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Manufactured by Roland
Dates 1998–2002
Price £782 UK, $1299 US
Technical specifications
Polyphony 64-note
Timbrality 8-part (Including a separate rhythm channel)
Oscillator Yes
Synthesis type Sample-based synthesis (rompler)
Filter Yes
Memory 512 preset sounds, 26 drum kits
Effects reverb/delay, chorus/flanger
Keyboard No
External control MIDI in/out

The Roland MC-505 is a groovebox conceived in 1998 as a combination of a MIDI controller, a music sequencer and a drum machine, and also has some of the prime features of synthesizers: arpeggiator, oscillators, voltage-controlled filter, control of attack, decay, sustain and release. It was released as the successor to the Roland MC-303 and is a compact version of the Roland JX-305 Groovesynth without the full set of 61 keys. It is also the predecessor to the Roland D2, Roland MC-307, Roland MC-909 and the Roland MC-808.


The key features of the MC-505 are:

  • 64 voice polyphonic digital subtractive synthesis engine (derived from the Roland JV-2080) with 251 different oscillator, acoustic and drum sample waveforms
  • 512 built-in preset sounds, 256 user sounds & 26 rhythm sets (includes the Roland CR-78, TR-808, TR-606, TR-909, TR-707 and R-8)
  • 8-track MIDI sequencer + Mute Ctrl Track
  • Recording length of up to 32 bars per pattern
  • 714 preset sequencer patterns, 200 user patterns, 50 user songs
  • 3 multi-effect units: Reverb, Delay and 24 different EFXs
  • Infrared D-Beam controller for hands-free sound modulation
  • MEGAMix function for intuitive realtime mixing of beats and patterns
  • 5 volt Smartmedia card slot for doubling user patch and pattern memory


The Roland MC-505 has no sampler. The size of the LCD screen makes it difficult to read each feature setting, and over time the LCD screen would lose pixels (which in some cases renders the screen unreadable; this is called "display bug" by some users). This issue is due to the heat on the LCD screen-PCB board, the lamination between the crystal and the PCB is opening/splitting up from the little heat inside the Roland MC-505 from prolonged use. Roland has fixed this by updating the LCD screen component.

Notable Artists[edit]


External links[edit]

MC-505 PDF Manual Links:

Other Links:

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_MC-505 — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
27141 videos foundNext > 

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Enjoy this old school product promo video from Roland circa 1998! Check out our inventory of new, used, and vintage gear! http://www.perfectcircuitaudio.com Subscribe for more videos and...

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26 news items


Fri, 20 Mar 2015 08:00:00 -0700

M.I.A. spent the early-Aughts as a creative hybrid — a graphic designer, photographer, videographer and hipster fashionista living in London. When her friend Justine Frischmann, the onetime singer of Elastica, loaned her a Roland MC-505, she began ...


Wed, 18 Mar 2015 08:19:15 -0700

This week marks 10 years since pop provocateur MIA burst on the scene with 'Arular' - her brilliant, beguiling debut album. With rumours of new music on the horizon, revisit her career-spanning interview with NME's Kevin EG Perry from November 2013 ...


Mon, 23 Mar 2015 08:52:20 -0700

Тогава нейният приятел Джъстин Фришман й връчва вълшебната машина Roland MC-505, с която M.I.А започва да експериментира в своята стая и да записва парчета с дълбок смисъл, засягащи теми от световна величина, и неподражаеми ...

Noisey (blog)

Noisey (blog)
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 07:20:59 -0700

By his 15th birthday, Steven's cousin had bought him a Roland MC-505 groovebox and a school friend gave him a lend of a R.A.W. mixtape (listen below) from the L.A. drum and bass scene. His musical landscape changed, and an inner beatmaker began to ...

The 405

The 405
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:01:03 -0700

He hijacked his cousin Oran's synthesizers and messed around with those, and, worried about his music being overwritten, Oran eventually bought Ellison a Roland MC-505 Groovebox. While this solidified Ellison's love for making beats and afforded him ...
About - News & Issues
Sat, 28 Jun 2014 19:02:19 -0700

Lady Starlight performed an extended mix of electronic dance sounds on her Roland MC-505 that provided some moments of inspiration but lasted far too long. Finally, an extensive gap between opening acts and Lady Gaga's stage appearance followed.


Sat, 08 Feb 2014 11:59:14 -0800

When Chicago-native producer David “D.A”. Doman traded in his Roland MC 505 Groovebox for an MPC in his sophomore year of high school, he had no idea he would go from being a local Chicago amateur beatmaker to lacing the beat for Young Money's ...
Wed, 03 Apr 2013 23:56:38 -0700

Hace tiempo que Roland no no sorprende con algo como esto. Looper específico para Beat Box de Roland MC-505. RC-505 Loop Station Introduction by Dub Fx Tienda online de instrumentos y sonido. www.Djmania.es. Read moreShow less · Translate.

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