Roland MKS-50 vs MKS-70

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Roland MKS-50 vs MKS-70

Postby Bomma72 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:17 pm

Trying to decide which one to go for. Seems the 70 has more voices but the 50 has a better midi implement?
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Re: Roland MKS-50 vs MKS-70

Postby Sir Ruff » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:08 pm

Bomma72 wrote:Trying to decide which one to go for. Seems the 70 has more voices but the 50 has a better midi implement?


Very different synths. Try doing some basic reading on either to help with your decision.
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Re: Roland MKS-50 vs MKS-70

Postby Bomma72 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:46 pm

Sir Ruff wrote:
Bomma72 wrote:Trying to decide which one to go for. Seems the 70 has more voices but the 50 has a better midi implement?


Very different synths. Try doing some basic reading on either to help with your decision.


Thanks this was very helpful. (have done some reading).

Anyway looking for peoples opinions who have used them. For instance, how do they sound different. How is there Midi implementation compare. Is it worth spending the $300 more to get the mks-70? MKS 70 is better for such and such music. Stuff like that, but your answer helps as well.
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Re: Roland MKS-50 vs MKS-70

Postby Z » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:16 pm

Depends on what your needs are. If just basic synth needs or wanting that Juno sound, then the MKS-50 is the way to go. If you want to be able to make complex sounds that can only be made with 2 oscillators with sync and cross modulation, the the Super JX is the way to go. The MKS-70's 12 voice polyphony can either be used with a single tone in whole mode, 6 voices each in bi-timbral split mode or 6 voice polyphonic dual mode. The JX's "Chase Play" feature can produce some interesting tonal rhythms.
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Re: Roland MKS-50 vs MKS-70

Postby Pro5 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:10 am

Soundwise i prefer the MKS-50 to the MKS-70 (or the alpha juno to the JX-10/8p). Same filters, '70 is 'more powerful' on paper but look again. Yes it has 2 oscs (and layers) and sync etc, but look at the oscillators - the weak point! The '50 (alpha juno) oscs are very interesting, do things no other synth does and has far more 'punch' and bite in it's envelopes vs the '70/JX-10.

Also the MKS-50/Juno1/2 has proper PWM with independent LFO, this adds a lot. I prefer the JX-3P's sound over the later JXs by a massive margin (almost different synths in tone)

In other words if you want Bass, Leads, sequencer blips, basic pads, growly sweeps and 'pretty' synth sounds the MKS-50 will do it well. MKS-70 is better suited to 'epic pads' (Veering into what digital does well). It can try bass etc but it's not it's forte, mushy response and honky sounding oscs.

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Re: Roland MKS-50 vs MKS-70

Postby DesolationBlvd » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:23 pm

Do you already have a good "snappy" analog mono? If not, then stay far away from MKS-70.
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Re: Roland MKS-50 vs MKS-70

Postby Sir Ruff » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:10 pm

DesolationBlvd wrote:Do you already have a good "snappy" analog mono? If not, then stay far away from MKS-70.


I disagree. The JXs are surprisingly snappy, and the oscillators are quite beefy (which surprised me). They have no problem doing bass. The mks-50/alpha-junos on the other hand I always thought sounded thin and plastic-y. Bass monsters they are not. The jx-8/10/mks-70 have a far broader sound palette overall.

The only thing the alphas have going in their favor are (fairly useless) extra waveforms, PWM and variable chorus speed, but you can get pretty close to PWM with sync on the latter, and the cross-mod also gives a much wider range of tones.
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Re: Roland MKS-50 vs MKS-70

Postby Solderman » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:43 pm

Sir Ruff wrote:The mks-50/alpha-junos on the other hand I always thought sounded thin and plastic-y. Bass monsters they are not. The jx-8/10/mks-70 have a far broader sound palette overall.

Depends on what you like. Each provides their own character. The Alpha Junos do indeed thin out too much with increasing resonance, and even a little bit thinner with the filter cutoff all the way open. The original 6/60/106 Junos aren't nearly as severe in this regard. But with no resonance and lower cutoff settings, I've shaken the room numerous times with the Alpha/MKS50s. I've got a few sub-bass presets that utilize this to great effect. That jet sound with the chorus sounds huge! FWIW, I know the envelope in the Alphas is super snappy, and has this interesting and unique click with certain attack/decay ratios.

