Synth Site: roland: MC-505: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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Daladidoo a hobbyist user from Paris writes:
I bought my 505 18 months ago as I was a total beginner in the world of electronic music.A year and a half later,I have to acknowledge that I'm getting fed up with it.I consider it as a great learning tool but once you understand the basics,it becomes more and more frustrating:actually the problem comes from its sound engine:I recently listened to the Nova and wooooooooooow,it sounded soooooooo GOOD and WARM! The only reason why I'm keeping my 505 is the drums,which sound pretty good to me,even though I would NOT recommend them for anything else but techno.I mainly produce trip hop and most of my drums were sampled on my A3000 but the 505 can bring some nice eletro hi hats or little dirty effects.Actually I came to the point where my only instrument in my set up is my A3000. Anyway,if you're a beginner,this box is great as an all in one solution.In any other case,don't even think about it and go buy a decent synth like a clavia,a waldorf or a novation,and a sampler(but NOT a phrase sampler a la Sp202). I give it a five for beginners.2 in any other case.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Nov-07-1999 at 10:40
MacDoubleU a part-timer user from Switzerland writes:
Very Grooving Box!!! I LOVE the 505!!! The best Music-Machine ever!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-25-1999 at 13:13
Gordon a professional user from UK writes:
I'm not surprised you can pick these up for $600 - it proves the point. People buy the thing and it doesn't live up to it's original price tag. This is nothing but a bedroom toy for spotty teenagers to masterbate over.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-04-1999 at 07:50
Bryan a hobbyist user from San Francisco writes:
i probably agree with the general sentiment here: the mc-505 is a very capable drum machine and a wonderful live sequencer, but its sounds, effects, and filters leave you wishing for a lot more.

on the one hand, if you never heard a full-on analog synth, you'd probably be quite happy with the 505's results. but put it next to any decent analog modelling synth (an1x, jp8k, nord, etc) and it really loses its mustard.

personally, i'd like to see roland re-release something like this, only with no synth or effects or anything, but with 16 tracks and a drum machine. live, there's not a whole lot that's as flexible as this fella. triggering phrases realtime, synced, is really a luxury and a nice tool for improvisation. but not for a thousand bones.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Friday-Oct-01-1999 at 20:32
Stephen Johnson a professional user from Middlesbrough, England. writes:
The MC505. Is it a toy? Or is it a creative all in one dance solution? (as Roland Claim). I have used one in live applications and have to say that as a performance tool for live mixing and manipulation of your own easily done dance loops (not the pathetic presets)- the 505 is in its element. That is probably what it was designed for and it works very well. To do the same with a synth / sequencer / mixer / effect rack set up would cost about four times as much in hardware and be a lot more hassle than carrying the silver box to the gig and plugging it in. Having said this, I do not rate the 505 as anything other than a performance tool. As a Dance orientated synth/sound module it is outclassed by many, for starters theres Emu's Phatt or Orbit, Any Quasimidis, Any Waldorfs, Yamaha AN1X, Korg Prohecy etc etc. As a drum macine the 505 fares better unless you compare it to a 909, but that would not be fair on the 505. It is however one of the better of the crop of todays beat boxes, mainly due to its creative 'groove' feature, midi muting, appregiator(great for daft punk-esque hi hats etc)and some fairly neat effects. Its better than the Korg Electripe thingy but also three times the price. As a sequencer the 505 is adequate for live stuff but hopelessly outdated in terms of what can be done far more effectivly on an old ATARI and Cubase for example. Many professionals still swear by their old Ataris. For me the 505 looks nice and is a jack-of-all-trades-but-master-of-none. I would not use any of the sounds in a professional mix, and the programming of of sounds is too fiddly to justify the fairly average thin digital results. Give me an Atari anyday for sequencing, but I might use the 505 drums for a bit of cliche techno occasionally. Actually I sold the bugger instead to a toyshop. I think it will become a bedroom DJ classic but will never cut the mustard in the real world. Get serious, if you really need a box to do everything for your dance production for less than £900, go get an Akai MPC2000 and a handful of good sample CDs and keep the change!

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Friday-Oct-01-1999 at 07:46
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