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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Are you looking to buy or sell a Roland MKS-50? 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.

30 Visitor comments
January 2, 2013 @ 3:12 pm
addition to any techno rig? ha! this is an unbeatable electro-funk machine!
snthleadlicks via the liquid portamento, creamy pads thanks to the whooly chorus, tight basses, resonant filter sweeps, detroit-like chordmemory madness ...
BEST synth to get into classic electro stuff!
November 5, 2012 @ 3:36 am
This is actually the ultimate (as in last) analog design by Roland - and it's a cracker. Advanced DCO and a 7 stage envelope make it unique amongst the Junos, capable of a far wider range of timbres than it's predecessors. The filters are smooth, not aggressive, but the synth still has bite. Like all gear from this era, run it into some inline effects, and you'll have one of the best analog experiences around.
Steve Elm
November 3, 2012 @ 2:20 pm
Finally a nice editor that works for Windows 7 with MKS-50.
November 1, 2012 @ 2:05 am
"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. "

I agree (Analoogy) - these Junos are so under-rated it's silly! When you compare a PG-300 next to the panel of a 60/106 it's obvious this is so much deeper. Sounds great too. Had a 6 got bored. Love my Alpha Juno 2 though :)
May 9, 2012 @ 6:02 pm
If any one has one of these kickin around and you wanna sell it, send me an email

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  • 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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