Hans Zimmer's Roland Wall

From Mark Pulver
Sent Mon, Mar 3rd 1997, 16:50

I got a note this morning from Kevin Lightner.

He had been running through the archives and re-discovered the thread on collectors versus users of gear. That thread collimated in folks voicing their opinions about Hans Zimmer's Roland wall, a 130 module System 100m.

There are few people in the world better placed to comment on Hans' use of gear than Kevin. As such, Kevin had posted a statement at the time, but it seems that it never showed up on the list. Kevin has asked me to re-post his reply to the thread in order to insure that the record is straight.

Any comments to this should be made to Kevin (redacted@example.com) and not myself.

Mark Pulver


From: Kevin Lightner

While I don't subscribe to AH, I do hear about things that have to do with
my little slice of the world.

Regarding Rolandman's ignorant comments regarding Hans Zimmer, I can only
say that I've seen more good work come out of Zimmer's deeds than I've seen
out of RM's countless posts begging for gear to buy and sell. RM wears his
jealousy quite proudly.

As far as the pic of Han's 130 module Roland System 100m in the Roland
User's group magazine, it hadn't any patch cords in it because "I" removed
them- not Hans. I had just finished tuning the unit prior to Freff's visit
and RUG interview.

(If Rolandman was really astute, he would have noticed that that particular
synth pic had actually been printed BACKWARDS in that mag!!)

For those that are interested, here are some FACTS regarding the system-

The modules cost Hans only $25.00 each. (Would ANY of you pass up such a

At the time Hans bought them, Roland had a large unsold inventory of
certain Sys-100m modules in the US warehouse and as I understand it, Roland
UK had a similar amount of what modules the US was missing. No one really
wanted them previously to that time and thus they had been omitted from
Roland price lists long before and went unsold for years.  Hans bought them

3 custom flight cases were then built. 2 that would hold 40 modules each
and 1 that held 50 modules for a total of 130. The cases were foam lined
"case within a case" types with removable fronts and rears and had wheels
under each. The cases were later encased in wood.

130 din cables were then made and wired to a common bussing network at the
bottom of each case. The 40 panel wings had their own filter capacitors and
power connections to the large center console was made via 38 pin ELCO

The synth has a custom built 4 space rack mount power supply that is
located in another room. This remote controlled, forced air supply is
massively filtered and regulated and delivers it's power to the main synth
via 25 feet of 12 gauge wire and Neutrik "Speak on" connectors. This was
done to minimize heat in Han's room and to reduce the noise that the power
supply's fan would have caused.

The total current draw for the entire system is 12 amps.  (+15 @ 6.1 amps,
-15 @ 5.2amps and +22 at 720ma)

The supplies are overrated and could power approximately 75 more modules if
need be.The power supply is also completely short circuit proof.

The Sys-100m has a panel at the bottom with several mults and a 24 jack
trunk bay that leads to the large (about 190 modules) Moog across the room.
(You can use a Moog filter or sequencer across the room very easily this

The unit also has all of the "keyboard" busses linked to 2 separate inputs.
It's possible to drive ALL of the unit's 58 vco's with only one patchcord
if need be.

The system took me about 8 months to finish and I had the aid of a friend
to help wire it and crimp ELCO pins. Tuning took 3 days.

The unit features:

  58 VCOs
  37 VCFs
  32 ENVs
  12 VC Phase shifters
  9 Sequencers
  Many ring mods, lfos, mixers, vcas,etc

For what it's worth, Hans DOES use the system. It's been used in many films
including The Rock, Crimson Tide and Drop Zone.

For pics, see:


As for me, my favorite is still Tony Banks playing a one oscillator Arp

Some of you whiners should learn to play what you've got....

....and smile more.



 Mark Pulver - http://shoga.wwa.com/~mpulver    The "Son of The MIDI Wall"
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