Alternative controller for Roland MKS-70

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
Post Reply
shendo
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:47 pm
Gear: Ableton Live/ Nord Lead1/ Electro/AJ1/ Moog LP /Moogerfoogers/Stomp Boxes/Vermona DRM1 III/motif rack
Band: NONE
Location: Durham, NC

Alternative controller for Roland MKS-70

Post by shendo » Mon May 04, 2009 4:55 am

Anybody using something else than the PG-800 to control the Roland MKS-70?
I am looking more something for tweaking than a computer editor...
Thanks,
Chris
Novation X station, Motif Rack, NordLead/Electro, Juno-1, Evolver , Moogerfoogers

User avatar
idiotboy
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:12 pm

Re: Alternative controller for Roland MKS-70

Post by idiotboy » Mon May 04, 2009 5:49 pm

Well, the Peavey PC1600x is an old favorite. I used my Mackie Control Universal, but I wouldn't recommend it.

But, what's wrong with the PG-800? It's the right tool for this particular job.

:dontknow:

User avatar
5c&3r
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:03 pm
Gear: //JX-3P, Xio25, Nanoloop
//DD-6, Big Muff XO, Fab Echo, PDS-1700
//Renoise
Band: Tardigrade
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Re: Alternative controller for Roland MKS-70

Post by 5c&3r » Mon May 04, 2009 6:22 pm

Now, I don't have any experience with this, but couldn't you just get any USB controller and then control your MKS-70 editor software with the USB controller?
Like:
USB controller out > USB port on computer > midi out on computer > midi in on the MKS-70?

User avatar
Computer Controlled
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 624
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:12 am
Gear: SH-101 . TB-3 . TR-8 . Juno-1 w/PG-300 . TT-303 . Korg ES2 . Beatstep Pro . Pioneer RMX-500
Band: Computer Controlled
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: Alternative controller for Roland MKS-70

Post by Computer Controlled » Mon May 04, 2009 9:42 pm

Behringer BCR2000
Synths:
Avalon Bassline . TB-03 . JU-06 . MX-1 . Blofeld . MicroMonsta . Akai S5000
Drum Machines:
TR-09 . TR-8

shendo
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:47 pm
Gear: Ableton Live/ Nord Lead1/ Electro/AJ1/ Moog LP /Moogerfoogers/Stomp Boxes/Vermona DRM1 III/motif rack
Band: NONE
Location: Durham, NC

Re: Alternative controller for Roland MKS-70

Post by shendo » Tue May 05, 2009 12:02 am

There's nothing wrong with the pg-800. I was just hoping there was something cheaper that would work with more functionality. I also have a Alpha Juno, that I would like to control.

I have a X-station. I couldnt get its sysex messages to be recognized by the MKS. I havent tried the juno yet.

Glad to hear the BCR works, I might have to pick one up. I saw a template for TX 81z also.

Thanks,
Chris
Novation X station, Motif Rack, NordLead/Electro, Juno-1, Evolver , Moogerfoogers

User avatar
Computer Controlled
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 624
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:12 am
Gear: SH-101 . TB-3 . TR-8 . Juno-1 w/PG-300 . TT-303 . Korg ES2 . Beatstep Pro . Pioneer RMX-500
Band: Computer Controlled
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: Alternative controller for Roland MKS-70

Post by Computer Controlled » Tue May 05, 2009 12:08 am

The BCR is one of the best controllers out there. Fully configurable.
Synths:
Avalon Bassline . TB-03 . JU-06 . MX-1 . Blofeld . MicroMonsta . Akai S5000
Drum Machines:
TR-09 . TR-8

User avatar
idiotboy
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:12 pm

Re: Alternative controller for Roland MKS-70

Post by idiotboy » Tue May 05, 2009 1:01 am

Does the BCR2000 do dual-byte sysex? I think some of the MKS control requires two sysex words.

User avatar
Computer Controlled
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 624
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:12 am
Gear: SH-101 . TB-3 . TR-8 . Juno-1 w/PG-300 . TT-303 . Korg ES2 . Beatstep Pro . Pioneer RMX-500
Band: Computer Controlled
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: Alternative controller for Roland MKS-70

Post by Computer Controlled » Tue May 05, 2009 1:17 am

Not sure what you mean by that, but they work with all the MKS series fluidly.
Synths:
Avalon Bassline . TB-03 . JU-06 . MX-1 . Blofeld . MicroMonsta . Akai S5000
Drum Machines:
TR-09 . TR-8

User avatar
aredj
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 497
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:34 am
Gear: A little bit of E-muAccessJomoxKorg -
Spectralis2!
Location: Toronto ON

Re: Alternative controller for Roland MKS-70

Post by aredj » Tue May 05, 2009 1:54 pm

I've been stuffing the bcr w/ sysex strings for awhile, and I'm gonna say no to dual-byte.
Sometimes the front panel of the machine in question works best for those parameters.

