The D-50 Sound
The Roland D-50 is one of my all-time favorite digital synths, and with the recent release of the new Boutique D-05, the world was re-introduced to Roland’s iconic LA synthesis format. Frankly, the Boutique D-05 is an impressive achievement, as it really does sound identical to the original–and includes all of the vintage sound cards that were available when the D-50 was first released.
For sound designers, the process of LA synthesis is relatively straightforward once you understand the architecture. The general approach is to combine a sampled instrument transient (mallet hit, string pluck, etc) with traditional analog-style tones, then slather the result in chorus and reverb.
To clarify these design techniques, here’s a tutorial on designing LA-style patches in Propellerhead Reason.
Finally, if you’re a Serum user, there are several LA-inspired presets in both of my Serum packs, which you can check out here.