Roland MC-202 MicroComposer

Roland MC-202 Image

This is an analog synthesizer/sequencer. It sounds very much like the TB-303 and SH-101 bass synths. Sometimes considered the "poor man's 303". It has a very evolved form of TB-303 like programming (more like the MC-4) and SH-101 like controls of the VCO, VCF, VCA, LFO, Envelope and Mixer sections. The LCD display is a great feature too.

The MC-202 was sort of a next-generation TB-303. So the idea was to program sequence/patterns into it internally which would give you those 303 basslines that we've come to love. But programming the MC-202 is a bit too intense and over done for the simple monophonic bass line. However you can control it externally by hooking up a MID-CV/Gate converter. Then you basically have yourself an SH-101!

The sequencer is actually a 2-channel CV/gate sequencer, with both channels being capable of driving a separate external synth. It's a very useful unit, also, for its DINsync capabilities; it can receive on one port, and send over two, and also can 'split' DINsync to branch a sync signal out to multiple devices.

Roland MC-202 Image

This machine is best for those who want to get 303-like patterns (it has accent just like the 303) and basslines with an SH-101 sound. If you can handle programming the notes into its sequencer you can have a lot of fun. It is used by Autechre, Future Sound Of London, Coldcut, The Human League, Underworld, Aphex Twin, LFO, Jedi Knights, Plastikman, Astral Projection, Sabres Of Paradise, Freddy Fresh, Jimmy Edgar, ProtoType 909 and Taylor 808.

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58 Visitor comments
With Respect
April 23, 2013 @ 11:40 pm
Just bought off Ebay with mod job by Analog Solutions. The range is just amazing. Sometimes it sounds so analog I swear it sounds like a stringed instrument, other settings make it sound like an engine roaring with high octane unleaded petrol. A little reverb on it and some compression and it's bizarre how beautiful it is. Since I haven't much experience on it, compared to my TB-303, the sequencer on the MC-202 is almost untame. Some have said this is a poor-man's 303 but I don't feel ANY resemblance initially. A synthesized diamond in the rough. Why did I wait this long to own one!
jix
March 23, 2013 @ 6:19 am
i want one of these very much if anyone has one to let go of.
Pish
March 1, 2013 @ 7:03 am
I got sick of 202 hack not working. I would recommend the modifications found on subatomic. Google "subatomic 202"
I have done them to mine, brilliant. Except i left out vca as it hardly does anything. I made a change to the MOD CV it so it effects both the filter and pitch, you just do the mod as shown then cut the trace to the pitch mod slider, then put a jumper to it from the filter mod slider.
The extra outs on cykorng are cool but not needed.
But massively recommend doing the subatomic mods, especially his version of the accent mod.
Philipp Kosel
February 20, 2013 @ 8:48 am
There's not possible to control it via CV - the voltage massages send to 202 go directly to sequencer and in this way you can only programming steps.
Pish
October 13, 2012 @ 11:16 am
Lots of fun but like everyone has said, a pain to program but good for happy accidents.
Check out MC202 Hack to load sequences from midi into tape input.
 
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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 - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - Single VCO : Simultaneous sawtooth and square/pulse width waveforms and 1 Sub-Oscillator
  • VCA - ADSR Envelope or gate.
  • Filter - Resonant 24dB lowpass with cutoff, res, env, mod, kybd
  • LFO - 1 sine wave with delay and rate controls
  • Memory - Volatile sequence memory using batteries or do a Cassette Tape Dump
  • Sequencer - 2 Tracks, 2,729 notes capacity
  • Control - CV/GATE and Tape/Clock/DIN Sync
  • Date Produced - 1983

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