User avatar
idiotboy
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:12 pm

Re: Alternative controller for Roland MKS-70

Post by idiotboy » Tue May 05, 2009 10:54 pm

Many or most of the inexpensive MIDI controllers can't send dual-byte sysex strings, they can only send single-byte strings. On some older synths, you can only access certain of its parameters by sending dual-byte sysex strings. Controller companies tend not to clarify this when they claim "fully configurable".

Two controllers I know *do* send dual-byte are the aforementioned Peavy PC1600x and the CME Bitstream box. As usual, this functionality is relatively expensive.

EDIT: I should add that apart from the above, the BCR2000 is a good controller and a great value.

plikestechno
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 757
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:36 pm
Gear: Lots. See sig.
Location: Edmonton, Canada

Re: Alternative controller for Roland MKS-70

Post by plikestechno » Wed May 06, 2009 1:49 am

They don't come up much but the Kenton Control Freaks are awesome. I had a Studio and you could even use CV synths. Sold mine though because I got triple what I paid for it.

I have to keep my PG-800 because I have a JX10. I can't imagine another hardware controller being able to control more simultaneously than a PG-800 but I could see why people are looking for something else at its price and the fact that you can only use it on the JX10/MKS70. In fact if I had an MKS70 the PG would be long gone for a universal controller.

I got lucky last year. Got a mint JX10 with mint PG800 and 3 M64Cs and a case for $500 US. Sold two of the carts for $200 (more luck) so basically got the whole shebang for 3 bills.
Serge/Modcan A/MOTM/Frac/Phenol/Andromeda/Jupiter6Europa/OctaveCatSRM/ARPSolina/ARPPro Soloist/Pro2/Korg770/Juno60/Lambda/Anamono/Little Deformer/Integra7/Microwave1&2/Syncussion/FS1R/Microkorg/Xoxio/VL1M/JD990/MKS50/TX816/DSS1/KARP/TG33/OCoast/SC40

User avatar
synthRodriguez
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 371
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2009 11:46 pm
Real name: Scott
Gear: Moog - Roland - Yamaha
Location: Western Ohio

Re: Alternative controller for Roland MKS-70

Post by synthRodriguez » Wed May 06, 2009 2:20 am

plikestechno wrote:Got a mint JX10 with mint PG800 and 3 M64Cs and a case for $500 US. Sold two of the carts for $200 (more luck) so basically got the whole shebang for 3 bills.
Woof.

RichShan
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:37 am
Gear: Yamaha SY85, Roland JX3p, Novation Supernova II keys, Roland MKS70, Roland JV1080, Emu ESi-32, G5 & logic
Location: East Sussex

Re: Alternative controller for Roland MKS-70

Post by RichShan » Wed May 06, 2009 9:50 am

Hello there,

I've been following this thread with some interest.

I have an MKS 70, which I love. Now it's not inpossible to program from the front panel. But it is a major pain.

PG800s seem to go for daft money these days, that's if you can find one!

So, an alternative to the PG800 sounds like a brilliant idea.

Just one question: if I did buy a BCR2000 (or Peavy 1600) are there templates available for the MKS70? So, that I could just load up the template and (literally) plug and play. Or does the user have to figure out his own method of coding controllers... Will a hammer help? :)

User avatar
idiotboy
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:12 pm

Re: Alternative controller for Roland MKS-70

Post by idiotboy » Wed May 06, 2009 5:20 pm

The reason the PG-800 goes for daft money these days is because it's really the only editor for the MKS that won't frustrate you (much.)

The MKS/JX sysex is notoriously bad, and as such, few editors/templates exist that work well. When I had my MKS-70, I used a Peavey PC1600x and a Mackie Control Universal to program it and neither worked very well. I finally broke down and bought a PG-800 with a broken cable and fixed the cable myself.

Some folks have had success using the old eMagic SoundDiver editor with the MKS, but it's wonky on OSX, so you'd need a legacy computer to run it.

It's really a shame, because the MKS-70 is sonic gold, but programming it without the PG is just a pain. Do a google search on MKS-70 sysex and you'll see what I mean.
Last edited by idiotboy on Wed May 06, 2009 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Computer Controlled
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 624
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:12 am
Gear: SH-101 . TB-3 . TR-8 . Juno-1 w/PG-300 . TT-303 . Korg ES2 . Beatstep Pro . Pioneer RMX-500
Band: Computer Controlled
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: Alternative controller for Roland MKS-70

Post by Computer Controlled » Wed May 06, 2009 6:13 pm

I'd love an MKS-70 =o] The closest i've had was JX-8P.
Synths:
Avalon Bassline . TB-03 . JU-06 . MX-1 . Blofeld . MicroMonsta . Akai S5000
Drum Machines:
TR-09 . TR-8

Post Reply