G-50 is a free Reaktor synth that pays tribute to the Roland D-50 Synthesizer

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G-50 by Gunther Gehlert is a free Reaktor ensemble that pays tribute to the Roland D-50 Synthesizer without violating copyrights.

The Roland D-50 is a legendary digital Synthesizer from 1987. At that time, it used an innovative synthesis called LA synthesis, consisting of very short samples mixed with classic waveforms on the attack. This gave the D-50 this iconic sound.

There is almost no emulation of this classic synth, as Roland and sound designer Eric Persing (CEO of Spectrasonics) strongly defend the copyrights. In the fascinating NI Reaktor community, there is a synth called G-50 that comes close to the D-50 and does not violate any copyrights.

Gunther Gehlert G-50

Gunter Gehlert G-50

G-50 is not a new project. It was uploaded to the Native Instruments Reaktor User Library by the developer Gunter Gehlert in February 2022. Just log in to your Native account, and you can download it for free. Since the release, the developer has continuously updated the ensemble. Recently again, the instrument slipped up again and ended up in my focus.

According to the developer, the G-50 is not a 1-to-1 emulation of the Roland D-50 but carries the DNA of this synth. So, the concept of LA synthesis used a combination of classic analog-style waveforms and PCM samples.

For the synth, no sample content was taken from the Roland D-50, nor raw samples from it. Thus, the developer avoids all potential copyright problems. The developer writes in the comments:

I used no original D-50 Sample. first, there is this licence thing and second, the sample quality back tahn was not really good, not even 44.1 kHz. Roland used these rather rough samples with an interpolator, which is no further characterized in the manuals. The G-50 basically uses a granular re-sampler. I did the resampling myself using licence-free samples.

Gunter Gehlert G-50

The result is excellent. It is strongly reminiscent of the character of the D-50. And don’t be fooled. It’s not a simple rompler; but a full Synthesizer ensemble with a D-50-like engine where you can design your own sounds.

Each G-50 patch consists of two partials, aka layers, and an upper tone structure with a loadable PCM sample.

Then, each partial consists of a wave generator consisting of a VA waveform and a selectable PCM sample, a filter, VCA (TVA), and dedicated envelopes. You also get three routable multi-wave LFOs per partial.

Further, it hosts global settings, including a routable pitch envelope, EQ, modulation effects, delay + reverb, and more.

With more than 30%, the ensemble consumes a lot of CPU, a small disease of Reaktor patches. But it is exciting to play with the instrument because it can generate very authentic D-50 sounds. But always keep in mind: it is not a 1-to-1 emulation or uses any original material

First Impression

A nice project by a developer from the Reaktor community. If you have Reaktor 6 and like vintage sounds, this free ensemble is definitely worth downloading and trying

G-50 by Gunter Gehlert is a free download for Reaktor 6.5 and higher. It requires the full version of Reaktor 6, which is available for 199€.

More information here: Native Instruments

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