SynthsRoland ⇝ Roland MT-32

Roland MT-32

Although it was originally released as a MIDI expander module, the MT-32 started a revolution in PC gaming sound.

The MT-32 uses Linear Arithmetic (LA) synthesis for sound generation. Roland LA synthesizers using a similar sound engine are the D-5, D-10, D-20, D-50, D-70, D-110, and D-550. It was followed by the CM-32L, a less expensive module specifically designed for use with a computer. The MT-100 is a version that adds the PR-100 sequencer.

There are two versions of the MT-32. The first version has a high-noise DAC and a MIDI buffer overflow issue. The second version has a quieter DAC, fixes the buffer overflow, and adds a headphone jack and demo songs. The newer version starts at serial number 950500.

Used MT-32 units sell for more than would be expected for a low-end module due to the popularity of retro gaming setups. If you don't need to accurately reproduce game soundtracks, one of the D-series synthesizers (particularly the D-110) may be a better choice.


Year Released: 1987

MSRP: $550

Polyphony: 32 notes

Multitimbral: 9 parts

Preset Patches: 128

Preset Drum Kits: 30

Effects: digital reverb

Screen: 20 character backlit LCD

Power Consumption: 9V, 650 mA

Dimensions: 305 mm x 220 mm x 45 mm

Weight: 1.5 kg

This is a tabletop module.

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File Downloads

Roland MT-32 Manual