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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102 Visitor comments
January 8, 2010 @ 5:15 pm
When I started using the mc-505 it was after using the mc-303 for several years. It was great for the moment, but lacked the sampling that the mc-909 would soon have. The sounds are like that of the mc-303 with a similar user interface. It was a great drum machine when it came out, and was really reliable on the road, easy to program, and sounded great. Personally, I love the sounds out of these old boxes. The d-beam was a really cool addon. I was able to make just about any type of music off this thing, and I played on this for a couple of years and traded it in for a mc-909 when it came out. Overall, if you don't need any sampling, it is a great box.
November 20, 2009 @ 5:23 pm
Sound design on this box can be frustrating but
the peak filter can produce some fun results.
Only a few waveforms are usable and drums are too
Sequencer is overloaded after recording 2 knob movements. 505 is something like a toy I use once in a while........
August 30, 2009 @ 5:04 am
I first had an MC-303, but it really is very limited compared to the 505. One of the most important features of the MC-505 is the elaborate 8 channel step sequencer which can either play the internal instruments or steer your entire MIDI setup. The limitations of the push-button keyboard are quickly solved by connecting a master keyboard.

The 505 uses the same synth engine as the JV-series. This means you get access to very powerful editing functions, which makes this groovebox more of a real synth compared to the MC-303.

All in all a very powerful music tool in the studio or on stage. And it's built like a tank!

The estimated value is a tad over the top. These machines go for around €400 ($570) on eBay.
August 3, 2009 @ 12:06 pm
Used by The Legendary Pink Dots.
May 18, 2009 @ 8:02 am
Pely No conozco ninguna mac o PC que pueda cumplir con todo. Primero tenes fader, perillas para editar los sonidos que lo hacen una pasada. En un PC es mas complejo y superaburrido estar moviendo un mouse. Lo de "fino" es dudoso, pone una de estas máquinas en un boliche y fijate como suenan. Si es sólo para estudio necesitas un PC si es para tocar en vivo y usar en estudio ya necesitas un laptop. Ademas necesitas una tarjeta de sonido buena para reproducir lo que tocas en la 505 NADA! Si usas midi, en el laptop tenes que agregarle una interfase en la 505 NADA! Cada vez que el soft de la laptop se actualiza, sea sintes, secuenciador, etc. se degrada la performance entonces gastas guita en memoria o compras una nueva. La 505 NUNCA necesitas un upgrade o es gratis. En resumen 505=Laptop + soft + tarjeta de audio + interfase MIDI.Te sale mas barata la 505, es mas divertida, no se te cuelga, no te anda lenta., nada de reinstalaciones. En la 505 salis andando ni bien apretas el boton power
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User Rating

Rated 3.66 (805 Votes)

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  • 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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