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Roland MC-505

Roland MC-505
Manufacturer: Roland

Model: Fantom

Website: Roland US

When Roland introduced the MC-303 Groovebox in 1996, the integrated dance music sequencer/sound module quickly won over the hearts and speakers of groove music makers worldwide, selling an amazing 50,000 units in just 18 months. The key to its success? Cool dance music sounds, cutting-edge patterns, easy controls and a funky, retro styling that everybody loved. But there were some groove music professionals who, quite simply, wanted more...

Stepping forward to deliver one of the biggest advancements in groove music since the programmable drum machine, Roland introduces the MC-505 Groovebox. This bold new integrated sequencer/sound module picks up where the MC-303 left off, giving groove-heads a high-performance groove-oriented sound engine with 64-voice polyphony, precise controls, new ultra-powerful effects, massive memory, a MEGAMIX function and the revolutionary light-sensing D-Beam Controller. (The funky styling, of course, remained intact.)

Thanks to its 64-voice polyphony and a new high-performance sound chip, the MC-505 offers 512 of the fattest sounds on the dance music scene. Twenty-six specially-created onboard rhythm kits deliver low kicks, snares and hits galore, meaning that from the latest lo-fi techno and hip-hop sounds to all those classic Roland drum and synth sounds (TB-303, TR-808, TR-909, Juno, Jupiter, et al.), the MC-505's got it covered. And to ensure that groove-heads get exactly the sound they're after, the 505 features steep multi-mode resonant filtering, ADSR envelope controls, enhanced LFO and Filter/ Amplifier controls and a Low Boost knob with an Octave switch (warn the neighbors now).

Making full use of these sounds, the MC-505 features 714 preset dance music patterns, ranging from the latest Trance, Ambient, and Drum 'n' Bass grooves to Latin, Reggae, Old-School, Funk and Hip-Hop. These patterns were developed by some of the world's foremost sound designers, and they can be used "as is" or edited and combined into unique new User patterns.

Aiding in pattern combination is the new MEGAMIX function, which allows for the seamless combination of distinct parts from different patterns and songs. Even parts with wildly different tempos and feels can be combined, offering some very powerful and unique results and giving MC-505 users an unlimited canvas to create original patterns "on the fly."

One of the most innovative enhancements to the MC-505, however, is the revolutionary new D-Beam Controller. The D-Beam Controller allows musicians to control MC-505 effects, sounds and note information with hand and body movement through an invisible, infrared beam of light. D-Beam effects include "Turntable," which can be used to control tempo by raising or lowering the hand over the light beam; "Cutoff & Resonance," which simultaneously controls a sound's cutoff frequency and resonance parameters according to subtle hand motion; and "Ad Lib," which allows for improvising melodies using one of 21 preset scales. In addition to greatly increasing the MC-505's expressive capabilities, the D-Beam controller enhances the onstage, visual aspects of performance. And better yet, all D-Beam control information can be transmitted from the MC-505 via MIDI.

Speaking of effects, the MC-505 features three independent, synchronizable onboard effects processors, offering powerful reverb, chorus and delay sounds, as well as new cutting-edge effects like: "Radio Tuning," which makes patterns sound as if they are playing over the air; "Phonograph," for simulating record player noise; and "Slicer" for creating rhythmic permutations of sounds. In all, 24 insert effects complement the dedicated reverb and delay effects, with rate parameters automatically sync'd to tempo.

The MC-505's powerful onboard sequencer boasts three quantize functions--grid, shuffle and groove--as well as a built-in Arpeggiator with 53 styles and a Realtime Phrase Sequencer (RPS) for instant triggering of musical phrases with a single key. Sequencer capacity has been increased to 95,000 notes, while a new SmartMedia card slot allows for external pattern and patch storage via 2MB and 4MB SmartMedia cards. By adding a single 4MB card, the MC-505 can store an additional 480,000 notes (200 patterns), 512 patches and 20 rhythm sets. And direct SmartMedia pattern and song playback is possible for live performance applications.

As a self-contained professional dance music workstation, the MC-505's other features include: full MIDI control, with knob and slider movements output via MIDI for easy editing; sound editing while listening to phrases from an external sequencer; three stereo audio outputs (six mono) for external processing; and a new assignable Part Mixer for slider-based control of part level, panning, key shift, reverb and delay send levels and MEGAMIX functions.

MC-505 Specifications

Synthesizer Section
Keyboard Pad :16-keys
Maximum Polyphony :64 voices
Parts :24 parts (main: 8 + rps: 16)
Tones :512 tones
Rhythm Sets :26 sets (user: 20)
Effects :Reverb,Delay EFX (24 types)
Sequencer Section
Tracks :8 tracks
Songs :50 songs
Patterns :Preset: 248, RPS: 466, User: 200
Internal Memory :95,000 notes
RPS Set :60
Pattern Set :30
Tempo :20.0 to 240.0 (maximum)
Resolution :96 ticks per quarter note
Recording Method :Realtime, Step1, Step2
Control Knob
D-Beam Controller :28 types
Realtime Modify :Cutoff, Resonance, LFO (Modulation, Rate), Envelope Attack, Decay, Release, Panpot, Level, Portamento Time
Effect :Time/Rate, EFX Level
Play Quantize :Timing, Velocity (Grid, Groove, Shuffle)
Arpeggio :Accent Rate, Octave Range (53 styles)
Others :Low Boost, Master Volume
Display :7 segments, 6 characters (LED), 16 characters X 2 lines (LCD)
Connectors :Mix Output (L/R), Direct Output 1 (L/R), Direct Output 2 (L/R), Phones, Foot Control jack, MIDI IN / OUT, AC adaptor, Memory Card-port
Dimensions :462(W) x 320(D) x 110(H)mm
Weight :5.0kg

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