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
December 1, 2013 @ 11:34 am
I bought my Roland D2 ten years ago for $400 after seeing it new in a nearby music gear store...ten years later and it is still a valuable and fun tool within my livingroom studio...I use the D2, a boss dr202, a roland sh-01 Gaia synth , roland mks7, and an mc-909 for most of my drums and synthesis needs with a number of different midi performance controllers and the D2 remains my favorite multi track midi sequencer because of how fast and easy it has become to program and tweak sequences on the fly...
July 16, 2013 @ 6:47 am
Powerful live tool!,you can do all whith some shortcuts (manual read required),
midi cc can be exploded to external controller(w some bugs but it works),it's little! an trasportable,the only one limit is your immagination, perfect low budget soundbox
May 2, 2013 @ 11:47 am
hello Synthetech, mail me at raabje*at*, I can send you the CTRLR panel.

I sold the D2 already, because of too much gear and not enough time. Also I felt I got stuck in a midi and audio cable clutter, it was the right time to purge my synth collection.

But the D2 still is a nice synth for the money.
April 25, 2013 @ 7:57 pm
raabje , is your CTRLR GUI posted anywhere for download? I didnt see it on his site.
I've done a couple panels using Ctrlr. I'd like to see what you got done so far and maybe try to add more to it..
April 25, 2013 @ 4:30 pm
A hidden MC505 (= a JV1080). Has some potential for a Rompler.

I build a CTRLR panel for the D2 with the midi CC list from the manual and sysex code from the MC505, now I have access to all the parameters the MC505 has knobs for on the interface (but not yet arpeggiator and groove, can't find the sysex code).

The MC505 editor (v2) is also very handy, and Sounddiver had an excellent MC505 environment for deep synthesis editing.
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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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