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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29 Visitor comments
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.
Steve
October 17, 2010 @ 7:11 pm
Picked one of these up on ebay and liked the sound quite a bit , just got a Novation Remote Zero SL controller and found a template someone built for it on the yahoo mks-50 user group. Now i love it , tweaking in real time without spending 300+ dollars for a PG-300 (that only works for the Alpha Juno) is a god send.
 
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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

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