Roland System 500 Basic Manuals (Sunshine Jones Remixes)

I’m a big fan of the Roland System-500 modular synthesizer. I adore it. After years of wishing that the company who gave us the SH-101, SH-2, Juno-60, Jupiter-8 and TB-303 would one day produce another analog synthesizer, and years of pouring over brochures of the System-100m, and the impossibly expensive System 700 it occurred to me one day that the System-500 was exactly that. Malekko and Roland had gotten together and made a Eurorack format analog synthesizer which mirrored many of the functions and qualities of the System 100m. I’d had a few of the modules, and while I loved them, they never quite sat with my Doepfer, Intellijel, Mutable Instruments, or MakeNoise modules. I guess, like everyone else, I felt that they were such a different take, and had such a clean, and elegant sound to them that they didn’t make sense of what I had been trying to do with my Eurorack case.

Stepping back a little (from Eurorack in general actually) I saw the System-500 in a totally different light. Rather than modules to pick and choose from to use with my many other oscillators, filters, envelopes, and modulation sources, the System-500 was exactly that, a system. An instrument which could be organized in whatever way I chose, however many oscillators, filter, or envelopes I felt I needed, into a single brand new analog synthesizer which was as capable as my abilities to explore it and make use of it’s features.

I produced a patch sheet for SYS-500 users which includes all of the current modules here. Feel free to grab it, and to take me up on my offer to be included in an expanding book of patches for the SYS-500 I’m working on with some talented folks.

Leaning in with the System-500’s modules, I ran into the same bummer that I have with most of the modern Roland gear. PDF files which are designed poorly. Not just unappealing to me aesthetically, but also so cumbersome I found them difficult to focus on, or learn anything of any content from. Frustrated, I decided to remix them much as I have done with many of the other recent Roland boutique synths. I used the original System-100m individual module detail manuals as the guide for how to assemble this information in a way which might reach me, and then I could make use of. All of the drawings are mine, and all of the words are either verbatim from the official Roland PDF files, or edited to extract the sales talk from the paragraph in order to speak directly to us, people hoping to actually learn more about our instruments and get the most out of them.


All of the modules, and all of these documents in a single file
PDF format 15.9MB

SYSTEM-500 505
Remixed user manual for the SYS-500 505 Module
PDF format 1.3MB

SYSTEM-500 510
Remixed user manual for the SYS-500 510 Module
PDF format 3MB

SYSTEM-500 512
Remixed user manual for the SYS-500 512 Module
PDF format 1.3MB

SYSTEM-500 521
Remixed user manual for the SYS-500 521 Module
PDF format 1.3MB

SYSTEM-500 530
Remixed user manual for the SYS-500 530 Module
PDF format 1.3MB

SYSTEM-500 531
Remixed user manual for the SYS-500 531 Module
PDF format 1.3MB

SYSTEM-500 540
Remixed user manual for the SYS-500 540 Module
PDF format 1.3MB

SYSTEM-500 555
Remixed user manual for the SYS-500 555 Module
PDF format 1.3MB

SYSTEM-500 572
Remixed user manual for the SYS-500 572 Module
PDF format 1.3MB

This of course is all a matter of style and preference. If this isn’t for you, then I didn’t make them for you. However, if this hits home, and you’re able to see your modules in a new, and more functional way, then you are exactly who I made these for.

Enjoy them.


  1. Tom Ladiges:

    I haven’t read them yet, but they look better on first sight already than the crap that is the official manual.
    It’s a shame with so many nice instruments that Roland forgot how to make nice and very readable manuals.
    Nice work!

  2. Joshua Moonshine:

    This is so great. Thank you so much have you done this with any other modules?

  3. Sunshine:

    @Joshua Moonshine – I’ve made cheat sheets for a few modules, manuals and other notes for various things.
    Check the non-fiction section of this site. It’s mostly all there.

  4. Joshua Moonshine:

    @Sunshine Jones – thank you so much you are very appreciated for this

  5. The Surging Mass:

    I really appreciate all of your work in reworking Roland manuals. I have read quite a few of them! Way more intuitive than the originals. Thank you.

  6. Justin Reed:

    I love this work man, thank you for feeding the scene