Sir Ruff wrote:The only thing the alphas have going in their favor are (fairly useless) extra waveforms, PWM and variable chorus speed...

Useless? The upper waveform numbers are how you get the bell tones and upper drawbar organ sounds, since you don't have a second oscillator. True you don't get the upper off-harmonic bell tones and pianos you get with the JX/MKS70 crossmod function, but I wouldn't call the wide sub-oscillator useless. The MKS50 is so much better for PWM sounds than most any other polysynth, as you not only get Sawtooth duty-cycle modulation, but very rapid rate PWM. The latter is one of the ingredients in the "Hoover" sound.

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Re: Roland MKS-50 vs MKS-70

Postby Sir Ruff » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:58 am

Solderman wrote:
Sir Ruff wrote:The mks-50/alpha-junos on the other hand I always thought sounded thin and plastic-y. Bass monsters they are not. The jx-8/10/mks-70 have a far broader sound palette overall.

Depends on what you like. Each provides their own character. The Alpha Junos do indeed thin out too much with increasing resonance, and even a little bit thinner with the filter cutoff all the way open. The original 6/60/106 Junos aren't nearly as severe in this regard. But with no resonance and lower cutoff settings, I've shaken the room numerous times with the Alpha/MKS50s. I've got a few sub-bass presets that utilize this to great effect. That jet sound with the chorus sounds huge! FWIW, I know the envelope in the Alphas is super snappy, and has this interesting and unique click with certain attack/decay ratios.

Sir Ruff wrote:The only thing the alphas have going in their favor are (fairly useless) extra waveforms, PWM and variable chorus speed...

Useless? The upper waveform numbers are how you get the bell tones and upper drawbar organ sounds, since you don't have a second oscillator. True you don't get the upper off-harmonic bell tones and pianos you get with the JX/MKS70 crossmod function, but I wouldn't call the wide sub-oscillator useless. The MKS50 is so much better for PWM sounds than most any other polysynth, as you not only get Sawtooth duty-cycle modulation, but very rapid rate PWM. The latter is one of the ingredients in the "Hoover" sound.


All good points. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the alpha/MKS-50 sounds bad (I think it's worth owning for the hoover sound alone), but I have a love hate relationship with it, and the requirement of having the chorus on the majority of the time. If choosing between the two, I would go JX/mks70
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Re: Roland MKS-50 vs MKS-70

Postby wjmwpg » Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:32 am

I know I'm a little late to this party but I have both and . . .

The MKS-70 is so versatile and unique in its sound (it really sounds nothing like any of my other analogues), but personally I just prefer the MKS-50 sound. That said, if I could only have one it would be the MKS-70 . . . but if I got to choose between one MKS-70 or two MKS-50's racked together, I'd go with the latter, but that's purely a subjective preference for the tone of the MKS-50.

Don't get me wrong, the MKS-70 is a BEAST (and yes it CAN rock the bass), just not the type of sound I'm using a lot these days.

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Re: Roland MKS-50 vs MKS-70

Postby max badwan » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:33 am

I've got both and...
sonically they are very similar, but architecturally quite different.
The 50 is much more straight forward to program, a single line (1 DCO, 1 LFO, 1 ENV, 2 VCF, 1 VCA) analog with some "modern" touches.
The 70 on the other hand is a 2/4 line analog (2/4 DCO, 1/2 LFO, 2/4 ENV, 2/4 VCF, 1/2 VCA), so it's inherently a much more complex machine (read harder to program).
I tend to use the 50 as a mono machine, more in the 303/101 vein, than polysynth, and the 70 for big-ass pads etc.
The 70 is huge, like an old VCR, which may be a factor in your choice.
The last ROM for the 70 fixes the sysex issue (you can address either block via sysex).
Anything you can do on a 50 you can do on a 70, just not as readily, so if I had to pick one, it'd be the 70.
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