Synth Site: Roland: MSE1 string machine: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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Nicholas White a hobbyist user from Phoenix,Arizona,USA writes:
I called Roland to ask why they made a whole SERIES of modules which 1. had a pathetic screen, 2. didn't respond to decent controllers (besides pitch, volume and wheel), and 3. needed sysex to do any worthwhile editing.

The guy on the other end agreed with me and said that THOSE were the exact reasons that they are no longer being produced. He then explained that their production was for those who didn't yet have one of the JV/XP synths, but wanted access to the sounds on the expansion cards.

Don't buy this: save your money, buy a 2nd hand 1080 or XP-50, and then go buy the expansion card. Sure, you'll pay more, but you'll have access to EVERY parameter with the touch of a dial, 64 voice polyphony, 16 parts, etc...

Oh, yeah, I bought one from a guitar store for $300 new, played with it, then returned it the very next day. Sure, the waves and programming are wonderful, and some even sound REAL, but the lack of control and expandability make it not worth your time. Unless you play with GS/GM. Then it's right up your alley, especially if you compose classical music and are just looking for a cheap sound module with good sounds.

But the shops probably won't sell it, so offer them $250, or maybe $200 for it. If they're smart, they'll do it.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Aug-25-1998 at 19:37
Brent Haeseker a 0 user from usa writes:
The MSE-1 is a fantastic sounding module. Very realistic string sounds, the best I have heard from a synth so far. Also, it has some great analog sounding pads and strings. You can buy them for under $400 new as they have come down in price. I highly reccommend it. My only complaint is the cryptic display and tiny buttons (not to be confused with tiny bubbles - Don Ho has left the building). But, it is fairly easy once you get the hang of it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:09
Trevor Rutkowski a professional user from United States writes:
As far as its name is concerned - String Ensemble - those sounds seemed to be the M-SE1's setback. They sound to me like FM synthesis meets Mr. Sample. The solo violin, viola and contrabass were very nice. Keeping the balance between them when playing them simultaneously can be a chore. The harps, harpsichords and timpani patches are the best for realistic value. The synth strings, quirky sounds and pads are excellent not to mention a great orchestral percussion. There is very little to no noise on all the patches. The sound is clear. Expressiveness is great with many patches having a "legato control". The RSS patches (Roland Sound Space) are interesting.

MIDI compatability is rough, esp. with GS or GM. Display and coursing through the patches with tiny buttons could drive you mad. It also features five demo songs, only two of which I think really show it off. With much work and patience, you can get this module to sound pretty good. A little bit more engineering would have paid off. But for standard backround, occasionally featured string sounds, it works without too much tweaking.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Aug-02-1998 at 04:44
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