Skip to main content

Roland SD-35 MIDI player alternatives?

Does anyone know if there are any modern devices that do the same thing as the Roland SD-35 MIDI player? It was a great piece of hardware for playing general MIDI files. If not, what is the best way to play GM files via a Windows laptop with a good quality sound module?


audiokid Thu, 01/13/2022 - 13:09

I updated your title to better attract search queries for you.

Thanks for the update. I’ve been programming midi since the 80’s and never knew what these players are or do. Do you simply download midi songs and mix the tracks to your sound libraries? 


audiokid Thu, 01/13/2022 - 14:30

I programmed about 1000 80's pop songs and should have archived the data for this, when it would have actually made me some money. I started out using Roland MSQ 700

Roland MSQ 700

then eventually did it all on the Akai MPC 60.

Akai MPC 60


I had boxes of floppy disc files that I recently tossed in the garbage because I didn't think I could have simply loaded the data into another sequencer to store it all as midi file data. duh. Well.. I also needed another MPC 60 because the data needed to start there to do a migration in real-time to another midi device. 

Hope you get an answer to your post. Please let us know if you do.


audiokid Thu, 01/13/2022 - 16:47

Sorry, I’m thinking more along the pro audio world for you.

The 2 images above are tools to make beats. They are called sequencers and you use them to program and store midi data. You use these to play digital music with other MIDI devices like keyboards, synthesizers and sample libraries. Big topic (fun!).

Studio One software is for recording tracks and also assigning a midi library via midi channels. You can assign these channels to sample libraries, drums, samples etc to have complete freedom on manipulating the audio.

Studio One is DAW software you install on Windows or Mac. 

miyaru Sun, 01/16/2022 - 23:43

Maybe from the likes of Yamaha, Korg and Wersi, there are more like this one from Roland. I don't know, but can imagen there is a market for it.......

MC208 Tue, 01/18/2022 - 13:31

In reply to by audiokid

I want something super simple, not a complicated DAW.. Something that can take the VST, and just make it easy to play MIDI files, with the easy ability to change the tempo, or key. Is there a simple MIDI player software for windows that can do that without it having to be a full blown DAW?

Andy1x Tue, 03/15/2022 - 20:30

In reply to by audiokid

I’m interested in the same, meaning identifying a current technology alternative to the SD35. One reason is the SD35 uses a floppy drive. Obviously floppy drives have fallen by the wayside where computer systems are concerned, but portable USB ones are available (Amazon, etc.)

That said, I took a break from music and my SD35 has not been used since the early 2000s. It is in great shape and still works well. To answer one of the questions here, my bandmate and I put our sets (midi files) on floppy and then used the SD35 as our backing band. In other words, we used it for gigs and it was fantastic. In reality I could still use it current day for the same. If there is someone here who is experienced using the SD35, i world be interested in picking your brain. Thanks!

lgmbr Thu, 03/24/2022 - 18:57

There is a USB emulator alternative to replace the floppy drive in the SD-35. This allows you to use a pen drive instead, with the added feature of a track name display, and a rotary knob to navigate through files and folders. Might be a good solution, as I guess the SD-35 is still the most portable solution for playing MIDI files.

Check this video:…

I think he's selling this item here:…



Your recently read content