Roland's fascination with Base-8 number system

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
Chrisk-K
KVRist
294 posts since 4 Jun, 2020 from USA

Post Fri Dec 03, 2021 4:37 pm

Does anyone know why Roland has often used a based-8 number system for their preset numbers? For example, preset A18 is followed by preset A21 (not by A19) on a number of Roland synths.

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KVRAF
9278 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Post Fri Dec 03, 2021 5:00 pm

It was the same type of base-8 preset system on a Prophet-5 or an OB-Xa. So wasn't Roland specific at all.

Chrisk-K
KVRist

Topic Starter

294 posts since 4 Jun, 2020 from USA

Post Fri Dec 03, 2021 6:27 pm

Then, why did they use a base-8 system in the world where the decimal system is the norm? There must be a reason.

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syntonica
KVRian
1263 posts since 25 Sep, 2014 from Specific Northwest

Post Fri Dec 03, 2021 7:12 pm

Computers.

Then, try and figure out why Korg went with 100 presets (00-99)!

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
11574 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Fri Dec 03, 2021 8:01 pm

What about Dave Smith’s obsession with using the name “Prophet” on almost all his synths, no matter how different they are.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

xbow
KVRist
130 posts since 8 Apr, 2020

Post Sat Dec 04, 2021 12:05 am

Computers and electronic circuits rely on binary logic so multiples of 2 are natural.

Also, hardware design. For example, the JV 90 has buttons to select 4 banks (A-D), goups (1-8) and sounds (0-8).

So you get 64 sounds per bank and 256 in total, which are also multiples of 2.

10 buttons in each row would take up more space / components while being less efficient in terms of circuit design.

newluc
KVRist
201 posts since 13 May, 2004 from Italy

Post Sat Dec 04, 2021 12:15 am

They had used it because of the 8 bit (1 byte) architecture of the chips used. At these times memory were very limited

briefcasemanx
KVRian
1063 posts since 28 Jul, 2006

Post Sat Dec 04, 2021 5:49 am

I think memory was probably organized in chunks of 8 bits because it had to transfer data into CPU registers that were 8 bits. So keeping things in groups of 8 probably made the firmware slightly more computationally efficient and memory management easier to program with fewer chances for bugs. My guess.

chk071
KVRAF
30736 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Sat Dec 04, 2021 5:54 am

zerocrossing wrote:
Fri Dec 03, 2021 8:01 pm
What about Dave Smith’s obsession with using the name “Prophet” on almost all his synths, no matter how different they are.
Brand name. I'd be curious how many units of the Take 5 synth he sells, because it's not called "Prophet". I wouldn't be surprised if it's less than the Prophet labelled synths.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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