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Understanding the Sound List for the Roland Rd-88 Digital Keyboard. Toggle Between a Bank and Category to Choose a Tone.

Loretta began playing piano at age 7 and hasn't stopped. From the classics to ragtime, playing the piano has been one of her greatest joys.

understanding-scenes-tones-and-parameters-on-the-roland-rd-88-digital-piano

The Sound List

You will find the Sound List in this index of owners manuals. Download it and save it as a .pdf for future reference. There are additional manuals related to this keyboard. You may want to download the Owners Manual and the Parameter Guide.

  • It is important to note that the first section is captioned as Scene List and the remaining section is captioned as Tone List. Together these comprise the Sound List. These two sections have different columns describing the items, so be aware of the distinctions.

Some of the following information is found within a companion article, also written by me. I present it here in case you have not read that article, and also to refresh your memory if you have. This article contains a lot of new information that builds on this understanding. Those of you with a lot of experience will find parts of this redundant, but hopefully some of it is new and useful.


Scenes are the first section in the Sound List. Scenes are what you usually use when performing. Tones and Parameters are defined within each Scene. Scenes are most easily selected by cycling through the DEC(rease) or the INC(rease) buttons, or by choosing a Scene Category with the square buttons. You can also create your own Scenes with any variety of Tones and Parameters.

You can see in the blue thumbnails the Tones that are used within these Scenes.

  • Scene 215 Nylon Guitar 1 is comprised of a single Tone, which is Nylon Guitar
  • Scene 011 ConcertGrd+Str is comprised of two Tones: Concert Grand 2 and Slow FullStr
  • Scene 016 Pno Pad Glimmer is comprised of three Tones: Concert Grand 2, SL-JP8 11, and Linear Synth Pad

Tones

Sound List snippet of TONES

Sound List snippet of TONES

While the Scene Categories are fairly easily accessed by the DEC and INC buttons, along with the square Scene selection buttons, the Tones are more elusive.

The RD-88 is delivered with 40 pages of tones - literally hundreds. (Online documentation says 3,000 tones are available, but I haven't counted myself).

It is important to notice that in the Sound List document, two important columns for each Tone is described by :

  • BANK -The tone is found in this BANK
  • CATEGORY - The tone belongs to this CATEGORY

Let's look at the last line in the snippet thumbnail. This Tone is:

  • Found in BANK PR-B
  • Numbered 0333
  • Named "Pan Pipes"
  • Belongs to the CATEGORY "29:Flute"

Knowing this distinction will help you find Tones as you become more familiar with the keyboard functionality.

Tone Documentation

I found the location and selection of TONES to be confusing, and not intuitive. The Roland Sound List document does a good job of grouping the TONES within the BANKS, but many CATEGORIES are scattered around within several BANKS. In the Sound List snippet, you can see that Organ, Pipe Organ, Accordion, Harmonica, and Flute are all found in the same BANK, PR-B. Additionally, other Flute Tones are found within other Banks, and so on.

I wanted to create new SCENES, however arrowing through the 40 pages of TONES (assuming I could find them) on a 2x3 display screen was daunting, at best. And it would wear out the buttons.

Something was missing. That something was a "Tone Category Table", which I created by going through the Sound List visually and making an entry for each CATEGORY.

  • Note - My stamina is not enough to list each tone within each category. I'm thinking that the .pdf could be converted into a .csv, then uploaded into a spreadsheet where it could be sorted and it would be a done deal, but I haven't gotten around to that. Therefore, this is more of a skeleton or outline of TONE CATEGORIES. (I must have overlooked 46 and 48. If I find them, I'll come back and edit).

RD-88 Tone Categories

Category NumberCategory NameCategory NumberCategory Name

1

Ac.Piano

26

Solo Brass

2

Pop Piano

27

Ensamble Brass

3

E.Grand Piano

28

Wind

4

E.Piano1

29

Flute

5

E.Piano2

30

Sax

6

E.Organ

31

Recorder

7

Pipe Organ

32

Vox/Choir

8

Reed Organ

33

Scat

9

Harpsichord

34

Synth Lead

10

Clav

35

Synth Brass

11

Celesta

36

Synth Pad/STR

12

Accordian

37

Synth Bellpad

13

Harmonica

38

Synth PolyKey

14

Bell

39

Synth FX

15

Mallet

40

Synth Seq/Pop

16

Ac.Guitar

41

Phrase

17

E.Guitar

42

Pulsating

18

Dist.Guitar

43

Beat&Groove

19

Ac.Bass

44

Hit

20

E.Bass

45

Sound FX

21

Synth Bass

46

 

22

Plucked/Stroke

47

Percussion

23

Solo Strings

48

 

24

Ensamble Strings

49

Zone

25

Orchestral

 

 

Now we see the available tone categories. How do we get there from here? Remember to view each thumbnail photo to go along with the text.

Starting with

  1. Scene 016 Piano Pad Glimmer
  2. Arrow down to the LOW tone
  3. Press ENTER.
  1. Linear Synth Pad from Scene 016 is displayed in the Bell Pad Category
  2. Instead of tone Linear Synth Pad, I arrow down two times and select AX Dreaming Box. It is also in the Bell Pad Category
  3. Pressing ENTER, the display toggles to BANK PR-B, which houses this particular tone.

Note how the displayed list numbers have changed. The first screen displayed tones assigned to BELL PAD tones (sounds) while the second screen displays tones (sounds) that are housed in BANK PR-B.


  1. Select AX Org Bell, which is in BANK PR-B
  2. Press ENTER and we toggle to CATEGORY. In this case, AX Org Bell is assigned to Category Bell Pad, along with other Tones.
  3. Arrow way down in the Bell Pad Category to tone What Key!


  1. Pressing ENTER we toggle to BANK PR-D, housing What Key!
  2. Arrow through this bank to see many tones
  3. Decide on MG Bs 1

1. Toggle ENTER to display the CATEGORY of this TONE, which is Syn Bass

2. I make this choice, and return to the SCENE display.

  • The asterisk indicates I am in the middle of editing a parameter/tone of this SCENE. I can continue to WRITE (update) this existing SCENE, or I can escape by utilizing the ONE TOUCH key which brings me to a default setting, in my case the Concert Grand.

To actually change the SCENE, refer to the Owners Manual in the section titled

"Making Detailed Settings for Tones"

It's a Wrap, or Maybe a Rap

I hope this article will help you to navigate the extensive library of TONES that are delivered with the Roland RD-88 Digital Keyboard. Someday, if this site allows comments, I would like to hear if you found it useful.

If you purchase a Roland RD-88 or some other digital keyboard, I hope you will learn all of the features and enjoy it for many years to come.

Enjoy your day!

understanding-scenes-tones-and-parameters-on-the-roland-rd-88-digital-piano

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 The Sampsons

Comments

The Sampsons (author) from The Ozarks, Missouri on May 08, 2021:

Check out the companion piece on Parameters, Scenes, and Tones:

https://spinditty.com/instruments-gear/Understandi...

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