Roland D2 Groovebox

Roland D2 Image

Roland's D2 Groovebox is a compact, performance-oriented Groovebox (sequencer/sound module)--sort of a smaller MC-505--designed entirely around Roland's D-Field Controller technology. This touch-sensitive pad makes it easy to program and modify patterns, sounds, effects and more simply by touching the surface. It has all of the 505's sounds and a similar sequencer with 150 all-new patterns including the latest 2-Step and R&B styles.

The D-Field controller at the heart of the D2 (also featured on the V-Synth) offers three distinct modes: SOUND makes playing patterns and sound effects easy by touching the D-Field; XY provides simultaneous control over two parameters (e.g. filter cutoff + resonance); SPIN creates turntable-style effects by tracing the pad in a circular motion.

The D2 has more than enough sounds inside, with 600 Preset patches and 30 Preset drum kits from the MC-505. These dance-oriented sounds include ultra-fat bass and lead synths, screaming TB-303's, dance piano and strings, plus 30 floor-pounding drum kits. Phrase/Groove loops are also plentiful with 150 patterns plus 240 RPS (Realtime Phrase Sequence) patterns. There is a new Step Recording method using the D-Field and 32 LEDs as well. Separate Reverb, Delay and Multi-FX sections with Groove-oriented algorithms add space and effects to your sounds & grooves. And with the D2's Megamix function, it's easy to remix patterns into your own creations using the D-Field or Value dial.

The D2 is an awesome concept in terms of hands-on, real-time performance control. However the hidden menus and overall navigation can cause some headaches. If you want to edit your own sounds, you may want to connect a MIDI Controller to tweak all the sounds you want and save into one of the 256 users patches. The D2 is definitely designed for the electronica, dance and hip-hop musician on a budget. It is not as complete a Groovestation package as the MC-505 or MC-909, but its D-Field controller is very novel and fun to use. Because the D2 is fairly cheap, it does make a great toy to add to your arsenal if manipulating beats and grooves in real-time and at the touch of finger is what you're in to.

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19 Visitor comments
Bill Hemp
April 9, 2011 @ 1:48 pm
Also used by Dymaxion Vehicle
March 8, 2010 @ 9:23 pm
If you're going to fool around with a groovebox, you might as well have fun. Somehow, even with the "D-Field", this manages to be the most user-friendly one out of the bunch (as far as Roland goes). Good sounds, good effects...oh, did I mention the fact that it's cheap, cheap, cheap! If anything, use it as a glorified drum machine.
December 27, 2009 @ 3:47 pm
This is indeed a hand little box! I've never really found a use for the preset patterns....I use it mainly as an 8 part multi-timbral sound module, and sometimes as a sequencer. All the synth parameters can be controlled by MIDI CC - which includes 3 ADSR envelopes! (Amp/Filter/Pitch I believe...)

There's gobs and gobs of useful sounds - poppy/techno stuff - and there's lots of fun to be had tweaking them in realtime.

You probably wouldn't want to use this as your main module - the overall sound is a little thin - but it works extremely well mixed in with other synths.

A fun box!!
October 10, 2009 @ 10:40 am
I love the D2, it is a sonic swiss army knife with a dash of vitamin C. This little box always makes me smile. I use it quite a bit still, and I am a big fan of the "Hold" button because if you do it right, you can hold multiple sounds in a loop. Even the effects are cool. Cleverness yields great results, trust me, this box rules.
May 22, 2009 @ 4:05 pm
it ts rair that you see a synth made by roland in a couler other than black or blue and i thinck this reflects on the ravynis of this mad orringe box .but i am yet to find a sequencer / drum box that is this inter active........
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 3.26 (188 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 64 voices (8-part multitimbral)
  • Oscillators - Sample-Driven
  • Sequencer - 150 patterns, 8 tracks, 96 ppq resolution, 40,000 note capacity, tempo: 20-240
  • Arpeggiator - 43 presets, 10 user
  • Effects - Reverb: 6 Delay: 2 Multi-Effects (MFX): 25
  • Memory - Sounds: 600 presets, 256 user
    Rhythm Sets: 30 presets, 20 users
  • Keyboard - None, 8 Trigger pads
  • Control - MIDI (IN/OUT)
  • Date Produced - 2001
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Roland-US.

    Reviewed August 2008.

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