Synth Site: roland: MC-505: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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Spacebar from Japan/Malaysia writes:
i had the mc-505 for like 5-6 months before i sold it, but not because i wasn't satisfied with it, but you sorta come to it's limitations if you really use all your creativity on it for a while. the sounds are cool, and manipulation of patches (especially the pitch controls) into your own patches are cool if you learn the machine hard enough. some people say it's crap, it's like 'techno-in-a-can' music, but if you stretch its limits you can really make it go somewhere. heck we recorded a whole album based on the mc-505 (but not ONLY).

all in all it's a good machine to get a hold of the ropes of electronica, especially for beginners with not much cash to spare for separate components. it's great live, but i found the d-beam pretty stupid. it's probably good for techno, acid, house, the TB sounds are pretty believable if you tweak the cutoff and resonance filters, but the drums could be a bit weak if you do jungle or drum n bass (but the patches are excellent, check out 'Pacifica'... that's a pure drum n bass patch if you ask me). get this if you can't afford separate machines, or hate to lug around racks and keyboards during gigs. (note : the slider controls are the 'life' of this machine, that's what made the jx-305 kinda lame. no sliders)

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Saturday-Nov-07-1998 at 14:19
ajax a professional user from USA writes:
i must have been asleep the day i bought my MC 505.

the filter in it is absolute cheap imitation crap. the user interface is lame and compared to all my real analog gear it sounds like Mcdonalds fastfood techno... I hear the stupid pre-programmed parts on hair spray commercials now... makes me ill.


posted Sunday-Oct-25-1998 at 10:04
Robert Rada a professional user from USA writes:
Moderation is the key boys and girls. If you want the creativity of a synth use one along with the 505. This thing is a great tool, and I understand where the backlashes are coming from (I've been off and on dissing this thing). But, now that I've got one up in my room, I'm having loads of fun. Sure it SEEMS like it's made for trendy rave crap, but those presets are there so that those stupid kids will waste there $1199 on the machine thinking they'll be something with a bass drum and open hi-hat. You can do so much more with this. I've made 2 songs that use just 1 pattern each. Imagine what's gonna happen when I use different patterns ( haven't even tried that quanitize yet). Imagine what happens when I sample parts of the songs in my SP-202 (beginers oughta buy this) and play it back all fucked up. How bought when I use it to control my Pulse (this monphonic wonder from Waldorf is excellent btw). There's so many options with this thing that I want to shblaz all over it. You can't deny that this is a great tool. Hard to figure it out at first, but get a manual...and it clicks. You can mute different drum sounds! This thing is fun as a lickn's kickn'.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Sep-20-1998 at 17:11
Pablo La Rosa a professional user from USA writes:
I was unfortunate enought to have bought an MC-303 when they first came out and but quickly realized what a toy it was and returned it to the store within days. So when I heard about the new MC-505 I was indeed skeptical. But having owned one now for about a month I will say this is the perfect machine for making dance music. Let's get one thing straight right from the start...the MC-505 IS NOT A PRESET MACHINE. You have a full-blown JV-1080 synthesizer engine for which you can edit the most common parameters with knobs/sliders and the rest via menus. The only difference between a 505 and a 1080 is the internal waveform set. The 505 gives you waveforms suited to dance music while the 1080 covers many bases. The only other difference is the 1080 is expandable via the waveform boards and you cannot expand the 505's internal waveform memory. That being said, the 505's waveforms are really outstanding. There are enough raw synthesizer waveforms to allow you to program analog-type sounds plus plenty of stabs, fx, digital sounds, etc. to cover the rest of the spectrum. Then there's the 3 effects processors...reverb/delay/and multifx. These are all high-quality and can sync to the tempo of your music. The effects levels can be adjusted separately for each part and even each individual drum hit's effects level can be set. One of the coolest effects is the "Slicer" which is essentially a built-in triggered noise gate. It will cut your sustained sounds into short rhythmic pulses based on many different templates you can choose from. Very cool! There's plenty of other effects available too from distortion, parametric EQ, compressors..everything you need. Also cool is the fact that you can automatically reverse drum sounds simply by raising the rhythm part's slider to the top. Done in the right places, you can strategically place backspins on your drums wherever you want. Then there's the arpeggiator which is more like a pattern generator. Sure you can do the regular up/down/random but then there's tons of other templates that will play motives which can create some incredible patterns with minimal work! So everyone wants to know HOW ARE THE FILTERS? Forget the MC-303 cause these filters really do the job well. Obviously, certain waveforms (ones with resonance already in them) don't sound right when you add more resonance but in general it's quite convincing. You've got plenty of choices too...low-pass, band-pass, high-pass. The sequencer is probably the worst part about the 505. After having programmed on Cubase I just find it too time-consuming to program on the 505. Fortunately, the midi implementation has been improved so you can use it as an 8-part multitimbral module and still be able to record all know tweaks, arpeggios, etc. into your computer. If you like, once the sequence is done on the computer, you could then dump it back into the 505 so you can take it on the road. The 505's sequencer does do a few cool things unique to the machine. First is the groove quantize which contains tons of groove templates to give your music a different feel. The cool part is that it not only affects timing, but also velocity so your performances become more dynamic which in turn makes it groove. The other cool thing about the sequencer is the Megamix function. While playing patterns, you can take specific parts from other patterns and combine it with the current pattern to create entirely new arrangements. Or, use it to blend between patterns like a DJ would with records when you're playing live. Finally, if you are doing live stuff, for this the 505 is hard to beat. You've got plenty of sequencer memory (expandable with the Smart Media cards) and plenty of real-time control available via the knobs/sliders and part mute buttons. Just with this, you can easily create slamming performances like using an Alesis MMT-8. Then add the D-Beam controller for the visual effect. The D-beam can control many diffent paramenters...not just filters, etc. You can control pitch-bend, mute all parts on and off, slow the tempo/pitch, and many more things which can enhance a live performance. It even transmits over midi! Finally, for the live gigs, the RPS function is perhaps one of the best things going. You can take any pattern and assign it to a key. Simply hit the key and the entire pattern plays back in time with the beat. For example, assign just a bass line to an RPS key. Then assign some piano chords to another. Then a snare fill to another. Now while the pattern is playing, you can trigger these riffs in time just by touching the key. We all hate watching DAT performances because the artist is just faking. With RPS, you are actually doing something live that would normally be too difficult or perhaps even impossible with 2 hands. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what the MC-505 can do. It's really a great machine for studio musicians and live musicians alike who are making dance music. The sounds cover all the bases for most contemporary dance styles and because the 505 has a 1080 synth engine, you'll be able to program new patches to keep it fresh for years to come. The drum sounds are probably what run the most risk of becoming tired. A sampler is always the best way to go for this...but the 505 really is about as close to perfection as you can get. 5 out of 5.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Sep-10-1998 at 16:08
dvd a part-timer user writes:
This piece rocks. On it for four months now, coming up w/ fat sounds every day. All the haters just don't have a clue. Experiment and have fun with this piece.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Sep-08-1998 at 14:44
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