Synth Site: Roland: MKS-7: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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reddread a hobbyist user from Netherlands writes:
Great machine, use it a lot. It does have suboscilators and also noise! Noise is only switchable on/off. I use it with a Kenton Spin Doctor to control all the parameters in realtime. This makes it a real powerfull synth. Also had a Juno 106 but i prefer this one because its touchsensitive! Individual outputs voor bass, drums, chords and lead. I would give it a five if you could store youre own made sounds.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jul-27-2008 at 02:11
Dano a hobbyist user from Japan writes:
The MKS-7 was one of Roland's first midi modules and their first multi-timbral synth. It's a big box - 2RU high and 15.5" (395mm) deep. Default midi channels are set to 1-melody, 2-bass, 3-chords, and 10-rhythm. In this 4-part mode, it's easy to get a Kraftwerk type sound going with the 707 drums (the only drum set) and a punchy bass line.

This synth has 7 dedicated DCOs, 1 for bass, 2 for melody, and 4 in the chord section. Melody and Chord DCOs can be combined (Whole Mode) to create a single 6 DCO patch, and that's where this synth sounds the fullest. Sounds can be edited in Engineering mode, which is much like many other rack modules. Another nice feature is the velocity slider on the front panel - labeled "Dynamics Sens."

I have a Juno 106 and the MKS-7 sounds different (even in Whole Mode.) The MKS-7 lacks both the noise generator and the sub-oscillators. But the MKS-7 sounds much cleaner - better output stage opamps I think. In fact IMO, it's closer sound wise to the Korg Poly-800 (EX-800) except that the MKS-7 sounds a little stronger and has better resonance. This is a great DCO analog synth.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jan-26-2007 at 07:00
max 7 a part-time user from europe writes:
A versatile box. It has no ram memory. User made sounds cannot be stored in the machine. However, if you use Sounddiver – or possibly another software editor – all home brew sounds can be stored on your hard drive and loaded in the MKS instantly. The lack of storage memory no longer is a problem. Furthermore, through Sounddiver I connect the knobs of my midi controller to the functions of the MKS-7. Thus, I have hands-on control.

I like its sound. Never played a Juno 106, but it’s supposed to be same, with the addition of multitimbrality, a tr707 (without the sequencer) and a dedicated bass synth.

There are three synth parts, a 4 voice part, a 2 voice part, and a 1 voice bass synth. The difference between the 2 and 4 voice parts is that the former has a noise parameter. These parts can be combined to form one 6 voice synth – indeed, a Juno 106 in a box.

The difference between the 2 and 4 voice parts and the bass synth is that the latter does not have a suboscillator and a shorter, but very precise ADSR envelope (both use 127 steps, but as the bass synth’s envelope is shorter, it is more precise).

Each synth has its own edit buffer, so while editing you can switch from synth to synth and each synth will remember its last settings until you switch it off. It has 4 seperate output, in addition to a stereo output.

In any case, if you have a software midi editor that can handle the MKS-7, buy an MKS instead of a Juno. It’s cheaper, has more possibilities and can be racked. The editor removes its downsides.

The only problem with mine is that its output is noisy. But its an old synth and it’s nothing a noise gate can’t handle. I use it a lot.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Apr-05-2006 at 11:27
Todzilla a part-time user from Amerika writes:
Great sounding synth, but here's what sucks:

Programming interface is hideously frustrating

Compounding that is no flask RAM, so you program anew each time you power it back up.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jun-30-2005 at 15:04
Tom Laine a part-time user from UK writes:
This has to be the most underatted of all Rolands analogue famaliy. It is incredible. The sonic multitimbral power of 3 juno 106S AND A TR707 DRUM MACHINE in a single rack! Isane, if you know how great the juno 106 is for bass, strings pads & effects. You will understand how special the MKS7 is. The sounds I have got out of this box using the Juno 106 librarian editor are off the handle. PURE REAL ANALOGUE power, not an analogue VA wannabe. I was lucky enough to get this great rack for £110 ON eBAY. iF you see one, pay anything up to £200 it is worth is believe me if you love the juno 106 sound & want 3x the power in a portable rack!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-May-31-2005 at 10:00
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