Roland MC-303 Groovebox

Roland MC-303 Image

The original groovebox for dance/techno! It's got 303, 808, 909, Jupiter, and Juno sounds. It is a sequencer arranger with looks inspired by the original 303's and 808's... Not to mention it includes real-time Filter Cutoff, resonance, panning and arpeggiator. With this box alone you can become a techno music maker!!! It sounds pretty good and has an unbeatable price (around $500)!!!! Though it's been swept aside by the MC-505, JX-305, EG-101 and Yamaha RM1x, it's still a good entry-level machine for those of you on a budget or just starting out. It has been used by ATB.

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82 Visitor comments
snack master
August 5, 2013 @ 4:32 pm
I got this box over a year ago, and I'm still using it. That says something.

If I were using it for sounds, I'dve thrown it away a long time ago. But, for a MIDI sequencer, it's not too bad. The drum kits are limited, though they sound decent. Some of the keyboard sounds even sound decent when you put some effects on 'em.

Really, what's good about this for me is that it's a pretty decent MIDI sequencer module. The arpeggiator alone is a great compositional tool. I'd give it a 3/5. If it had xox sequencing on every track, or if it had more memory, I'd give it a 4/5.
Dr. acemonvw
July 16, 2013 @ 7:40 pm
koyotemohn is 100% correct. Having almost every groovebox known to man (okay, most of them) I can attest to the amazingness of this device. The Korg EMX is simple and basic, which is what makes it so wonderful... but the MC-303 is far more basic, making it all the more wonderful. You must rely on digging and digging... but it's THE most rewarding groovebox I've ever used. So cheap for such a fun piece of gear, you'd be insane not to test this lil guy out. Like playing a guitar, you're stuck with what you have in front of you. There's nothing more fun than that.
Ok, I gotta stop responding...
July 15, 2013 @ 2:43 pm
Someone seriously needs to redo the review on this device. Such a short review is a total disservice to the hardware and potential collectors.
June 29, 2013 @ 12:47 pm
In regards to patch saving, I don't think that's true that the mc-303 only saves the patch number and notes. Any time I save the pattern and come back to it, all of my settings remained, the ADSR values (what control you have over them), cutoff/res are saved. My modifications stay. The problem being that sounds in my other songs get screwed up, but I think that's because patch information may be saved in 'pattern setup w' vs 'setup w'. But I'm still fuzzy on this. But no, you can't MAKE new patches and save them independently.
June 28, 2013 @ 7:28 pm
I think overall this thing is a better sound module than standalone performance tool. It's loaded with tons of good drum sounds and instrument presents and with some tweaking you can get some great sounds out of it, but there are things which cripple it when it comes to a stand alone live performance tool. There's only space for 50 user patterns and user patterns will not save instrument settings outside of the presets or other parameters, just just the notes and patch number. This is a shame because you can get some really good sounds with some tweaking and it's solidly built.
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 3.7 (817 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 - 28 voices
  • # of Tones - 448
  • # of Drum Sets - 12 (inc. 808, 909)
  • # of Instruments - 16 part multitimbral
  • Effects - Reverb, delay, chorus and flange
  • Arpeg/Seq - Sequencer : 8 tracks, 10 songs, 120 preset & 50 user patterns.
    Arpeg: 200 RPS phrases
  • Keyboard - 12 buttons
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1996
  • Resources & Credits
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