Roland MKS-50

Roland MKS-50 Image

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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30 Visitor comments
brock
October 21, 2011 @ 4:36 pm
Just got a Novation ReMOTE 25 SL with the yahoo-mks50 template (did have to change the values though, whomever made it assigned the sysex like "F0 41 32 08 06 00 F7" where 08 is the MIDI Channel. The MKS only seems to respond on channel 1 (or 00 in this case). Also, change the PulsType/SawType/SubType/Octave values to increment because it just sends it to "0" on the yahoo-mks50 template. Aside from those few tweaks the template someone made is great.
doom5661402
June 30, 2011 @ 3:00 am
Surprisingly GREAT analog sounds! One of the last of the line of Roland 80s synth with having all the advantages of having all the techological benefits of what Roland learned on their earlier synths
Analoogy
February 12, 2011 @ 1:07 pm
I love the MKS50 / Alpha Juno line. Had a Juno 6 for a while great warm sound but after a while it just felt played out. There is something special about the Alpha Juno line way more capable than other analog junos IMHO. Warm sound gritty nasty smooth super fast envelops for bass and percussion sounds can fit in every type of music you could want it for. This together with my Yamaha SK-30 , Yamaha CP-35 & Akai AX60 = Analog heaven . Your crazy not to own one now they will only go up in price!
j crew
December 22, 2010 @ 12:57 am
Absolutely amazing synth module!
Macca
November 5, 2010 @ 5:48 pm
This has an absolutely great sound, I cannot believe that this was only praised for its hoover sound throughout the 90s. Had I known it was this nice I would have bought one years ago. I have this and the keyboard version and I swear that the module has a fatter sound. It just sounds punchier and slightly thicker. I love the bass and pads and sparkley bell tones that cut through almost anything. I think its just as good as a Juno 6 as it can sound digital too but warm digital and has the added benefits of midi and patch storage.
 
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Rated 4.03 (380 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.
  • Demos & Media
  • Audio Clip 1 - Here's a nice demo of various sounds that the MKS-50/Alpha Juno can produce.

    Manual - Roland has made manuals for most of their products available as free PDF downloads.

    SysEx Basics - Helpful guide to controlling and editing the MKS-50 in real-time from a sequencer or Midi controller using SysEx Midi data.

    Patch File - Roland'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
  • Resources & Credits
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