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
May 4, 2011 @ 4:17 pm
I highly recommend you connect a midi controller keyboard to this machine, it will transform it's capabilities. I've had mine for about a year and only got a midi keyboard for it this month. It really is worth it. It makes programming and playing a whole lot easier, and adding velocity and after touch as well as mod wheel and pitch bend really makes you appreciate what this machine can sound like even more. The most totally playable bit of kit out there.
April 24, 2011 @ 2:33 am
Other notes - I lve the drum sounds in this and with a bit of post eq/preamp it covers some good rolandy bases.
(3rd of 3 post review cont...)

I have never used an mc909 and will get one just to say I know it once the prices go down a little more but I will never let this piece out of my studio unless it become unrepairable.

Advice: Get one while you can!
April 24, 2011 @ 2:32 am
The metal case and knobs/buttons have all held up well for a 12 yo instrument & the screen still works fine on mine. Its actually quite a sexy piece of equipment.

6 outputs + much better control surface puts the mc-307 to sleep even though it lacks some of the 307 soundset.

RPS isn't quite up to the pattern mixer in the rs7000 but it comes close enough for jamming purposes. Also the sequencer isn't as advanced (eg 8 vs 16 channels, rs7000 midi play fx rules).
April 24, 2011 @ 2:31 am
I have owned a wide collection of grooveboxes including the Machinedrum, Yamaha rs7000, An200, DX200, Korg ES1, ER1, EA1 and the old MC-307.

The 505 holds up well even today. The sequencer is easy peasy, and the live control over sounds is great (pitch, filters, adsr x 3, portamento, arp, lfo, quantize/groove & 8 part mixer for volume & fx x 3). I really like the editability of sounds (jv1080 style 4 layers with fm modulation) which is much more powerful than the rs7000.
Alex N
April 21, 2011 @ 9:04 pm
BEST GROOVE BOX EVER! Tears apar all the Electribes and does really cool quirky stuff like no other machine I've ever used. Great for creating everything from awesome sub bass to harsh digital gurgle. Sounds great with other gear and sits well in mixes.
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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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