Roland MKS-50

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The MKS-50 is a rack-mount version of the Alpha Juno. It has the same synth engine and architecture, with some added features like 16 programmable chord memories, the ability to store velocity, volume, panning, de-tune, portamento and other similar parameters within each patch you create. The optional and highly recommended PG-300 will give you traditional slider type control of all editable tone parameters which include DCO (digitally controlled oscillators) LFO, bend, ENV, pulse, waveforms, noise, PW/PWM, high pass filter, VCF (filter) with freq/env/res/LFO/kybd, VCA envelope, chorus, and more.

Its sound is not quite as warm as the previous Juno's but it's still a nice addition to any techno synth rig. Other features include better MIDI implementation than previous Roland synths, a nice LCD display, an LFO capable of a very slow rate for some cool sweeping effects, and a great bass sound (especially nice for acid basslines) and noise effects! It is used by Überzone, Astral Projection, Fluke, Future Sound of London, Pet Shop Boys, and Vince Clarke.

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Demos & Media

Audio Clip 1 Here's a nice demo of various sounds that the MKS-50/Alpha Juno can produce.
ManualRoland has made manuals for most of their products available as free PDF downloads.
SysEx BasicsHelpful guide to controlling and editing the MKS-50 in real-time from a sequencer or Midi controller using SysEx Midi data.
Patch FileRoland's original Factory Settings for the MKS-50. These are Midi Sysex files compressed in a PC friendly format. Mac users should have no problem downloading this file either.

Specifications

Polyphony - 6 voices
Oscillators - 1 DCO per voice: Pulse, Sawtooth, Sub, noise waveforms. 1 sub-oscillator.
Effects - portamento, 16 chord memories, transpose, chorus
Memory - 64 User, 64 preset, backup to cassette
Filter - 24db analog lowpass filter
Envelopes - ADSR Envelopes for filter and amp
Arpeg/Seq - None
Keyboard - none
Control - MIDI (w/ velocity and aftertouch mappable to VCF or ENV)
Date Produced - 1987

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