Synth Site: roland: MC-505: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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www.mp3.com/orbiter a part-time user from Chile writes:
The MC505 is Da Box. Really, It's a great synth, a great sequencer, a great Drum box, everything at once.

It is not a sampler, and if you were stupid enough to buy it thinking that it was a sampler, then you deserved it.

The patterns don't suck (as always, there are some that actually suck, but they are the less). That's a cliché, and it is stupid. If you want a machine with great patterns, then you aren't a musician. You are only a restaurant-casio-keyboard-player.

You have 200 preset patterns, and 400 RPS lines ready to use. You have space for 200 more patterns of your own. If you buy a 4Mb smartmedia card (US$ 20) you will have space for 200 more personalized patterns.

The same thing happens with patches. You have 200 preset patches, and 505 different sound waves, and using the 505's internal synth, the number of patches goes to infinity.

You'll never need a PC program to make your own patches as it happens with Yamaha and Korg. Yamaha and Korg are so complicated to use that the only way you can do some decent patches is using an external editor.

No way to compare to yamaha rm1x !!! You cannot make your own sounds with the yamaha. You are stuck with presets. The only thing i would like to have from the yamah rm1x is the disk drive. But that's all.

I payed some 1000 US$ for my 505, and i would do it again. It's a great machine, and most of my songs are 505 based.

Just check www.mp3.com/orbiter and you will see what you can do with it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Feb-12-2000 at 19:11
Me a professional user from UK writes:
Dance tool??? Well no. It is wanna be dance tool. Techno, trance...etc. music is done with analogue instruments only. This can sound large in live set up where you can not hear sound in detail but in a studio or home sounds is very dry, lack body, can be very unplesantly loud when turned up, filters do not help much or other effect units. DJ´s and performance people may use it live but it is not very easy to program as other older Roland instruments, what you my expect from it. I have one long time now and I will sell ASAP cause I do not go live and that is not interest me at all. For recording no thanks. Akai sampler or others can sound much better. I have some tracks done on 505 which I will redo on other analogue instruments. This was kind of expencive time waisting work for me which can be done with just a sound card and computer (if you already have one). Quasimidi 309, Jomox, Novation can blow this away any time. If you want large sound look else where.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jan-20-2000 at 23:04
Jacob a part-time user from US writes:
DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT BUY THIS UNIT if you intend to make new-age orchestrations a la John Tesh. The acoustic presets don't sound too close to what their supposed to.

That aside the 505 is a great machine suited for the creation of techno. Mostly this is due to the integration of a fully editable 64 voice synth engine with an 8 part sequencer/mixer. Because all of the controls are part of the same unit it is really easy to create a patch with movement that flows with the rhythm of the pattern.

I would have to agree with the critics that the presets (patches and patterns)are pretty horrible and their being unerasable makes it even worse. Still, one memory card has more than enough memory available for a four hour set of original music, alot more.

There is alot of room for the creation of cool and unique patches, especially if you like making minimal techno or using nonconventional sounds (I'm over the whole 909 808 thing, it was cool 7 or 8 years ago but I've pretty much got that sound memorized, it's kind of like listening to Led Zepplin or something).

Anyway, don't write this machine off because some people can't get passed the whole "Groove approved" thing or the presets. This isn't the end all, be all of synths but it's flexibility should always give it a place in my set-up.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jan-12-2000 at 18:11
Jeff Whittall a hobbyist user from Canada writes:
i bought the 505 as soon as it came out and it was the first piece of gear that i owned or seriosly used. Since then i have learned a lot about production and the alternatives. In my opinion the 505 is one of the best machines on the market for beginners and for live performers. If your looking for the best sounding studio setup i would recommend getting some anologue synths (nova,z1,jp8080) a sampler and software sequencing. my setup now includes a z1 and a computer with emagic. To me the 505 is still my primary piece of equipment since my main goal is to produce music for live shows and i haven't seen much else that compares other than the rm1x (which i haven't really used and can't comment on). I know a lot of people complain that the 505's presets (patterns and sounds) suck and i agree completely!! I actually thought for the longest time that i had completely wasted my money on this machine but the real problem was more that i didn't know what i was doing. Once you really start to understand the way this box works you can do a lot of incredible things. It also can add alot to your studio in terms of creativity. you can lay down all of the parts of your song very quickly and easily on it and then record it out to another sequencer for full production and engineering and then dump it back into the 505's sequencer for your live show. To me the 505 will always be a valuable part of my kit though i may run out of uses for it as a synth it will always make a great rhythum machine and sequencer. In short if your looking for a studio setup without much concern for playing live then i don't really see the 505 as being that much of a benefit to you but if you are planning on going live or your just beginning then this has everything you need to start with.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jan-01-2000 at 23:44
Sam Donham a hobbyist user from Boston writes:
A few points: #1 The bug - since I've upgraded to version 1.07, I haven't had a single prob, #2 A Toy? - for those who think it's a toy, clearly didn't take the time to model their own sounds and patterns (the pressets suck). #3 Standalone - true, it's not entirely versitile by itself. When used in conjuction with other midi equipment, it truly stands out. The drum sounds are great, although digital, i couldn't tell the diference between them and my genuine tr 808. --Overall, a solid device that I'm very satisfied with. In addition, it works great if your a DJ looking to spice-up a few tracks. I got mine for $700 used and it's worth every penny. I researched a lot before i bought the 505 and don't regret the purchase at all.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-13-1999 at 19:01
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