owner: Jay Williston, Watertown, MA
This was my first multi-timbral synthesizer module. Around the same time, I got a Mac Plus computer, a Tascam 234 four-track and a couple of microphones. That was my first home recording studio. All of these I still own today.------ Jay Williston
The D-110 (a direct descendent of the D-50 keyboard and the D-550 module) is based on Roland's "Linear Arithmetic" (LA) synthesis. They never say just what Linear Arithmetic means. All that they say about it in the owner's manual is that "LA synthesis involves a great many technological advances resulting not only in a superior sound quality but also an improved ease of programming." Hmm...
The manual goes on to say that, along with the stereo outs, "the D-110 features 6 independent Multi outputs where 6 different sounds can be sent out separately." "The D-110 has 8 Parts which work like conventional synthesizers, and a Rhythm Part which behaves like the sounds of a rhythm machine. Each Part can be controlled by information on a different MIDI channel.
"A Tone is the basic unit of sound." However, each Tone is comprised of up to four "Partials" grouped into two pairs. The D110 can play as many as 32 Partials at one time. Therefore, if all of the sounds you are playing use all four available Partials, your polyphony is cut down to only 8 notes. "A Partial uses either a Synthesizer Sound Generator ( = similar to a conventional analog synthesizer) or a PCM Sound Generator ( = PCM sampling)." Each pair of Partials may be outputted separately or ring modulated together.
"The D-110's memory capacity can retain 128 different Preset Tones, 64 user-programmed Tones, and 63 Preset Rhythm Tones. A Timbre consists of Tones and Performance Controlling Functions. The D-110 can store up to 128 Timbres, and any of these Timbres can be aligned to each Part. A Patch is a collection of Reverb [from the D-110's Reverb section] and Part settings. The D-110 can store up to 64 Patches."
"The Rhythm Part of the D-110 can use up to 85 Rhythm Tones, Preset Rhythm Tones, and the Tones you have programmed yourself. Each Rhythm Tone can have a different Pan and Level setting, as desired."
[quotes are from the Roland D-110 Owner's Manual]