Roland MC-505 Groovebox

Roland MC-505 Image

An all in one techno music production studio, this machine has it all. A massive collection of professional and coveted electronic synth and drum sounds, effects, built-in real-time VCF and envelope knobs for tweaking, a sequencer/arranger, and many other great additions. This is the successor to the MC-303 and is now much more advanced. Its sounds will be familiar to any techno-head.

The LFO and resonant filters allow quick and easy sound manipulation. The new D-Beam allows you to randomly tweak your sounds by passing your hand over an infrared beam! It has a great sequencer for building your songs (with groove quantizing and part level faders for mixing) as well as many idea catchers like the phrase sampler and arpeggiator.

Roland MC-505 Image

This is an all-in-one music machine that's great for DJ's or anybody else who wants to create slamming dance tracks. Designed as a stand alone machine, they do not work quite as well when incorporated into a multi-synth keyboard rig. It's perfect for beginners and advanced users, but offers the most possibility to those who will use it exclusively. By the way, in comparison to the MC-303, this is far better especially in the quality and quantity of sounds! It is used by Beck, Chicks On Speed, Peaches, Freddy Fresh, and Cibo Matto.

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101 Visitor comments
April 17, 2013 @ 4:38 pm
I have bought a Roland D2 for 75 euro's. The MC505 engine with a different interface, the D-Field. Globaly I have access to the same major controls as the MC505 with the D-Field. In depth programming should be done with an PC editor. For example Portamento/Legato/Mono and individual tone select is not accessible. No TR style sequencing, only real time and step. But as a sound module and simple sequencer it is a nice device. When you consider a MC505, a D2 maybe is a nice and cheaper replacement. Same sound, different interface. And no LCD screen troubles.
March 15, 2013 @ 2:30 pm
The MC-505 synth engine and patches actually come from the JV-2080 module. The major difference here is that the patches on the MC-505 are completely dry with no effects layered on. Once you use the faders to mix in the reverb, delay and MFX (I love using the chorus FX), it really warms up the sound. The preset patterns are indeed dreadful, but all it takes is the push of a single button to get to the blank User patterns. There's 200 total, plus if you install the memory card, you get an additional 200.
March 15, 2013 @ 3:41 am
Well, I went for a EMU command station XL7 in nice shape, and that's a far better machine then the MC505!

Controls on the MC505 are a little bit more direct (volume faders, track/channel select), and EFX give a little bit more options, but the EMU has the better sound. Better filters for sure. Deep synth engine editing can be done with editors on the PC (Proteum, Prodatum).

You can erase all factory patters on the EMU, with the MC505 you are stuck with Psy Trance 1, disgusting....
March 9, 2013 @ 3:49 am
I've got it new when it first came out in the stores. Back then it was a nice machine, computer & VST was still in it's early days (Steinberg Neon...).

Sold it because I hated the flat sound, 4-tone Roland JV-1080 engine. Filters are very weak.

But now I want one back for the pattern sequencer only. I own a Roland MC50 and two Kawai Q80's, and I miss the TR mode for sequencing. A MC307 would be nice too for sequencing only.

Does anyone have the problem that track 1 sends midi by itself? So volume levels (or reverb, etc) will change unwanted?
Jason Charles
February 12, 2013 @ 9:26 pm
I wrote an Entire record on this and a microkorg, but the 505 was beat up and finally died. Saw one today in a pawn shop, and I will pick it up tomorrow. It has its own groove, its own sound. You can do amazing stuuff with this machine, period......
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Rated 3.66 (801 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
  • Oscillators - Acoustic Simulation and ROM Samples
  • Filter - real-time resonant filter
  • Drums - 26 kits
  • Effects - 24 effects
  • Arpeg/Seq - Has Arpeggiator and Sequencer (up to 95,000 notes)
  • Keyboard - 16 small keys/buttons
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1998

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