Synth Site: Roland: MC-303: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.7 out of 5
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nubey a professional user from usa writes:
The alternative uses of this machine justify it's existance, if you're simply going to use this as it was probably intended aka, cheese rave patterns etc, presets galore, and techno which is worse than the awful Whitney Houston/Cher etc. endeavours into dance music.

But as a sequencer and drum machine it seems this machine can be an intresting and in my opinion a very useful tool. Just a word to the wise, i'd buy other gear before I'd buy this box, as it will never be the epicenter of your midi studio, moreover it can and will be a useful tool for quickly getting ideas/beats sequenced, heck for the price nothing beats it (pun intended.). Heck even a used mc-50 will cost you probably more than what these go for.

My pluses: Useable drums/drum computer, quick easy sequencing, buckets of pcm sample (most are decent to average), good/fair midi timing, some good efx, real time controlls, and really just ease of use.

My negatives: Weird and sometimes erratic timing (can be a benefit too), sounds are ok but a lot will sound very stale, worst complaint: lack of external storage and only 30k notes held within, and if you add any filter or setting changes real time the 30k notes goes down to a measly 4 or 5k of notes, which is pathetic. why on earth did roland stick 80 million cheesy presets in the machine, and limit the internal storage to almost nothing, seems to me they wanted to please everyone from kids with no musical knowledge or skills (preset mongers), and at the same time offer just enough features to make it useful to real gigging and original artists like myself. Also the filters are quite bland and weak, not bad but not as good as they can be, see a waldorf synth for an example of a really good digital filter, it can be done roland opted to cut corners I think probably in a vein effort to save money.

All in all this box has as much going for it as it has going against it, sort of a yin yang affair, only thing I suggest is to ignore all of the ridiculous hype and make your own decisions about it.


Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Sep-20-1999 at 14:49
Curt Saal a hobbyist user from USA writes:
not bad if used with other has enough realtime control to be a good dj toy..the sequencer is super easy to learn and is good for jotting down quick ideas..I just fear that itll always sound very pattern based and unporffesional. A couple of fx that arent too bad..I just feel this is aimed at people not too serious about the sound. The internal sounds are okay..some are terrible and others are useable..the drums are okay..x0x and some others..I had fun with them (even made some nice industrial)..and with a wide sound array..a few other styles may be possible as well. Pick it up if you are just looking for some fun. the premade patterns are kinda old now..not that anyone could use them without being able to tell its definately a groovebox anyway..I did like the filter alot though..

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Monday-Sep-20-1999 at 13:42
Tranceonic a part-timer user from Estonia writes:
Dont use it as a stand alone instrument,because it sucks.Use it with other gear like me. I use:Korg ds8,Yamaha Fb01,Zoom St224,Gem Pk5,Akai S2000,Yamaha Cs1x. But if you are on a budget,MC is the right choice. It does everything that you need to make dance music in minutes. Some sounds are great and some are not.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Saturday-Sep-18-1999 at 13:36
Bob a professional user from USA writes:
I agree with AXMAN. This MC-303 is a fantastic compliment to any set. Don't try to use it alone. That is simply not the way any of this shit is meant to be used----that is bull-shit hype---USE this box in conjunction with other professional gear and you'll see that it compliments whatever you've got very well. I don not believe in stand alone units. I do believe in units that can be used in the mix. That is the art of all this electonic shit isn't it? Anyone who slams the 303 or the 505 simply does not have any other cool gear to add to it or does not know what the fuck they are doing or does not know how to use external effects or how to listen and tune according to taste and sound. It's all about pleasure and turning people on to the music and making them dance like crazy right? Well then get off your lazy asses (like the other guy says) and learn how to deepen the mix and blend other pieces of gear together like the pros do or shut the fuck up. This box has rocke the world ever since it came out and it still is doing that all over. Don't be lame enough to try to use any box alone or you'll find it very limiting and very frustrating. Mix it up and you'll see this baby is unlimited, and the 505 is even more unlimited. The only limits are in your own use of it & skill.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Sep-18-1999 at 05:56
AXMAN a professional user from DeepTonesCounty writes:
I am a serious guitar player for 34 years. From rock to flamenco--I do it all. I recently picked up the MC 303 from a friend for $325. I've been jammin with it for weeks and I must say this unit is a great jammin partner. I'm only using it for that--and believe me if I had known what it could do for my playing zest and creativity stretching, I would have paid much more for it. This thing is sensational when you find a certain combination of patterns/sounds to mix together and then jam like hell with it. I'm using it with my Alesis MMT-8 and Akai sampler and I've am practising for hours at a time with no lethargy---I feel a renewed energy and love for my music that keeps me jammin hard all night. I live in the mountains on a large ranch where I can crank up the sound as loud as I want and I'm telling you this is killer fun.

My guitar playing has improved so much just in the last few weeks I feel like I've set a new record in growth for myself. Thanks to the MC 303 I have jammin buddies anytime I want without the logistics of getting the band together for a wild session. This thing is saving me a lot of sanity. I will never part with it---I'm glad it's controversial---it damn well deserves to be. Peace

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Sep-17-1999 at 04:09
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