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.

Lookup Roland MC-505 Groovebox Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a Roland MC-505 Groovebox? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

102 Visitor comments
captain o
November 27, 2010 @ 1:40 pm
It's all about the sound. This is the best synth I have ever bought. Sure, it may not sample, it has a limited interface and polyphony.

But box DELIVERS the best of the Roland sound. It has a unique attitude and vibe that almost nothing else has, even most Roland other products. The synth sounds are especially amazing and MUSICALLY useful.

Don't fall for the MC-909/808 ruse - the 505 uses a different synth engine and delivers sonically where the 909/808 cannot.
November 14, 2010 @ 5:17 pm
This machine is now the centrepiece of my studio. The past 5 years have been all software, now it is all hardware 90's style. What I love about this is the hands on ability. You have to learn how to create your own sounds, but it really isn't that difficult. It took me 2 days to learn the basics and now I know this thing inside out and you can create some amazing sounds. This box supplies the midi clock for my Novation Nova 2, and I can use the sequencer in the 505 to trigger samples via midi in my Emu ESi 32 sampler (I use part 7 on the mixer for that and set the ESi 32 to midi channel 7), so it controls everything in my set-up, works flawlessly. Very cool machine. Sure to become a classic one day, so grab one while you can.
dj audiotrailer
August 18, 2010 @ 11:14 am
really good for imagination. new tracks.
so still i use it over 7months and
if u know much about midi,
u will not buy chezzy midi nanos.
if u really think about humanize scores and
like kontrol of knobs and make music as lab style,
once you have to use it. use it.
u will learn more about edm and soon more.
maybe this is first step to make real music.
if there is aontherone u should buy it
sooon or later it will be like legend another 'tb 303'
now it's been 12years..............
August 12, 2010 @ 6:13 pm
I use this for 90% of my electronic drum sounds. I program synths for the rest. This is a great box and can give you the sounds you're looking for. The overall volume is low on mine but I use a dual channel preamp to get the levels I need for recording.

I haven't tried programming more esoteric drums yet but I'm pretty sure it can do it. All I'd need to do is raise or lower the raw waveform a few halfsteps and blur it with some filters or amp models and voila - instant machinedrum!
June 14, 2010 @ 5:21 pm
Sweet little box, super cheap nowadays. The variety and quality of sounds you can get out of it are well worth the money. If you are a poor musician with a tate for hardware (like me) I urge you to invest in one of these, you wont regret it.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.66 (805 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

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.