Synth Site: Roland: MKS-70: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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John a professional user from Naughty north uk writes:
This is rolands best string and pad machine. I've no idea how how anybody can compare a jp8000. Great synth the jp, but it' has nothing like the juicy thick sound this sound can do. I can only presume something was a miss with it. If the lack of hands on knobs scares you for editing, it shouldn't. It's easy enough from the front panel, but you can use a software editor that's freely available or just buy the pg800 or the modern pg substitute from that new Zealand company. There's rumours that it can't do bass. Lol. It's very good at a full range sounds, but excels at full rich strings and pads. I've got a lot of gear, but this will be with me until it breaks beyond repair, at that point it will be replaced( with either an mks 70, or jx10 if i cant get one). It's a tool in the studio, forget being fashionable and paying through the nose for a jp6 or 8, this will kill them for what it does best. And best of all, it costs just a few hundred quid. These will only go up and up in price as they get re-discovered. Buy it, you won't regret it. There's tons of banks of patches you can get for free for it online, just bulk dump.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Sep-29-2011 at 16:27
gazza from uk writes:
its sounds just arnt ' defined ' ...it seems to be cold ? like bland at times and theres no defining tone to anything - the resonance just sqwarks.......its the worst analogue filter i have ever used.It has a superb lfo waveform though - the 3 may seem normal but even the random one has a unique feel to it but it left me cold and a bit depressed.Maybe a d50 and Jp8000 spoiled me or i got stuck in between them - i just can grasp why this is so revered.It can do good sounds but its bland on some levels .

If you someone who likes to edit synths and then make libraries forget it with this - its a pain in the arse to say the least..........terrible - even soundiver hated it .Its like a machine built behind a brick wall you cant reach and even feels like this with the pg programmer.I couldnt get anything cool ? god knows why //////////

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Monday-Nov-03-2008 at 05:15
gazza from uk writes:
i really wanted this synth to sing.

Ive owned over 40 analogue synths and digital racks and used the mks 80 and also juno 60 , jp 8000 sh101 . sh1000 etc etc.I use the D50 all the time and the jp8000 and i thought it would be really cool to check this out.Everyone says its THE roland pad synth and also the softest synth but it left me cold , i used the pg800 programmer and still couldnt really get into the machine.I think the operating system and midi ' incompatibility ' maybe also an issue.its a horrible machine to work with even using soundiver - and i have used a dx7 and d50 with soundiver and these are nasty machines to use but the mks70 just seemed terrible.

Ok it has lovely sounds at times , they are haunting and classic but you know - the machine falls down big time i feel , its not so great , the jx3p can mimik it and is warmer and less ' big ' sits in a mix better.The Mks80 is just warmer and more creamy and the d50 bl;ows it away for bowing pads etc .........the jp8000 has a better filter and resonance !!!!!!seriously.......the jp8000 resonance can go places the mks cant........i tried every damn parameter and trick i know to coax good stuff out of it - i couldnt get good portamento leads and pads , i couldnt get intersting resonance harmonics from the filter , it feesl stuck between the mks80 and the d50 for my mind and has a rather hard edge to it........maybe i am missing something but i really wanted this machine to work for my ears and i just didnt......the pg800 programmer ' works ' but really doesnt cover what it should.You cant mute or select tones so your forced to do this on the machine and the truth is its the layering to 2 patches that makes the mks70 sound so sweet and try editing the 2......i think this is very overated as a synth........i wanted 80's pads , haunting voice choirs and soft chiffing sequencer sounds and you know - it can do them but the jx3p does them better as does the d50 and jp8000.It can do lush pads but seriously - get a yamaha fs1r and then call it lush or try a oberheim matrix and call it lush......its not really . . . the d50 is just as good for pads and the jp8000.Its a 5 mark for its classic patches ( the over used ones ) but a 3 as this really is a weak machine in studio use and like i said - i have used loads of rolands and some pain in the arse synths ........i thought it was just not a great machine.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Monday-Nov-03-2008 at 05:11
dano a part-time user from Japan writes:
I've only had my MKS-70 for a little over a week, so I'm hardly an expert on it yet. However, I can say it is without exception the nicest synth I’ve ever owned. Many sounds are instantly recognizable from recordings. And the sounds... sweet! - soft resonant tones, big 80s brass, excellent flutes, and many variations of the lush analog strings this synth is known for. This synth also does extremely well blending with other synths – add a monophonic lead over it or a fat bass under it and its electronic music heaven.

After a little reading I was able to load factory patches via sysex and without the memory card. (It can also be done with .mid files from a sequencer like Cakewalk.) Other soundsets can just as easily be loaded. In fact, I've encountered no real sysex hassles. Velocity, volume, pitch, modulation, and patch changes are all recognized. Mine has bios version 1.03. Front panel controls and menus are typical of the period, but reading the manual and a little experimentation goes a long way. The only real headache is controlling portamento as it has to be set twice – once for each of the two boards.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Mar-30-2007 at 19:52
rids a hobbyist user from USA writes:
This thing is an amazing and yet under-rated analog synth. It excells at the most gorgeous bells and pads you'll hear from a poly analog synth. But it has been unknown for it's aggressive nature. Sure the envelopes aren't punchy like moogs and other rolands, but that's what mono synths are for. Monos can't do pads can they, not like this machine and neither can the MKS70 do punchy bass. But it still can get very nasty in a good way from ripping leads to wild SFX. I love the leads on it, especially if you couple ot with anothe mono.

The PG800 programmer is definitely a must. Trust me, you don't want to edit without it.

Just a testiment of how good this synth is, Hans Zimmer has more than 1 in his studio. That tells you the quality of this synth being that he has some of the top of the line synths.

4 DCO osc to work with for some really thick sounds! Cross mod yeilds great sounds. Gotta give it a 5, because nothing sounds like it and there is truely no substitution.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Feb-03-2006 at 18:13
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