3 - Roland SC-88 VL and MT32 Trimmers

Author: sgeorge, Posted on: 2 April 2016 14:56

I really really wanted to get my hands on a Roland SC88 Pro model but the only ones available were all located in Japan, and shipping was extremely expensive!

So, I had to settle, and for the cost of less than shipping an 88Pro from Japan I picked up this cosmetically 100% 88-VL from one state over from me.

The cool thins is, its white and its Edirol branded, two things that are not very common (although are, actually meaningless)!

Popped the top off to look inside and, most importantly remove the battery.

This will give us a full General MIDI (GM) or General Standard / General Sound (GS) for those DOS games that use it.

We do need to grab a mixer and a selector so we can mix soundblaster / adlib sound with the roland sound, then we need the selector so we can choose between the output of the MT32 or the SC88.

I've also been working on a tiny tiny mod to the MT32, basically its a very well known modification, I've just pcb'd it up.

The MT32 contains a nice Burr Brown DAC, the PCM54

The real shame of this DAC is that Roland cut corners, they really should have added a trimmer for noise reduction, but hey, save a penny right.

As you can see, the data sheet spells it right out for you.

Heres a rough of my PCB.

Three resistors and a trim pot. Nothing too exciting, but should give us a tiny bit of noise reduction mayhaps.

tags: MIDI, MT32, Roland, SC88, SoundCanvas


Wes said on September 25, 2017 13:25:41;
      Did you try adding a trimpot to the MT-32? Did it make much difference?
Stu said on January 04, 2018 22:02:18;
      I did not, I did all the design and everything, got pcb's ready to go... I was basically told it wouldnt do much at all, not worth the effort.
Edward said on March 13, 2018 19:10:43;
      I'm interested in performing this mod. Very handy with the soldering iron something like this should be quick and easy. Curious to know if anyone has any PCBs they might consider parting with. I would be more than happy to populate a few empty pcbs for the person
Ray said on February 23, 2020 11:10:31;
      Hi was interested to know if all sc88vl have internal batteries that need to be removed. I have one that I bought new in the 90s and have not looked inside it. I have now managed to link it up to pro logic. The reason for this I've had many sound cards and drum sounds but none of them are as good as the snare drum sound on the standard kit sc88vl. Nice to chat Cheers Ray
Stu said on March 08, 2020 22:10:42;
      yes, all SC88VL have batteries in side. They only store a few presets. If you remove them its usually ok. I run mine without as I dont need to store any presets.
Dave said on December 20, 2020 23:00:46;
      I've been after one of these white models for a while. If you ever decide to sell, please let me know! ;)

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