Synth Site: roland: MC-505: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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jake a hobbyist user from usa writes:
I gave this synth every chance to shine.....8 months of wanting it so badly to just make me proud. But I finally accepted failure and sold the thing. Here's my honest opinion on it.

The sounds out of the box are terrible, especially when compared to what other similare boxes are out there in the same genre (Rm1x, Nova, Electribes....though theyre a little limited in other capacities compared to the Roland). If you spend enough time you can edit the sounds, and that is one of the 505s strengths...the depth with which you can get into it's guts....but to be honest the whole nature oftis box is to offer a quick solution for building electronic music, and when you spend as much time editing the sounds as you do writing tracks it misses the point for me.

There are other things that are just plain annoying,

1) All the disk space Roland hard coded with the completely useless and painfull demos (how I wished somebody would have come up with some crack to overwrite these things, but no...they're always there and the absolute worst trance effort greets you every time you switch the thing on). 2) The Save time, it's like using Cubase on a 486.....every time you wana save stuff you have to sit through the procesor churning, which on a long tune seems to take forever. 3) Going back to the sounds....I remember my very first day with the thing. I was so excited, I stitched it on and hit 'play'...psy trance kicked in and I felt my enthusiasm sink. I thought "hey, 95% ofmanufacturers make crap demos, don;t let it worry you". SO I went into the individual sounds and calledup the first one TB-lead (Roland...the makers of the tb-303 i thought...this'll be good). Jesus, it's not that it wasn't a 'close' emulation, it wasn't an emulation period. Horrible 'T'otal 'B'ollox..I get the initials now. 4) Silly critisism really but the word "Groove"on the front, didn;t bother me when I bought the thing but it became a representatino of what this machine was about....a really great company like roland bowing to what the marketing guys came up with. "Build a dance machine for the Groove range and we'll get the dance dollar'. R+D obviously took a back seat. It got to where I hated turning the thing on, as my studio built the 505 just paled more and more. I recently bought a JV-1010 and now that I know Roland can produce these beautifull sounds I'm even more pissed, people say the 505 is just a JV engine without effects in the sounds I could never hear them being the same no matter what level of chorus and reverb I added.

There are a few things about it that were good.

1) The drum sounds are fairly comprehensive of the genre and kudos to Roland for getting these right. Sound great. 2) As said before the filters are nice, a little harsh but that can work well, but not enough reason to save it. 3) The level of sound editing is very deep, if you know you're synth programming you can do alright....but again...within the whole package this doesn't save the box.

There are people out there making some descent music with this thing, especiallythe 505 list (which to me is the very best thing about the machine, the fact that you get t discuss things with such a great bunch of people). This is just my opinion but I gave this machine every chance to win me over and the RM1X did more in two weeks to make me adore it than the 505 ever got close to doing.

Anyone who buys this new now is absolutely crazy, goven what else is out there.

If you've done your homework or know someone who has one and just really want one you definitely need to buy it second hand and don't dream of spending more than $850. I sold mine for $800 which was a good deal for the person who seemed to rally want one and a great deal for me in that i didn't have to look at the thing any more.

In short.....think before you choose this over a Yammie or a Nova.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Friday-Sep-24-1999 at 11:13
OrbitM of Base Orbit a professional user from USA writes:
I would have to say 3 things about the 505 after owning it for 3 months. 1. its a good box if you know how to use it, if you make drum rythms and such its good. 2. If you buy it knowing it is an emulating of 303, 808, 909 then you wont be disappointed. 3. It needs a better FX processor. I found myself after 2 months writting an FX processor for the OS built in because it sucked so bad.

I would only have to say this, Roland made a decent box, maybe more of a $650 instead of a $1200 box, but its worth the buy if you get it used in new condition. I rewrote the OS in it (im a computer programmer by trade and been in making music for about 6 years) so it is a little better now. I do have to say this, Roland knows how to build them :-) They just have shitty programmers hehehe.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jul-29-1999 at 14:53
Michael a part-timer user from Canberra Australia (Now living in LA) writes:
Ive had my MC505 for a year and its a great machine, but its lacks warmth and has a hard, edgey sound. In some respects this is a very cool thing, untill you want a warm fat, pad sound for your song. I tried to program the sound I wanted and I got close but not close enough. That said though...If you want warmth buy a virtual anologue.I use my 505 with a Roland jp8000 so that warms it up for me but I think I will end up selling my 505.....its a great machine but the sounds arent pretty enough.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jul-24-1999 at 19:02
Michael a part-timer user from Canberra Australia (Now living in LA) writes:
Ive had my MC505 for a year and its a great machine, but its lacks warmth and has a hard, edgey sound. In some respects this is a very cool thing, untill you want a warm fat pad sound for your song. I tried to program the sound I wanted and I got close but not close enough. That said though...If you want warmth buy a virtual anologue.I use my 505 with a Roland jp8000 so that warms it up fot me but I thinh I will end up selling my 505.....its a great machine but the sounds arent pretty enough.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jul-24-1999 at 19:00
mk a hobbyist user from germany writes:
I,ve got both, the mc303 and the 505 and I use them together with the cs1-x and one of these little pocketsamplers. The 505 is the "master" of it all. With all that stuff I`m very happy, because I`m able to be just creative. So, the time-waste-factor is very low.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jul-07-1999 at 12:31
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