Roland Grooveboxes


New member
Hey to wow was i missing out on this site!

Anyways I'm looking into investing in either the Roland MC-505 Groove box or the Roland MC-307...

anyone tell me the pro's / con's of each..or their experiences with either etc etc. i'm looking to purchase, so i want to make sure i'm getting the right piece.

thanks everyone for their feedback..and for making this such a cool community...wish i found it sooner.

mano 1

Staff member
How about an Electribe S (korg) or an AKAI MPC2000XL ? There is also the QUASIMIDI RAVEOLUTION 309 if you are not needing sampling.

I owned a MC303 Groovebox for a WHILE since it was out, and I have to admit I had a lot of fun with it. HOWEVER.. The sound is not phat enough and the stability of the machine is questionable to say the least. I agree I was inlove with the little machine... UNTIL I got a real synthesizer (VIRUS B access). Actually, I gave the groovebox to a friend as a present, he loves it.

I had my hands on the other one, MC505 too, for a few hours, and did a few tests of the new features, increased usability, etc.. I thought it was not bad but I didn't see th eprice at this point.. When I saw the price, I thought Roland was simply nuts... When KORG is releasing the ELECTRIBE series with a rock stable environment, a very punchy sound, and an overall more profesional quality.

Don't get me wrong, the groovebox is fun.. But it is not worth the price they ask, especially the 505. NOW... If you find a MC303 (the old one) for cheap (I bet you can find one for 250 bucks or so now, second hand), go for it, if you like it when you try it in a shop. If you want to spend more money, option would be an ELECTRIBE S, which is a sampling workstation / drumbox / sequencer, cheap... I am going to repeat myself here: if you don't want sampling and you are interested in basslines + drums, try to find a second hand QUASIMIDI 309 box.

Take care,


New member
Interesting post ManoOne, I always wondered if these Grooveboxes were good. The Electribe S sounds like a choice. thanks


Crazy Clubber
The R MC307, is that the "Chinese" version?

Anyway, Ghostly. The old Roland MC303 is so incredibly popular because of one thing: Personality.

One thing about it is that, when water get's condensed inside it, the filter resonanse can totally freak out.

Have you ever heard Josh Wink's "Higher State Of Conciousness" and wondered how the hell he make the bass scream in such a cool way. That's the answer. Water condensation.

This is one of the few "Personal" things I somehow like about it. Its weaknesses is its strength.

Also the "filter" of the MC303 and 505 is so cool. It have so many facettes and can create so many cool sounds. It is ideal for trance-dj's. It is more alive than other bass stations.

The difference between 303 and 505 is that the 505 has a mixer section so that it is easyer to control the volumes. Before, volumes were a part of each section. The 505 SENDS MIDI data, not only recieving i. The 505 also covers 5 octaves for some seriously deep bass. It still only have 1 drumset, but it is a VERY nice sounding drumset, not like the Korg Rythmstation.

If you are a hip-hop Dj you probably don't want to use it. You'd want a phatter sound with less filter and another way of creating patterns.

Sincerely Dj Chriss


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Crazy Clubber
995 $ (799.99 at Music123) Thats some price considering the original.
Specs look nice though, but I think maybe the 505 would be a better coise for just 300 $ extra.
96 TPB. YE-E-E-E-E-AH!
With this you get D-Beam also (effects are controlled by hand movement over an infared ligth.)

There is ONE thing I hate about the grooveboxes:
You can't IMPORT sounds into them. GRRRRR :(
This is the only reason that I don't even consider buying one myself.

mano 1

Staff member
Well there is MANY reason why I wouldn't recommend any of the grooveboxes if you are into HipHop.. those wouldnt help at all.. I tend to respect those new budget samplers (Electribe S KORG, RM1X Yamaha, MPC2000 AKAI, ASRX ALESIS...)


Crazy Clubber
Checked out The AKAI and the YAMAHA for now.
Do NOT like the AKAI. I must say that importing waves is great, but the prize is too high. < 5 live controllers = noway.
The Yamaha RMX1 is great I tink but I have one problem:
4 TPB.
It'd have to be very cheap. Do you have a all-around prize ManoOne?

Checking out the others.

[Edited by Dj Chriss on 09-28-2000 at 01:45 PM]


Crazy Clubber
The Korg Electribe S (599 $) doesn't look to sleezy either.
It is a great idea that you can sample that way.
I migth still think that the roland Grooveboxes is cooler because of the way you access the effects (and up to 24 TPB!!!). The problem is only the insane prizes.

Does anyone know if digital input is available on Electribe S?

[Edited by Dj Chriss on 09-28-2000 at 01:48 PM]


Crazy Clubber
Yes. Nothing you can do.
I still like the Roland Grooveboxes the most.
Once I'll be able to afford my own, I'll get a MC505.

mano 1

Staff member
How about a QUASIMIDI 309 (Rave-o-lution) ?

It sure has a phatter sound than most boxes out there! I am not sure of the specs, but I think its a robust studio element.

Maybe you should check it out. Quasimidi is very well built, like Access, Waldorf, Doepfer, etc.. they are artisans more than manufacturers.

This is the online specs:

The 309 is a bit old (2 years I think)


Crazy Clubber
This would now be my second choise over the 505. But still 4 TPB is not much. How do you suggest I'll play a 1/32 snare-roll without changing 144 BPM to 288 BPM?
This is ALMOST the only problem.

The other thing is that this IS a MIDI synth. The sounds will never be as much alive as the analog thing. The specs don't mention it but the Quasimidi uses samples in the bassline sequencing wich as allways means that the general sound changes when you shift pitch.
Of course they probably have made the basic sample very simple and made sure that the effects compensates for the samplestretch but anyway, I don't like the hardMIDI way of thinking.
I like the idea that you can control the parameters by MIDI, and leave the rest to the hardware, much better.


Crazy Clubber
The poly morph doesn't sound bad though. And the sirius not at all. You can import samples, and you know how important that is to me.
The polymorph can optain up to 50 additional sounds.

The Sirius is somewhat insane. Loads of coll stuff for the prize.
This is a great thingy, but I don't think it is suitable for trance-music.


New member

I am VERY new to the entire composing aspect of DJing (remixing, beatboxes, MIDI, etc...), and as I am in a GENERAL area I dont think that I am the only one wondering what "TPB" is.

Trying no to embarrass myself -



Crazy Clubber
Ticks Per Beat.
On the Roland MC series you have some options which makes you able to play 1/32's. It can also be set for triplets and 3/4 so you can even do waltz on it. (not that I would ever want to.)