As ROMpler refers to a family of electronic tone generator. As a sampler, a ROMpler sampled sounds to play. However, in contrast to the Sampler he draws his sounds from a ROM (Read Only Memory, literally: read-only memory). It is therefore not possible to digitize their own sounds. Preamplifiers, A / D converter and the RAM omitted, which significantly reduces the manufacturing cost. Initially used in jocular and derogatory manner ROMpler expression is derived from the use of a ROM.

Besides Romplern with individual sound banks, which are intended for production of certain genres, there are also many devices whose sound banks are standardized according to the General MIDI standard on the market. They were thought in the past to MIDI files to play in a high end quality than with standard sound cards was possible and are today still often used to expand the sound palette of older keyboards and home organs. Since allow ROMpler to play keyboard instruments with integrated additional tone sounds, has come to be synonymous with the term expander.


The first affordable for the average musician synthesizer had to use some more sophisticated tricks to generate reasonably natural sounding instruments. As found, for example, the FM synthesis, or the synthesis of LA- application.

With the decline in prices for electronic memory devices in the 1980s and 90s it was possible to economically produce sound generator with a large stock of finished samples. Did the Roland D-50 in 1987, still on 512 kB ROM sample, so it brought the JV -80 four years later already to 4 MB. Alesis introduced its S-5 1992, with 16 MB of ROM.

While these devices were simultaneously fitted with more or less profound synthesis functions are called with ROMpler rather so-called sound modules, " play " the built-in sounds without much intervention only. Here is an example of the MU series by Yamaha to mention.

The 1990s were the wedding of ROMpler. Above all, the company E -MU established a number of sound devices that united each instrument a very specific musical direction. Examples are the Carnival of Latin Music, the planet Phatt for Hip Hop / R & B or the Vintage Keys with sounds classic old synthesizer.

The progress of computer technology with the simultaneous fall in prices currently seems to be the end of the ROMpler mostly as a 19- inch devices running usher. Your partner will be more and more taken over by software synthesizers and samplers in the PC.