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
April 25, 2013 @ 12:45 am
THIS ORANGE BOX ROCKS! It should, it's an MC-505 under that toyish looking case. At around $100, it's the best bang for buck I can find in it's class.
I figured out the arpeggiator so I could play a keyboard into the D2, trigger the arp and have it drive another sound module.. like my Roland MT300. WOW! I didnt think the MT had the ability to sound so freaking cool!
This is one of those units that not everyone has caught onto yet that it's a great piece of gear at a great price right now.. $100 for 600+sounds with 3 great FX engines, the arp, plus all the sequencer goodies.. = awesome!
February 28, 2013 @ 8:12 pm
The sounds while very "stock" are clear. Now I get to Incorporate styles essential for smokey jams (on the stop inspiration). Threw effects you alter Entire Sound then Rhythm (Reverse, echo and distortion are killer). EVEN better as a Sound Module. I can play any sound slowly adding parts over it (if I want too) or solo over beats. Keys unlock a secret arsenal of preset sounds (that you can also alter threw the PAD like Filter function) that go from low metallic sweeps to crying rich sustains. Automatically with rather nice Echo and Reverb (a ROLAND staple).
February 22, 2012 @ 2:51 am
I hated this box, it seemed like I could only play the horrible patterns in it. it sat in the corner. then I read the manual on how to record my own patterns. now this thing is fun and fits in a backpack! glad I did not sell it.
I will play this at all my gigs I was worried about bringing expensive equipment to.
February 7, 2012 @ 9:49 pm
I like this machine, I love the way it sounds. I personally hate the user interface. I think someone was trying so save money on potentiometers by making an awkward control scheme. I still haven't decided if it's worth figuring it out yet. I think it would be better to pony up the dough and get a kaossilator pro and a real mc 505, your not cutting any corners by buying this machine.
September 25, 2011 @ 7:28 pm
what happened to roland :( toy machine nothing more
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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