
Item Explanation

Zoom Changes the size of the main window.


Check this item if you want to use the SYSTEM-8 as a control surface for the SYSTEM-8 Software
Set MIDI Control Mapping for Synthesizer. * If multiple instances of the SYSTEM-8 Software Synthesizer are running, these settings apply
SYSTEM-8
Here you can make MIDI mapping settings for the buttons and sliders. to all instances.
Specifies the maximum simultaneous polyphony.
2–8 Voices
You can reduce the load on the CPU by lowering the polyphony.
Roland Cloud... Displays the Roland Cloud site.
Authentication... Performs user authentication for the SYSTEM-8 Software Synthesizer.

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Settings

Others
If you want to use the SYSTEM-8 to play the SYSTEM-8 Software Synthesizer (plug-in) in your
DAW, set the SYSTEM-8’s menu item “SYSTEM” 0 “SOUND” 0 “Local Sw” to “SURFACE.”

The internal sound engine of the SYSTEM-8 no longer produces sound; only the SYSTEM-8
Software Synthesizer can produce sound.
For detailes, refer to SYSTEM-8 Reference Manual.

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