PMA-5: Changing the Hardware Switch settings on a Roland Serial MIDI Device

Tags: pma-5
Roland Serial Devices generally have 4 possible switch settings to select various transfer modes. The switch is located on the back of the Roland Serial Device. The possible settings are:

Used for strictly MIDI use. The device will not act as a computer interface in this mode, but will still function as a MIDI sound module.

The standard setting for most IBM PC/AT series computers. This uses a baud rate (speed of transfer) of 31.25k.

An unusual setting for some IBM computers. This uses a baud rate of 38.4k.

The setting for all Macintosh computers.

Change the switch setting to the appropriate position. For IBM computers, this is typically PC-2/RS-232. For Mac computers the setting is Mac/RS-422. Turn the Roland Serial MIDI Device OFF and back ON again after changing the switch setting.


Attach one end of a Roland DB9F-3 (or comparable) connection cable to the Roland Serial MIDI Device. Connect the other end to the appropriate COM port of your computer.

Attach the MIDI Out of your controller keyboard to the MIDI In of the Roland Serial MIDI Device. Connect the MIDI Out of the Roland Serial MIDI Device (SC-50, SC-55mkII, SC-88 ONLY) to the MIDI In of your MIDI Keyboard.

Connect the appropriate audio cables to a powered speaker or amplifier system. All Roland Serial MIDI Devices use RCA L and R Audio connectors. If you require audio cable adapters, they should be available at your local Music or Electronics store.

PC Users: You must install the Roland Serial driver in Windows if you are using a serial connection. This driver is available for downloading from the Roland US Web site ( You may also receive the driver via mail by calling Roland’s Customer Service department at 323-890-3700, ext. 5305, and requesting the Windows Drivers Disk (Part# SU-20)